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Discovering 15 Best Hill Stations in South India for a Laid-Back Vacation

South India is bejewelled with uncanny hill stations that give neck-to-neck competition to the ones in the lap of the Himalayas. With misty hills, breathtaking sunset, cool breeze, lush green forests, bickering brooks, scented air and shimmering lakes, these hill stations gives travellers peace of mind and relaxation they need from the humdrum of cities. If you are up for a trip to revitalize yourself and gain a new vision of life, consider these hill stations in south India for your next adventurous vacation. The unparallel beauty of South India will leave a strong footprint in your heart. So don’t overthink and start packing your bags to unfold the best nature has to offer. A weekend getaway to these soothing hill stations will transform your life.


Named ‘Scotland of the south’ by Britishers, Coorg justifies the same owing to lush green steep valleys, narrow streams slicing through the towering mountains, pleasant weather pumping romanticism in the air, Kodavas practicing their famous martial art techniques, phenomenal trekking trails, soaring wildlife and what not! You get the picture right? No matter if you are a newly-wedded couple looking for quality time amidst nature or a nature lover who just can’t help himself/herself or a wanderlust looking for inspiration and ‘me’ time, Coorg is the most perfect hill station in south India that will not leave you in the lurch.  


Munnar stands for ‘3 rivers’ that swirls around this heavenly hill station in ‘God’s own country- Kerala’ and is a popular retreat for friends, couples and families where they can spend stress-free time in the lap of nature and reenergise themselves. Admired for its tea estates, lakes, waterfalls, exotic lush greenery, cragged peaks, Munnar is an idyllic hill station that also attracts tourists for peculiar phenomena relating to a blue flower ‘neelakurunji’ that blooms once in 12 years. Believe it or not, tourists from across the world flock to Munnar to capture the blooming flower on their camera lens.


Coonoor is a perfect destination to spend calm holidays among nature. Even being close to another famous hill station ‘Ooty’, Coonoor is not crowded which is a perfect setting for you if you need some ‘me’ time away from the noise of the cities. The maddening scent of eucalyptus trees, abundant greenery, velvety lawns, steep valley and manicured tea gardens will make you feel as if you’ve walked into another world. Moreover, amazing view of the Niligiri hills from atop the dolphin’s point and lamb’s point is enough to take you to dreamland.  


If offbeat places are what you seek for your next vacation, Yercaud is the place to be. A quaint little hill station where you not only can chill and relax but spend days after days soaking up the beauty of nature.  Yercaud with its unspoiled environment and the emerald lake attracts offbeat travellers from every nook and corner of the country. Embellished with coffee estates, parks, orange groves, waterfalls, colonial-era buildings, abundant forests, the place is a heaven for those wishing for a quiet vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the cities. The tranquil atmosphere of Yercaud will make you visit the place time and again.


Ponmudi is a quintessential place for a rejuvenating vacation that is tucked in the lap of rolling hills of the Western Ghats adorned with greenery, steep valleys, streams cutting through the mountains, waterfalls and tea plantations. Being close to the sea and mountains, Ponmudi has got a unique charm that will force you to explore the land with an open heart. Bookworms, nature lovers, couples, friends and family, everyone will love to spend quality time here (that they don’t get in the sedentary life of cities).


Want to relieve the stress of personal and professional life? Head to Idukki and you’ll be amazed to see your vibrant personality come out. Idukki is the most magical hill station in the country known for tea plantations, wildlife sanctuaries, bungalows, rubber plantations, dense forests, rugged hills that aids in enhancing the beauty of the place luring travellers seeking solitude and bliss amidst nature.

Araku Valley

Around 120 KM away from Vizag lays a quaint hill station Araku that boasts of its stunning waterfalls, eye-pleasing greenery, Borra caves, lovely weather and peaceful environment. Araku valley despite being a noted hill station is unspoiled where you get to see the raw beauty of nature. One visit to the coffee plantations is enough to leave you high and energised let along explore the valley. If you are tired of your sedentary lifestyle and wish for a change, Araku valley will be a welcoming change that will give you plenty of time for relaxation and loving yourself the way you are meant to.


