Mumbaikars love travelling to Mahabaleshwar and it is easy to see why. If you plan on setting out on an unforgettable road trip in Maharashtra with someone special, this is the one you should go on. Nestled in the Sahyadris, this little slice of paradise is the perfect getaway when you want to run away from Mumbai’s crowds, noise and pollution. Although it is a short road trip – a five to six-hour drive – you will love every second of it as you drive past amazing strawberry fields. Make sure to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kaas Plateau of Flowers, which is just a short drive away from Mahabaleshwar.
Whether you are a resident of Mumbai or a visitor, you should not miss out on a road trip to Lonavala. This is a beautiful hill station that has a number of hill resorts for all budgets. If you are on a motorcycle or scooter, the old Mumbai-Pune highway route is the best way to get there. On your way to Lonavala, make sure you stop at Tiger Point for a cup of tea and snacks. This is where you can also enjoy breathtaking and mesmerizing views of the Sahyadris – it’s definitely one of the highlights of taking this road trip. Other attractions you must not miss on a road trip to Lonavala, combined with Khandala, include Karla Caves, Valvan Dam, Rajmachi Fort and Lohagad Fort.
If you aren’t pressed for time, spend another day driving from Lonavala to Matheran, the smallest yet prettiest hill station in India. After Lonavala, most of your drive will be amid reserve forests until you reach Matheran. Be sure to carry your camera, as there will be several panoramic viewpoints of the beautiful valleys and hills along the drive. Also, be sure to take a ride through the Matheran Hill Railway, especially if you are travelling with kids. You will love the Parisian lifestyle and hospitality during your stay in Matheran. If you are a nature lover who seeks solitude, be sure to visit Charlotte Lake and trek up the beautiful Louisa Point to enjoy the panoramic view of ancient forts.
If you are looking to take a short road trip, drive to Alibaug. You will have to drive through the Mumbai-Goa highway to get to this scenic beach destination. Not only is the drive scenic and breathtaking, but your destination will transport you to a new world altogether. The virgin and well-kept Alibaug Beach is a great way to relax and unwind from the conundrums of everyday life. You can also get a breathtaking view of Colaba Fort from here. Whether you are on a break with the family or on a fun-filled day trip with friends, you’ll surely have a memorable time on a road trip to Alibaug.
If you are a biker and love heading out on long road trips, be sure to set a weekend aside to bike through the Konkan Coast, starting from Kashid. It is an off-beat weekend destination where you can wind your way through hidden gems on the coastline of Maharashtra. It will take you about four hours and 30 minutes to drive or ride to Anjarle Beach, a small port village that is known for its sparkling clean virgin beach. While at Anjarle, you may also take a ferry ride on the Savitri River, before you head out towards Malgund Beach, a four-hour drive down the Maharashtra Highway. This beautiful town was once home to Kavi Keshavsut, the famous Marathi poet. Kick off your shoes and enjoy a relaxing day at the beach or spend your day exploring the Tilak Ali Museum. For the last leg of your exciting road trip, drive down the National Highway 66 for yet another four hours to reach the beautiful and serene Tarkarli Beach. Try your hand at some snorkelling, and if time permits, round up your trip by spending the night in a traditional houseboat!
As you can see, there are many places to go on road trips in the beautiful state of the erstwhile Marathas. Whether you have just one day to get away or a few days to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, road trips in Maharashtra are exciting and enjoyable.