Heatwave Escapes: Discover 6 Romantic Destinations on a Budget
Summer Love: Budget-friendly Romantic Escapades You Didn't Know About
studio18 Last Updated:June 05, 2023 10:14:06 IST
In India, we’re used to hot summers, but 2023 is challenging the most heat adapted amongst us as well! And yes, India’s Meteorological Department agrees! In fact, there’s talk of naming our heatwaves, the way they do hurricanes in the west.
Time for an escape, no? The only thing better than escaping a heatwave, is escaping a heatwave with that special someone.
Does this escape need to be extravagant? No.
Does it need to be expensive? No.
Does it need to be a long holiday? No.
It just needs to be an escape. And we’ve got some great recommendations for you.
With its romantic setting, stunning lakes, and opportunities for intimate experiences, Udaipur can be the perfect environment for you to make some lasting memories together. Udaipur is enchanting – be it exploring the city’s heritage, enjoying rooftop dinners, or simply immersing yourselves in its timeliness charm. There’s something here for everyone.
Also called the ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur’s picturesque setting amidst the Aravalli Hills and serene lakes creates a romantic ambiance that is hard to resist. Here are a few suggestions to get you started
Take a romantic boat ride on the serene waters of Lake Pichola and enjoy the stunning views of the palaces and surrounding hills. Sunset, when the sky and lake merge into an explosion of warm hues, is the perfect time. Indulge in a candlelit dinner at one of the rooftop restaurants overlooking Lake Palace or Jag Mandir. Udaipur is renowned for its rooftop restaurants and cafes that offer panoramic views of the city’s skyline and lakes. Choose between traditional Rajasthani fare, or settle in with your favorite international delicacies. You’re sure to find a spot that’s just right for your mood, and your pocket. Live in a haveli. Udaipur boasts a range of luxurious heritage hotels, boutique hotels and converted havelis that let you indulge in (and play out!) your royal fantasies. Check out Agoda’s Dream Deals – you’d be surprised at how affordable some of these can be! Take a romantic stroll through the beautiful Saheliyon Ki Bari gardens, or explore Udaipur’s bustling markets for souvenirs and antiques, or just take in the sunset from the Sunset Terrace at Fateh Prakash Palace.
Nestled in the lush greenery of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, Coorg offers a serene and beguiling environment that sets the backdrop for the most perfect romantic getaway. Whether it’s exploring scenic landscapes, enjoying coffee plantation stays, or indulging in wellness activities, Coorg offers a perfect blend of tranquility, adventure, and romantic moments that you’ll cherish for a long, long time.
While you’re spoiled for choice in Coorg, it is also easy to get a little overwhelmed. Here’s where we suggest you begin:
Find a treehouse. Coorg is famous for its coffee plantations, and many estates offer charming homestays and resorts where couples can enjoy a secluded and romantic getaway. Take our word for it – nothing beats a coffee at sunrise, as you watch the mists retreat from your treehouse. Go on a nature trek, and picnic near a waterfall. You have several to choose from: Abbey Falls, Iruppu Falls, Mallalli Falls, Chelavara Falls, Burude Falls, Napandapole Falls, Devarakolli Falls, Devaragundi Falls, and Lakshmana Tirtha Falls to name a few. Take a tour of spice and coffee plantations. If you go to Abbey Falls, you’ll find these nearby. Couples that eat together, stay together. Explore the delights of Coorg’s unique cuisine by asking locals for their favorite places, and then find your own favorite hole in the wall.
Here’s who Alleppey is for:
The overworked couple.
The couple who thinks the love of seafood qualifies as being a religion
The couple whose bones melt away under the ministrations of a masseuse.
The couple who like reading on houseboats
The couple who like eating on houseboats
The couple who like doing everything on houseboats
The couple who love water. And beaches. And coconut trees. And birds.
Everything you’ve heard about how romantic the backwaters of Kerala are, is true. And Alleppey is the best place to enjoy them. Here’s a list to get you started.
Sail into the sunset on your own houseboat. Wake up on the water. Have breakfast made by the onboard crew, as you gaze out over the water. Spend a lazy afternoon trailing your fingers in the water and the houseboat cruises along. Watch the sunset. Let the onboard crew serve you the most romantic meal you’ve ever had. Wake up the next morning, and repeat. Take an Ayurvedic Retreat. Alleppey is renowned for its Ayurvedic wellness centers and spas and you can indulge in rejuvenating Ayurvedic treatments, couples’ massages, and yoga. In many ways, it’s the perfect holiday – no stress involved, no travel planning, no transport planning, no food planning, no FOMO. Just good food, great massages, and blissful, restful sleep! Do the beach thing. Alleppey is blessed with beautiful beaches like Marari Beach and Alleppey Beach. Sunset strolls and candlelit dinners, anyone? Immerse yourself in a seafood paradise. Even if you don’t do the houseboat thing, you can enjoy great seafood almost anywhere in Alleppey. Find a crowded local spot to experience the real thing – once you’ve eated Karimeen Pollichathu made from fresh caught fish, there’s no turning back.
For history buffs, architecture buffs, food buffs, culture buffs and bazaar buffs, Jaisalmer is it. This is a city that builds layer upon layer on itself, and the locals are happy to tell you everything about it. There’s nothing quite like the joy of discovering something together to glue you and your partner together! Irrespective of what drew you here, Jaisalmer is sure to leave you richer.
