Travels and Excursions

An Unforgettable Road Trip to Dapoli

Sea, beach and sunset in Dapoli

An unforgettable road trip to Dapoli

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.

A scenic view of Dapoli

An Unforgettable Road Trip to Dapoli – Pic off NativePlanet

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.

Dolphins off Dolphin beach

An Unforgettable Road Trip to Dapoli – Pic off TripAdvisor

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.

a bullock cart on the pristine beach of Dapoli in an Unforgettable Road Trip to Dapoli

An Unforgettable Road Trip to Dapoli – pic off Tripadvisor

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.

Scenic beach of Dapoli

An Unforgettable Road Trip to Dapoli – pic off Dapoli.net

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! 🙁

This post is a part of the #XploreBharat Blog Train hosted by Aditi, Esha, Maheshwaran, PraGun, Preeti, Saba, Sanjota, Sonia, Sudip, Suhasini, Supriya

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40 Comments

  1. I absolutely love road trips. When in Bangalore, we would travel by car to many weekend gateways. Your post reminded me of that. Also I feel there are a lot of options in and around Mumbai for a weekend vacation. Heard about Dapoli for the first time and curious to visit too looking at the serene pics and vivid description. As you said, such peaceful destinations help you rejuvenate and it’s a perfect spot to relax away from the hustle bustle of the cities. When would that be possible, I don’t know but surely someday ? thanks for sharing about this hidden gem, Anshu.

    • mammaspeaks

      Bangalore like Mumbai and Delhi has so many weekend getaway places that we are spoilt for choices. Road trips are definitely lovely if kids behave and there is a bit of planning in advance. I am sure in Poland too, you would be having a great time exploring nearby places. Hope you visit us soon in Mumbai Vartika.

  2. It’s interesting that I came across this post. I had been to Dapoli about 17 years back (this makes me sound so OLD!!), for a college project. But we only went to the village for some data collection, and did not visit any beaches, because we did not even know there was a beach close by! Ah the days before I discovered Google! And now I see that there were dolphins! DOLPHINS!! Sigh!
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    • mammaspeaks

      Oh Shantala, Dapoli is just a laidback village and 17 years ago, it must have been even more difficult. It’s just recently that people have discovered the beautiful beaches of Shantala, so don’t beat yourself up. BTW, just heard recently that dolphins were spotted near Virar/Vasai too. 🙂

  3. I have seen Dolphins inside a pool which is trained to do some particular show. Dopali offers natural Dolphins show which is a good thing I guess. Looks like a good place to visit in summer 🙂

    • mammaspeaks

      You are right Sanjota, I have seen train dolphins too in a pool, but nothing beats dolphins frolicking in the water in their natural habitat. No, this place will be very hot in summer, till March would be ideal 🙂

  4. Nice write-up on Dapoli, thanks for sharing:)

  5. I’m so sorry you lost all your pics!
    Dapoli sounds lovely! It actually reminds me of a trip we made to Shrivardhan ?
    Vijayalakshmi Harish recently posted…Dear MichelleMy Profile

    • mammaspeaks

      I know Vijayalakshmi, one day and everything went boom – luckily some previous trip photos were saved in my laptop, otherwise all are now gone 🙂 Shrivardhan is also nearby and very beautiful too.

  6. My mom has been to Dapoli last month.it was a reunion and all girls trip for them. And beleive me since past one month she is only talking about this place…. And after reading about dolphin watching in your article I am going there this year only. I make great sol kadhi… Do come over to relish

    • mammaspeaks

      Oh really, Ujjwal, that’s so sweet of you, I really love sol kadhi. I am sure since we have visited Dapoli, it has become more tourist friendly. While we were there, roads were being made, forests were being cut to make way for more hotels, etc. Do visit, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

  7. I have heard of Dapoli, but had no idea it was so clean, beautiful and peaceful. The next time I am in Bombay, I hope to plan a visit to Dapoli with my family. Your helpful post will be used as a guideline. Thanks so much.

    • mammaspeaks

      Mayuri, you wouldn’t believe that beaches in India could be so clean and peaceful. It’s a must visit place just to enjoy the beauty!

  8. OMGGG it’s breathtaking!! loved the post! Now I want to visit here
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  9. We went to Dapoli some ten years ago when the kids were babies and it was a total blast. Like you for us too it was a family trip with 13 of us all piled into a bus. It was the best time ever. We did the dolphin watch but missed those turtles. That must be some sight! Oh and I’m a vegetarian but the other loved the prawns served there.
    The locals do turn in early – so that’s a useful pointer as well as the one about the petrol pump.

    • mammaspeaks

      So glad you had a great experience too. Locals turn in early, that’s the village life for you. Turtles even we couldn’t watch as the eggs didn’t hatch on the day we went.

  10. Wow, Dolphins! It must an absolute delight to watch them. Never knew Dapoli offers so much to enjoy a quick fun weekend. Lovely post
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  11. Lovely informative post Anshu. Great way to know a lesser known place with complimenting pics.

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    Manas Mukul recently posted…‘Joy’ of the City of Joy – KolkataMy Profile

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Manas. Yes, it’s a lesser known place, maybe that’s why it’s so clean and serene. 🙂

  12. That’s a wonderful write up and so fresh! I am extremely tempted to visit this place now. I love road trips so hopefully soon!
    Prerna wahi recently posted…From Unknown to Known to Own (Namma) Chennai with #XploreBharatMy Profile

  13. Never heard of this place… Thanks for shating this. I am not a roadtrip person but your post makes me want to go on one

  14. Konkan is my native place and every post related to Konkan trip makes me so so nostalgic. I love the sea, I love the haapus mango (Alphonso doesn’t give that feeling), I love that kokam and kokam kadhi. And what not. Dapoli is the destination for every traveller, nature lover and a seafood lover.

  15. Seeing Dolphins in the wide open seas must be a unique experience. Now this place has entered into my bucket list. Thanks for bringing this hidden gem to the limelight.

  16. Dapoli is something even I haven’t heard about before. Strange! As I have been in Mumbai since birth. Would definitely check this out.

    • mammaspeaks

      It’s not very well known Saba, a much hidden gem. Between Goa, Daman, Alibaug and Ganpatiphule, not many people know about it.

  17. WOOWW! a wonderful post!! loved the virtual tour! I have never heard about this place
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  18. What a place you have shown me. It is so tempting. I have to visit it now. You are so correct when you said that this busy Mumbai life wants some respite. I can feel you and always look out for places for getaways. Thank you for sharing such a detailed post. Will surely let you know when I visit this place
    #readbypreetispanorama

  19. Would love to enjoy the water sports watching dolphins moving around.

  20. Very detailed one. Most important for a vacation is to have the right mood set. Happy to notice you get it here. Sighting of Dolphins? Wow, that is something very interesting. Lucky you.

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you! You are right having a great mood is a precursor to a great vacation. Dolphins was actually the highlight of our trip.

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