Looking for a weekend getaway near Mumbai? The everyday bustle of the city makes one pine for a little peace and quiet. The best feature about this metropolitan is that though the life here may be hectic, it also has some excellent weekend holiday destinations around it. Beautiful natural surroundings and wonderful sightseeing locations make them the perfect places for resting your tired mind and body.
One day weekend getaways near Mumbai
1) Khandala Lonavla
Distance: 93 kms Via Mumbai – Pune Expy
Khandala and Lonavla are twin hill resorts and are immensely popular weekend getaway near Mumbai. They can be reached in just three hours by road from Mumbai. Besides natural beauty, Khandala and Lonavla are famous for the different kinds of chikki, a sweet made of groundnuts and jaggery.
Location: Both the cities lies at a distance of 5 km from each other and are situated along the Mumbai-Pune Highway at an altitude of 625 metres
Activities: Trekking is a popular activity here. Camping, waterfall rappelling and farm tours are also popular for the city folk who visit here.
There are several tourist destinations such as the Korigad Fort, and the Tiger’s Leap, the Lohgad, the Karla and Bhaja caves.
Some of the important places worth sightseeing include the Duke’s Nose which is a cliff resembling the nose of the Duke of Wellington. The place is an excellent viewing point and presents a panoramic view of the surroundings.
The Korigad Fort is another often toured spot and is located at a distance of 3050 feet. The Tiger’s Leap is another such popular viewing point. On viewing the surroundings from this point, an illusion of a tiger leaping across the river appears and hence the name. Lohgad is famous for its waterfalls, an ancient fort and ancient caves.
Image Source: Himanshu Sarpotdar – Flickr
Standing on the eastern edge of the Kundalike River, Kolad is a popular for its river rafting opportunities. Its scenic landscape coupled with several waterfalls emerging from the surrounding mountains is ideal for trekking and camping too.
Kuda Caves, a series of 13 caves carved out of rocks by Buddhists, can be visited to see ancient carvings, inscriptions and sculptures.
A 4th century fort, Tala, stands in the middle of a forest and overlooks the hilly terrain below.
There are quite a few waterfalls in this region, the most popular of these being Tamhini Falls and Kansai Falls.
Devi Kedar Janani Hills
Activities: Water based activities like rafting, kayaking and boating are a major draw for tourists to Kolad. Apart from these you can undergo a camping experience at any of the several spots within the jungles. Other adventure sports conducted here include rappelling, paragliding, and hiking.
Type of Destination: Trekking, family and kid friendly.
Distance from Mumbai: 121 kms
Best time to Visit: June to February
Located in the ‘Wine Capital of India’ Nashik, Igatpuri is a beautiful hill station and town adorned by the Western Ghats. Embraced in the lap of surrounding peaks, this tiny hill station proves to be one of the best places to visit especially during the monsoons andcan be easily reached via the Mumbai-Agra National Highway.
Dhamma Giri Meditation Centre
Activities: For those who wish to embark on an adventure and seek relaxation at the same time, this is the place for you to be! Backpackers can embark on fun treks, camping expeditions, rappelling, Ziplining and other activities that will keep you on your toes for a long time!
Type of Destination: Historic, trekking, family and kid friendly.
Distance from Mumbai: 120 kms
Best time to Visit: June to September and November to March
4) Savarkut Village
Distance from Mumbai: 130 Kms
A quaint hamlet in the Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, Savarkut entices plenitude of adventure junkies with its varied offerings. Vaitarna River flowing through the village, its lush and green outlook and activities like rappelling, kayaking, white water rafting promises a unique and offbeat experiences to its visitors.
Distance from Mumbai: 114 Kms
Embraced by the bucolic charm of the Sahyadri Ranges or thhe Western Ghats, this scenic village in Pune, Maharashtra, is also one of the ideal destinations that als make it to the list of getaways around Mumbai. Divided into several sub-divisions, the balmny experience that it offers, is a must for everyone!
6) Revdanda Beach
Only 125km from the heart of Mumbai, this picturesque village in Alibaug is truly a scenic delight for the visitors. One of the least explored beaches in the country, Revdanda Beach is a weekend destination that is still untouched by the hands of commercialization and showcases the pristine beauty of nature.
