As you might’ve heard over the last couple of months, 2018 is the year of long weekends. Depending on where you reside in India, your employer and who you believe, you’ll have at least 12-15 long weekends. That’s one long weekend a month on an average. As I showed you in my previous post, you have 135 days to travel in 2018 without having to quit your job. However, it’s far easier said than done. So here I am, helping you a bit further. By giving you a list of 12 long weekend getaways from Mumbai.
A few things that I kept in mind while creating this travel planner was
- Places should be close enough so that you don’t spend most of the time in the commute
- Avoid, Matheran, Lonavala, Khandala, Alibaug, Igatpuri, Mahabaleshwar. Because come a long weekend, we Mumbaikars love to just run there. So some of these 12 places are off-beat. Or at least not in the top of your mental list when it comes to places to visit near Mumbai
So without any further delay, let me present to you the Long Weekend Getaway planner for 2018.
Long Weekend Getaways from Mumbai
|Holiday||Long weekend||Days||Where to Go|
|26 January 2018, Republic Day,||26-28 February 2018||3 days||Malshej Ghat|
|13 February 2018, Mahashivratri||10-13 February||4 days||Nashik|
|02 March 2018, Holi||02-04 March 2018||3 Days||Raigad and Konkan|
|30 March 2018, Good Friday||30 Mar-02 April 2018||3 Days||Daman & Silvassa|
|01 May, Maharashtra Day||28 April - 01 May 2018||4 Days||Goa|
|15 June 2018, Id||15-17 June 2018||3 Days||Aurangabad|
|15 August 2018, Independence Day||11-15 August 2018||5 Days||Karwar and Gokarna|
|13 September 2018, Ganesh Chaturthi||13-16 September 2018||4 Days||Pune and Kaas Plateau|
|02 October 2018, Gandhi Jayanti||29 Sept-02 October 2018||4 Days||Ahmedabad|
|19 October 2018, Dussehra||19-21 October 2018||3 Days||New Delhi|
|07-08 November 2018, Diwali||07-11 November 2018||5 Days||Konkan|
|25 December 2018, Christmas||22-25 December 2018||4 Days||Kolhapur|
And here are some little details on each of the places mentioned in the planner.
Republic Day – Malshej Ghat
Although the popularity of Malshej ghat has increased over the last couple of years, it has still not attained the mass tourism levels of some other popular hill stations near Mumbai. One of the reasons for that is because of it just a ghat – a mountain pass. There are only a handful of hotels or resorts en route the pass and the services are very basic. The lack of tourism is what makes Malshej ghat a perfect destination for a weekend trip. MTDC has a wonderfully located resort at top of the ghat which you can put up as a base for exploring the surrounding areas.
Visit the Shivneri fort, which is the birthplace of the Maratha king Shivaji. You can also trek Naneghat on your way to the ghat. Or on the way back. And if you’re not one of the trekking types, you can drive from the top of the ghat although the roads are not very good.Additionally, there is the Ashtavinayak temple about 35 days from the ghat. Malshej ghat will make for a perfect weekend road trip from Mumbai (or Pune) where you can spend the time driving the back country roads, scenic view and some easy treks if you’re into it.
Maha Shivratri – Nashik
Home to one of the twelve Jyotirlingas – a form of Lord Shiva, Nashik is quite a religious place. There are numerous temples and a part of the Hindu mythological epic Ramayana took place in Panchavati. And besides housing the Kumbha Mela, there are a number of temples dedicated to some Hindu deity or the other. But then that’s not that all that Nashik has got. Nashik is the wine capital of India, and you can spend a day taking a tour of wineries and tasting numerous wines from the region. In fact, February-March is the harvest months and there are some events planned around the same.
However, even if there are no events planned around the Mahashivratri weekend in 2018, you can still enjoy this lovely town. Other than the wines, Nashik is famous for its Missal which is quite distinct from Puneri or Kolhpuri varieties. Have a look what Richa from the Roaming diaries has to suggest.
Holi – Raigad and Harihareshwar
The former capital of King Shivaji makes an excellent road trip from Mumbai. And after having a look at the fort and getting to know its history and legends, head to Harihareshwar for some beach time. And also check out some naval forts along the way. Plan your entire road trip using this guide about motorbiking from Mumbai to Goa.
Good Friday – Daman & Silvassa
Surprisingly Daman and Silvassa are quite underrated for being in such close vicinity to Mumbai and are not as popular yet. Daman and Silvassa, erstwhile Portuguese colonies are now a part of UT of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. At a bit over 150 km from Mumbai, they make for a great weekend trip. Beaches, Portuguese architecture, tribal history, decent resorts and cheap alcohol. check out some excellent photographs by Siddharth Joshi of Sid the Wanderer fame and his travels to this old Portuguese hub
Maharashtra Day – Goa
Goa in monsoons is my favourite. But I find Goa to be equally great in the summers as well. In the peak of summers, most of the tourists have gone in search of cooler places and Goa is as quiet as it can be. That means great bargains on flights as well as hotel rooms. Moreover, the average temperatures are not any higher than Mumbai, but beaches are definitely better. And beer is always cheaper. Spend the days just reading books by the pool, riding motorbikes along the small lanes or beach bumming. Here’s an excellent guide to beaches of North Goa by Drifter planet.
