5 Weekend Getaways From Chennai

Chennai, formerly known as Madras is the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is home to various cultures and traditions deep-rooted from its history. There is plenty to do in this city, but if you venture outside of it, there are other spots for a fast weekend escape. You can choose from a variety of destinations that offer relaxing weekend getaways from Chennai. Everything from gorgeous, mesmerizing heritage to tranquil beachside, is only a short drive away.

The weekend is the one time when Chennaians may look forward to much-needed rest, relaxation, and enjoyment. Planning a weekend getaway from Chennai is a fantastic opportunity to try something new.

We have curated a list of 5 serene weekend getaways from Chennai that could give you the break you deserve.



Pondicherry, also known as Puducherry and affectionately as Pondy, is India’s largest remaining French colony. This union territory is a beautiful combination of French and Tamil culture that offers the best of both worlds. Pondicherry is well-known for its French architecture and a plethora of cafes serving delicious French food.

Pondicherry gives you feeling like no other, whether it’s the rocky beaches, the French food, or the architecture; Pondicherry is a whole vibe in and of itself. It’s one of the best weekend getaways from Chennai

Things to do at Pondicherry

Temple in the Tamil region of Pondicherry

  • Take a boat ride to paradise island
  • Most importantly spend the evening at the beach and enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves which Is oh just so calming

Fun fact: Pondicherry is the only place on India’s East Coast to go scuba diving.

Distance from Chennai to Pondicherry: 163 Kms

Duration of travel:

  • By Car: 3 hours
  • By Bus: 4 hours

Best time to visit: October to March

2. Pichavaram


On our number 2 spot of weekend getaways from Chennai, we have PichavaramSituated approximately 17 kilometers away from Cuddalore district, Chidambaram, along the coastal region of Bay of Bengal, lies the world’s second-largest mangrove forest.  Pichavaram is also a spectacular bird and wildlife sanctuary in its own right. If you’re looking for a one-day getaway from Chennai, Pichavaram is just the place for you to get some refreshing air and experience the beauty mother nature provides us and if you visit this beautiful place, you can be sure to spot some exotic birds and seals.

Things to do at Pichavaram:

Pichavaram provides boat excursions in the backwaters, between and beneath the mangroves. A gorgeous and thrilling adventure. The boat journey lasts an hour long and gives an exhilarating experience.

Fun fact: Pichavaram mangrove forest is one of the very few standing mangroves as many are lost due to urbanization

Boat Timing: 8 AM to 5 PM, ideally taking a boat ride around 4 pm would give a chance to witness the sunset through the mangroves

Distance from Chennai to Pichavaram: 230 km

Duration of travel:

  • By car: 5 hours
  • By Bus: 5 hours

Best time to visit: November to February

3. Thanjavur


Thanjavur formerly known as Tanjore is home to the ‘Great Living Chola Temples,’ which have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Thanjavur, famed for its cultural relics, is also known as the country’s “Rice Bowl.”

Thanjavur, the capital of the magnificent Chola kingdom, is a treasure mine of art, religion, and architectural treasures. It is one of the rare sites in the world where temples and treasures have been carefully maintained.

Things to do in Thanjavur

Visit the temples of magnificent architecture like the Brihadeeswarar temple, it is an exceptional example of south Indian temple architecture with exquisite carvings and sculpturing. It is also known as the “Big Temple.”

There are a few other temples like Gangaikonda temple and Thirumananjeri temple

Thanjavur royal palace, The Saraswati Mahal library and museum, the Durbar Hall, the Nayak hall, and other attractions may be found here.

Fun fact: The statue of Nandi at the entrance of the Brihadeeswarar temple is carved out of a single stone.

Distance from Chennai to Thanjavur: 340 km

Duration of travel by road: 6 to 7 hours

Best time to visit: October to march

4. Yercaud


Yercaud is a tiny hill station that is our favorite weekend getaways from Chennai, a road journey from the metropolitan landscapes of Chennai to the scenic landscapes of Yercaud, and the locations in between will undoubtedly excite you. It is a portion of the Shevaroy Hills in the Eastern Ghats, which are well-known for its orange groves, coffee plantations, fruits, and spice plantations. Yercaud takes its name from Yercaud Lake and the woods that surround it. “Yeri” means lake in Tamil, while “Kaddu” means woodland. Both of these nouns combine to form Yercaud, which means “Lake Forest.”

Things to do in Yercaud :

Visit the Yercaud lake, also known as Emerald Lake, and Kiliyur falls

Take a walk through the woods of Yercaud

Visit pagoda point which has an adventure park with a variety of activities like zip line, rope course, tree climbing, water bikes, etc, to keep guests entertained.

Go sightseeing, the beautiful sceneries, and take a moment to relax and breathe whilst enjoying what nature has to offer.

Distance from Chennai to Thanjavur: 380 km

Duration of travel by road: 6 to 7 hours

Best time to visit: May – June

5. Karaikudi


Last but not least of our weekend getaways from Chennai we have a beautiful town having the most amazing Chettinad-style houses, food, and culture. If you want to enjoy yourself in legendary style, Karaikudi is unquestionably the best place to go.

Chettinad Palace, one of the country’s seven wonders, is an amalgamation of art, architecture, and history. The palace has a wealth of information on the technologies accessible at the time.

You just cannot afford to miss the Chettinad cuisine that is filled with flavors and spices that’s an absolute treat for your taste buds.

Things to do in Karaikudi

Visit the adjacent Athangudi village, which is famed for its handcrafted terracotta tiles manufactured exclusively there.

The Chettinad Museum, a heritage house, is another must-see. The major motivation for transforming it into a museum open to the public was to demonstrate to visitors the distinctive Chettinad way of life.

Stay at the 100-year-old Chettiar mansion

Shop at Kalukatti Main Bazar

Fun fact:- Karaikudi has its own famous textile known as Kandangi cotton sarees

Distance from Chennai Karaikudi: 420 km

Duration of travel by road: 6 to 7 hours

Best time to visit: October – December

Everyone yearns for a getaway from our monotonous lives.
I hope this blog post excites you enough to take that break reward yourself.

Check out our other posts Best Biryani Restaurants in Bangalore.

Suggested Reads: Check out our other post for 7 BEST THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI.

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Kaushalya Shruthi sridharan

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  • I love how you’ve covered everything here. From essentials to activities, perfect blend!
    Can’t wait to try this out! And please release more plans! Absolutely love this one.

  • Pichavaram & karaikudi are two excellent additions to the list. These two fantastic holiday destinations are often overlooked!

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