Summer in India is the perfect time for vacations with your entire family. The diverse landscape gives you a plethora of choices for summer holidays. The hills lure you for a visit. The Himalayas in all its snow-capped glory is an absolute favorite, the lush Western Ghats are blessed by the Gods themselves. The hill stations are not just favorites for vacations nowadays but have been the getaway even during the colonial rule of the British Raj. Picturesque beauty, relaxing, abundant adventures, whatever be your choice, you will have a number of memorable experiences when you head for the hills for summer holidays in India. Here is our list of the top popular hill stations in India:

Shimla

hill station of shimla

The “Queen of Hills” Shimla is one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. The capital of Himachal Pradesh is among the best places to plan your summer holiday. Escape the heat and revel in the bliss of the mountains. Explore Old British landmarks, churches, and temples. Go trekking and picnics. The pictorial charm of Shimla is the perfect backdrop for a pleasant vacation with your entire family.

Things to do in Shimla in summer:

  • Ride the Kalka-Shimla mountain railway
  • Adventure camps
  • Picnic at the Summer Hill or Scandal point
  • Shopping at the Mall Road
  • Trek to Jakhoo hill and a visit to Lord Hanuman’s Temple
  • Sightseeing Viceregal Lodge, Christ Church, etc.
  • Day trips to Kufri, Chail, Mashobra, etc.

How to reach?

Shimla is easily accessible by road, rail and air. AC buses, luxury coaches are private vehicles offer road connectivity. The Kalka-Shimla Toy Train is the train connection to the hill town. Nearest airport is in Chandigarh, 117 km away.

Nainital

Nainital lake

The ‘City of Lakes’ Nainital is one of the most famous honeymoon destinations in India. The picturesque hill station of the Garhwal Himalayas is ranked among the top summer tourist places in India. Enjoy the breathtaking views of snow-clad mountains. Escape the heat, crowds of cities and breathe in the pure mountain bliss in Nainital. Enjoy a refreshing vacation with family, friends or your loved ones.

Things to do in Nainital

  • Pay a visit to Naina Devi Temple, Raj Bhavan, GB Pant Zoo, Gurney House, etc.
  • Take cable car ride to Snow Point for breathtaking views of snowcapped mountains
  • Trek to Tiffin Top or Dorothy’s seat
  • Boat rides at Naini Lake, Bhimtal, Sattal, Nakuchiatal, etc.
  • Shopping at Tibetan market
  • Nature walks, horse riding, trekking, wildlife sightseeing, roller skating, etc.

How to reach?

Pantnagar Airport, 65 km from Nainital is the nearest air connection while Kathgodam Railway Station, 34 km away offers train connectivity. You can also enjoy a scenic ride to the hill town.

Also check out 10 Best Destinations for Family Vacations in India

Dharamshala

 hill stations in dharamshala

Dharamshala is a serene beauty of the Himalayas. The hill town of Himachal Pradesh is charming and one of the 10 popular hill stations for summer holidays in India. Surrounded by a thick cover of deodar tress, the town is also popular for the Tibetan refugees and as the seat of the 14th Dalai Lama. Snuggled in the lap of the snow-clad mountains, it’s a peaceful getaway that lure families, solo backpackers and even couples on honeymoon.

Things to do in Dharamshala

  • Pay a visit to holy Tsuglagkhang Complex, Namgyal Monastery, Gyuto Monastery, etc.
  • Explore Kangra Museum, Kangra Fort
  • Go trekking to Triund
  • Boating at Dal lake, Kaneria Lake, etc.
  • Go back in time at the marvelous Rock-Cut temples at Mansrur

How to reach?

Pathankot Railway station is 85 km from the hill town, Guggal Airport is 15 km away. Well-connected roads lead to Dharamshala from Delhi and other parts of North India.

Mussoorie

hill stations mussoorie

Mussoorie is not just the pride of Uttarakhand, it is one of the best hill stations in India to plan your summer escape. Settled on the foothills of Himalayas, Mussoorie is one of the favored hill stations in India. The scenic town in Uttarakhand is blessed with lush green hills, varied flora and fauna overlooking the Shivalik Ranges and Doon Valley. Soak in the bliss of waterfalls, viewpoints, salubrious weather with families, friends and your partner. Get ready for a wonderful holiday, this summer!

Things to do in Mussoorie:

  • Go to Kempty Falls & other scenic waterfalls
  • Boating in the scenic lakes
  • Ropeway ride to Gun Hill
  • Nature walks
  • Watch Sunset at Cloud’s End
  • Visit temples & monasteries

How to reach?

Jolly Grant Airport, 60 km is the nearest airport, while Dehradun Railway Station at a distance of 36 km. Smoothly-connected roads lead to the Mussoorie which you can travel by bus and private vehicles.

Ooty

Of the hill stations of Tamil Nadu, Ooty is an absolute favorite. Snuggled in the lap of the Blue Mountains, the salubrious weather lure families, couples on honeymoon and for people seeking respite from the grueling city lives. Explore tea gardens, mountain trails, temples, viewpoints and other tourist delight. The ‘Queen of the Hills’ can be counted among the best places to plan summer vacations in India.

Things to do in Ooty:

  • Explore Coffee, tea plantations, botanical gardens.
  • Ride the Nilgiri Mountain Railways- A UNESCO World Heritage Site of India.
  • Trekking and Camping.
  • Visit Emerald Lake, Kamaraj Sagar Dam, etc.
  • Shop for delicious home-made chocolates.
  • Enjoy spectacular view from Doddabetta Peak.

