We all like to take a holiday from time time, but with modern-day work pressures, it has become somewhat of a luxury. If you find it difficult to take off for a long vacation, there are always the short breaks you can take over long weekends. We have put together a list of dates for long weekends in 2024, and some suggestions for destinations to head out to.
OPTION 1: January 13, Saturday and a holiday for Lohri to January 15, Pongal
OPTION 2: January 24, Friday and Republic Day, with January 27 and 28
Suggested Breaks: Book a sunny holiday for some warm weather during the winter. Goa is known for its idyllic shores, lively nightlife, and laid-back vibe. If you want to get away from the crowds, head to the pristine beaches in the state. If you are looking for something offbeat, try Chuka Beach which remains a well-kept secret within the Mahof forest range, quietly nestled between the Sharda Sagar Dam and Sharda Canal in the lesser-known Pilibhit district in Uttar Pradesh.
OPTION 1: March 8, Friday, Mahashivratri to March 10, Sunday
OPTION 2: March 23, Saturday, to March 25, Holi
OPTION 3: March 29, Good Friday to March 31, Easter
Suggested Breaks: Do the French trail in Puducherry. With its blend of age-old French connection and the charms of Tamil Nadu, it boasts beautiful beaches with smooth, white sand and colonial-style bungalows, delectable food (have you tried the Creole cuisine yet?), art galleries, and Instagrammable walls.
Or head to the foothills of the Eastern Himalayas which have many charming and intriguing villages. They are all uncommon experiences not found in the usual tourist guidebooks. Only by wandering from the usual well-trodden routes will you be able to locate them. One such is the quaint village of Chota Mangwa nestled in the Darjeeling hills on a hilltop with spectacular views of Mt. Kanchenjunga on one side and the Teesta River and the Kalimpong Hills valley on the other. If you're a tea lover seeking a truly unforgettable experience, look no further than the breathtaking heritage tea estates of Darjeeling.
DATES: Take off from May 23, Thursday, Buddha Purnima till May 26, Sunday
Suggested Breaks: Head out to Bahu village in Himachal Pradesh, which boasts ancient shrines and hiking trails. Lying in the Banjar tehsil of the famous Kullu town, the village houses architectural heritage, with Sheshnag Temple as one of its popular tourist hotspots. Or watch the stars and the night skies in Ladakh. The Hanle Observatory here is renowned as India's first Dark Sky Reserve, offering unparalleled stargazing conditions owing to its secluded location, high altitude, and minimal light pollution.
OPTION 1: August 15, Thursday, Independence Day and Parsi New Year to
August 19, Monday, Raksha Bandhan
OPTION 2: August 24, Saturday, to August 26, Janmashthami
Suggested Breaks: Hit up the ghats and catch the magic of the monsoon. Or plan a monsoon road trip with your gang. Head out to the tranquil coast of Tranquebar, also known as the Land of Singing Wave. Tranquebar (or Tharangambadi) is a town with Danish origins and history steeped in every step is your lesser explored spot to visit this extended weekend. Do Visit the Dansborg Fort and the New Jerusalem Church. You can then swing by the Maritime Museum for a bit of sea history. It is a postcard-perfect town where you will find stunning architecture and a hint of blue wherever you turn.
DATES: September 5, Thursday, Onam, plus September 7, Saturday, Ganesh Chaturthi, till September 8, Sunday
Suggested Breaks: Watch snake-shaped boats race head to head to the rhythm of ancient boat songs in Kerala. These snake boats or "chundanvallam" are up to 100 feet long and bring the serene backwaters to life. Remember as a kid the joy of receiving your first cycle Relive those days from your childhood and sign up for a cycling tour to explore the most scenic journeys in the country.
DATES: October 11, Friday, Maha Navmi, October 12, Dussehra till October 13, Sunday
Suggested Breaks: Not many festivals around the globe can match the unique appeal of Durga Puja in Kolkata. And recognising its distinct character, UNESCO has inscribed Durga Puja in Kolkata on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The festival has been drawing many people across India and the world. Travel to Kolkata to witness the Durga Puja festivities, and take time to explore Kolkata as well. You can also sign up for a surfing lesson at the Shaka Surf Club. Located in the little known beach town of Kodi Bengre near Udupi in Karnataka, this is one of Indias premier surfing training school. And Indias first female professional surfer is the co-founder of this club.
DATES: November 1, Friday, Diwali to November 3, Bhai Dooj
Suggested Breaks: There is much to enjoy in Meghalaya, but nothing comes close to witnessing the state covered in pink hues as the sight of cherry blossoms takes over the land. And the best place to enjoy the sakura season in Meghalaya is the Shillong Cherry Blossom festival.