It’s that time of the year again when India in its entirety is gearing up for a long week of festivities. Diwali is fast approaching and schools have begun their annual break, while the multitude of preparations leading up to grand celebrations are already underway. However with a short-lived festive break that slips away all too fast, we’re back to the daily grind even before we know it.
Amidst a hectic festive schedule, squeezing in a short family trip is a great way to bring in the spirit of togetherness and spend some quality time with your loved ones. Whether you seek a quick getaway from the city’s crowds and chaos or wish to take the celebratory madness with you to a different city – we have a list of 5 great local destinations for a sparkling four-day weekend!
Driving distance from Mumbai: 609 km | Flight to Goa from Mumbai: 1hr 10m+
Spend an entire day at the beach, drive around the beautiful tropical locales or simply feast on this region’s endless seafood delicacies – you can never go wrong with Goa as a holiday option! The people of Goa celebrate Naraka Chaturdashi (Choti Diwali) with much aplomb – several towns organize fairs, firecrackers light up the night sky and Goa’s culinary scene is lively as ever. During Diwali, Goa offers you a glimpse into its roots, which despite the dominant Portuguese culture, has still held on to the influence of its Hindu heritage through decades.
Driving distance from Mumbai: 100 km | Ferry from Gateway of India (Mumbai): 45-50 mins
Celebrate a peaceful Diwali break with your family lounging around your holiday home, building sandcastles on Alibaug’s picturesque beaches or going on an nature trail with your kids. Additionally, the Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary located here attracts birdwatchers, wildlife photographers and nature enthusiasts throughout the year. This quite Maharashtrian coastal town is a perfect destination for a lazy holiday away from the jazzy city celebrations.
Driving distance from Mumbai: 268 km
This quaint hill station truly comes alive during the Diwali week – a multitude of lanterns and diyas adorn homes and shops, while Panchgani’s streets are lit up with decorative lights. Local markets come alive with festive offerings and sweetmeats. Large families often drive down to Panchgani and rent holiday homes, taking the celebration with them away from the city.
Driving distance from Bangalore: 500 km | Driving distance from Goa: km
A popular destination for Hindu pilgrims and tourists alike, Gokarna makes it to the list of ideal vacation destinations for couples and groups of friends this Diwali. Preferred by people who enjoy long drives, this little town is located down-south in Karnataka, and is easily accessible from both Mumbai and Bangalore. Gokarna is a home to some of India’s most pristine beaches that are beautifully framed by the majestic Western Ghats. With water sports during the day and bonfires by the beach at night, it has a vibe of a laid-back, quieter Goa.
Driving distance from Mumbai: 110 km
Blessed with a great weather, Aamby Valley is made for the quintessential city-dweller who seeks a plush holiday. The best way to Aamby Valley is with the company of family and friends – the more, the merrier! Luxurious accommodation options of chalets, cottages, villas and cabanas – coupled with an array of adrenaline-pumping sporting activities – make India’s first planned hill city an exciting holiday destination.
So, have we triggered your wanderlust yet?