We are well into the first month of the New Year now and it is time we start planning our holidays. 2017 has blessed us with a number of long weekends that are perfect for taking trips to explore the country. No matter which part of India you are from, there is someplace nice near you worth exploring! The first long weekend of the year is around our Republic Day, January 26. It falls on a Thursday which means that if you take just one day off (January 27), you can get four whole days for an amazing trip. So, get started on the planning of your first trip of the year. If you live in or around Mumbai, you are fortunate to have a number of stunning locations you can visit on a long weekend. The winter weather makes these places perfect for a visit in January. (ALSO SEE Republic Day 2017 long weekend: Top 5 places to visit on this four-day holiday) Here are 10 places to visit in Mumbai on the Republic Day weekend for a fantastic first holiday! Also Read - 'Touching Gesture'! Narayana Murthy Touches The Feet of Ratan Tata And Twitter Can't Stop Hailing The 'Historic Moment'

Diveagar

Diveagar

Photograph Courtesy: Bhagyashree G/Creative Commons



Distance from Mumbai: 170 km Also Read - JNU Violence Highlights: Student Protests Emerge Across Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata; Film Fraternity Joins in

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Known for its pristine beach and mesmerizing view of the sunset, Diveagar is a must-visit for those who like coastal regions, food and culture. The six km long beach is clean and makes for a great walk in the cool breeze. Diveagar is also home to several temples with the one dedicated to Lord Ganesha being most prominent among them.

Mahableshwar

Mahabaleshwar

Distance from Mumbai: 264 km

Best way to reach: By road – 5 hours 10 minutes

One of the most prominent hill stations in Maharashtra, Mahableshwar is a delight during winter. The weather is perfect for sight-seeing and the lush green valleys with blue lakes make for a picturesque view. The British-built mansions, cottages and bungalows around the town are also quite alluring and take you back in time.

Dapoli

Dapoli

Distance from Mumbai: 215 km

Best way to reach: By road – 5 hours 28 minutes

Located in the Ratnagiri district, Dapoli is a town which is home to some of the most serene and clean beaches on the western coast of Maharashtra. The route from Mumbai is picturesque though adventurous. From the Dapoli beach to Murud to the fishermen beach of Harnai, each beach is worth checking out here. It is in fact  one of the best beach-hopping destinations near Mumbai. The secluded Anjarle is certainly worth visiting for its stunning beauty.

Lonavala

Lonavala-Khandala-Ghat

Distance from Mumbai: 82 km

Best way to reach: By road – 1 hour 52 minutes

And then there is Lonavala, Mumbai’s most popular getaway. Popular belief is that it is crowded and too commercial which is true. However, its scenic beauty and proximity to Mumbai makes it totally worth a visit. Several amazing guest houses and hotels have come up in the region making it a great place to visit from Mumbai. You can choose a place like The Machan and chill out for a weekend here amidst the pleasant winter weather and raw nature. (CHECK OUT Here’s why Lonavala will always be THE BEST PLACE for a one day trip near Mumbai!)

Alibaug

Alibaug-beach

Distance from Mumbai: 92 km

Best way to reach: By road – 3 hours 11 minutes (Alternatively, you can also take a ferry from the Gateway of India)

You will be surprised at how much Alibaug has to offer. Known as one of the most popular getaways from Mumbai, Alibaug is full of amazing beaches dotted with comfortable guest houses along a long stretch. Not only is the weather stunning during this time of the year, the view of the setting sun is mesmerizing and the beaches makes for great romantic getaways.

Sula vineyards

Photograph COurtesy: Annanya Deb/Creative Commons

Photograph Courtesy: Annanya Deb/Creative Commons

Distance from Mumbai: 170 km

Best way to reach: By road – 3 hours 28 minutes

Located in the Nashik region of Maharashtra, Sula Vineyards is a winery and vineyard and makes for a fantastic drive from Mumbai. It is great for those who like views of lush green fields and wine of course. It makes for an excellent getaway as you can also check out some of the other vineyards in the vicinity like York and Soma. The January weather makes it perfect to visit Sula and have a great time amidst fresh air and lovely views. Also, the atmosphere at Sula in the evening after the sun goes down is quite electric. DON’T MISS 8 unexplored bike trips from Mumbai leading to hidden destinations

Igatpuri

igatpuri

Distance from Mumbai: 120 km

Best way to reach: By road – 2 hours 46 minutes

Located on the road to Nashik from Mumbai, Igatpuri is right in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and is known for its spectacular waterfalls, mesmerizing climate and lush greenery all around. If you like trekking, you can check out the nearby Kalsubai Peak along with some other prominent attractions like Arthur Lake, Amruteshwar Temple, Tringalwadi fort and Bhatsa River Valley. And then there is the famous Dhamma Giri Meditation Center which is a big hit with those who like peace and meditiation!

Udwada

udvada

Distance from Mumbai: 189 km

Best way to reach: By road – 3 hours 48 minutes

The oldest still-functioning example of its kind, Udvada has emerged as one of the most prominent pilgrim centres for Zoroastrians across the world. It falls on the route from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and makes for a fantastic weekend getaway. You can club your trip with other attractions in Gujarat but it is the food and the Udvada Atash Behram temple that will make your trip worth it. DO SEE Driving down to Udvada and Navsari is the best thing you will do this weekend

Goa

Goa-sunset-4

Distance from Mumbai: 591 km

Best way to reach: By air

Yes, it is cliched. Yes, it is done to dust. But there is a reason Goa remains one of the most amazing holiday options for people living in Mumbai. It is just a 12-hour road trip on a stunning route. It is ideal for a 3-4 day trip as you can choose to relax and just enjoy your sunset views or take rides all across Goa and still cover everything. Goa in January is a delight as it is a great combination of parties, natural beauty and fun-filled events all around. CHECK OUT 5 most spectacular sunset points in Goa you must not miss!

Great Rann of Kutch

Rann of Kutch

Distance from Mumbai: 620 km

Best way to reach: By air (Mumbai to Bhuj airport and then by road)

The Rann Utsav is takes place from November to February as it is the best time to visit the Great Rann of Kutch. While New Years Eve can be quite crowded and expensive here, it is slightly better later in January. the Republic Day weekend is a great time to witness the majestic beauty of the salt marsh of the Great Rann of Kutch as well as experience the cultural extravaganza of Gujarat.

NOW SEE Republic Day 2017: 5 places to visit near Delhi on the 4-day long weekend

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