6 Best Weekend Getaways from Mumbai in December 2023


December brings a chill to the air, and what better way to embrace the winter vibes than by escaping the urban chaos of Mumbai? Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or just seeking a laid-back coastal retreat, these weekend getaways offer a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Join us as we explore seven enchanting destinations around Mumbai, each with its unique charm, awaiting your visit this December.


1. Matheran: A Car-Free Paradise in the Western Ghats

Matheran is a quaint hill station that is known for its eco-friendly and pollution-free environment. It is the only place in India where vehicles are not allowed, so you can enjoy the natural beauty and tranquility of the place on foot, horseback, or toy train. You can admire the panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys, visit the various points of interest like Charlotte Lake, Echo Point, or Sunset Point, or shop for some handmade leather goods and honey at the market. Matheran is a great place to unwind and rejuvenate your senses.

How to Reach Matheran from Mumbai?

  • By Toy Train:

Neral-Matheran Toy Train: A scenic 2-hour journey through the Western Ghats, covering 20 km. Book tickets in advance on IRCTC. Starts at Neral station, reachable by local train from Mumbai CST or Dadar.

  • By Road:

Matheran by road takes 2-3 hours via Mumbai-Pune Expressway and Khopoli, but it’s a car-free zone. Park at Neral or Dasturi, then use the toy train or shared taxis. Watch for parking fees and potential traffic congestion, especially on weekends.


2. Alibaug: Coastal Bliss with Historic Forts

Alibaug is a coastal town that offers a refreshing change from the urban chaos of Mumbai. You can soak up the sun on the sandy beaches, enjoy water sports like jet skiing, banana boat ride, or kayaking, visit the historic Kolaba fort, or explore the nearby villages and farms. Alibaug is also famous for its seafood delicacies that you can savor at the local restaurants or shacks.

How to Reach Alibaug from Mumbai?

  • By Ferry:

The fastest and scenic route from Mumbai to Alibaug is a 45-minute to an hour-long ferry ride to Mandwa Jetty, served by various operators from locations such as Gateway of India, Bhaucha Dhakka, and Belapur. This cost-effective option provides picturesque views of the Mumbai coastline, and upon reaching Mandwa Jetty, travelers can conveniently connect to Alibaug using buses or taxis.

  • By Road:

The direct route from Mumbai to Alibaug via the Mumbai-Goa Highway (NH-17) takes around three to four hours by car, offering flexibility in departure and arrival times with the option to make stops. However, travel times may vary due to potential traffic congestion, especially during peak seasons and weekends.

  • By Train:

Train travel from Mumbai to Alibaug is budget-friendly, taking 2-3 hours from Mumbai CST to Roha or Panvel stations. However, it may be less convenient with potential delays, luggage transfers, and less frequent services compared to ferry or road options.


3. Lonavala & Khandala: Twin Hill Stations Amidst the Sahyadri Mountains

Lonavala and Khandala, the twin hill stations, offer scenic views of the Western Ghats, lush greenery, waterfalls, forts, lakes and historic caves. Tiger’s Leap provides a thrilling view of the valley, while the Bhushi Dam is an ideal spot for a picnic amidst nature. The Khandala Falls and Bhambata Falls add to the scenic beauty, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers. You can indulge in various activities like trekking, camping, paragliding, rappelling, and zip-lining. You can also visit the famous Karla and Bhaja caves, which are ancient Buddhist rock-cut monuments.

How to Reach Lonavala & Khandala from Mumbai?

  • By Road:

A 2-3 hour drive via the Mumbai-Pune Expressway is the quickest option, with multiple routes available. Be wary of weekend traffic, and consider parking outside towns during peak season, opting for a taxi or rickshaw for local travel.

  • By Train:

A budget-friendly option, trains from Mumbai CST to Lonavala take around 2-3 hours, and to Khandala around 4-5 hours. While more affordable, train travel can be less convenient due to potential delays, luggage transfers, and limited service frequency compared to road options.

  • By Bus:

Cost-effective option, with buses from Mumbai (CST, Dadar, Andheri) taking 3-4 hours to Lonavala and Khandala. Crowded during peak season.

