Another long weekend is just around the corner, and we all are on a look out for destinations that have something for every taste and age. We have put together a list of top 14 homestays ideal to relax and unwind or to gear up and explore or maybe do both. From the lovely mountain home overlooking snow-clad Himalayan peaks to the boutique house located in a secluded beach, from the traditional home in an unknown island to an exotic tree house in a coffee plantations; find your choice and make the most of this long weekend!
Located on top of Ooty hills, this beautiful lake view homestay is built on an independent 100 acres tea estate. With breathtaking views of tea gardens and the lake, it provides a perfect setting for a relaxing vacation away from all the city madness.
Things to do: Take a walk in the tea gardens; go fishing in the lake and bird watching in the nearby forest; or just relax with your favorite book in the beautiful sit outs in the garden overlooking the lake.
Excursions: Elk Hill • Wax Museum & Chocolate Market • Doddabetta Peak • Pykara Waterfalls and Lake • Coonoor Toy Train • Dolphin Nose • Mudumalai National Park
Nearest Town: Ooty, 21km
Secluded from the outside world even today, Munroe Island is located at the confluence of Ashtamudi lake and the Kallada river in Kerala. Located right in the center of the island is this homestay that is a perfect blend traditional architecture and modern facilities. With huge mangrove plants and coconut farms along the shores of its lake, Munroe islands offers a unique experience.
Things to do: Take a canoe ride through the heart of the region traversing across its narrow canals and backwaters to the vast lake during sunsets or the sunrise; explore the village on foot or on bicycle; go fishing
Excursions: Jatayu Earth Centre (44km) • Varkala (46km) • Golden Island (50km) • Thiruvananthapuram (78km) • Allepey (85km)
Nearest Town: Kollam, 22km
Mararikulam is a peaceful and romantic beach village in the district of Alleppey, practically untouched by modernity and looking exactly as it would be hundred years ago. Located hardly 200mtr from the beach, this beautiful house is a perfect place to be at for a cool holiday.
Things to do: Relax at the beach; meditate or do yoga in the beautiful garden; go on a village walk and visit temple and church.
Excursions: Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary • Kerala Backwater Canals • Alleppey • Kottayam • Fort Kochi
Nearest Town: Alleppey, 14 km
Located in one acre of forest land and coffee plantation in Katakeri Village, this recently built Tree House probably is the most exotic stay in Coorg. The rooms are with private balcony and attached bathrooms and are equipped with a personal dry kitchen, fridge, microwave and in-room tea/coffee facility.
Things to do: Go on coffee plantation walk or forest walk; indulge in games like badminton, basketball, archery, darts; visit Madikeri Fort, Abbey Falls, Omkareshwar Temple etc.
Excursions: Mandalpatti Falls • Talacauvery • Dubare Elephant Camp • Pushpagiri • Iruppu Falls
Nearest Town: Medikeri, 2 km
Hampi is one of the most beautiful places in Karnataka and its beauty is enhanced by the onset of monsoon. Stay in this lovely homestay that is surrounded by greenery and is at cyclable distance from the ruins. Walk through green paddy fields, climb Matanga hill for a perfect aerial views of the city, cross Tungabhadra river in a coracle boat, sit in between thousands of boulders with the river flowing by your side or just relax in one of the huts next to Tungabhadra river.
Things to do: Take a bicycle tour around the city; indulge in adventure activities like boulder climbing, rock climbing; ferry ride and coracle ride; witness mesmerizing sunrise at Matanga Hill and sunset at Hemlata cliff.
Excursions: Virupaksha Temple • Archaeological Museum • Vitthala Temple • Anjaneya Hills • Sanapur Village and Lake
Nearest Town: Hampi, 3.5km
This nature lodge is nestled in the peaceful woods of a picturesque little hamlet situated at a distance of 8 km from lower Dharamshala in Himachal. The tea estates and majestic views of Dhauladhar ranges make it a perfect place to relax in the lap of nature.
Things to do: Explore the village and forest on foot; indulge in activities like paragliding in Bir and pottery in Andretta or just relax in the homestay and watch birds, read or stargaze.
Excursions: Dharamsala • Norbulingka Institute and Monastery • Kangra • McLeodganj • Palampur • Bir Billing
Nearest Town: Dharamshala, 8km
Situated amidst a quiet, tranquil and laid back friendly village in South Goa close to Hollant beach, the homestay is just 10 minutes away from Goa airport. It is a perfect mix of warm homely vibes with cute furry friends and fun people, the best of home-made Goan food and the beach just round the corner. There is a village church and a small spring where you can go during the day.
Things to do: Learn kayaking and stand up paddle boarding; go sailing or scuba diving, cycling or birding; try yoga or assist the hosts in their farms.
