"Probably close to a year..."
"Oh, it's been a while. Need to start planning one..."
These were a few of the responses we got when we asked a mixed set of Mumbaikars when they last took a vacation. What happened to the work-life balance we'd promised ourselves? Often, taking a real break might be a bit of a stretch, but sneaking in quick trips seems doable. Here around Mumbai, staycations have become the new thing. A holiday doesn't have to necessarily be a far-flung excursion. All you need is a couple of days and a cozy villa near Mumbai to get away with your family and enjoy a few moments of solitude.
Luckily, the outskirts of Mumbai city is bustling with hill stations and small towns that make for perfect holiday spots. You can find peace away from the city's chaos and spend some quality time with your family under one roof. The best part about finding weekend getaways near Mumbai? You get the thrill of a road trip outside of the city along with the experience of living in a comfortable holiday home.
With winter setting foot and more scope for long weekends, staycations are the best way to snuggle in and snooze off. These 5 places around Mumbai are perfect to catch a quick break, and still feel like a real vacation -
The best getaway spot for those coming from Mumbai and Pune, Lonavala is an escapist hill station surrounded by waterfalls, green valleys and scenic lakes. Pick any day during the winter months, drive up to this beautiful hill station and enjoy excellent weather, clifftop views and amazing finger food.
Best way to travel - By roadDistance from Mumbai - 82 kmsTravel time - 2 hoursVillas in Lonavala - Aurus Grande, The Legend, Hidden Branches, Cascades, El House
Resting proudly in the shade of trees and surrounded by a lush green cover, Matheran is a small hill station near Mumbai that is blessed with great weather. Encircled with walking tracks and cascades at short intervals, this little gem is a must-visit for those who enjoy trekking, rappelling and other fun outdoor activities.
Best way to travel - By road, then take the toy trainDistance from Mumbai - 80 kmTravel time - 3 hoursVillas in Matheran
A perfect destination for those who enjoy outdoor fun and adventure, Kamshet finds its pride in offering the most thrilling paragliding and parasailing experiences ever, along with being the perfect spot for campers, trekkers and just about anybody who enjoys sleeping under the open sky. Take your family on this escapade to enjoy a balance between outdoor adventure and peaceful bonding time indoors.
A quaint family destination blossoming with lush greenery and blessed with amazing weather, Karjat is a great place to escape to on a long winter weekend. Stay indoors, enjoy the calm and spend time with each other. However, for those still itching for some adventure, make sure you try river rafting and hiking in the pleasant weather.
Best way to travel - By roadDistance from Mumbai - 62 kmsTravel time - 1.5 hours - Elysium Villa, Santorini Farms, Vista Serene, Nivaant Farms, Sadh VillaVillas in Karjat
If you reach this beautiful hill station following the enthralling aroma of fresh strawberries, you know you've reached the epitome of heavenly flavors. While you trot along with the trails horse-back riding, make a pit stop at the strawberry farms and Mapro Garden to treat your taste buds. Mahabaleshwar is an ideal destination for kids and adults who enjoy staying indoors just as much as exploring the local nooks and corners, during a holiday.
Best way to travel - By road, then horse-back rideDistance from Mumbai - 261 kmsTravel time - 7 hoursVillas in Mahabaleshwar- PQ Villa, Gavson Palace, Shavik Villa, CasaMo Silver Oak