There are several tourist places near Mumbai where you can breathe some fresh air and unwind. Many of these places can be accessed on a bike or in a car. Here is a list of 7 quick getaways that are only a short road trip from Mumbai.
The road trip to the twin hill stations called Lonavala and Khandala is as beautiful as these destinations. The Mumbai-Pune Express Highway provides fantastic views, but bikers cannot access it. If you are traveling to Lonavala on your bike, you need to take the old Mumbai–Pune National Highway. This highway is still in great shape. Also it is not as busy as the Express Highway.
Khandala is only 5 kilometers from Lonavala. It is famous for its deep valleys, waterfalls, lakes and historic forts.
Time to reach Lonavala from Mumbai: About 2 hours via the Old Mumbai-Pune Highway (85 km)
What to do
Lonavala is quite popular with nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Trekking, waterfall rappelling and camping are popular activities. Tourists can visit nearby farms and buy fresh produce. There is a wax museum at Lonavala. Other popular tourist spots are Duke’s Nose, Bhaja caves, Karla, Lohgad, Tiger’s Leap and Korigad Fort
Best time to visit: June – October
Visit after the first rainfall when the hills and valleys look green. Monsoon is also the best time to enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls.
Rajmachi Fort can be accessed through a 15km trek from Lonavala.
Alibaug is one of the most popular romantic getaways near Mumbai. This beautiful beach gets crowded during weekends. You can reach Alibaug on a bike. Alibaug also provides magnificent views of the Kolaba Fort.
Time it takes to reach Alibaug from Mumbai: 2 hours 30 minutes via MH SH 104 (92 km)
Attractions: Alibaug Beach, Kolaba Fort (about 1-2 km from the shores of Alibaug), and Siddheshwar Temple
The nearby towns of Varsoli and Awas are famous for their fairs.
Best time to visit Alibaug: November to June
Alibag can also be accessed through the Sion-Panvel Expressway. If you take this route, you will be able to visit Karnala Bird Sanctuary (98 km trip). Karnala also has a beautiful fort.
Pelhar Village is about 3 kilometers from Vajreshwari. The Pelhar Dam is the main attraction here.
Time to reach Pelhar from Mumbai: 1 hour 50 minutes via NH 3 and NH8
Distance: 59 km
Attractions: The dam and the waterfall are the main attractions here. Pelhar Wildlife Sanctuary has hares, foxes, boars and leopards. Leopards have often been spotted near the dam, so be careful.
It takes about over 5 hours to reach Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai on a bike via the Golden Quadrilateral road (NH 66). The road is in good condition and the journey is smooth; however, the last 50 km climb is arduous.
Time it takes to reach Mahabaleshwar from Mumbai: 5 hours 23 minutes via NH 66
Distance: 248 km
Attractions: Needle Hole Point, Wilson Sunrise Point and Three Monkey Point. Tourists enjoy boating in the Venna Lake. You can also buy mulberries and strawberries. If you are renting a room in Mahabaleshwar, make sure that it faces Venna Lake. Panchgani, another popular hill station is only 18 kms from Mahabaleshwar.
Matheran is one of the most popular hill stations near Mumbai. It is an eco-sensitive zone where automobiles are not allowed.
Time it takes to reach Matheran from Mumbai: 2 hours 20 minutes via Sion-Panvel Expressway and MH SH 79
Distance: 83 km
Attractions: Louisa Point offers brilliant views of the Prabhal Fort. Other attractions are: Panorama Point, One Tree Hill Point, Monkey Point and Rambagh Point.
Alibag can be quite crowded during weekends. If you are looking for a secluded yet beautiful beach near Mumbai, Kashid is the best option. Kashid is about 34 kilometers from Alibaug.
Murud which is about 40 kilometers from Kashid also has a lovely beach and a majestic fort.
Time to reach Kashid from Mumbai: 3 hours 25 minutes via MH SH 104 (122km to Kashid and 156 km to Murud)
Attractions: Para-sailing, surfing, and camping are the popular activities at Kashid; Murud is famous for its Janjira Fort. Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary is about 12 km from Kashid beach. Phansad dam is another place worth visiting.
It is not easy to find good restaurants beyond Alibag. So carry your food with you.
Kamshet is a Paraglider’s Paradise. Hundreds of people visit Kamshet every week to enjoy paragliding over lush fields of rice and sunflowers and the Pawna Lake. There are several hill fortresses, colonial style buildings and caves in the hills surrounding Kamshet village.
Time it takes to reach Kamshet from Mumbai: 2 hours 10 minutes via Mumbai – Pune Expressway
Distance: 102 km
Attractions: Paragliding is the most popular activity. Other tourist attractions include Karla Caves, Bhaja Caves, Bedsa Caves, Pawna Lake, and the Kondeshwar Temple. If you want to try paragliding from a height of over 2,000 feet, Kondeshwar Cliff is the ideal place. Shelar (about 8 km from Kamshet) is good for low height thermal paragliding. Lonavala is only about 16 kilometers from Kamshet.