Id – Aurangabad
It’s surprising how many few people from Mumbai have actually visited the Ajanta and Ellora caves. I guess it’s one of those things when you have something close, you tend to push it away and away. If you managed to get that Monday off from work. Aurangabad can be a wonderful place to travel. And since the tourist season wouldn’t have begun yet, there’ll be lesser crowds. And you can explore the caves at your own pace. Moreover, with monsoons just having begun, the surrounding will all be lush green and the temperatures should be a bit cooler. Edwina from Wanna Be Maven has a guide to visiting the caves and other attractions Aurangabad has to offer. Do check it for planning your travels.
Independence Day – Karwar and Gokarna
If you manage to get a couple of days off before or after the Independence day. Head to Karwar and Gokarna. Irrespective of whether you drive the entire length or take any train, you’ll be greeted with spectacular views all along. In fact, the journey itself is a great reason to go on this trip. Of course, Gokarna, these days has become a must on the backpacking trail in India. But Karwar is a little estuary town that stole my heart as rode through it a few years ago. In fact, I stayed here for 3-4 days and would just ride to the neighbouring villages or beaches and whiled my time away with some books. And the north Karnataka coastal cuisine is a delight. Check some wonderful pictures from the folks at The Untourists. Trust me, it’ll be worth it to skip those couple of days at work.
Ganesh Chaturthi – Pune & Kaas Plateau
Everyone is aware of the fervour and the zeal of the Ganesh Festival in Mumbai. But Pune is a different game altogether. The celebrations here are much more traditional and cultural in flavour. So why not head there and check how the festival is celebrated there. And also while you’re there you can make a quick trip to Kaas plateau and be mesmerized by the colours of the wildflowers. Read about Abhishek’s account to the Kaas Plateau and the surroundings here
Gandhi Jayanti – Ahmedabad
For most of us, Gandhi Jayanti is nothing more than another national holiday. How about doing something different in 2018? Why not visit Ahmedabad and the Sabarmati Ashram? the Ashram was the home of the father of the nation. And visiting it would be a wonderful way to pay your respects to the freedom you’ve enjoyed. And also there is so much of delicious Gujarati food to eat and places to see and history to enjoy in this beautiful city. Do check Sandeepa & Chetan’s Travel blog for more details on places to visit in Ahmedabad and around
Dussehra – Baroda
Another gem of a city within half a day’s ride from Mumbai is Baroda. Along with an excellent museum, the grandeur of Laxmi Vilas Palace, the city is also the base from which you can explore the World Heritage sites of Champaner and Pavagadh. Also, visiting it during Navratri would be an excellent way to soak up the sights and colours of the festive atmosphere. And make sure to dance the night away with Garba and Dandiya. Nothing can be better than experience Dandiya in Gujarat. The folks at Shadows Galore have some excellent suggestions on what to check out when in the city.
Diwali – Roadtripping Konkan
If you can plan well in advance and get that entire week off from work, you can have a road trip of a lifetime. But even, if not, there are enough places in Konkan for you to go road tripping for a couple of days to a week or two. Check out the Mumbai to Goa by Road guide and plan your trip. History, forts, beaches and local life, you name it and it’s there as you drive along the national highways of NH 66 or NH 48 or the backcountry lanes of SH44.
Christmas Weekend – Kolhapur
A rarely visited town, Kolhapur will give you a glimpse of what a small city in India would be. There is the Indo-Saracenic architecture of Chattrapati Shahu Museum, the old world charm of the lanes near Mahalaxmi temple and the shopping for jewellery and famous Kolhapuri chappal. And needless to say the spice and tang of the Kolpahuri Tambda (red) or Pandhra (white) curries along with the hit of the local misal. The citizens also take pride in their wrestlers and you can watch them train if you walk around Bhavani Mandap. Blabber Blogger has an interesting post on a weekend of exploring Kolhapur
Weekends travelling is a lovely way to travel. It gives your a well deserved break from work. Allows you to visit sights that are more often than not ignored. Does not require a lot of planning and pre-arranging things like visas, hotels tours like long trips always do. And is relatively cheaper. As you already know 2018 has at least 12 long weekends. That’s at least a trip every month. So why know start planning your travels already?
Are there any other places or alternatives to the places I mentioned above. Why not leave a comment and other readers and myself know about.