Often called mini Goa due to its many beaches, Vasai is a fortified town located north of Mumbai. The major attraction here is the Vasai Fort, built by the Portuguese to strengthen their navy. The town in full of historical and religious significance and natural beauty is all around. The Rangaon Beach and the Gorai Beach are great beaches with clean coastlines. A walk around town will bring you to a few churches that bear heavy resemblances to the ones in Goa. But the unmissable attraction is the Vasai Fort, which is best explored in a leisurely fashion with a group of friends. A church with an empty altar will lead you to the several staircases, pillars, dilapidated walls and finally to the top from where the Arabian Sea looks nothing short of magical. And if you want a little more adventure, visit this historical fort at dusk and get ready to be spooked.
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144 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,March,October,November,December
Called the Oxford of the East, Pune is a bubbling cosmopolitan city. A large student hub, this city loves art, culture and theatre. The Sahyadri hill range of the Western Ghats makes this destination ideal for hiking and wildlife spotting. A shower of rain brings the city alive. The Agha Khan Palace of Pune is a sprawling complex with emerald green gardens and sprawling lawns, perfect for a casual stroll. The Shaniwarwada is an ancient structure built by the Peshwas and the ruins of this marvellous architecture can still be seen in the city. Dedicated to the brave hearts of the Indian Army, the National War Museum is a popular tourist destination and houses militia paraphernalia. Those interested in meditation can get day passes from the Osho International Meditation Resort, which is very popular with tourists. Handcrafted beer, baked goodies at the Kayani Bakery on East Street and eateries such as Touche the Sizzler, Malaka Spice and Dario's will complete your trip here.
93 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,June,July,August,September,October,November,December
Surrounded by lush green valleys and numerous caves, Lonavala is a hill station set in the Sahyadri ranges. Its various treks, such as the Lonavala-Bhimashankar trek and the climb to Lohagad Fort and Duke’s Nose make it a favourite spots for trekkers and hikers. Lonavala gleams beautifully green during the monsoon months, with waterfalls oozing out of everywhere. Besides the hikes, there are the the Karla and Bhaja caves, Tiger’s Leap, Lonavala Lake and Bhushi Dam to visit. Apart from its boundless scenic beauty, Lonavala now boasts of a private adventure park as well. With endless shops in a row selling chikkis of all flavours, Lonavala is a paradise for all chikki lovers. The trademark chocolate walnut fudge is another scrumptious sweet treat. By virtue of connecting the prominent cities of Mumbai and Pune by both road and rail, Lonavala serves as a quick escape resort town having accommodation of all kinds and for all budgets.
193 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,September,October,November,December
Deriving its name from the five hills surrounding it, Panchgani is a nature lover's delight. Popular for its stunning beauty, peace and serenity, Panchgani is a favourite weekend spot. A small trek to Sydney Point will offer you picturesque views of the Dhom Dam with the river flowing along the valley. Besides this, Table Land, situated here is the second longest mountain plateau of Asia. For everyone who is interested in history, Devil's Kitchen is a must visit. Located close to Table Land, Devil's Kitchen is said to have been home to the Pandavas of the Mahabharata epic for a while. The Pāndavgad Caves (near Wāi) are also said to be built by them then. Parsi Point is another interesting touristy spot. It is the windiest part of Panchghani and is a part of the road which leads to Mahabaleshwar. The other attractions here include Bhim Chula, Harrison's Valley, Lingmala Point and Rajauri Caves.
185 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
Of panoramic views, perennial waterfalls and picturesque landscapes, Mahabaleshwar stands out as the largest and most popular hill station in the Western Ghats. Owing to comfortable temperatures, Mahabaleshwar is thronged by tourists throughout the year, except during the four months of heavy monsoons from June to September. Being the erstwhile summer capital of the Bombay presidency during the British Raj, this place has a lot to offer — spectacular sunrise and sunset viewpoints, popular one-day treks to go on, and boating at the Venna Lake. Additionally, tourists can retrospect history at the centuries-old Pratapgad Fort and savour some toothsome jams and marmalades at the Mapro Garden. One must not miss out on the famous corn patties and strawberry cream when in Mahabaleshwar. Should you visit in March, you will be lucky to witness the gastronomically delightful Strawberry Festival that takes place every year. Plan a weekend getaway to this hill station and you will be impressed.
