The information in this post might be outdated

Road-Tripping From Pune To Goa? We Have The Perfect Route For An Amazing Adventure

    Goa is a great place to escape the mundane drudgery of city life, and turning it into a road trip with your squad can be an added bonus. Sun, surf, sand, and seafood – what’s not to love? Let’s also not forget that everything is cheaper in Goa {especially alcohol} and you can have the time of your life – even on a budget. Of course, Goa is accessible by rail or air – but why miss out on an epic adventure?!

    How Do I Get There?

    We believe the best way to get to Goa from Pune, is via the Kolhapur – Amboli Ghat route. Though some of the hilly roads are a bit patchy, the route is scenic and there are plenty of places to stop along the way. The trip averages between 8 – 10 hours at a stretch {not including any stops}. It’s best to start out from Pune at around 4 or 5 am, since it’s a long drive, and travelling at night can be unsafe.

    What's for Breakfast?

    In about 4 hours, you should be around Yelur {17km before Kolhapur}, where you can make a stop at Hotel Sai International for a light breakfast and a loo break. The facilities are clean, with a food court {open from 6am until midnight}, family-style AC restaurant {open from 11am – 3:30pm}, ample parking, and even a petrol pump adjacent to the property. There aren’t many options to stop at nearby, so make the most of it!

    If you’d prefer a more substantial breakfast, take a detour into Kolhapur – about an hour’s drive from Yelur; and eat at either Hotel Opal famous for authentic Kolhapuri cuisine, or the slightly fancier Hotel Pearl serving Indian, Chinese, Continental and Kolhapuri specialities. Another hour or two ahead is Hotel Amar, an inexpensive, pure vegetarian restaurant located at the base of the Tavandi Ghat, just after the town of Nipani. The food here is simple but filling.

    Hot Snacks, Scenic Views & Waterfall at Amboli Ghat

    From Nipani, drive further (about 2 hours or so) via Nipani Ajra Link Rd and Amboli Ajra Road until you reach Dashrath Vada Pav, just a little ways ahead of Amboli hill station. Here, there’s a row of vendors selling food, tea, coffee and snacks. Enjoy piping hot vada pav, bhajjia, and Maggi (all priced between INR 20 – 50 each) while you drink in the breathtaking view of the Sahyadris. Watch out for monkeys, and don’t make the mistake of feeding them – they can get pretty aggressive when they see food.

    You might pass a few waterfalls along the way, but the main Amboli Ghat Waterfall stop is just walking distance from the food stalls. This is the proper (and most importantly, FREE) tourist attraction – complete with a set of concrete steps to make it more accessible. If it’s not raining too hard (Amboli is said to be one of the wettest places in Maharashtra), you should stop for a quick dip and an Instagram photo-op!

    Shop At Mapusa Market

    Mapusa Market

    Mapusa, Goa

    Continue on from Amboli until you reach Mapusa – the epicentre of Goa. The market here is greatly different from the ones you’ll see closer to the beach; this is where the locals come to do their shopping at the Municipal market. A special tourist version of the Mapusa Market is put on in full swing every Friday, and it’s a whirlwind of colour and people. You can also buy knick-knacks, handmade bags, jewellery, fresh fruit and veggies, dried fish, home-smoked pork sausages from Goan aunties, bebinca, and a variety of things to munch on. Prices can vary, so don’t be afraid to bargain for what you want. Alcohol is much cheaper here than in Maharashtra, so stock up! Most of the long-distance buses park here at the Mapusa bus stand, and it is very well-connected to all other parts of Goa.

    Late Afternoon Drunch

    Once you’ve stocked up on the essentials, head to Infantaria at Calangute – an oldie but a goodie – for a well-deserved drunch before heading to your accommodation. Try the Goan Pork Sausages served with soft poi, fully-loaded Mini Breakfast, or go all-out with their fresh Grilled Seafood Platter. Wash it all down with Infantaria’s Own for a caffeine kick, or a pint of good ol’ King’s beer and Goan Special Cashew Fenny.