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Cheat sheet to picking a weekend getaway from Mumbai

Tired of the hustle and bustle in the city? Mumbai's got a number of getaway resorts in the outskirts for you to unwind. If you're ready to drive a few hours or take a short flight, we've got a few more destinations listed for you to get away from the city madness! 

Upto a 3-4 hour drive: 

  • Lonavala & Khandala-Nestled in the Sahyadri Ranges, these twin hill stations are extremely popular getaways for Mumbaikars due to their proximity to the big city. Go camping at nearby Pawna (or Pavana) Lake, paragliding at Kamshet, trekking at Tiger's Leap, visit the forts and the Karla and Bhaja caves, or just be lazy and enjoy the hazy green hills around. Also, don't forget to take back some chikki from here as it is what the place is famous for. 
  • Matheran & Karjat- Matheran is a popular and also the smallest hill station in India. It is known for its breath-taking viewpoints and British-style architecture. For adventure-seekers, nearby Karjat offers trekking, river rafting, hiking and mountain climbing.
  • Pune-Explore the nightlife of this fast-growing city and maybe even visit the Osho Ahram and the German Bakery while you're at it! 
  • Alibaug is home to several beaches, temples and forts. Kulaba Fort, 1-2 kms from the shore, in the sea, is one of its popular attractions. The nearby Phansad Wildlife sanctuary is supposed to be a birdwatcher's paradise. 
  • Visit the unspoilt beaches of Kashid (near Alibaug) and Dahanu (Palghar district), both less than a 4 hour drive from Mumbai. 
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli -The Union Territory's capital, Silvassa, has a number of getaway resorts and tourist attractions including a Deer Park, the Vasona Lion Sanctuary and water sports. 
  • Kolad-The Kundalika River that passes through Kolad is very popular for river rafting. 
  • Durshet- Move away from the crowded city to the little village of Durshet for water sports in the Kundalika River, scenic views of the Sahyadri Range, and the Night Safari. One can even trek to the forts in Durshet or visit the Sulphur-rich healing hot springs here. 
  • Nasik-Sip on some wine at either of the many wineries at the 'Wine Capital of India'. Home to other attractions as well, Nasik attracts a lot of Mumbaikars looking for a quick getaway. 
  • Igatpuri-Known for Vipassana International Academy, people from all over the world flock here to learn this form of meditation. Enjoy the peace and meditate amongst the scenic valleys of Igatpuri, just 120kms from Mumbai.  
  • Daman & Diu-Marvel at the Portuguese styled architecture and the beaches of Daman & Diu, not far from Mumbai. 

Upto a 6 hour drive: 

  • Mahabaleshwar-Walk through the beautiful evergreen forests at this hill station and explore all the dramatic viewpoints the place has to offer. Watch as the Lingmala waterfalls cascade into the popular Venna Lake. Nearby Panchgani is also a hill station worth visiting for its strawberry farms and adventure activities. 
  • Shirdi-Embark on your spiritual journey to Shirdi, the home of Shirdi Sai Baba, just about a 5 hour drive from Mumbai. 
  • Lavasa- If you're looking for a luxurious getaway away from the city, head to Lavasa and stay at one of the many premium hotels overlooking the lake. For the more adventurous, take part in the wide range of water sports offered.
  • Ganpatipule- Head to Ganpatipule for a relaxed weekend by the beautiful beach. Take a camel ride or boat ride by the beach, visit the Ganesha Temple, or just laze around in one of the beach resorts here. 

Slightly longer drives (10-12 hrs): 

  • Goa- This happening beach destination is little more than a 10 hour drive from Mumbai. If you're not in a mood to drive, you can always hop on to a flight as well. 
  • Gokarna-Goa too commercial for you' Head to Gokarna for a quieter and unspoilt version of Goa. 
  • Dandeli- Visit the 'Adventure Capital of Karnataka' and see for yourself why it is called so. Apart from its popular Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, it has all the possible adventure activities to offer- right from trekking to white water rafting and rappelling.
  • Gujarat is within driving distance from Mumbai. One can also take a short flight. 

Places you can take a flight to: 

Within India:

  • Walk through the French colony and take a dip in the lovely beaches at Pondicherry or learn more about Indian history at Mahabalipuram-all by taking a short flight to Chennai and driving from there. 
  • Take a flight to Mangalore from where you can drive down to many popular destinations in the South such as Coorg, Gokarna, Murudeshwar, Udupi and Dharmastala.
  • Take a flight to Bangalore, Coimbatore or Kochi and visit the Wildlife Corridor of the South if you're a nature lover. This includes Nagarhole, Bandipur and Kabini in Karnataka, Masinagudi and Mudumalai in Tamil Nadu, and Wayanad in Kerala. 
  • Take a direct flight to Kochi to explore God's Own Country, Kerala
  • Hop on a camel and ride through the sand dunes in Rajasthan, just 1hr 40mins away by flight. 
  • PenchKanha and Bandhavgarh are also less than 2 hours away by flight if you're a wildlife lover.  
  • Live it up at the islands of Andaman. Go diving or just relax by the blue waters of its pristine beaches.

Fly out of India:

  • The 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean', Sri Lanka, is just two and a half hours away. 
  • Go for a luxurious getaway to Dubai - 3 hours by flight. 
  • Hog on some delicious Thai food, go shopping, have the time of your life-Thailand is a direct flight away!
 To make things better, the fact that Thailand and Sri Lanka have visa on arrival facilities makes traveling to these places even  easier.
So go ahead and pick your getaway now!
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