What’s more perfect than a vacation that lets you relax and unwind while learning new things? Here’s a list of 10 beautiful homestays and guest houses across India where you can trek, play sports, learn new crafts, and more.
There’s a lot to enjoy about taking a trip — the ride, the journey, the sights you see, and the adventures you come across. So what if along with all these, you had the chance to build your skills and learn from the locals themselves?
Here’s a list of guest houses in India that offer training, fun activities, sessions, and more in areas of art, culture, and skill.
Table of Contents:
- Where Can I go Camel Riding in Rajasthan?
- Unique Homestay in Goa – Salt Harvesting
- Homestay with Organic Farm in Kerala
- Archery Lessons in Karnataka
- Learning Pottery in Karnataka Homestay
- Good Bird Watching Holiday in Sikkim
- Unique Trekking Route in Sikkim
- Yoga Holiday in Rajasthan
- Where Can You Wakeboard in Goa?
- Cooking Classes in Uttarakhand
1. Camel riding at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay – Rajasthan
At this homestay, you can engage in a variety of fun activities that will challenge you out of your comfort zone. The staff at Chhotaram Prajapat’s Homestay decided to take the cultural experience for tourists a little further and have started a camel safari in the Thar Desert. A truly bonafide experience in the sands of Rajasthan.
Watching the sand dunes around you atop a majestic creature — isn’t that enough to make you feel like you’re on top of the world?
Homestay price: Rs 7,900/2 nights (dinner and lunch included)
Where: Salawas Village, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Contact: 094147 20724
2. Salt harvesting at Casa Menezes Homestay – Goa
Located in the Batim village of Goa, this homestay is a quiet and tranquil break from the hustle of the rest of Panaji. It has managed to stay true to its old-world charm. When you’re not exploring or marvelling at the 300-year-old ancestral home, or gaping at the beauty around, you might find the time to lose yourself in the winding roads of the village, watch the sunset on the horizon, and immerse yourself in what you will remember as an unforgettable experience.
Apart from the usual activities, here’s something different and exciting — salt harvesting. The depressions in the ground, aka salt pans, receive the tide and when it ebbs, they are filled with salt. Learning how to harvest this from the locals is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. They will even let you in on some of their tips and tricks.
Homestay price: Rs 6,800/night for the Veranda Garden Heritage Suite (breakfast included)
Where: Batim, Panaji, Goa
Contact: +91 9819223009
3. Organic farming at Vembanad House – Kerala
If taking a trip to God’s own country isn’t enough, the Vembanad House in Kerala gives you several more reasons to head here. The amazing part is you will not have to travel far to drink in the gorgeousness of the place. All attractions are in close quarters.
All you need to do is walk to the rear of the property, where you will see temples, fields, and more spread out.
At the Vembanad House, you can learn about and try your hand at organic farming, and maybe even cook up a little something! They have their own farm where they grow produce that is free from any chemicals. Even if you aren’t one to cook, the hosts will engage you in conversation about the farming methods, the quality of produce, and much more.
Homestay price: Rs 8500/night (breakfast included)
Where: Vembanad House, Alappuzha, Kerala
Contact: +91 98 95 061 561
4. Archery at Aura Kalari – Karnataka
If you often think about giving up city life and just taking a trip to nowhere in particular, this is your dream destination. At Aura Kalari, the motto is “you’ve done everything to make a living. Now do nothing to get a life.” Pay for the silence is what they ask.
A rustic home that is sustainably made with mud and bamboo greets travellers with her silence. While there are many activities to enjoy during your stay here, archery sessions seem to be a favourite. You will be taught the basics of the sport and the spacious surroundings will give you just the right kind of area you need for training. Being one of the oldest sports, it requires more than just a wide space and the right equipment. Precision, right angle, and a sense of direction are what you will need.
Homestay price: Rs 5,000/night
Where: Aura Kalari, Chikkagubbi Village, Karnataka
Contact: (+91) 99647 13429
5. Pottery at Off The Grid – Karnataka
It is not every day that you will be lucky enough to wake up to the sound of the birds and go to sleep to the sound of crickets. But at the Off The Grid homestay, nature is infused into every aspect of the day, whether you are simply relaxing or trying out daring activities.
