Alibaug, also known as mini-goa is a place in Raigad district along the Maharashtra coastline. Known for its spectacular beaches, this place is nothing but a soul soother.
How to reach Alibaug from Mumbai or Pune:
Alibaug is less than 100 km from Mumbai.
- A road trip from Mumbai would take around 3 hours.
- The best way to reach Alibaug is to take a ferry boat from Gateway Of India which would cost around INR 100 to 150 a ticket. Ferry boats depart from Mumbai every 30-45mins and will take you to Mandwa jetty(port). From Mandwa you can either take a bus (bus services are generally provided by the ferryboat company itself; cost inclusive in ferry ticket.) or take a share auto (INR 80 per person). It takes 1 ½ hour by a ferry boat and half an hour from the port in the bus/auto.
- Alibaug is 140 km from Pune via Pune-Mumbai expressway.
Best time to visit: November to July is the best time to visit Alibaug. The weather is cool and breezy until June. In monsoons i.e from June you can see lush greenery everywhere enhancing the beauty of the place.
What to do:
Alibaug has many beaches of which the renowned ones are Nagaon, Kihim and Varsoli.
Nagaon beach is 9 km from Mandwa and is famous for its water sports. Banana boat ride, jet-ski, sea kayaking, bumper ride are the old school rides costing around INR 250. Kite surfing, wake boarding, parasailing are other exciting rides. There is also a sand ATV motor ride which would be around 150 bucks.
- The coastline of Alibaug boasts of the historically important fort of Kulaba. It is an island fort and can be reached from the shores of Nagaon beach during a low tide. You can either walk up to the fort (30-45 min) or take a horse cart ride (INR 40 per person). P.S. There is no better feeling than walking in the ankle deep water amidst the ocean. The entry fees at the fort is INR 5. The fort has huge bastions, a temple, a steep well and giant canons. There is also a refreshments and snacks center inside. This fort gives you a magnificent view of the shoreline.
- There is a geomagnetic observatory located in Alibaug which records geomagnetic field changes and provide data about geomagnetic storms. It is just 2-3 kms from Nagaon beach. Open only on working days.
- There are other two seaforts namely Kandheri and Undheri which can be reached from Thal (7 km from Alibaug). You can ride to these forts on a boat which would cost around INR 500/boat. Price negotiable. Undheri fort can be seen at a distance as it does not have a port to land on. Kandheri fort is huge and has a temple, naturally fresh water tanks and a lighthouse. There is an interesting huge stone here which has metallic properties.
If you’re on a one day trip, it’s difficult to cover both Nagaon and Thal because the last ferry from Mandwa is at 7. So we recommend to go on a weekend and stay there overnight. There are plenty og hotels around which charge nominal fee.
What to eat
Alibaug is famous for its palatable sea food. Hotel Sanman near Nagaon beach, very famous for its seafood is where you can have your lunch. There are many stalls on the beach as well, selling chaat items, icecreams, golas, etc. for having snacks. The best part about Alibaug is that there are coconut water and nira (toddy palm juice) stalls at every kilometre.
- If you plan for a day trip then make sure you leave early and take a ferry by 7 at the earliest.
- Carry enough water and snack to munch on.
- On a ferry ride many people are prone to headaches or feel nauseous due to rough sea. So an advice would be to take some medicines before boarding.
- There are many good staying options at Alibaug at a good price. But if you are on a one day trip and do not wish to spend that extra buck, there are paid, clean changing rooms and restrooms on the beach itself.