Want to escape the humdrum of city life and ditch it for some non-touristy places? Escape the crowds and tourist traps with these off-beat holiday options! These are great activity-based vacation ideas which are not too remote, but yet offer the perfect rendezvous with nature.
1. Pluck apples at Kotgarh:
Imagine waking up to stunning, picturesque views of the Himalayan peaks and then enjoying the view while you sip on your cup of delectable masala chai. Imagine driving on the treacherous Indo-Tibet road with its stunning curves and bends, giving an adrenaline rush like never before.Imagine walking through an orchard full of fruits and plucking ripe Kinnauri apples that you had only heard about!
Welcome to the non-touristy and raw countryside of Himachal. What better than the mighty Deodhars for company while you stay in traditional Himachali wooden cottages and savour the dishes conjured from locally sourced ingredients.
Best stay option is Seetalvan Orchard, a perfect escape from the chaos of the concrete jungle to the serenity of snow capped mountain peaks and the delight of apple-laden orchards.
2. Go bird watching at Pangot:
Walk through dense oak forests and discover the enchanting Himalayan birdlife. Nestled in the Kumaon hills, this bird’s paradise is home to more than 500 species of birds, including the elusive lammergeier, Himalayan griffon, blue-winged minla, rufous-bellied woodpecker, khalij pheasants, fork tails, and many more.
Stay at the Jungle Lore birding resort, near Nainital, where you can spot birds inside the premises as well. Take walks in the nearby areas and spot laughing thrushes and bluejays at ease!
3. Stay by the river in Raison:
Fall in love with this cluster of countryside villages, 12 kms from Kullu. Enjoy the idyllic country life with the River Beas for company and the surrounding scenic hills. An offbeat place to stay, away from the mad tourist pandemonium of Manali and the crowded Kullu. Set amidst kiwi and apple orchards, Our Place Himalayas is the best place to de-stress and rejuvenate. Fall in love with nature and its tranquility as you sip on local, fresh fruit juices. With warm Himachal hospitality, sprawling lawns and homely food, this is one place you would want to make your home!
4. Soak in the serenity of Lohaghat:
Known for its spooky history, Lohaghat is a sleepy town perfect for exploring the lesser-known parts of Uttarakhand. Visit the Gurudwara Ritha Sahib, the forgotten Varansur fort and in numerous temples known for their strong mythological roots. The fascinating Devidhura and Advaita ashram are nearby attractions. For the adventure lovers there is Pancheshwar, known for its river rafting and other adventure sports.
Indulge in nature treks, while you stay at the picturesque Abbott Mount cottage, with its colonial style architecture and vintage rooms – tucked away on a private hill with beautiful views of the Himalayas.
5. Meditate on the hills of Solan:
Away from the touristy Shimla, on the outskirts of Barog, picture yourself sitting in front of the gorgeous slopes of the lower Himalayas, with acres of meadows scattered in front of your eyes and infinite silence enveloping you. The Kasauli and Dakshai hills offer magnificent views and the tranquility needed for spending someme-time at the mountains. Stay at the beautiful Dunn Perk Manor, away from the mundane city life of Chandigarh. Breathe in fresh air, go for jungle walks and gorge on sumptuous food, in this peaceful mountain
6. Explore the majestic tea gardens in Kurseong:
Sunrises over tea gardens is a phenomenon which one shouldn’t miss. Especially if it is coupled with the Kanchenjunga peaks in the background. 32 kilometres from Darjeeling, this quaint hill station is not frequented by tourists, providing a quiet, rejuvenating space for nature lovers. There are Gompas, temples, churches and museums in the vicinity, but this town is known for its sprawling and perfectly manicured tea estates.
Eagle’s Crag is a great walk offering splendid views of the Teesta while the St Mary’s Hill trail takes you past grottos and churches into charming pine forests,leading all the way up to a spectacular mountain ridge.Hop onto a toy train and relive a bygone British era.
Soak in the old world charm of the Cochrane Place – a rustic, heritage property with the regal charm of the British Raj, and live the palatial life with nature by your side.