Long weekends are great, right? You get to take a break from work, get our of your comfort zone and explore the world too. No wonder everyone loves them.
With 2017 flying by quicker than you can say, ‘When’s the next long weekend?”, most Indians have been hoping that the coming year will have plenty of holidays. Well, we have some good news for you. With plenty of long weekends — fourteen to be precise — 2018 will be giving 2017 some serious competition as the year of travellers!
So, if you love the delicious respite a long weekend brings, start planning those epic vacations in advance. To help you along, here’s a list of 2018’s potential long weekends and offbeat destinations that you can visit during them. Mark your calendar, folks!
January – Amer, Rajasthan
Jan 26, Friday: Republic Day (Compulsory Holiday)
Jan 27, Saturday: Weekend
Jan 28, Sunday: Weekend
Still not over your New Year’s holiday hangover? The real world rushing back too soon? Plan a relaxing getaway to Amer, the erstwhile capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs. Located about 20 km away from Jaipur, this beautiful town is home to the stunning Amer Palace that remained the royal residence until the capital was transferred to Jaipur in 1728. It is also a great base for those planning to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival (to be held the same weekend).
February – Munsiari, Uttarakhand
February 10, Saturday: Weekend
February 11, Sunday: Weekend
February 12, Monday: Take a leave
February 13, Tuesday: Mahashivratri (Restricted Holiday)
February is a great time to visit Munsiari, a dreamy little village nestled in the foothills of Panchachuli Peaks in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district. The enterprising folks of this Himalayan hamlet also run the country’s first community-run Instagram channel, @voicesofmunsiari that showcases stories varying from the joy of snow-laden winters to organic cultivation of rajma.
March – Lakkidi, Kerala
March 2, Friday: Holi (Gazetted Holiday)
March 3, Saturday: Weekend
March 4, Sunday: Weekend
March 29, Thursday: Mahavir Jayanti (Gazetted Holiday)
March 30, Friday: Good Friday (Compulsory Holiday)
March 31, Saturday: Weekend
April 1, Sunday: Weekend
Tucked away in the primeval forests of Kerala’s Wayanad region, Lakkidi is a beautiful little hill station that is often overlooked by travellers heading to its more famous neighbour, Vythiri. With its breathtaking views, endless trails, plantation stays and a perennially cool climate, this quiet unassuming mountain town is perfect for a weekend getaway in the hot and humid month of March.
April – Little Andaman, Andaman & Nicobar
April 28, Saturday: Weekend
April 29, Sunday: Weekend
April 30, Monday: Buddha Purnima (Gazetted Holiday)
A sleepy little island with swaying palms, hidden waterfalls, secluded beaches and quiet back roads, Little Andaman is a place where the ocean sings to your heart. From snorkeling in the azure ocean to kayaking amidst mangroves, this island promises a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all those who seek tranquility. Perfect for a April getaway, right?
June – Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh
June 15, Friday: Idul’ Fitr (Compulsory Holiday)
June 16, Saturday: Weekend
June 17, Sunday: Weekend
One of Himachal’s most underrated destinations, the riverside retreat of Tirthan is an adventure-centric getaway blessed with a wealth of nature’s treasures. Located in the Kullu district, this valley derives its name from the pristine Tirthan river is ideal for trekking, fishing, wildlife watching, and discovering under-explored hill villages. There’s also the option of doing absolutely nothing as you relax among the verdant alpine forests in the valley.
August – Bhandardara, Maharashtra
August 22, Wednesday: Idul’ Zuha (Compulsory Holiday)
August 23, Thursday: Take the day off.
August 24, Friday: Thiru Onam (Restricted Holiday)
August 25, Saturday: Weekend
August 26, Sunday: Weekend/Raksha Bandhan
Experiencing monsoon at Bhandardara is a magical experience. Located in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, the thickly forested rugged landscape of this little hill station comes alive with innumerable cascading waterfalls during the monsoon. For those who love road trips, the 170 km ride from Mumbai to Bhandardara in August promises to be a breathtaking treat that you will remember for a long, long time.
September – Dawki, Meghalaya
September 1, Saturday: Weekend
September 2, Sunday: Weekend
September 3, Monday: Janmashtami (Restricted Holiday)
September 13, Thursday: Ganesh Chaturthi (Gazetted Holiday)
September 14, Friday: Take the day off.
September 15, Saturday: Weekend
September 16, Sunday: Weekend
September 29, Saturday: Weekend
September 30, Sunday: Weekend<
October 1, Monday: Take the day off.
October 2, Tuesday: Gandhi Jayanti (Compulsory Holiday)
A gem of a place, Dawki is a small but busy town in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district that is a mere 95 km away from the capital Shillong. It is also home to a little-known natural wonder in the form of the river Umngot, which is famed for the incredible clarity of its emerald-green waters. At times, the water is so transparent that the river resembles a giant opaque slab of glass covering a sandy bed dotted with boulders and shoals of tiny fish!
October – Dandeli, Karnataka
October 18, Thursday: Ram Navami (Gazetted Holiday)
October 19, Friday: Dussera (Compulsory Holiday)
October 20, Saturday: Weekend
October 21, Sunday: Weekend
One of the most thickly-forested places in Karnataka, Dandeli is famous for its salubrious climate and spectacularly rich biodiversity. In October, it is a lush green place where dewy mornings are brightened by lilting birdsong and sunny afternoons are moistened by a refreshingly cool breeze. Interestingly, river Kali’s temperamental flow through wildlife sanctuary also makes this a great place to try your hand at rafting and kayaking.
November – Mandu, Madhya Pradesh
November 3, Saturday: Weekend
November 4, Sunday: Weekend
November 5, Monday: Dhanteras/ Take the day off.
November 6, Tuesday: Take the day off.
November 7, Wednesday: Diwali (Compulsory Holiday)
November 8, Thursday: Gowardhan Puja/ Take the day off.
November 9, Friday: Bhai Duj (Restricted Holiday)
November 10, Saturday: Weekend
November 11, Sunday: Weekend
Perched on a picturesque plateau, the historic town of Mandu is home to some of India’s finest heritage architecture — palaces, tombs, monuments and mosques —as well as impressive baobab trees, originally from Africa. While all these monuments look visually stunning among their rustic rural setting, the most romantic of them all is Roopmati’s Pavilion, which sits serenely on a edge overlooking the sprawling plains below.
December – Diu, Daman & Diu
December 22, Saturday: Weekend
December 23, Sunday: Weekend
December 24, Monday: Take the day off.
December 25, Tuesday: Christmas Day (Compulsory Holiday)
Next winter, ditch Goa’s crowded Christmas parties and visit the tiny but pretty seaside destination of Diu. Famed for its pristine seashores and magnificent 16th century fort, Diu hosts the annual Diu festival every year in December. Thanks to its Portuguese connection, Diu also has a charming way of celebrating Christmas – the unique corrindinho dance, the midnight mass at the beautiful St Paul’s church and more.