7) Pawna Lake
Located within a close proximity to Maval in Maharashtra, Pavana Lake came into existance after the Pavana Dam was built. Tucked away amidst the Sahyadri Ranges, this soon getting all the attentions from the nature lovers, usual backpackers, campers and other classes of visitors to the region. An ideal camping destination, this stunning water body along with the vicinity is also known for activities like parasailing, kayaking, windsurfing and boating.
Nestled amidst all the marvels of nature, Durshet; located around 100km from Mumbai and Pune, boasts of its untouched beauty and appeal. AmbaRvier flowing down this scenic getaway, the freshness that dwells in its every corner and the array of activities you can indulge in here, makes it an ideal weekend getaway near Mumbai.
Yet another historic spots in Maharashtra, Rajmachi Fort proves to be an utmost delight during the monsoons. During this period of the year, the entire vicinity comes alive as the monsoon rain brings the greeneries back to life.
A trek to the fort during the monsoons is truly an exciting affair! While the gorgeousness of the fort will entice you to explore its age-old history, the enchanting beauty of the region will keep you intact with the nature all throughout the trek.
Distance: 48 Kms via Sion-Panvel Expy
Karnala is situated at a distance of about 10 km from Panvel. The two major attractions for tourists here are the Karnala Bird Sanctuary and the Karnala Fort. The Karnala Fort is of much historical significance as it overlooked the Bor Pass, which connects the Konkan coast to the interior districts of Maharashtra.
The pass was the major trade route of the area. The exact date of construction of the Karnala Fort is not known, but it is believed that the structure predates 1400 CE and was built under the patronage of the Devagiri Yadavas and later under the Tughlaq rulers. The Karnala fort consists of two forts – one at a higher level than the other. In the centre of the fort situated on the higher level, there is a watchtower called the Pandu’s tower. The tower also has a water cistern that provides water throughout the year.
The other major attraction of this place is the Karnala Bird Sanctuary. In this protected zone, the fort is situated. The sanctuary is spread over 12.11 square kilometres and is much smaller than the other ones in different parts of the country. It is located near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and the Tungareshwar Sanctuary and can be easily reached from Mumbai.
Situated at a distance of about 12 km from Panvel, it is best known for its population of birds and hence attracts a large number of bird lovers and bird watching enthusiasts. The sanctuary is home to about 150 species of resident and 37 species of migratory birds. The reserve also has a number of rare bird species such as Ashy minivet, three toes kingfisher and Malabar Trogon.
Image Source: Suraj P. Singh
Distance: 62 kms Via Sion-Panvel EXpy
Karjat sprawls over Bhorghat, Sahayadri and the Western Ghats and the end of the coastal plains of the Konkan region near Deccan. The city has an average elevation of 636 feet and is situated on the banks of the River Ulhas.
Besides its natural beauty, Karjat attracts a lot of tourists because of the innumerable possibilities it offers for adventure sports activities such as river rafting, trekking, hiking and mountain climbing. During the rainy season, families throng in here for a holiday. Several people from the nearby cities of Mumbai, Pune, Thane, etc. have summer homes in Karjat, which are used to celebrate festivals and holidays.
One of the major tourist attractions in here is Art Director Nitin Chandrakant Desai’s ND Studio. Karjat served as the backdrop for the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Several international production houses such as Twentieth Century Fox, Walt Disney and DreamWorks are setting up their facilities in this scenic place.
The city also has the largest chain of farm houses in Asia. A lot of tourists find Karjat attractive because of the trekking possibilities there. The major trekking trails in the region include Matheran via Rambagh point, Peth Fort and Chanderi Fort.
In the monsoons, white water river rafting is a very popular sport in the upper sections of the River Ulhas. The best time for this water sport is from July to September. There are several places of interest in and around Karjat such as the Ulhas Valley, Bhor Ghat, Kondana Caves, Peth Fort etc.
Distance: 83 kms via Sion-Panvel Expy
Matheran is a celebrated hill station and a great weekend place near Mumbai. It is situated in the Karjat tehsil of Maharashtra and is also the smallest hill station of India. Situated in the lush green Western Ghats, the elevation of the region is around 80 m above sea level, at a distance of 90 km from Mumbai and 120 km from Pune.
The name of the place means ‘forest on the forehead.’ Matheran has been declared as an eco-sensitive region by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and is Asia’s only automobile free hill station.
