Driving through the Oak and Pine forests, a sense of freedom is what we felt. After 9 months of lockdown at home, we crossed our fingers and finally planned a holiday. A road trip seemed like the safest option and Nainital like a perfect choice.

Nainital was a goto place for Manas as a kid. But being my first time, I was pretty excited.

Nainital, a small resort town in the Kumaon hills, is a scenic splendour and a treat to the senses. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, the town encircles the famous eye-shaped lake, the Naini Lake.

Best Time to Visit Nainital

Nainital is an all year round destination with pleasant weather throughout except in the winter months. Winters see a snowfall in Nainital which is another beautiful experience altogether and you must once visit Nainital during this time.

Best Place to Stay in Nainital

The Naini Retreat is a heritage hotel located atop the cliff with a breathtaking view of the Naini Lake. This luxury hotel has an old-world charm and is the best place to stay in Nainital.

Every morning began with the chirping of birds and clear views of the lake and mountains, and ended with a cozy bonfire and live music.

We picked the Naini Royal Room in the Maharaja Wing, which was separate from the rest of the hotel, facing the beautiful lake and majestic mountains. We haven’t stayed in all Nainital hotels but yet we swear that this place has the best rooms in town.

What we loved the most was the location of the resort. It is not among the small tiny hotels on the mall road. It’s a palatial property located upon the cliff but has a walking shortcut to the mall road whenever you want to visit. Best of both worlds!

Best Things To Do in Nainital

Nainital is soon becoming an adventure hub. You can do a lot of exciting things in Nainital now which weren’t available 10 years ago. Manas was very surprised with how it has changed over the years, still exactly the same.

1. Paragliding

Fly over Naini and Bhimtal, alongside beautiful birds and spectacular views of the mountains. Paragliding in Nainital takes place in Naukuchiatal.

Before heading for this trip, paragliding was never on our list of things to do in Nainital. But I think it was the air, the views and the mountains that actually made us want to. Paragliding in Nainital has 2 levels – the beginner & advance and of course no guesses here – we picked the higher one. It was our first paragliding experience and OMG! A memorable one.

And before you ask – Yes! It is very safe and the prices are – INR 1500 for the short one and INR 6000 for the higher one.

Want to know other Adventure places in India? Read here.

2. Sunrise Trek to China Peak

If you are one of those who like to go that extra mile, Sunrise Trek to China Peak is definitely a must even if you visit Nainital for just one day.

The highest peak in Nainital, Naina Peak or famously also known as China Peak is the best point to have an excellent view of the Himalayas and the Kumaon region. It is renowned for its scenic trails and romantic sunrises and sunsets. The 6 km climb is not a difficult one. A few inclined slopes but the view on top makes it all worth it.

Warning: Do not try to go there on your own. It’s best to have someone guide you. Our hotel helped us plan it with one of their own guides, Shashank. Do ask for him next time you are there.

3. Boating in Naini Lake

As cliché as it may sound, no trip to Nainital is complete without boating in Naini lake. The sight of brightly coloured boats sailing through the emerald green lake surrounded by seven hills, will make you fall in love with its alluring beauty.

4. Shopping at Tibetan Market

Can you really visit a place and come back without any souvenirs? A street market, on one end of the lake, is a go-to place for shoppers. A wide variety of, caps, mufflers, shawls, bags and lots of candles and artificial jewellery. Don’t forget to brush up your bargaining skills before visiting the Tibetan Market.

We are not too fond of shopping ourselves, but definitely visited the market to have a look around. We ended up eating lots of momo instead.

A holiday in Nainital is a mix of a lot of different things. Adventure, road trip, shopping and lots of good food. Every visit can be a different experience.

The beautiful drive surrounded by tall trees, the vibrant mall road, cozy cafes and unbelievable view of the Himalayan peaks make Nainital an awesome weekend getaway from Delhi or other destinations in north India.

We are going to give you tons of travel goals and have lots of fun together!! Till then, stay tuned, keep saving, keep exploring, and Happy Travel!!

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