Summers are always a time to go out and spend some quality time with your family and friends. It could range anywhere from going on a long vacation to planning a one-day trip. As the summer months are nearing, it is time once again to get away from the madness that this year has been. For some, it's the beaches that are calling, while others find their solace in the hills.
We’ve drawn up some summer holiday destinations for 2023 that will enable you to have an off-beat holiday.
The summer is when tourists flock to Ranthambore National Park, bearing the heat in a bid to glimpse the ever-elusive tigers. But give Ranthambore a skip, and head down south to Karnataka instead. With the second-highest concentration of tigers in India, the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve is one of the best summer holiday destinations for 2023 for nature lovers. The park is named after ‘Naga’, meaning ‘snake’ and ‘hole’, which stands for streams. With the streams snaking its way across the land and through the reserve, the name Nagarhole seems quite apt. Nagarhole was converted into a sanctuary in 1955 and now sprawls across 644 sq km.
The park was once a hunting reserve for the Wodeyar dynasty, once rulers of the Mysore kingdom. Today, its royalty has taken on another form: that of the magnificent tigers. October to May is the best time to visit the park, with the tourist numbers dropping slightly post February. Apart from these striped big cats, you can also find a variety of wildlife here, including elephants, crocodiles, bears, leopards, deer, wild boars, and several birds. The best way to spot the animals is by going on a safari, and the Forest Department conducts 4 of these each day.
The first trip will be from 6 am to 7.30 am, the second will be from 7.30 am to 9 am, while the third and fourth trips will be from 2.30 pm to 4 pm and 4 pm to 5.30 pm respectively. The safaris leave from two locations - Nanchhi Gate (Kutta) and Veeranahosalli Gate. Keep in mind that going on a safari doesn’t mean you’ll definitely spot a tiger, since they are notoriously elusive.
The Mysore Airport is the nearest airport to Nagarhole National Park, around 94 km away. Mysuru Junction is also the closest railway station; taxis are easily available from both of these locations. The park is also easily accessible by road and can be reached from cities like Mysore, Bangalore, and Madikeri.
One of the three gems in the Nilgiri crown, Coonoor is a mere 20 km from Ooty, and yet is often overlooked. The beauty of heading to Coonoor is that you get to experience the same things that Ooty has to offer, without having to dodge other tourists. Even within Coonoor, we recommend sticking to Upper Coonoor, which is the uphill stretch of 1 km to 3 km northeast of the town center.
There’s plenty to do in Coonoor: trek through the hills, stroll through the tea estates, and take in the views around every corner. Visit Lamb’s Rock for a picnic and catch a sunset hitting Catherine’s Falls from Dolphin’s Nose. The 12-acre Sim’s Park is a famous attraction; established in 1874, the undulating landscape has well-maintained lawns and over 1,000 plant species from across different continents. Some people prefer Coonoor in the winter months, while most others prefer heading here in the summer.
Coimbatore has the nearest airport to Coonoor, around 2 hours away. A taxi ride from here to Coonoor will take you around 2 hours. Three pairs of Fully Reserved Special Trains from the Nilgiri Mountain Route run daily from Coonoor to Ooty, and you can also take a train to Coimbatore and head here from there. There are several buses that reach Coonoor or you can also choose to drive through the scenic route.
A small town in Arunachal Pradesh that is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery, that’s Tawang for you. In a bid to reach more popular destinations like Shimla, Mussoorie, and Dharamshala, the many little treasures of Northeast India lay hidden. Tawang is one such treasure, though it is steadily losing its offbeat status. The journey to Tawang itself is a gorgeous one; you drive on winding roads surrounded by trees and hills. You can also stop by Jang and Jaswantgarh, from where you can see the Nuranang Waterfalls in all their glory.
Tawang itself has plenty to see, the most prominent being the Tawang Monastery which is the largest in India and the second largest in Asia. It is known as the Tawang Ganden Namgyal Lhatse and was founded in 1680. The monastery is stunning to behold and the rolling hills that surround it only add to its beauty. There are also several other monasteries dotted around town, each as pretty as the next. Head to the War Memorial that commemorates the lives lost in the Sino-China war, and the Bumla Pass to see the McMahon Line which separates China and India.
