International tourists have long been fascinated by the sights, sounds, cuisine, and cultures of India. It is, without a doubt, one of the fascinating countries on the planet. However, there are destinations in India that have not perhaps received the attention of international tourists that they should have. Some of these boast incredible natural beauty and the opportunity to unwind. One of these is Alibaug.
This town, which can be found on the Konkan coast near Mumbai, is renowned for its historical forts, incredible beaches, and sparkling waters. It is frequented by those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of Mumbai – but is increasingly coming to the attention of international tourists – and for a good reason.
The town, in the Raigad district, has a richly storied history. It was established by Sarkhel Kanhoji Aangre, a maritime officer in the 17th century. It then came under the watchful eye of an Israelite named Ali, who planted and cultivated fields of coconut and mangos.
In today’s time, the town has become one of the most popular tourist destinations within easy reach of Mumbai. The attractions of the uncrowded beaches, the temples (Kanakeshwar Temple dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva is a favorite), and a deep sense of history all lure those who want to immerse themselves in both calm and the history of one of India’s most fascinating towns. The beaches are an undoubted drawcard. There is the magnificent Korlai Beach with its bands of white and black sands and Kashid beach (within a comfortable 30-mile journey from Alibaug itself) where serenity and water sports are both parts of the package.
The first drawcard of Alibaug is, without a doubt, its incredible beaches. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best.
Unspoiled Alibaug Beach is the most accessible and is simply perfect for long walks on the soft sands. The coconut trees which line the beach lend it an air of tropical paradise – and that is not far from the truth. It is a favorite with honeymooning couples – and as the sun sets, it is not difficult to see why this is the perfect beach for romance. There are several other attractions close to the breaking waves. These include the magnificent Kolaba Fort. Tourists can reach the fort by hiring one of the many boats that ply the waters off the beach. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh in front of the fort – which adds to the deep sense of history and cultural significance that surrounds this beautiful attraction.
Another stretch of sand that is well worth exploring is Akshi beach. The sheer beauty of this beach makes it perfect for those who want to experience the natural charms of the area. Kihim beach near Alibaug is ideal for a roaring campfire and enjoying the simple pleasures of friends and family – and of course, a great picnic-style meal.
For those in search of water sports, Nagaon Beach, which is 5.5 miles from Alibaug, is perfect. Here, those visiting can enjoy Jet Skis and Banana Boat rides. There are also ATV’s for hire. But there is also the fantastic fresh seafood that is available from fisherman’s shacks alongside the beach – all fresh from the Arabian Sea, which laps at the sands of the beach. The area is also extremely popular with bird watchers due to the many different species that call it home.
The cuisine available to the traveler to Alibaug is simply incredible. For incredible water from views and fabulous food, head to Boardwalk by Flamboyante. The ‘Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Garlic with Capers’ is simply perfect. For a relaxed experience, take a seat at ‘Bohemyan Blue Garden Café.’ Here the Konkani charcoal-grilled chicken and the Prawn Thai Curry steal the show, but the fresh papaya salad gives both those dishes a run for their money. But if you and your party want to keep to themselves in a villa with private pool in Alibaug – then Café Zoe’s Kitchen will deliver delicious food to your door. Don’t miss out on the quiche or the smoked Salmon mousse dip (and the accompanying melba crisps).
But if bungalow style accommodation sounds a bit too rustic for you – do not despair – there are plenty of other options for accommodation in and around Alibaug. Everything from campsites to home stays is available. The aforementioned beach bungalows are a popular choice – and some of them offer an ultra-luxurious experience. Luxury villas are also available. For those who prefer the creature comforts, the resorts in and around Alibaug offer incredible variety. For those who want the resort experience – but also that little bit of privacy, the Dewdrop Resort is perfect. It’s just off Varsoli beach and features private cottages set amongst manicured lawns and swaying coconut palms. For those who want to enjoy the luxury of an internationally trusted name, the Radisson Resorts and Spa, on the banks of the Veshvi River, is perfect. Incredible cuisine is available, and the pool and spa are both spectacular. This is one of the best resorts in Alibaug.
Alibaug seems to have it all. The incredible natural beauty and historical, as well as cultural attractions galore. It offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy fabulous local cuisine and some of the finest seafood in India. Add to that a truly magnificent selection of beaches and accommodation choices that will suit every taste and budget, and you have a destination that begs to be explored.