The start of something beautiful – 2017 is giving us a long weekend with Republic Day falling on a Thursday. So call in sick or take a leave in advance on Friday and head to these lesser-known places to relax and enjoy your time off. You won’t have to see tourists ever again on a vacation.

Adventure Sports At Nilshi

Photo source: Caroline Xavier and Akshita Sharma

Photo source: Caroline Xavier and Akshita Sharma

Thrill-seekers and fitness enthusiasts can head to Nilshi and dabble in some rock climbing, archery and camping. All of this without spending a bomb. Get to know more about Nilshi here.

Turtle Festival At Velas

Photo source: JB London via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Photo source: JB London via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

Nature lovers can witness a rather endearing sight this long weekend with baby Olive Ridleys breaking out of their egg shells and trotting into the sea. And it’s happening only 200 kms away. Details here.

Dolphin Spotting At Dapoli

Photo source: Aude Steiner via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 1.0)

Photo source: Aude Steiner via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 1.0)

Some Dolphin spotting over the weekend? You can watch this beautiful sight at Dapoli,a stretch of serene beaches just four hours away from the city. Check it out here.

Yoga Retreat In Panchgani

Photo source:

Photo source: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

You can also subject yourself to some Yoga retreat pampering in Panchgani. If you’re going the healthy way, please sign up for this bonfire-and-strawberry fields extravaganza before the tickets run out. More details here.

Kihim Beach

Photo source:

Photo source: Harshruti via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Want a no-frills trio? All water babies should head to Kihim – a lesser known beach just a ferry ride away from Gateway of India. Perfect for those who’d like to skip a road trip. More details here.

Nighoj

Photo source:

Photo source: Devyani Nighoskar

You can also head to Nighoj – a small village that is home to naturally-formed rock craters. The river, erosion and other natural processes have carved these spectacular natural potholes into the rocks, and are one of a kind. Find out more here.

Wellness Retreats

Photo source: The Ark

Photo source: The Ark

If work has been bogging you down and you want to relax instead, then sign yourself up for these wellness retreats instead.

Guhagar

Photo source:

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-3.0)

Beaches have our heart and that’s why this list ends with a white sand beach called Guhagar beach. It’s pristine and only six hours away. Find out more here.

Featured photo source: The Ark