With the oncoming holidays, the all-pervasive thought buzzing around every parent’s mind while searching for family holiday ideas are to find the Best Offbeat Family Holiday Destination out of the city which is not regular, crowded or obscure. An offbeat destination that can be fun for the kids and adults alike. A place where the family can relax, marvel and live amidst nature and have enough activities to keep those exploratory feet safely engaged.
So, as our calling being the planners in offbeat drive holidays in India, we immediately got to the task to find such places. Here’s our list of 10 Best Offbeat Family Holiday Destinations in South India which has been compiled keeping in mind travel preferences those are unique to family holidays such as:
1) Not too popular (crowded) nor too obscure and has a cultural story to explore,
2) Not too expensive on the pocket nor too cheap to compromise on good travel arrangements,
3) Nearby sightseeing places available to explore & last but not the least
4) Good & clean local stays with local cuisine to relish.
So keeping in mind these & few other family travel considerations, here are suggestions on the 10 Best Offbeat Family Holiday Destinations in South India to drop on your bucket list of places to travel.
One of the best things about Sakleshpur is that it is not only offbeat but has much to offer in terms of history and adventure. This destination offers a quiet retreat away from the city life to spend weekends among misty mountains and picturesque locales. It is fast gaining popularity as a perfect destination for family holidays.
Sakleshpur (also known as Sakleshpura) is a quaint little hill station situated in the Hassan district of Karnataka. A picturesque hilly retreat, where one can trek to their heart’s content and enjoy a cozy stay at lovely homestays. A perfect holiday destination, Sakleshpur has an ancient fort to explore (an adventure for the kids) which was built by Tipu Sultan. Bisle Ghat is a Bisle Reserve Forest that is home to many diverse species of flora and fauna. One can’t find a perfect picnic spot than this.
Located 3,500 feet above sea level, Valparai is a scenic hill station that is not only picturesque but also pollution free! What better holiday can you offer your family than to take them away from the smog filled city and breathe the fresh and pure mountain air? Situated in Coimbatore district in the Annamalai Hills range, Valparai is known for its picturesque coffee and tea plantations and the lush green spread of nature. It also shares boundary with Annamalai Tiger Reserve, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, and Eravikulam National Park where one can take long safari treks. An adventure holiday with a zing, Valparai is a destination that delivers a great deal of excitement along with a tranquil atmosphere to count the stars and to marvel at the azure blue skies.
Dindigul is one offbeat location that many tend to overlook as a holiday destination. Dindigul may not be known as a hill station or a beach destination instead it known as the ‘Biriyani City’. This is an anomaly that many would love to solve because traditionally cities like Hyderabad, Lucknow and Delhi are known for their Biriyani but Dindigul offers something that is out-of-the-world! Dindigul Thalapakkatti is the most favoured destination of all Biryani aficionados who visit the place. Apart from the cuisine, there are many heritage resorts here that would certainly make for a memorable stay. Kids would love to visit the Sirumalai Reserve Forest where they would enjoy the adventure of hiking and trekking. Dindugal Fort is yet another place that the kids would love to go exploring. A drive holiday from Dindigul to Meghamalai (beautiful scenic drive) will surely mesmerize you to keep coming back to these uncrowded destinations for a holiday.
Now who would say ‘no’ to a beach holiday? Long white sands and a calm sea weaving its waves in and out of the shore. Bekal is not only an offbeat location but is enchantingly beautiful offering tranquil, rest as well as an adventure at its best to its visitors. Located in the Kasaragod district in Kerala’s far North Bekal beach is amongst the spectacular beaches in Kerala. Overnight cruises, houseboats or a trip through the enchanting backwaters and the coconut grooves. Those who love to explore will find their itinerary full at this destination. There are many ancient forts that are worth a visit – Chandragiri and Bekal Forts and a trip to Nityanandashram caves is certainly for those who love an adventure.
Yet another offbeat location, Thiruvannamalai is a holy town where the Annamalai Temple is a popular attraction. One of the holiest mountains revered by Shiva devotees the Annamalai temple is located at the base of the Annamalai hills and is a lovely heritage place to visit with one’s family. If you happen to visit during Chitra Poornima (full moon), then a Girivalam is a special way to garner the special energy of the moon by trekking around the hill for 14 Km. You can, however, soak in those aching feet into one of the many swanky resorts or get a relaxing massage in one of the many meditation retreats in the city. One of the many advantages of visiting a holy town is that you and your kids might just pick up some good lifestyle habits such as yoga, meditation and get introduced to holistic food and simple spirituality.
If you want to experience a true adventure complete with camping tents, roaring fires upon which you can spear marshmallows then you ought to visit Gavi. An eco-tourist spot in Kerala, Gavi is a nature lover’s paradise. A perfect destination for a memorable family holiday, Gavi has much and more to offer. Jungle trekking, safari rides, bird watching and camping together ‘maketh’ a gala adventure for sure. A perfect adventure destination for kids; who would surely write pages and pages for their school essay reminiscing the wonderful adventure of how they spent their summer holidays.
Known as the elephant corridor of South India, Masinagudi is a destination that promises you a quiet holiday in the midst of a jungle. Kids will enjoy the diverse wildlife of the forest and safari rides, elephant rides, bird watching, hiking, and trekking becomes the order of the day here. Secluded within the forest, one can experience the true adventure of living in the wild here albeit amidst luxurious lodgings. In other words, a perfect holiday experience sans the jostling crowd.
The picturesque town of Dandeli in Karnataka is certainly for those who love hardcore adventure and a perfect antidote for hyperactive teenagers. At Dandeli, a plethora of adventure sports awaits its visitors – mountain biking, cycling, kayaking, white water rafting etc. For those who like to take life, a bit slow can opt for overland treks with guides and enjoy the pristine nature on the quiet part of the Dandeli river and the beauty of the wildlife.
Now who wouldn’t want to go to “Kashmir of Karnataka”! The beauty of this city is confluence River Kali and the Arabian Sea that has given rise to spectacular beaches where one can enjoy the pristine sands and the weaving waves for hours together. In the beaches of Karwar, one can swim along with the playful dolphins, kayaking, snorkeling, bird watching, trekking, motor boating… or you could just relax by the beach and build sand castles.
An ultimate fun and adventure await one and all in Kabini. A haven for wildlife photographers, bird watchers and nature lovers Kabini is also a tiger reserve where people from afar come every year to capture them on their lens. The kids will love the jungle safari trips for sure where they can see many species of birds and animals of rare origin. The river safari too is a treat that children will enjoy for sure. A three-hour trip through River Kabini where you can spot many rare birds, elephants, crocodiles and maybe a rare tiger that has come to a spot for a drink. An adventure that would be memorable for the years to come, Kabini is one place where one can visit year after year.
Family holidays are all about adventure, fun, discovery and new experiences & learning. Years later, these memories are all that lasts long through our lives. So now it’s your turn to tell us what would be your choice for Best Offbeat Family Holiday Destinations in India for the oncoming holidays? Comment below and share your thoughts with us!
Also, explore Offbeat Accommodations for Family Holidays in South India.