How to reach?

The Nilgiri Mountain railways are the scenic rail connection to the hill town. The nearest airport is Coimbatore 95 km from Ooty while well-connected roads have buses and private vehicles plying on the route.

Coorg

Set in the scenic Western Ghats, Coorg is not just a place but an experience of ecstasy like never before. Blessed with a pleasant weather that continues year long, Coorg is one of the best places for summer holidays in India. Clouds touch the hill tops, coffee plantations dissipate warm aromas that tempt you for a hot cup of the brew.  Abbey and Iruppu waterfalls look spectacular. Bylekuppe and Madikeri Fort are interesting sights to check out. Embark on a trekking trail for breathtaking views. It’s a wonderful way to rejuvenate in summer.

Things to do in Coorg:

  • Visit the scenic Abbey Falls, Iruppu Falls
  • Spend a day at Dubare Elephant Camp
  • Explore the less trodden pathways of Chettalli
  • Enjoy glorious views from scenic viewpoints
  • Bow down at Bylakuppe

How to reach Coorg

Bangalore at 260 km. is Coorg’s closest air and rail connections. Well-connected roads ply from major cities of Karnataka to Coorg.

Munnar

tea garden

The best name among the famous honeymoon destinations in India, Munnar is also a favorite for couples looking for romantic holidays from all over the world. Nestled in the Western Ghats, Munnar is famous for its tea gardens, waterfalls, scenic views, wildlife and thrilling adventures. The Eravikulam National Park is known for being the home of the Nilgiri Tahr and also the Neelakurinji Flowers that bloom once in 12 years. The summer of 2018, these beautiful purplish flowers will bloom in abundance. Beat the heat in the blessed ambiance of Munnar with a wonderful summer holiday in India.

Things to do in Munnar:

  • Walk amid tea estates
  • Trekking, mountain biking
  • Elephant safari at the Carmelagiri Park.
  • Visit to Eravikulam
  • Check out Echo point, Kundala lake, etc.

How to reach?

Cochin is the nearest airport at 110 km as is the railway stations of Aluva in Cochin.

Read A Complete Kerala Travel Guide for Wonderful Vacation!

Darjeeling

toy train

Nestled in the north eastern part of India, Darjeeling is one of the most recommended places to visit in India in summers. The view of tea gardens as far as the eye can see, Mt Kanchenjunga and other peaks covered in snow is a refreshing sight. A Toy Train ride on the Darjeeling Mountain railway is an experience that you would love to share with family, in fact it is also the reason why Darjeeling is counted among the top honeymoon destinations in India. The colonial buildings, monasteries, and viewpoints add to the charm.

Things to do in Darjeeling:

  • Ride the Darjeeling Toy Train
  • Talk a walk through tea gardens.
  • Learn about Buddhism at Busty Gompa and Tibetan Self Help Refugee Centre.
  • Cable car ride, animal-spotting at Padmaja Naidu Zoo, River rafting at Teesta River.

How to reach?

Toy Train is the scenic rail connection to the town. Bagdogra Airport at distance of 115 km. is the nearest air connection. Avail a cab, available in private and sharing to get to Darjeeling.

Shillong

shillong peak

The pictorial capital of Meghalaya, Shillong is the perfect summer getaway. Settled in the North East India, Shillong is known for its scenic and tranquil beauty. Nicknamed the ‘Scotland of the East’, the landscape of rolling hills, lakes, waterfalls, mysterious caves and so much more. When you are in Meghalaya, the “Abode of Clouds’, even your summer vacations are pleasant made of wonderful memories.

Things to do in Shillong:

  • Scale the Shillong Peak
  • Pay a visit to Don Bosco Centre for Indigenous Culture
  • Explore the mysterious Laitlum Canyons, Mawjymbuin Caves,
  • Marvel at the scenic Elephant Falls
  • Embark on the charming David Scott Trail
  • Enjoy the fragrance of flowers at the Lady Hydari Park

How to reach?

For Shillong the nearest airport and railway station is in in Guwahati (Assam), at a distance of 149 km. Travel by roads in good condition, accessible by private vehicles, buses, etc.

Also Check out 10 Romantic Honeymoon Resorts In India

Kalimpong

Kalimpong, a small town in North East India is the perfect getaway for summer. Set at an elevation of 1247 meter, Kalimpong is blessed with a spectacular view of the Himalayas, particularly the snow peaked Mt. Kanchenjunga. Savor natural beauty of the unexplored town. Pay a visit to the ancient monasteries. Try your hand at the thrilling adventures and enjoy the relaxing experiences of Kalimpong.

Things to do in Kalimpong

  • Head to the peak of Deolo Hill
  • Pray at the holy Hanuman Mandir
  • Marvel at the blooms of Kalimpong Cactus Nursery
  • Bow your head at the Durpin Monastery, Tharpa Choeling Gompa Zong Dog Palri Monastery
  • Visit the pictorial home of Dr Graham Homes
  • River rafting in Teesta, trekking, etc.

How to reach

The nearest railway station in New Jalpaiguri, 73 km away, while Bagdogra is the closest airport, 75 km away. A scenic drive through Darjeeling gets you to the unexplored haven of Kalimpong.

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