There are several viewpoints in this dream-like place and the most visited among them is the Panorama Point which provides a 360 degree view of the surrounding area and the Neral town. Amazing views of sun set and sun rise can also be enjoyed from here. Another point called the Louisa Point offers a stunning view of the Prabal Fort. The other important points include the One Tree Hill Point, Hart Point, Monkey Point, Porcupine Point, Rambagh point etc
Matheran is an eco-sensitive region and the only automobile allowed in the region is an ambulance owned and operated by the Municipality. No private vehicles are allowed in here and the main modes of transportation are horses and hand pulled rickshaws. Matheran is a treasure trove of medicinal plants and herbs. It also has a huge population of monkeys including Bonnet macaques and Hanuman langurs.
One of the weekend getaways near Mumbai, Alibag is approachable either by road or by a ferry from the Gateway of India in South Mumbai. For those with an interest in history, this holiday site even has an old fort that was built during Shivaji’s rule.
Attractions: Religious locations in Alibag include Kanakeshwar Devasthan temple and Vikram Vinayak temple. Less than 30 kms away is the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary, while the historic Kulaba Fort is situated 1-2 kms inside the sea and one can walk up to it when the tide is low. Alibag has many beaches in its vicinity that include the Versoli Beach, Nagaon Beach, Akshi Beach and Kashid Beach. Another hill fort not too far from here is the Sagargad which is in ruins but worth visiting. En route to this place one can come across a seasonal waterfall nearby.
Activities: Enjoy the pristine environs of the beach, try sea food, take a dip in the sea waters, walk up to the Kulaba Fort when the sea water is low. Bird watching in the Phansad Sanctuary will appeal to nature and bird lovers.
Type of Destination: Beach, historic, family and kid friendly
Distance from Mumbai: 95 kms
Best time to Visit: November to July
Distance: 100kms via Mumbai-pUne EXpy
Nestled in the Pune district of Maharashtra, Kamshet is one of the most crowd-pleasing weekend places near Mumbai. It is situated at a distance of 16 km from the twin hill stations of Khandala and Lonavla.
The natural beauty of the surroundings of Kamshet and the charming little villages that comprise of houses made of mud and thatched roofs hold a special allure for travellers from all over the country and the world. The nearest railhead is the Kamshet railway station which runs parallel to the River Indrayani. The hills along this route have a number of ancient cave temples, colonial hill stations and hill fortresses.
There are several activities that tourists can enjoy at Kamshet. Paragliding is a rage here as the destination provides world class paragliding facilities. For this reason, a large number of enthusiasts and flying sport aficionados visit Kamshet throughout the year for paragliding sessions.
Paragliding is an enjoyable experience here as it is surrounded by green ambling hills, beautiful paddy and sunflower fields. There are a couple of places in Kamshet which are perfect for this adventure activity. Tower Hill is just perfect for hand gliding.
Another prominent setting for the spot is Shelar, which is situated at a distance of just 8 km from the highway. It offers the perfect conditions for thermal paragliding and soaring. Paragliders can take off from 175 feet or more because of the perfect landscape.
The Kondeshwara Cliff is ideal for those who have enough experience to take on tough challenges. It is situated at a distance of 20 km from Kamshet and tourists can take off from a height of 2200 feet and soar above the breath-taking landscape of this beautiful destination.
Kamshet is perfect for ridge and thermal soaring and is ideal for basic, intermediate and cross-country paragliding expeditions. Tourists can happily soar over the picturesque Pawna Lake and glide over the beautiful scenery of the region. Due to the popularity of paragliding in the region, Kamshet is also known as the ‘Paraglider’s Paradise.’ There are several places of interest such as the Karla Caves, Bedsa Caves, the Bhaja Caves and the Kondeshwar Temple.
Dating back to the 17th century, Raigad was the capital of the Maratha King Shivaji. The fort here is built at an altitude of 2700 feet above sea level on the Sahyadri Mountains. Visitors can opt to climb up the 1737 steps to reach it or else can ride the cable car which makes for an enjoyable trip.
Attractions: Though most of the fort’s interiors are in ruins now, some of the structures are still clearly visible. These include the queen’s chambers, main palace, three watch towers, the market area, granaries, the public ‘durbar’ and an artificial lake. All these make for an interesting peek into the life and times of royalty in the olden days.
Activities: Hike up to the fort and get a panoramic view of the terrain below. View the historic structures within the fort that was once the home of the famous Shivaji.
Type of destination: Historic, trekking, family & kid friendly
Distance from Mumbai: 103 kms
Best time to Visit: September to November
51 Weekend Gateways Near Mumbai & Pune