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

Divya posted on 17 April

What Is It?

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.

Tourist Attractions

Kegad, Maharashtra

    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.

    Hotels

    Pune Bangalore Highway, NH-4, Vasant Park, Yelur Phata, Yelur, Maharashtra

    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

    Continue on from Amboli until you reach Mapusa – the epicentre of Goa {according to us}. 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.

    Street Stores

    Mapusa, Goa

    3.9
    ic_star_full_black_48px copy

      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.

      Casual Dining

      5/181, Opp. Ticlo Resort, Calangute-Baga Junction, Calangute, Goa

      4
      ic_star_full_black_48px copy

      Anything Else?

      If you decide to spend a long weekend in Goa, leave on an early Friday morning so you can make the most of it. Carry around INR 2000 in 50s and 100s for highway toll, as they don’t usually keep change. Make sure to bring enough drinking water, toilet paper, motion sickness meds, and hand sanitizer for the car journey {trust us, you’ll need it}. The drive is scenic, so appreciate it and make sure to take lots of photos!