Visiting in the summer months means pleasant weather and clear skies. If you happen to feel like there are too many tourists around, escape the crowds by heading off on trails and hiking through the hills. There are shady pine groves interspersed with a burst of color from the blooming rhododendrons.
The nearest airport to Tawang is the Salonibari Airport in Tezpur, Assam, around 317 km away. You can also fly to the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, 480 km from Tawang, since it offers better connectivity to the rest of the country. There are helicopter services to take you from Guwahati to Tawang, but their schedule is unreliable and we recommend advanced bookings. The nearest major railway station is the Rangapara Railway Station located in Tezpur, around 314 km away. You can get a taxi or a bus to Tawang from here.
Note: All tourists are required to obtain the Inner Line Permit to gain entry to Arunachal Pradesh. The ILPs are issued by the Issuing Authorities of the Government of Arunachal Pradesh with offices at Delhi, Kolkata, Tezpur, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, and Jorhat. You can also easily apply for it online, but ensure you do so at least 10 days prior to the start of your journey since the ILPs can take up to 5 business days to get approved.
You can’t have a summer holiday without a beach, but let’s just stop you before your thoughts go running off to Goa. Unless overcrowded beaches are your idea of summer holiday destinations for 2023, take a look at this little destination instead. Located a stone’s throw away from Goa, and yet free from all the crowds that plague it, Vengurla should be on your list for an offbeat beach vacation.
Vengurla is sheltered by a ring of green hills and has not one but 5 gorgeous beaches to explore. The waves aren’t too strong or overwhelming either. When you're done soaking in the fine sands and ceaseless waves, explore the tiny town. Don’t underestimate it; this sleepy town has colonial Portuguese architecture that has lasted the years. Take a drive to Fort Tiracol, half an hour from Vengurla. Once a defense fort, this 17th-century structure is now a grand heritage hotel. If you want that luxurious treatment and have the budget to spare, definitely book your accommodation here.
Goa’s Dabolim Airport is the nearest airport to Vengurla, while Kudal and Kankavli are the nearest train stations. It is also easily accessible by road, lying at one end of the Vengurla – Belgaum state highway. Catch the NH 66 to reach it.
Where Should I Go In Summer 2023?
Heading to destinations that have harsh summers means fewer tourists and better deals since it is their off-season. Ideally, avoid any mainstream tourist attractions, and head instead to offbeat locations in summer 2023.
Is It A Good Time To Book A Vacation?
Summer season sees a hike in tourist numbers since many head out for holidays. As a result, you may find expensive rates and locations that are mostly flocked by other travelers.
Which Is The Coolest Place In India During Summer?
The Himalayas are undoubtedly the coolest destinations in India in the summer, with the higher altitudes seeing snow year round.
Which Hill Station Is Good For A Summer Holiday?
Hill stations enjoy pleasant weather during the summers, which is why people tend to flock to them to escape the heat. As mentioned, head to hill stations that are offbeat, like Kalimpong (West Bengal), Paderu and Horsley Hills (Andhra Pradesh), and Kanatal (Uttarakhand).
Which Is A Romantic Destination For A Summer Holiday?
Any destination can be romantic if you want it! But that being said, Andaman, Coorg, and the secluded beaches of Vengurla can be romantic destinations for a summer holiday.
Is Kerala Good To Visit For A Summer Holiday?
Temperatures in Kerala in the summer hover around 30-35°C, and can sometimes go as high as 40°C. It is still a good destination for a summer holiday if you stay indoors in the afternoons, and continue to enjoy your holiday the rest of the time. The hill stations continue to enjoy pleasant weather.
Is Rajasthan Good To Visit For A Summer Holiday?
Rajasthan faces very hot summers, with temperatures crossing 40°C. If you plan on exploring and doing a lot of sightseeing, we do not recommend visiting Rajasthan in the summer.
Which Is The No 1 Tourist Place In India?
Agra is the most visited tourist place in India, with 5.7 million people visiting the Taj Mahal alone in the year 2018.