7 Weekend Getaways Every Mumbaikar Should Take

As much of a delight as Mumbai is, some weekends are simply to move over the drives to Carter Road and the late-night Marine Drive walks. Thankfully, the city is blessed with utterly pleasing towns around, which make for good Mumbai weekend getaways too. And anyway, Mumbai travel is synonymous to the places mentioned below. So, gear up for a couple of popular and some offbeat weekend getaways near Mumbai that we recommend any day!

Panchgani - Mahabaleshwar

Distance from Mumbai- 270 km, 5 hours

Blessed with pleasant weather throughout the year, Panchgani is one of the best places to visit around Mumbai for a weekend getaway. The town of green hills and convents derives its name from the 5 hills that mark the Western Ghats.

Panchgani is one of the most popular weekend getaways from Mumbai.
Panchgani welcomes every traveller with such green vistas. 

Places to visit in Panchgani- Tableland, Sydney Point, Kate’s Point, Dhom Dam, Kamalgad Fort, Rajpuri Caves, Kaas Plateau, Bhilar Falls, Wai, Wilson Point, Mapro Garden, Babington Point, Devrai Art Village, and Devil’s Kitchen.

The hilly town of Mahabaleshwar, just a 10-min drive from Panchgani, can also be covered on this trip. Other than juicy strawberries, Mahabaleshwar happens to be a hotspot for travellers for viewpoints and waterfalls alike.

Places to visit in Mahabaleshwar- Elephant’s Head Point, Chinaman’s Falls, Arthur’s Point, Dhobi Falls, Venna Lake, Pratapgad Fort, Elphinstone Point, Connaught Peak, Lingmala Falls, Helen’s Point.

Did you know, we have a freaking kickass container hostel in Panchgani? And oh, we spend our time in a pretty celebratory fashion here. Check out how!

panchgani common room.jpg
The uber cool interiors of Zostel Panchgani. Picture by Ankit Gupta.

Karjat

Distance from Mumbai- 63 km, 1.5 hours

Nestling on the basin of river Ulhas, the rocky little town of Karjat is a frequented destination near Mumbai for its natural tundra. Backpackers rejoice, this place is apt if you’re looking to shake all the lethargy & go for a sprightly adventure. Along with hikes & treks, you can also delve into some rock climbing, rafting, rappelling, and waterfall climbing over here.

Places to visit- Kondana Caves, Peth Fort, Kothligad Trek, Bhivgad Trek, Bhivpuri, Bekare and Zenith Waterfalls, Khopoli and Kothaligad.

Karjat is one of those places near Mumbai that looks straight out of a painting.
Karjat is known for its flora which is indeed charming.

Kamshet

Distance from Mumbai- 112 km, 2 hours

Apart from emerald green vistas, Maharashtra Tourism proudly boasts of the paragliding hub of Western & Central India, Kamshet. Just 16 km ahead of Lonavala hidden in the Konkan region of Maharashtra, Kamshet is a tiny village made of dramatic terrains and thick forests. Not to forget, the adventure of paragliding in Kamshet makes up for all the thrill you’ve been missing out on!

Places to visit- Uksan Lake, Shinde Wadi Hills, Bhairi Caves, Pavana Lake, Bedse Caves, Bhandar Dongar, Bhaje Waterfalls, Ekvira, Andra Valley Dam, and Vadivali Lake.

The lush greens of Kamshet make it one of the most popular places to visit near Mumbai.
A walk through the hilly greens in Kamshet.

Karnala Bird Sanctuary

Distance from Mumbai- 47 km, 1.5 hours

A forested landscape lying on the Mumbai-Goa highway, the Karnala Bird Sanctuary is home to more than 150 bird species, out of which 37 are migratory. Closing in on the Sahyadri Ranges in Maharashtra, this is one of the most ideal places to visit in Maharashtra for a leisure road trip and picnic outdoors. Make way through the dense forest pathways, keeping an eye out for the migratory birds, and reach the Karnala Fort on top. A very enthusiastic local told us that taking a morning stroll is the best way to explore this place, so you can give that a shot too.

A hike to the Karnala Fort is only mandatory when you visit this sanctuary.
A trekking trail to the Karnala Fort.

Aurangabad

Distance from Mumbai- 367 km, 8 hours

Already been to the magnificent Ajana & Ellora Caves near Aurangabad? Along with this integral gem of Maharashtra Tourism, the town gives you more reasons to visit! Apart from the cultural heritage it holds so very dearly, the art galleries, forts, museums and Mughlai food are a significant bonus. Click here to see our favourites from the last Mughal city through the eyes of Abhi & Niyu.

Places to visit- Bibi ka Maqbara, Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad Caves, Siddharth Garden, Gul Mandi, Bani Behum Garden, The Buddhist Caves, Khuldabad, Kailasa Temple, Salim Ali Lake, Jayakwadi Dam, Chattrapati Shivaji Museum, Pitalkhora Caves, Goga Baba Hill, Mhaismal, Soneri Mahal, Himayat Bagh, Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary.

Just 7 km from the Aurangabad Airport, we have an ultra-vibrant and happening hostel, Zostel Aurangabad. Check it out here!

Zostel Aurangabad.
Picture credits to Ankit Gupta.

Matheran

Distance from Mumbai- 81 km, 2.5 hours

Matheran is every water baby’s dream come true, especially in monsoon. The many adventure activities surrounding the roaring waterfalls are sure what attract travellers to this little town. A weekend getaway from Mumbai to Matheran is as simple as it is pleasing, thanks to the views & the soothing vibe of the place that we’ve all come to love over the years.

Places to visit- Louisa and Panorama Points, Charolette Lake, Echo and Porcupine Points, Hart Point, One Tree Hill Point, Prabal Fort, King George Point, Lord Point, Mount Barry, Irshalgad and Vikatgad Peb Forts.

Matheran is the best weekend getaway to relax and rejuvinate.
Matheran is as green as it is misty.

Lonavala - Khandala

Monsoon enhances a lot of places to visit in Maharashtra and Lonavala is the luckiest.
Picture credits to our writer, Kanak Kundlani.

Distance from Mumbai- 83 km, 1.5 hours

It’s safe to say that Mumbai travel comes with a lot of rains. The monsoon capital of Central India, Lonavala is a short-getaway paradise. Combine it with Khandala and there you have it: every Mumbaikar’s sweet childhood ritual in front of you. The lush green meadows combined with an abundance of waterfalls and ponds around here are sure to give you a refreshing change from Mumbai. And although quite popular, this is a rather nostalgic weekend getaway for all of us, don’t you agree?

Places to visit- Tiger’s Leap, Bushi and Valvan Dam, Lonavala Lake, Rajmachi Fort, Aamby Valley, Karla and Bhaja Caves, Visapur Fort, Ryewood Park, Duke’s Nose, Liones Point, Kune, Kataldhar, Lonavala and Reverse Waterfalls, and Kaivalyadhama Ashram.

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Writer, Kanak Kundlani.


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