Today the #XploreBharat Blog Train has come to a halt at Dapoli in Ratnagiri from the Tezpur on Sonali’s blog. The next stop of this #XploreBharat Blog Train is Naimisharanya in UP at Vartika’s Diary
Would you believe if I told you that just a month before we went on a road trip to Dapoli, we hadn’t even heard of this place? Yes, it’s funny right! So, I was writing a content piece on Konkan trail and that’s how I came to know about Dapoli. The images of the place were so beautiful that I decided there and then that Dapoli was the place to visit for our next family vacation. For the uninitiated, Dapoli is a picturesque beach village in Ratnagiri. It didn’t take much to make my husband enthusiastic about Dapoli trip. And so for the Holi long weekend getaway, we just booked a hotel and off we went on an unforgettable road trip to Dapoli.
5 things to do in Dapoli:
Now, Dapoli is a small, laid back place where time kind of goes in a vacation mode. Let’s check 5 things to do in Dapoli:
Enjoy water Sports: We stayed at Murud beach which is one of the cleanest beaches in Dapoli and also the hub for water sports activities. However, water sports facilities are available at Palande too. You can opt for jet ski, banana and bumper rides or go for parasailing if that is more like your sport.
Watch dolphins: Yes, there are dolphins just off the beach and we had a beautiful sighting of these naughty aquatic animals. We took an early morning boat trip from Murud and were back in half an hour. The whole activity is very professionally handled, even my daughter, 3-year old then, enjoyed the ride and spotting the dolphins.
Laze on the beach: Dapoli is not like Goa, so you won’t find shacks and sun loungers. However, you can carry your own towels and picnic baskets and enjoy a picnic on the beach. Murud, Ladghar, Anjarle, Kelshi are some of the cleanest beaches you will come across in India. Kids will have a gala time on the beach, making sand castles. However, just take note of the tide timings while visiting Kelshi beach.
Spot marine turtles: Velas, a small eco-village some 50 odd kms from Dapoli, is famous for the Velas Turtle Festival in February and March. The sight of eggs hatching and baby Olive Ridley turtles walking into the blue sea is an experience of a lifetime.
Fort hop: Harnai port situated 17 kms from Dapoli has two forts – Suvarnadurg (sea fort) and Kanakdurga (land fort). Apart from these, the Konkan region is home to many forts in Vijaydurg, Raigad, Ratnadurga, Shrivardhan, Sindhudurg and Padmagad. Though they are not well kept, they are still an important part of our rich Indian heritage. However, you need your own vehicle for fort hopping, as we didn’t come across a reliable public transport system in Dapoli.
How to reach Dapoli?
Via car: We went by car from Mumbai to Dapoli which is 235 km in distance, via NH17. The route to road trip to Dapoli is something like this – Panvel – Pen – Nagothane – Kolad – Mangaon – Mahad – Khed.
We started around 8:30 am and reached Dapoli at 2:30 pm, with a couple of pit stops and once we took a wrong turn (yes, even with Google maps).
However, while coming back we took the more scenic but longer route. This route brings you via the beautiful and pristine coastline. You will be driving with an interrupted view of the Arabian Sea and pristine virgin beaches of Tarkarli and Guhagar. Also, there is a ferry that will take you and your car from one end to another, as there is no bridge at this point. It will lengthen your route but it is definitely worth the time. Fortunately for us, our 3-year-old listened to music on a loop and slept most of the time.
Via train: Khed is the nearest railway station to Dapoli and is located on the major New Delhi-Mumbai railway line.
Via air: The nearest airports are in Mumbai, Kolhapur, Belgaum and Pune.
Where to stay in Dapoli?
When we went on a road trip to Dapoli 4 years ago, there were not many holiday resorts in Dapoli, except for Lotus Beach Resort managed by Kamat Group and Fern Samali Resort. Lotus Resort was right at the Murud beach and hence very convenient. Fern Resort was at least 1 km away from the beach.
There are a few good homestay options and holiday homes in Dapoli if you are willing to explore.
Where to eat in Dapoli?
Again, Dapoli is a small place, they don’t have fancy restaurants. The scene might have changed in the last few years as the place is getting popular by the day, and we saw forest fires and deforestation to make way for hotels and houses to accommodate mushrooming tourism in the area.
We remember getting few vada pavs packed for our road trip from a vada pav stall outside the Hanuman Mandir near Murud beach. Also, a few times we opted to eat simple but authentic konkani thali at a local’s place. Many locals offer unlimited Konkani thali at their home to tourists. The menu is simple but very flavourful. My husband who is a meat eater relished the fish and mutton recipes, while I had a vegetarian thali replete with sol kadhi.
What is the best season to visit Dapoli?
We went in early March, the days were hot, however the evenings were pleasant. I would recommend going in November to early March.
We saw many mango orchards, but unfortunately, mangoes were still a long time to come.
Things to take care of while driving to Dapoli:
- Phone reception is very poor in Dapoli. We got lost a few times while coming back from Velas and couldn’t even access the Google Map.
- Locals go to sleep very early. You won’t find many people on the streets post 8 pm.
- Make sure your petrol/diesel tank is full. There is only 1 petrol pump in the town.
- There are no washroom facilities while on the road trip. You will need to halt at Café Coffee Day, luckily there were two on the way. For the road trip to Dapoli via beach route, please look for trees or shrubs.
- Pack a picnic basket with you from the hotel if you are exploring nearby places.
Very much like our family vacation in Coorg, Dapoli trip too gave us an opportunity to laze, relax and unwind. I guess after the hustle and bustle of the busy Mumbai city life, we always look for family vacations in calm, peaceful and unhurried places.
If you are looking for some peace and quiet, Dapoli a long weekend destination near Mumbai is where you should head to. Go on a family road trip to Dapoli, you won’t forget it in a hurry.
PS: All images are off the Internet, as our holiday pictures were lost in a major hard drive crash. Collaterals of a digital life! 🙁
And also a big shout out to our sponsors KAIV and FABZANIA for taking this Blog Train experience even further.
KAIV is a personal grooming accessory and appliances brand offering a wide range of world-class products.
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