The Sahyadris offer many-a-weekend get away, and for the active ones, treks and adventure sports.
Jump across to Lonavla
With the expressway connecting you to Lonavla, it’s never too far away. Of course, it’s not longer the hill station of many years ago. But still hidden in nooks and corners one can experience a nice Lonavla.
With umpteen hotels to stay in, there is always somewhere you can stay. Choose to camp at Rainmaker’s Shack or stay in one of the up-market hotels. It’s good for a quick trip, don’t expect any quaintness, but it’s a decent getaway from the buzz of Mumbai or Pune. Most beautiful in the monsoons, walk in the clouds, hot chai in hand, fresh pakodas frying… and all this at some local stall on the way.
If you are in for some adventure sports, continue down to Kamshet and try your hand at Paragliding.
Closer to Mumbai : Matheran
Take a train to Neral, and then a toy train up to Matheran, finishing your journey with a horse ride to the actual city or walk it! Tickets for the train can be bought at the a counter near the Neral Station. You can also walk up from Neral / take a horse / donkey ride up – there is a vehicle parking lot at the base!
Matheran is the only hill station with a no-vehicle policy. They even take their building material up the hill through donkeys / mules. It definitely has an old-world charm, as one meanders around on dirt tracks. Walk around and discover this tiny city. Do try the valley-crossing near the Honeymoon Point – it sounds scarier than it actually is!
There are multiple options to stay which fits all kinds of traveller – choose from the luxurious resorts to Parsi-run home-stays / hotels.
Mahableshwar & Panchgani
Go for the strawberries and the strawberries alone. A buslting hillstation especially during the vacations, Mahableshwar and its sister Panchgani are a good halt for that lovely snack at Mapro, and for the winding roads that never fail to make you nauseous! A short 4-5 hours from Mumbai, a weekend trip that’s easy to do!