Excursions: Zuari River • Colva Beach • Benaulim Beach • Cabo de Rama Fort • Palolem Beach • Agonda Beach for Dolphin spotting • Mollem National Park • Dudhsagar Waterfalls
Nearest Town: Dabolim, 6km
Uniquely located on the outskirts of Dehradun towards Mussoorie in peaceful natural green surroundings, it is a perfect weekend getaway for people in Delhi. Being on a height, weather here is as good as at Landour due to thick greenery around. The area overlooks Mussoorie Hills & Sal Forest and has beautiful scenic views.
Things to do: Go hiking to nearby nature trails; visit Malsi Deer Park, bathe at Robber’s Cave, Digu Waterfall or Sahastradhara; visit Tapkeshwar Mandir; shop at Paltan Bazaar; visit FRI, IMA, Khalanga War Memorial, Sky Garden etc.
Excursions: Chandrabani • Mussoorie • Jabarkhet Nature Reserve
Nearest Airport: Dehradun, 37km
Located in the calm lush green surroundings of Bhimtal, this homestay is a perfect place to unwind. You can hear the sounds of nature and feel the silence in the mornings and the evenings. The clear view of the lake is the highlight of the stay. Listen to the chirping of birds, the rustling of the leaves and enjoy picturesque views of the lake from the comfort of your room.
Things to do: Go boating at the lake; hike to nearby nature trails; visit Naukuchiatal and Sattal
Excursions: Nainital • Mukteshwar • Pangot • Ranikhet • Almora
Nearest Airport: Bhimtal, 0km
This beautiful cottage is located in a peaceful village Laripora, with mountains on both sides and Lidder river flowing right next to it. Sleep to the soothing flowing water sound and wake up to the song of birds. Pahalgam Golf course is just at 5 min walking distance.
Things to do: Explore Aru and Betab valley; visit nearby lakes like Tarsar and Tulian; indulge in activities like river rafting; go on hiking or trekking.
Excursions: Marsar • Amarnath • Panchtarni • Avantipur Temple • Srinagar
Nearest Town: Pahalgam, 0km
This 400 years old charming Rajasthani Haveli in a quiet area of Udaipur is the place to be if Rajasthan is on your mind on this long weekend. Close proximity to all major attractions of Udaipur, warm hospitality and traditional meals served with love and care makes it ideal for a shot vacation with family.
Things to do: Take a boat ride and feel the breeze at Lake Pichola; Horse riding in countryside; watch sunset at Monsoon Palace; ride the ropeway to Karni mata temple; visit city Palace, Gulabh Bagh, Kesariyaji temple, Bagore ki Haveli and Jag Mandir
Excursions: Kumbhalgarh Fort • Ranakpur • Chittorgarh •Sirohi
Nearest Town: Udaipur, 3km
Munsiyari is one of the most scenic village of Uttarakhand, situated on the banks of Gori Ganga river with the stunning backdrop of Panchachuli Peaks. This independent house is located on the top of a hill with unhindered views of Panchachuli Peaks, Rajramba, Hansling, Chipla Kedar and Ralam Glacier right from the rooms.
Things to do: Explore hidden nature trails; engage in bird watching or just relax with your favorite book in the mini library. You can also do rock climbing, fishing, horse riding; there are some amazing treks like Thamri Kund and Khaliya top.
Excursions: Darkot Temple • Madkot village • Birthi Falls • Dharchula
Nearest Town: Munsiyari, 3km
If you want to explore the Himalayas and it’s flora fauna and go on short treks, this is the right place. Sukhia Pokhari is a small picturesque village near Darjeeling in West Bengal. This semi-wooden cottage is surrounded by pine forest, lush greenery and wildlife. It’s a perfect mix of serenity, extreme warm hospitality, home made food and beautiful location.
Things to do: Visit the tea gardens or walk among pines; explore hidden nature trails or bathe and do picnic at gushing waterfalls; engage in bird watching or just relax with your favorite book in the mini library. You can also engage in vegetable and fruit plucking and leatn local cooking.
Excursions: Nakha Pani Lake • Mirik • Ghum Monastery • Peace Pagoda • Dali Monastery • Salamander Lake • Rainbow Falls • Rock Garden • Tiger Hill • Takdah Forest
Nearest Town: 26km
Shantiniketan, known world over for Visva Bharati University and its contribution to education, arts and literature is an abode of peace and tranquility. The red soil, green forest, pollution free air and the banks of Rivers Kopai and Ajay, makes it an ideal place for a peaceful stay away from all the city chaos. This independent house is situated adjacent to a Santhal village amidst the green meadows and is one of the best places to enjoy calm surroundings, greenery and beauty of nature with a homely comfort. You can also get the essence of village life surrounding the homestay.
Things to do: Soak in the rich culture of the place, listen to the soulful folk tunes, lose yourself in the vibrant markets selling handicrafts and indulge in good food. Visit Vishva Bharati University, Kankalitala and Kopai.
Excursions: Ahmadpur (17km) • Nanda Kesari (31km) • Joydev Kenduli (32km) • Suri (38km) • Bakreshwar (58km) • Durgapur (53km)
Nearest Town: Shantiniketan, 2.8km