Having said that, summers in Jaisalmer are not for the faint hearted. This is the Thar Desert, after all. However, should it rain, pack your bags, and get here as fast as you can. There’s nothing quite like seeing a desert bloom. Here’s what we recommend you do when you get here.
Get your history on. Begin with the Jaisalmer fort, and then work your way down to the lesser forts and palaces that dot the city. Be sure to find a local guide – they’re knowledgeable, and enthusiastic, and love showing you hidden treasures around town. Get your architecture on. The jharokhas of Jaisalmer are everywhere – each with their own story and history. Because you’re in the desert, the masons here have created their own way of building that maximizes reuse and minimizes the need for water. The result is plug and play balconies, windows and carvings. Ask a homeowner about their Jharokha, and you’ll probably find yourself listening to a story that spans generations! Get your haveli on. Like Udaipur, Jaisalmer too, spoils you for choice: heritage hotels, boutique hotels, havelis, homestays… you name it! Agoda has some Dream Deals on accommodation – you’d be very surprised at what you can afford. Clear, clear skies. Jaisalmer boasts of many beautiful rooftop cafes and restaurants which are a great way to spend time communing with the big, open sky one only experiences in the desert. Let the moon and the stars serenade you and your love, as you partake in sumptuous local cuisine.
Darjeeling is a little like a good Bollywood potboiler – it has a little bit of everything, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts! Nestled in the misty mountains of West Bengal, Darjeeling is your own personal little dream – a perfect escape for you and your love. Whether it’s witnessing the awe-inspiring sunrise, taking leisurely walks, or immersing yourselves in the beauty of nature, you’ll find your cup of tea in Darjeeling.
Here’s what we recommend you start with:
Catch the sunrise at Tiger Hill: Wake up early and make your way to this vantage point to watch the sun hit the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and create a vista you won’t forget. How’s that for a great start to the day? Walk the Mall Road: The quaint and bustling Mall Road is perfect for leisurely walks, and for cozy moments in local cafes. Work up an appetite and head to the many eateries offering delectable local cuisine, and then continue your walk to shop for local curios and souvenirs. Take the Toy Train: UNESCO World Heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, also known as the Toy Train makes for a really cute and romantic journey as it winds through the mountains. The narrow gauge steam railway has a truly nostalgic charm, and of course, the sights are breathtaking. Have some tea! You’re in the home of the world’s most renowned teas, and tea plantation owners here are more than happy to show you all the love and care that goes into making your favorite cuppa. Many of these plantations also have accommodation options, and they’re worth thinking about, just for the view and the tea! Have an adventure! Go trekking, paragliding, or river rafting. If that doesn’t float your boat, there are plenty of nature walks, waterfalls and views to keep your inner shutterbug fully satisfied!
There’s something ethereal about Ooty’s languid beauty. Nestled amidst the breathtaking Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu, Ooty offers couples a chance to slow down, and take in the sights. Whether it’s leisurely walks in gardens, scenic train rides, or cozy moments amidst nature, Ooty offers a perfect blend of serenity and romance for a memorable getaway.
Here’s how we recommend you make the most of Ooty
Find a room with a view. Ooty is all about the mist and the mountains, and finding yourself a great vista isn’t hard! Ooty is flush with boutique hotels, homestays, and tea plantation stays that capitalize on the view. Check out Agoda’s Dream Deals, and you’ll see what we mean! Walk the Botanical Gardens. It is charming, quiet, and full of cozy nooks where you and your love can take in the lush and beautifully manicured gardens, and enjoy the many, many vibrant blooms. Flowers are a love language for a reason, and who knows, maybe you’ll find yours here. Spend a day at Ooty lake. Rent a paddleboat or take a rowboat, pack a picnic, and take your favorite books with you. There’s nothing like the combination of cooling breezes, good food, and the smell of green, growing things, that makes a quiet afternoon spent reading together feel like the best day you’ve ever had. Take the Toy Train to Coonoor. One, it’s a really cute, and very scenic ride! Second, it’s a great way to squeeze in an excursion to Coonoor!
What if you could do this for free?
Escaping the heatwave, with your favorite person in the world.. Free?!? What could be better!?
That’s what the friendly folks at Agoda thought too! Here’s how it works. To participate in #AgodaDreamDeals, use Agoda’s website or mobile app and find the deals that make your heart sing – you have Rs 2,00,000 to play with here and your travel must be planned between 17-24 June, 2023. That’s it. Now, find the flights that work for you and your budget, explore Agoda’s fantastic deals on hotels, homes and even apartments! Next, go look at activities. Once you’ve figured it out, detail your itinerary here. No need to book anything yet, just collect all the deals into one glorious itinerary.
To enter the contest, your itinerary must include one return flight and one or more accommodations for the duration of your stay on Agoda. If you include activities, you’ll endear yourself to the selection committee (composed of travel enthusiasts at Network18) some more. You’ll also get points for how creatively you’ve used your funds – the more you stretch your Rupee, the more you’ll impress the committee -! Just don’t exceed the Rs 2,00,000 budget.The best part? You can enter as many times as you want before 12th June, 2023. Just don’t duplicate your itinerary because that’s an automatic disqualification.
And that’s it!
Enter the contest, make a playlist of your favorite songs, and cross your fingers! Who knows? In a couple of weeks, it could be you, and your love, on the holiday you’ve always dreamed of.
This is a Partnered Post.