The hosts encourage their guests to explore the place and not create any sort of itinerary that forces them to stick to a schedule. If you aren’t in for something arduous, try your hand at pottery, but be warned it may seem easier than it is. In a 1.5-hour engaging session with the potters, you will learn how to keep the clay workable, trim the clay once done, and the alchemy of turning a lump of clay into a beautiful urn.
Homestay price: Rs 3,700/adult/night (3 meals included)
Where: Between Goa and Karnataka. Check out details how to get to the homestay by train, air and road.
Contact: +91 96861 57440
6. Birding at Martam Village Homestay – Sikkim
The mountains need no introduction to those who are familiar with the sense of calm they bring. Every person here has a story, albeit sometimes in a different dialect and it is in understanding this story, that you have a trip that changes you from within. This is exactly what the Martam Village Homestay has in mind.
If you are a nature enthusiast, consider this your paradise. The Changey Waterfall is a 5 km walk from the homestay, and on your trek to the spot, you will see a variety of birds. For those who love birding and watching butterflies, this trek will do you good. You need to be absolutely in sync with your surroundings and quiet to get the best of the experience. Take along a pair of binoculars that will aid you in spotting the birds easily.
Homestay price: Rs 3,500/night (3 meals included)
Where: Martam Village Homestay, Martam, East Sikkim
7. Trekking at Malay Lyang – Sikkim
A name that translates to ‘The Hidden Land’, this homestay offers you something that is unusual and even a little daunting. The Lepcha tribes have lived in the area since time immemorial, and for them, this land is everything.
The locals say there are treasures behind every tree, and to know what this truly means, you’d have to visit. The best part of the trip here? The vast expanse of land. When you are in the Himalayas, a good trek is always easy to come by. During your stay at Malay Lyang, treks are arranged to the different villages and peaks. You’ll come across Lingthem, Kusong village, Tholung, and many more such spots.
Depending on whether you are a novice or an experienced trekker, the hosts will guide you on which ways are the best to take, what you will need, the duration, the level of difficulty, and more.
Homestay price: Rs 4,600/night
Where: Passingdang, Sikkim
8. Yoga at Shahpura Bagh – Rajasthan
“Life is unhurried here,” say the owners. True to their claim, Shahpura Bagh offers its guests a myriad of things to do while they marvel at Rajasthan’s timeless beauty. The essence of your time at this homestay is to let time pass you by, let the nostalgia of your youth kick in, and put a pause on the hustle that you would otherwise be involved in.
In the evenings, there is a village expert who teaches yoga and meditation by the pool. You will be guided with the asanas, and taught how to get the best out of your session by incorporating breathing techniques. Yoga is an intricate practice that, if not done carefully, can end up causing you discomfort. But rest assured, you will have the best guided session here. The ambience of the place elevates the mood of peace and calm.
Homestay price: Rs 29,400/night
Where: Shahpura Bagh, Shahpura, Rajasthan
Contact: +91 9587004999
9. Wakeboarding at Vaayu Vision – Goa
At the Vaayu village, you’ll find adventure at every corner and yet, the trip feels as relaxing as if you were lying in a hammock and watching the day go by. Since it is by the beach, this village has a ton of activities that tourists can enjoy. The waves make for great surfing.
Wakeboarding is a stand-out for tourists, and you’d do well to try it while you are here. Unlike surfing, wakeboarding does not involve you having to wait for the waves to come to you. Instead, your board is tied to a motorboat that goes at a high speed through the water, and the board is pulled along. You can try your aerial acrobatics while enjoying the waves tossing you.
Homestay price: Rs 2000/night
Where: Ashwem Beach Road, Mandrem, Goa
Contact: 098500 50403
10. Cooking at The Retreat Bhimtal – Uttarakhand
The hosts aim to provide guests with a cosy atmosphere wherein they can relax while taking full advantage of being away from home and diving into some fun activities. One of the best parts of this homestay is the food. Continental, Indian — you name it, and they can cook up a feast. Whether it is spicy South Indian food, buttered crepes, or fluffy pancakes for breakfast, rest assured you won’t have a dull day. They also offer gluten-free, Jain, and diabetic meals for those who wish.
It seems only right that if you get to binge on these delights, you get a chance to learn how to prepare them too. Cooking classes are arranged for those who would like to go back from their trip with a few cooking skills up their sleeves.
Homestay price: Rs 5500/night
Where: The Retreat, Jones Estate, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
Contact: +91 – 81 710 31968
Edited by Divya Sethu