  • By Taxi or Ola/Uber:

Convenient choice with readily available options in Mumbai. Travel time is around 2-3 hours to Lonavala and Khandala, but it can be expensive, especially during peak times.


4. Igatpuri: The Tranquil “Valley of Flowers”

Igatpuri, with its lush landscapes and misty hills, offers a serene retreat for nature lovers. The Vipassana International Academy and ancient Pandavleni Caves add a spiritual touch to the experience. Unwind in natural hot springs at Ghatande Village, making it a perfect spot for those seeking tranquility.

How to Reach Igatpuri from Mumbai

  • By Train:

Budget-friendly, 2-3 hours from CST, Dadar, or Thane to Igatpuri. Scenic but limited luggage space; may need additional transport.

  • By Bus:

Budget-friendly, 3-4 hours from CST and Dadar. Suitable for groups, less comfortable, variable travel time due to traffic.

  • By Taxi or Ola/Uber:

Fastest, 2-3 hours to Igatpuri. More expensive, limited availability during peak season; book in advance.

  • By Car:

Flexible and scenic, but challenging parking in Igatpuri; toll fees on Mumbai-Agra National Highway.


5. Lavasa: A Picturesque Hill Town with European Ambiance

Lavasa, designed with a European ambiance, offers a unique escape with its vibrant promenade and water activities on the lake. Enjoy a boat ride on Lavasa Lake, take leisurely lakeside strolls, and partake in adventure activities like ziplining and kayaking. The Wax Museum and Dashmesh Temple add cultural and artistic dimensions to your visit.

How to Reach Lavasa from Mumbai

  • By Train:

Cost-effective and scenic, combining train travel from CST or Dadar to Pune Junction (4-5 hours) with a 2-hour taxi/cab ride to Lavasa. Budget-friendly for groups, requires advanced train booking, and arranging a taxi/cab from Pune Junction.

  • By Bus:

Affordable option with frequent buses from Mumbai to Pune (5-6 hours). Ideal for solo travelers on a budget, but longer travel time due to potential traffic. Connecting transport needed from Pune to Lavasa, either local bus or taxi.

  • By Taxi/Cab:

Fastest and convenient, a direct 3-4 hour taxi/cab ride from Mumbai to Lavasa. Flexible and door-to-door service, but more expensive, especially for solo travelers. Limited availability during peak season; booking in advance recommended.


6. Saputara: Tribal Vibes in the Sahyadri Mountains

Saputara, with its tribal culture and lush greenery, provides a unique experience. Hike through the Saputara Adventure Park and enjoy a boat ride on Saputara Lake. Visit the Step Garden and Pandav Gufa, and immerse yourself in the Dangi culture through their vibrant dance and music performances.

How to Reach Saputara from Mumbai?

  • By Train:

Affordable and scenic, combining a 4-5 hour train journey from CST or Dadar to Surat with a 1.5-2 hour taxi/cab ride to Saputara. Budget-friendly for groups, requires advanced train booking, and arranging a taxi/cab from Surat.

  • By Bus:

Affordable and direct, with buses from Dadar or other Mumbai locations taking 8-10 hours to reach Saputara. Eliminates the need for connecting transport, making it budget-friendly for solo travelers. Longer travel time and potentially less comfort compared to trains or taxis.

  • By Taxi/Cab:

Fastest and convenient, a direct 5-6 hour taxi/cab ride from Mumbai to Saputara. No connecting transport needed, offering door-to-door service and flexibility. Expensive, particularly for solo travelers; booking in advance is advisable during peak season.


Tips for Your December Getaway:

December is a peak season, so book accommodations and travel well in advance.

Pack warm clothes, especially for hill stations like Matheran, Lonavala, and Igatpuri.

Bring comfortable shoes for hiking and exploring the scenic landscapes.

Don’t forget to try the local delicacies at each destination to savor the authentic flavors of the region.


In conclusion, December offers the perfect opportunity to escape the routine and explore the diverse landscapes surrounding Mumbai. From the tranquility of Matheran to the coastal charm of Diveagar, each destination promises a unique and memorable experience. So, book your tickets, pack your bags, and embark on a December weekend getaway filled with adventure, relaxation, and cultural exploration. Happy travels!


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