How To See The Best Of Pondicherry In 4 Days?
What Makes It Awesome?
Pondicherry is like a toy town with pretty cafés, artsy walls, and a splash of colour all around and of course the blue waters! Trees are as tall as the buildings, the time goes by slower, and the peace and quiet are addictive. I went to Pondicherry for the first time in March 2018 to pursue my scuba diving course, and ever since then, I've fallen in love with the pretty French town! 💜 So, after a zillion fun trips to Pondi, I wonder how one can see this place in 4 days or a long weekend. Hence, I put together this itinerary for people to refer to, so as to see the best of Pondicherry in 4 days! ➡️ DAY 1- You fly to Chennai and take a 3-hour cab to Pondicherry. Or you take a flight to Pondicherry with a short layover at Hyderabad/Bangalore. In either case, you can make it to Pondi by 2 PM. Get some rest and head to the Promenade for a stroll. I would recommend dinner with a view at *Sicilys* followed by a scoops Gelato ice cream at Gelateria Montecatini Terme, right on the Promenade beach. ➡️ DAY 2 - You can walk in at Temple Adventures and sign up for a scuba diving experience. I'd recommend calling them first. Their 2-day program involves a pool training of basic underwater skills on day 1 and an ocean dive on day 2. Once you finish your pool session in the morning, head to Bakers Street for breakfast. It's an awesome French bakery located on busy street. I'd recommend their quiches, palmier, and boy oh boy, their macaroons. You can stay in and chill or head to Auroville in the afternoon if you wish to book your visitors' tickets for inside Matri Mandir, the meditation centre. My suggestion is if you're not too keen to see Matrimandir from the inside, the view until the place is just as beautiful. Not much to miss there! :) If you do go to auroville, on your way back you can pick up or relish some great momos at Lhasa restaurant. If you decide to stay in, head to Cafe Des Arts early evening for some great crepes, croissants, and coffees. Don't forget to click the quintessential 'picture with the yellow wall'. ☺️ Or you can try PY Cafe, a cute rooftop cafe on Misson Street. You can spend the evening exploring a few amazing shopping places at Pondicherry. My recommendations would be: 👉 Kalki - for handicrafts, scented candles, handcrafted clothes and other amazing bath and body items. 👉 Hidesign factory outlet (look for that one specifically named factory outlet, not the flagship store) - for bags, slings, totes, and satchels from Hidesign and Holii at HALF the price. For dinner, I would suggest making a reservation at Villa Shanti (don't confuse it for La Villa Shanti because that's a different find dine, although, just as good.) Although these are very date night kinda places, I don't see why a group of friends or a solo tripper cannot treat themselves to the experience! ➡️ DAY 3 - You'll have an early day but oh what an amazing one awaiting you at that. This is the day you go for your ocean dive, meet the fine fishes and amazing folks at Temple Adventures. Your first breath underwater and your entire experience is something you will never forget for a lifetime. This is your Day 3 and you have a day before you have to leave. So I suggest you get your bikes ready (alternatively book a 4-hour rental cab from Pondi) and head to Auroville main road. Get some AMAZING brunch at my favourite place, Bread & Chocolate. They also sell Mason & Co. chocolates, along with peanut butter, and other spreads at this vegan bistro. These are great for gifting. Go splurge! Thank me later. 😋 After a hearty meal, you must head to Matrimandir (also called the visitors' centre). Get yourself a viewing ticket to Matrimandir, from the 'information centre'. What follows this is a 1 km long walk, which is super picturesque and feels like a nature trail. Don't miss it. While returning, they have a shuttle service. Prefer that to save time. When you're back, you'll have seen all the cafés & shopping hubs (at the beginning of the walk). Mostly all the items are handcrafted, as eco-friendly and sustainable products are a part of Auroville's culture. My recommendations would be soaps and incense sticks, cheese, and handmade jewellery. On your way back to Pondi, you can stop for amazing wood-fired pizzas at Tantos. You've achieved way too much in a day so just retire already! 😁 ➡️ DAY 4 - Next morning, if you're up for something new, you can head to Serenity beach for some surfing lessons. The surf school operating there is called Kalai Alai. OR you could sleep in late and go for a lazy brunch at Coromandel Cafe. You CANNOT miss this one. Pay a visit to the Aurobindo Ashram (it's all very close by within pondi), and then head to paradise beach, or one of the beaches on your must-visit list). You can do all of this by 3 pm, in case your flight back is from Chennai later today. Or if you're flying the next morning from Pondi itself, you can hit one of the nightclubs and make it a party night. My top recommendations - Ice Cubes, Storytellers Bar, Greasy Tin. OR you can explore from a bunch of other recommendations below: - Sky Garden (rooftop restaurant, great for lunch) - Canteen 18 - SUPER loaded burgers (pretty café) - Le Dupleix (fine dine) - Bom Bali (fine dine) - Bay of Buddha (rooftop) - Eat my Cake / Eat my Cheese (USP - they make their own cake & cheese) - Auroville Bakery - Amazing baked goods - Gelato (GMT) - BEST ice creams ➡️ A few things to remember: 👉 Chennai to Pondi - block 4 hours. Mostly takes 3 hours in non-peak hours. Cab cost is approx. INR 3,000 one way. So you can check flights accordingly. Make sure you hire a 2 wheeler or a car. 👉 Stay close to white town. While booking your stay make that your benchmark and check property distance from your stay to white town. A radius of 5 km should work just fine. 👉 Rent a bike, car, or even a bicycle if you like. It's cheaper to rent a bike and makes it easier to go around. You'll find a zillion rental places right on Mission Street. Google is your friend. (Pondi Streets are narrow so it's a hassle to drive around in a car. I'd recommend against it.) 👉 If you're scuba diving on Day 4, just remember you CANNOT take a flight within 12-18 hours of scuba diving. Highly recommend diving in the first 2 days of your trip. 👉 Bread & Chocolate, Lhasa, and a lot of other outlets in Auroville close by 5 PM. 👉 To book Matrimandir (inside) visit, the booking window is open from 2 PM TO 3 PM. ➡️ Contact Numbers: - Dive School (Temple Adventures) - 9940219449 - Stay options - 7339455528