Road Trips to Make the Most of Your Festive Weekends

As winter approaches, you can feel a change in the air, and not only because life is going back to some level of normalcy. With this new season come several holidays and long weekends. And thankfully, as travel restrictions ease up, you can make the season a more enjoyable one by planning short escapades with your family.

With the pandemic being far from over, road trips in your personal cars will be the most preferred way to travel as it can help you stay focused on good hygiene, avoid shared spaces and practice other precautionary measures.

So, here’s a list of short weekend getaways from your city that become a lot more fun when you travel in your Ford. Read on:

DELHI:

1. Lansdowne, Uttarakhand

Tired of looking at buildings and traffic from your balcony? Spend a weekend camping under the stars! A drive of about 6.5 hours from Delhi will take you to Lansdowne, a scenic hill station in Uttarakhand. It’s the perfect escape into nature and the chance to revel in lush, open landscapes. Lansdowne is also home to a wide variety of migratory birds such as the northern pintail, ruddy shelduck and red-crested pochard.

Your Ford Freestyle, with its Electric Stability Control and Active Rollover Prevention, makes for an excellent choice to take you to such reserves set in the midst of lush green hills. The only car in its segment to offer Hill Launch Assist, it can easily navigate uphill climbs or sharp bends with great safety safely and ensure you have the best weekend you’ve had in a long time.

2. Tattapani, Himachal Pradesh

If you want your weekend to be a fine balance between exciting activities and tranquility, then head down to Tattapani, an 8.5-hour drive from Delhi. Travelers to this part of the country usually take a soak in hot water springs of River Sutlej for a little rejuvenation. If you are hoping for some adventure, trek up to any of the popular peaks – Shikari Devi Peak, Dev Bedeog Peak and Shali Peak.

If you are travelling in your Ford EcoSport, you needn’t worry about carrying trekking or camping gear. With its spacious boot, you can be sure of having more than enough space for all your bags. Simply fold the rear seats and voila!

3. Kufri, Himachal Pradesh

For a more relaxing getaway, head to the hill station of Kufri in Shimla district, which is about an 8-hour drive from Delhi. Popular activities here include a horse or yak ride, but these may be unavailable in the current scenario. What you can be sure of, however, is capturing scenic photographs while here. Visit the Himalayan National Park and witness the most breath-taking views of the Himalayas and learn more about biodiversity.

Well connected by beautiful highways that traverse through plains and hill roads, you can make your journey an awesome adventure by getting into your Ford Endeavour. This premium SUV will keep those remote undulations in check while stay in complete command even if you choose to take it to the river bed, off the main highway.

BANGALORE

1. Masinagudi, Tamil Nadu

A 5.5-hour drive from Bangalore will take you to Masinagudi, a picturesque hill station nestling amidst the Nilgiris. Some interesting places located nearby include Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Moyar River, Maravakandy Dam and Theppakadu Elephant Camp. These make Masinagudi an ideal retreat for nature lovers and photographers who want to swap a weekend of noisy city life for something calmer and quieter.

This is a leisurely drive which you can take with your partner in your Ford Figo. The Ford hatchback’s in-built navigation will make sure you always stay on course while it’s automatic climate control will make your journey comfortable.

2. Bellikkal, Tamil Nadu

Another place nestled in the Nilgiris of the Western Ghats at an altitude of about 5,500 ft, is Bellikkal, which is about 245 km from Bangalore. This sleepy hamlet is great if you want to do nothing much other than relaxing. You can spend hours bird watching a range of exotic bird species such as crow pheasants, doves, woodpeckers, shrikes, etc. Or spend a little time by the Bellikkal Lake, Bison Valley or Kalhatti Falls, which are among other peaceful attractions here.

Pick your Ford Aspire to make it a holiday for the entire family. Introduce your kids to some exotic bird species that are rarely spotted in cities.

3. Agumbe, Karnataka

Agumbe, with its numerous waterfalls and Western Ghat trails, is one of several places perfect for enjoying the monsoon season. Located about a 7.5-hour drive from Bangalore, it promises beautiful scenery and several places to experience nature, such as Barkana Falls, Jogigundi Falls, Onake Abbi Falls and Koodlu Theertha Falls, among others. Agumbe also has multiple sunset points which are sure to give you Instagram worthy pictures.

