Weekend getaway options (within 6-8 hours) are many from Mumbai … right from the Western Ghats (hill region) around Pune and beyond, to the beaches in the south like Ganpatiphule. One option that stands out much closer is Alibagh / Murud — some where between 2 ½ – 3 ½ hours away. It’s one of our favourites and a fairly reasonably priced option at that.
A 2-hour drive through Panvel, the route takes a turn away from the infamous Mumbai-Goa highway to a busy road lined with trees and farmlands till you reach Alibagh. A hot realty destination of the rich & famous Mumbaikars, the town does not offer much to tourists except for a shallow beach and a famous Spa @ Radisson Hotel. Great seafood is available here – a steal during the Shraadh period (the one-month period before Ganpati Puja) when the local community does’t eat non-veg food.
A must-visit while passing by Alibag is the Sanman Restaurant. 5 mins from the RCF colony, Sanman is where you get authentic Konkani Thali’s (fixed meals) with side orders of amazing prawns, fish, clams, crabs and other seafood. Prawn Sookha is the dish to have along with fish fries of different types.
Also stop by Sri Dutt Vada Pav. They are famous famous for their Vada Pavs!
Bypassing Alibagh, you then turn right and take a narrow road all the way to Kashid beach – one of the finest white sand beaches in India. The best part is the drive … through narrow roads, which takes you through villages and many detours (to beaches – unsafe ones at that due to quicksand). After about 1 hour, while climbing up a small hill lined with coconut trees, you suddenly come across the beautiful Kashid beach … a site that never fails to stun the visitors. You come down the slope and reach the beach which during day time is extremely crowded with locals and picnic goers from Mumbai.
There are many homestays there which are famous again for the Konkani seafood they serve. For a quite & quick getaway from Mumbai, there is hardly a better option today. There are a few famous resorts – namely Prakruti (Read review: Prakruti Resort in Kashid) and Kashid Beach Resorts which offer weekend packages with all meals. These are quite good, though not 4/5 star options. None of these are opposite the beach but about a 5-mins drive just beyond the beach, secluded and amongst greenery. One of the major attractions here are Mangos – home to the world famous Ratnagiri Alphonso (or Hafus as they are called locally). You can pick up crates at a bargain at the roadside vendors … but never pluck one from the orchards guarded day & night, across hundreds of kilometers, during the season time.
Pick up your drinks on the way and you can have it at the resorts, in the lawn adjoining your room … the staff will be happy to serve you cold drinks, ice and other snacks. The food is average … but for the fantastic fish fry and other seafood options thrown in. Go for a swim in the beach early morning, have Maggi (noodles) or Anda-pav (buns with scrambled eggs) at the shacks and head back during the hot afternoon. You don’t get drinks there like Goa, so don’t expect a full day R&R.
The Beach is excellent … a little unsafe in the monsoon due to strong currents. No life guards there – like all Indian beaches, but enough locals however to make you feel safe. Very clean except for the end areas where there are Koli (local fisherman) villages.