65 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,December
In recent years Matheran has gained such popularity that it's unmissable. A must on any traveller's list, it offers one a peaceful, quiet and laidback holiday. Situated close to Mumbai, this plateau is home to dense forests, waterfalls and the lovely Ulhas River. Matheran is a non-motorable zone and you'll be thankful for the quiet it offers even though it's so crowded. One would also spot a number of tourists from Mumbai, especially if you are here during the weekend. Matheran has a number of touristy spots including various view points. Though the best way to explore and experience this serene destination is on your own. Any direction you head in, you will be accompanied by dense forests, melodious sounds of nature and striking sights of surrounding hills. Some of the more popular viewing spots in Matheran are Panorama Point, Monkey Point and Echo Point. They are a must-visit and you should definitely include them in your itinerary. There are tons of great hotels in Matheran that attempt to offer visitors an exceptional experience with unique activities and experiences.
122 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,March,July,August,September,October,November,December
Famous for its many temples and ghats, Nashik is one of the holiest cities in India. And for those looking for something more, there are the Sula Vineyards to explore. The eventful history of Nasik is evident in its various forts, including Harihar Fort and Ramshej Fort, that are sprinkled all over the city. The Sita Gufa or the Cave of Sita is believed to be the spot from where Goddess Sita was abducted by Ravana, while Panchvati is believed to be the asylum of Lord Rama during his exile. The Timbakeshwar Temple of Nasik is as much an architectural masterpiece as it is a religious centre. Carved intricately, this much-celebrated temple is perched on top of the Brahmagiri hills. Indulge your senses at the Sula Vineyards, which offer an insightful and entertaining tour that offers information on wine manufacturing and a chance for wine tasting. Nasik offers an impressive assortment of Maharashtrian food that is lightly influenced by the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Popular restaurants include Barbeque Ville Veg Aroma and Aster The Coffee Shop. For accommodation, Nashik has options in all segments – budget, mid-range and luxury hotels.
101 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - February,October,November,December
Bhandardara is a hill statiomerely 185 km from the busy city of Mumbai, making it a very popular weekend destination. Perhaps one of the few towns that offers eco-tourism opportunities, Bhandardara is home to a number of waterfalls, lakes and temples. Situated by the Pravara river, this laid back town offers a quiet, peaceful respite from the chaos of the cities. The lakes here include the 34 km long Lake Arthur Hill, which receives water from Randha Falls that come down from over 45 meters. It is also used as a major source of generating hydro power. The lake is surrounded by dense forests and holds religious importance. Umbrella Falls situated near the old Wilson Dam is a beautiful tourist spot and is certainly a must visit if you'd like to spend your afternoon amidst nature. There are quite a few food stalls around so you will have enough choices for a good lunch! The 1,200 year old temple, which features Lord Shiva's Amruteshwar Temple, is surrounded by mountains and has beautiful rock carvings on the main shrine. Do also visit the Ratangad Fort, which is located at a close distance to the old Lord Shiva Temple. Mount Kalsubai, considered to be the highest peak in Maharashtra is also located here and makes for a great trekking destination for experienced trekkers. In fact, Bhandardara has many opportunities for small treks and hikes.
241 Kms from Vasai
Best time to visit - January,February,March,April,May,October,November,December
Part of the famous Daman and Diu islands, Diu is a lovely town for those who are looking for a quiet, laidback beach vacation. You will experience traces of Portuguese history and culture and it's quite a delight to discover. Do visit Ghoghla beach for the water sports and also the delicious local cuisine. Nagoa beach is another famous beach close to Diu. It's famous for its water sports and it is also perhaps one of the few beaches where you can enjoy swimming. The best way perhaps to discover Diu is on a scooty. The roads here are very well maintained and there isn't too much traffic so it's a delight to ride here. If you have a little time on your hands, do visit the wonderful Sea Shell Museum. Though you may feel the collection is a little repetitive, it is definitely worth a visit. The hotels and guesthouses here are exceptionally welcoming and warm. Do a thorough research before you decide on a place to stay since it can make all the difference!