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Get away suggestions for your long weekend: Manheer Singh Sethi, Travkart.com

long weekend
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Get away suggestions for your long weekend: Manheer Singh Sethi, Travkart.com

Desperately in need of a holiday, but work has you grounded? If so, then this upcoming long weekend is the best time to take that long-delayed vacation you’ve been planning, but haven’t gotten around to. From arty heritage sites to nature and wildlife, there is a lot on your wish list and it’s about time you started exploring. Take your pick from this list of magnificent destinations to unwind, spend some quality time with your loved ones and have an exciting holiday experience.

long weekend

Goa:

Goa is not a place you visit once and cross off from your list. After the first visit, it becomes an urge and after the second, a tradition. This Portuguese haven on Indian soil has so many charming worlds within it that even the most seasoned travellers can’t get enough of a truly Goan holiday.

Places to see:

Beaches: Goa has over 25 amazing beaches. North Goa offers lively beaches like Baga, Calangute, Anjuna, and Arambol that house tons of shacks buzzing with life and serving lip-smacking delicacies from Konkan cuisine. South Goa is rather mellow, with serene beaches like Colva, Palolem and Galgibaga which are cut off from the world, but worth paying a visit if you are looking for some peace and quiet.

Chapora Fort:  This ancient fort in North Goa offers splendid views of the adjoining Vagator beach and overlooks the Arabian Sea from all angles. The fort is located on top of a hillock with slopes on all sides, and though it is almost in ruins now, it still makes for an excellent visit and a perfect spot for photo-ops.

Basilica de Bom Jesus: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a church in Old Goa, extremely popular throughout the Roman Catholic world. One of the most important attractions here are the mortal remains of the missionary Saint Francis Xavier. The grand interiors will leave you awestruck the moment you enter.

Things to do:

Water sports: Diving, catamaran sailing, jet skiing, parasailing and windsurfing keep your heart racing as you test the waters and let out the adventurer in you. There are plenty of water sports operators in Goa, especially in North Goa, and you can identify them by the herd of water scooters and boats parked in one corner of the beach.

Dolphin spotting cruise: Dolphin watching tours are a popular activity in various parts of the Mandovi River and are especially popular at Sinquerim beach alongside Fort Aguada. Operators gather tourists in groups of 4 or 6, who hop on to a boat and venture out about a couple of kilometres into the sea to watch the dolphins circling in action.

Try your luck at one of the casinos: A visit to one of Goa’s several casinos should be on your to-do list as Goa has some exceptional avenues to put your stakes on. The casinos feature several games like slots, roulette, poker, flush baccarat and more along with live entertainment and occasionally unlimited food and drinks. Even if you’re not a big gambler, cruising on the high seas is a great way to relax. Some casinos you can head to are Caravela, a floating casino, on the Mandovi River in Panjim, Casino Carnival at the Goa Marriott, Miramar and Casino Royale, a floating casino on the Mandovi River in Panjim.

 long weekend

Mussoorie:

Mussoorie is one of the most magnificent hill stations of India that offers an adventurous escape for a weekend. Myriad adventure activities, breath-taking sceneries, and some cool shopping spots – Mussoorie has it all.

Places to see:

Kempty Falls: Located 15 kms from the centre of Mussoorie, it is one of the most popular tourist spots in the hill station. The perennial waterfall is a fun place to have a long cool bath.

Lal Tibba: Surrounded by dense clusters of pine and deodar trees, at 2,346 metres above sea level, Lal Tibba is the highest point in Mussoorie.

Happy Valley: It is a large Tibetan settlement and a beautiful trail that goes up to Cloud’s End, a scenic spot at the end of the town.

Things to do:

Rock Climbing and Rappelling: Rock climbing and rappelling are the most conventional mountaineering sports that Mussoorie has to offer.

Trekking and Hiking: The best way to explore Mussoorie is by hiking and trekking along its vast mountain trails.

Rafting:Stretches along the Alaknanda, Dhauliganga and Kali rivers have several challenging trails that offer a thrilling rafting experience. One can opt for a simple half-day tour and raft from Barkot to Lakhamandal and Damta to Yamuna Bridge, near Mussoorie.

long weekend

Nainital:

If you are seeking a place to relax this weekend, then Nainital is the ideal spot for a quiet time with your family and loved ones. Known as the lake district of India, Nainital is surrounded by lush green mountains and the splendour of natural beauty for as far as your eyes can see.

Places to see:

Naini Lake: This beautiful lake, surrounded by seven majestic mountains, is a popular tourist attraction. You can take a boat ride on the lake and take in the scenery of the mountains around.

Sattal: Another gorgeous tourist attraction is Sattal, which is a popular picnic spot and comprises seven lakes of different hues.

Nanda Devi Temple: Situated alongside the northern shore of the Naini Lake, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Sati and is counted amongst the 64 Shakti Peethas devoted to Her.

Corbett National Park: A 3-hour drive from Nainital will take you to the biggest tiger reserve of the country, where you can take a safari through the park, and if you are lucky, maybe even spot a tiger.

Things to do:

Snow View Point via Ropeway: Situated at an altitude of 2,270 metres, Snow View Point offers a spectacular view of the snow-clad Himalayas. The best way to reach is through the cable-car or ropeway that starts at Mallital.

Trekking: Nainital’s hilly terrain offers a superlative trekking experience for adventure lovers. Barapatthar and Kilbury, near Nainital are some of the best spots to go trekking.

Shop at the Tibetan market: The Tibetan market is a flea market along the banks of the Naini lake and attracts a lot of tourists visiting Nainital.

 long weekend

Shimla:

Shimla has been one of the most favourite holiday destinations for Indians since the British Raj when it was declared the official summer capital. Splashes of colonial past, amidst the greens of the hills, and its natural beauty make Shimla an ideal getaway destination.

Places to see:

Mall Road: The Mall Road is the main street in Shimla and the centre of all activity. Over time, boutiques and cafes have occupied colonial buildings on this street. Restaurants,cafes, and hangout spots on Mall Road are especially popular with locals and tourists alike.

Viceregal Lodge: Shimla’s Viceregal Lodge, designed by British architect Henry Irwin, served as the residence of the British Viceroy of India. The Jacobethan style of architecture and Tudor-style detailing are an excellent example of British architecture.

Christ Church:  The second oldest church in India dating back to 1857, Christ Church is a prominent landmark in Shimla. Situated on the Ridge, it’s a fine display of neo-Gothic architecture.

Scandal Point: Scandal point is where the Mall road joins Ridge road on the west side and one of the most popular points of Shimla.

Things to do:

Walk on the Ridge: The Ridge is a large open area between Observatory and Jhakoo hills. The heart and soul of Shimla town, the Ridge is the hub of activity with tourists coming to see several colonial style buildings including a church and library. The Ridge is also where Shimla’s fairs, festivals and functions are held.

Hike up Jhakoo Hill: The Jhakoo Hill has lush forests along its trail and ends at an altitude of 2,455 metres where you can feast your eyes on a splendid view of the Shivalik mountain range.

Ride the Kalka-Shimla train: Take a ride through the mountains from Kalka to Shimla on the toy train with the scenic vistas to accompany you through the journey.

 


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