Where Do You Wish To Travel: Mountains Or Beaches
The serene tranquillity of the mountains or the free winds of the beach? The adrenaline rush from the peaks or the gentle caressing of the waves. The heights scaled by the mountains or the mysterious depths of the water?
You might be someone who has a soft spot for the mountains and loves lending your heart to them every few months or so or maybe someone who feels that nothing can be compared to the experience of sitting beside the seashore and watching a beautiful sunset.
While no two experiences are ever the same, mountains really manage to bring out the best in you. The tall peaks, the misty environment, the warm locals- a retreat to the mountains brings you back to the city with a clearer mind and a happier heart.
On the other hand, beaches can really set your soul free and put you in high spirits. The magical sunsets, the soothing sound of the sea and the cheerful frolicking of children is a sight few would like to miss.
Still confused between the two?
Here’s a list of some hill destinations and beaches you can visit this vacation, to give yourself a well-deserved break.
Top 12 hill destinations and beaches to visit this vacation
- Varkala, Kerala
- Gokarna, Karnataka
- Tarkali, Maharashtra
- Baga, Goa
- Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island
Gulmarg is a hill station located in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in India. This tiny hamlet attracts thousands of people from all over the country. Termed as ‘The Meadow of Flowers’, Gulmarg’s awe-inspiring beauty will certainly leave you spellbound and become the muse to your inner artistic soul.
During winters, the place is buried under snow and everything from participating in snow activities to tasting lip-smacking food is one memorable experience.
Major Attractions: Gulmarg Gondola, Khilanmarg, Himalyan Ski School, St. Mary’s Church, Kongdori, Tangmarg
Things to do: Take a Gondola ride, Go skiing on Aparwath Peak, Visit the Baba Reshi Shrine, Spend a day at Alpathar Lake
Auli is a picturesque beauty set in the upper ranges of the Himalayas. Though, the place is quite famous, it has still not succumbed under the threat of over the top commercialization. The place has it all- amazing views, skiing adventures, trekking trails- to make your trip worth every penny that you choose to spend.
Major Attractions: Chattrakund, Gorson Bugyal, Kwani Bugyal, Joshimath, Chenab Lake, Narsingh Temple,
Things to do: Take a cable car ride, Visit Narsingh Temple, Take a nature tour to Nanda Devi, Trek to Gorson Bugyal, Go skiing, Visit the Valley of Flowers- National Park.
At the foothills of the Himalayas, Darjeeling stands as an exquisite and beautiful travel destination. It caters to every kind of traveller’s needs- the adventure junkie, the nature-lover, the backpacker- you name it, and Darjeeling will offer it to you!
Major Attractions: Ghum Monastery, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Peace Pagoda, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Tenzing Rock, Mall Road, Japanese Buddhist Temple
Things to do: Go river rafting to Teesta, Take a trekking trip to Sandakhpu, Take the toy train ride from Ghoom and get down at Kurseong to spot eating joints, Go wildlife spotting at Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park
Manali is one of the most popular hill stations in India and once you pay the place a visit, you’ll know exactly why. Manali with its misty hill tops, awe-inspiring views, Insta-worthy frames, charming streams and the lingering scent of pines, will compel you to pay it a second visit as soon as possible.
Major Attractions: Hidimba Devi Temple, Manu Temple, Van Vihar, Jogini Falls, Himalayan Nyinmapa Tibetan Buddhist Monastery, Museum of Himachal Culture & Folk Art
Things to do: Visit the Jogini and Rahala Falls, Indulge in adventure sports like paragliding and camping, Ride a yak at Manali wildlife sanctuary, Take a healing bath in Vashist Hot Water Springs
Shimla is a gem that offers so much more than what people generally know about it. Besides its popular mall road and colonial buildings against the backdrop of snow-capped hills the upper regions also provide the opportunity to skate on natural ice and the place plays host to the MTB Himalaya as well (South East Asia’s biggest mountain biking race).
It continues to surprise its visitors and each time you pay this place a visit; you’ll surely find out something new about it.
Major Attractions: The Ridge, Jakhoo, Christ Church, Rasthrapati Niwas, Jakhu Hill, State Museum, Kali Bari Temple,
Things to do: Enjoy the Kalka-Shimla toy-train ride, Go shopping at Lakkar Bazaar, Have an ice-skating adventure at Asia’s Only Open-Air Ice Skating Rink, Go rafting at Tattapani
When you are standing amongst the tea trees on the hill station of Munnar in Kerala, with the faint aroma of tea making its way towards you as you close your eyes and feel the light breeze on your skin- you’ll begin to understand the magical spell mountains cast on your body and soul.
Major Attractions: Eravikulam National Park, Mattupetty Dam, Anamudi, The Blossom International Park, Pothamedu View Point, Nayamakad Waterfall, Munnar – Top Station Highway, Attukal Waterfall
Things to do: Stay in a tree-house, Go camping and trekking at Echo Point, Spot wildlife at Eravikulam National Park, Go mountain-biking through Suryanelli
Every honeymooner’s favourite travel destination, Ooty is the go-to destination for people who are travel junkies, fond of nature and want to get away from the hustle of the city life. Its post-card perfect scenery is soothing to the eyes and a medicine for the soul.
Major Attractions: Tamilnadu Tourism Ooty Boat House, Government Botanical Garden, The Tea Factory and The Tea Museum, Nilgiri Mountain Railway Line
Things to do: Visit the Botanical Gardens, Take a toy-train ride, witness breath-taking views from the Dolphin Point, Visit St. Stephen’s Church.
To get a taste of the other side of the story, here is a list of some beaches that are a treat to every sense.
8. Varkala, Kerala
Varkala is a town in the South Indian state of Kerala. If you visit this place, then a picnic to the Varkala Beach should always be on your to-do list. With views that extend over the Arabian sea, the beach with its visuals and ambience will certainly take your breath away. It is an excellence place to relax and rejuvenate at.
9. Gokarna, Karnataka
Love the ambience of beaches but not the hustle of the crowd that comes along with it?
In that case, this beach is your perfect retreat.
Gokarna is a small town in northern Karnataka, with four of India’s most secluded beaches situated nearby. It attracts holy pilgrims, tourists, locals equally. Surely do visit this beach before excessive commercialization begins its attack!
10. Tarkarli, Maharashtra
Can’t make it to Andaman and Nicobar Islands?
Do not worry! The Tarkali Beach in Maharasthra has one of the best coral reefs in India. Get a taste of adventure as you go scuba-diving and snorkelling here, and get rejuvenated in the fresh ambience of this place.
If you are someone who doesn’t mind commercialized places, and just want to have a happening day, then the Baga Beach in Goa is just the right destination for you. It offers everything from water sports and para sailing to beach shacks and fine dining restaurants. The day will never end when you are here!
12. Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island
Radhanagar Beach is situated on Havelock Island in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The island is known for its soothing effects, still water and fine white sand.
Still trying to figure out the perfect travel destination between ‘mountains’ and ‘beaches.’ Try giving these destinations a shot this vacation, and maybe you might come back with a clearer answer and thousands of memorable stories to tell!
Surendra Dayama is SEO Consultant in India. He has hands-on experience of more than 11 years in Search Engine Optimization. Awarded “100 Smartest Digital Marketing Leaders in India” 2019 by World Digital Marketing Congress. Endorsed by CMO Asia.