Throughout your drive to Agumbe, your Ford EcoSport will ensure you remain comfortable with its climate control technology. Based on your preference, the intelligent system will regulate the in-cabin air to adjust to the temperature outside. Its ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) and EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) features will make zipping along winding roads easy and hassle-free.

CHENNAI:

1. Yelagiri, Tamil Nadu

If you like trips to be a mixture of experiences, from adventure to spiritual, Yelagiri is a must-visit. A 4.5-hour drive from Chennai, it offers something for everyone – holy sites like the Moksha Vimochana and Perumal temples, green havens such as the Punganoor Lake Park and Swamimalai Hills. There’s also a one-of-a-kind Telescope Observatory here, the Vainu Bappu Observatory, managed and maintained by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics.

Yelagiri also has some hidden spots that make stargazing a dreamy experience. And when you are driving down as night, your Ford Freestyle’s automatic headlamps will automatically turn on so that you can easily navigate through dark and unfamiliar roads without any hassle.

2. Horsley Hills, Andhra Pradesh

You’ve probably wished to leave everything behind and run to the hills, at least several times since the beginning of this year. A visit to Horsley Hills, which is a six-hour drive from Chennai, quenches this particular desire. Head to Whisper Viewpoint, either at sunrise or sunset to witness a postcard scene, watch peacocks spread their vibrant feathers in the Horsley Hills Zoo or visit the Mallamma Temple while here.

3. Tranquebar, Tamil Nadu

A seven-hour drive from Chennai is Tranquebar, on the Coromandel Coast, and it’s an ideal place if you are craving that salty beach air and cool breeze. Since Tranquebar was a Danish colony in the 17th century, you’ll find architectural gems such as Town gate built in the 1660s, Fort Dansborg and some churches such as the Zion Church and the New Jerusalem Church that are all very picturesque. If you’re lucky, you may also be able to find a hotel that overlooks the sea.

Head to this beautiful town in your Ford Endeavour and soak in a view of the clear blue skies from its panoramic sunroof. But remember not to let anyone prop out of the sunroof when the car is in motion.

MUMBAI

1. Tarkali, Maharashtra

Longing to sink your feet into white sand and clear blue waters? You can find a refreshing break at Tarkali, which is about a 10-hour drive from the bustling city of Mumbai. Apart from the serenity that this beach offers, you can get a sense of the glory of the Maratha Empire and Shivaji Maharaj with a visit to the magnificent Sindhudurg Fort, built in the 1650s.

There’s no doubt that the drive to Tarkali is longer than others, but it’ll be a breeze if you choose to travel in your Ford EcoSport. In addition to the great driving pleasure, the compact SUV’s SYNC 3 infotainment system will make it enjoyable by setting the right tunes for the road.

2. Amboli, Maharashtra

Nine hours from Mumbai is Amboli, which makes for an excellent destination in the rainy and winter seasons. Head to the breathtaking Nangarta Falls and Amboli Falls for a refreshing sight or trek to the popular peaks of Durg and Dhakoba to add a little adventure to your trip. You can also visit the cave temple of Hiranya Keshi.

As you drive through the exciting spots in Amboli, your Ford Freestyle’s ARP will ensure safety at every turn. This technology works with ESC to brake individual wheels and help you with greater control and stability even while taking sharp turns. And its convenience features like the automatic headlamps and rain-sensing wipers will make it even more pleasant!

3. Bhandardara, Maharashtra

Only a 3-hour drive from Mumbai, the village of Bhandardara awaits you with excellent perfect trekking and camping experiences. Bhandardara, which is surrounded by lush greenery, offers the chance to trek to the Valley of Shadows – a water carved valley that is about 500 ft in depth. And at night, camp by the Bhandardara Lake and watch the stars and moon shine light on the clear water as you enjoy the company of fireflies – a popular sight in this area.

The best part about most of these relaxing getaways is that they offer away from the cities and will be relatively less crowded at this time. However, it is still important that you maintain social distance in public places, wear a mask and use a sanitiser wherever you go.

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Driving Ford
Driving Ford is the official blog of Ford India. Established in 1995, Ford in India manufactures and exports automobiles and engines made at its integrated manufacturing facility in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat. Ford’s current range of award-winning products in India includes the Ford Mustang, Ford EcoSport, Ford Figo, Ford Aspire, and Ford Endeavour.