The name ‘Kudremukh’ corresponds to the horse’s face shaped mountains nestled in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka embellished with rich biodiversity, panoramic view points, verdant forests, steep slopes, deep gorges, cascading streams, and trails fit for trekking and hiking. Adventure freaks will find this beautiful hill station ideal for holidaying with friends. Even those looking for solitude will lose themselves in the profound beauty of nature in Kudremukh. 


Brimming with grasslands, waterfalls, rich wildlife, meadows, valleys, cloud-capped mountains, misty cliffs and beautiful lakes, Kodaikanal is the number one destination of travellers to spend a perfect vacation. Tucked in the rolling Palani hills in Tamil Nadu, Kodaikanal offers a peaceful getaway to those who need a break from their busy life. The place caters to the needs of all no matter if you are an adrenaline junkie who seeks pleasure in adventure sports or a person who just love calmness of nature.  It’s also a perfect picnic spot for families where they can let their kids run wild in the meadows and watch them play or engage in sightseeing which is no less than an adventure.


Want to dedicate a little time to yourself or with your beloved? Then you need to head to Chikmagalur right now! If the beauty of the land doesn’t impress you then the aroma of coffee in coffee plantation will definitely do.  A lot of tourists come to Chikmagalur for spending their holidays filled with fun and adventure. Bhadra wildlife sanctuary, hebbe falls, kalhatti falls, attractive greenery will make you fall in love with the place. 


Talk about offbeat hill stations in south India, we have Yelgiri which is hidden from the bustling cities thereby is totally unspoiled and rich in biodiversity, loaded with pristine beauty of nature encompassing glittering waterfalls, sharp streams slicing through thick canopy of forests and misty weather. The place is not only meant for honeymooners but to families, friends too. There are so many activities to do that you will forget time and will simply yearn to stay there forever. No doubt Yelgiri is the best place to enjoy your weekend with your beloved.


Thenmala is a well-known ecotourism hill station in south India that is tucked in the hills of Western Ghats. Solitude seekers will find the place to be very calming and enjoyable at the same time. The place is spread over acres of timber trees through which sharp streams of water appears to be playing with the dense forest. One visit to this remarkable place is bound to change your perspective on life. Moreover, you can buy the purest honey from here to boost your immunity. Thenmala’s honey is known for its medicinal properties and is exported in humongous amount to other countries where the demand never ceases to stop.


Below Ooty lies a small hill station ‘Masinagudi’ which is a perfect weekend getaway spot for those seeking some time alone surrounded by nature. You won’t find many waterfalls here that will catch your attention. However, you will be amazed to see yourself enveloped in nature’s pure and pristine environment where the noise of the crowd or traces of pollution doesn’t reach.  If you wish to spend time with yourself or with your loved ones, Masinagudi will work wonders for your relationships and strengthen it all more.


To witness the excellence of nature, visit Devikulum the greenery of which will take your breath away. Snuggled close to Munnar, Devikulum is among the top offbeat destinations in the country that is not explored much by travellers.  Not only the greenery but bewitching waterfalls and tea plantations will make you stay there for as long as you can. The place is extremely dangerous for nature lovers as they are sure to become obsessed with it. Interested much? Head to the destination and feel the difference.


Kotagiri is a hill station that is protected by the Doddabetta mountain range from the monsoon of Ooty. It is the third-highest hill station in the Niligiri region that boast of its heavenly landscapes, pleasant weather, lush tea plantation, excellent trekking and hiking trails exhibiting the splendour of nature. The tranquil atmosphere of the charming land can turn your sorrows into happiness. It’s a perfect spot for soul seekers to derive inspiration from nature and enjoy cheap thrills of life. The feeling of content that you can get here cannot be comprehended into words. For that, you’d have to explore and see the region yourself. So what are you waiting for?