What Goa is to beaches, Shimla is for every mountain lover, especially those who stay in North India. It’s close to the Capital, offers incredible views and has some amazing cafes that will make any foodie feel totally at home. However over the last few years, Shimla has gained a reputation of becoming a commercial holiday destination.
So we dug around and put together a list of 4 places that are not just close to Shimla but also offer similar experiences, so that you can discover new places, while enjoying a memorable holiday as well.
Narkanda (Distance from Shimla: 40 kms)
A quaint reserved town, with a couple of small grocery shops, a government school, and a mix of wooden and concrete houses, with apple trees hugging their walls, Narkanda is a delight for all types of tourists. Not much happens here—and that is precisely its charm.
The village forces you to slow down, and to observe details around you, like the way sunlight filters through the trees. If you are more of an active traveller, go for the Hatu Peak trek, which is 7.3 kms (drive time: 30 minutes) from the town. Don’t forget to carry a pair of sturdy shoes.
PS: Local transportation is pretty limited in the town and if you plan to go around, make sure you have your transport sorted in advance.
Stay: V Resorts Narkanda
Prices start at INR 3850
Tikker (Distance from Shimla: 60 kms)
Tikker has none of the signboards or other usual trappings of a tourist destination. The town is a cluster of homes, plus a few shops surrounded by orchards and pine trees. Earnest hikers will find quite a lot to like on the trails surrounding the region – the most popular being the 6-hour-long Shali Tibba trek & Kafta Peak
trek that takes around 30 minutes. Tikker’s remote location (it is a 3 hr drive from Shimla) means that not many seek it out. But that shouldn’t stop you.
Stay: V Resorts Tikker
Mashobra (Distance from Shimla: 12.7 kms)
South of Shimla, Mashobra is a small town that combines the beauty of nature with a host of adventure activities. Creaking wooden houses and babbling streams that float alongside a rich flora and fauna, make this place a delight for all nature lovers. Paraglide over the mountains, dine in its cozy cafes and embrace this simple tranquil lifestyle. Mashobra is also the official retreat for the President of the country, so that is one more reason why heading here is a good idea.
PS: If paragliding is too much, fret not, because there are enough treks and camping options for those who like to keep it low.
Stay: V Resorts Mashobra Green
Shoghi (Distance from Shimla: 14.7 kms)
A 30-minute drive from Shimla, Shoghi is an idyllic spot for all types of travellers. Soak in mountain views as you walk through its deodar forests, home to varied bird species, including the blue magpie, black drongo, and khaleej pheasant. Follow it up with a hearty local meal at one of the nearby dhabas.
If you have time to spare, catch the six-hour train ride from Shoghi to Kalka on your way out on the toy train bound for Shimla. This train zigzags through 102 tunnels, offering scenic views of clear streams, and snow-covered peaks in winter. Plus it is UNESCO Heritage Site, so it is definitely worth the ride.
Stay: V Resorts Vatika Shogi