Our Goa, Hampi & Mumbai South India 2 Week Itinerary
My amazing Mum has come to visit me in Goa for a couple of years (see the 1 week North Goa itinerary I put together for her 1st visit) but this time she wanted to see some more of ‘real’ India. So I planned the perfect South India 2 week itinerary for her to give her a taste of the best of Incredible India, without the hassle and long travel distances.
My Mum wanted to combine a relaxing beach holiday with Indian history, culture and spirituality, she wanted to see both the countryside and rural Indian life as well as getting a taste of modern India and the big city buzz without spending all her holiday traveling as she only had 2 weeks holiday.
The Golden Triangle tour of North India visiting the capital Delhi, Agra for the Taj Mahal and the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur is a popular North India 2 week itinerary but these places are also some of the most hectic, dirty and touristy and are quite chilly in February. Luscious Kerala and the backwaters or the desert, forts and palaces of Rajasthan also make good 2 week India trips but I feel my Goa – Hampi – Mumbai itinerary is more diverse.
Pin Me 😉
I’ve always found traveling in South India to be much easier, cleaner, safer and more enjoyable so decided to visit Goa, Hampi and Mumbai as these destinations are all some of my favourite places in India and suit what my Mum was looking for without the huge travel distances and I was excited to revisit and show my Mum around some of my favourite places in India.
Here’s our Goa – Hampi – Mumbai South India 2 week itinerary packed with loads of practical info to make it easy for you if you want to follow in our footsteps and plan the same trip. 😊
Our South India 2 Week Itinerary:
Day 1: Fly direct to Goa
My Mum flew from London direct to Goa with Thomas Cook airlines. You can also fly from Manchester. This is the easiest way to reach Goa the flight only takes 9 hours and you don’t have to have the hassle of changing planes (and sometimes airports) in Mumbai. (see my review of Thomas Cook direct flights to Goa here)
I meet her at the airport, as it was late (the flight arrives at midnight) we had prearranged with our accommodation in Palolem to pick us up from the airport to make sure we found our hotel without any hassle (often taxi drivers don’t know where hotels are) We arrived at Ourem Palace in Palolem at about 4am and as we had told them we would be arriving late the night guard showed us into our room so we could get some much needed sleep. (See more Palolem beach huts that I recommend here)
Day 2: Palolem, South Goa
As we had arrived so late we had a relaxing day on the beaches of Palolem. We loved our luxury beach hut at Ourem Palace was nestled underneath the palm trees in a quiet spot just steps away from the south end of Palolem beach. It was wonderful to see the ocean from our room.
We ate at Chasca (mainly for the great views), had an Ayurvedic massage and joined a sunset yoga class at the beautiful Earth Yoga Village at the far North end of Palolem beach. We actually had wanted to take a yoga retreats and stay there but you had to go for a week and we didn’t have time so just did lots of drop in classes. (See here for my favourite yoga retreats in Goa.)
Day 3: Palolem, South Goa
Another day on beautiful Palolem beach. We took a morning yoga class at Ananda Yoga Retreat just next to our hotel and then a boat ride to Butterfly beach and spotted dolphins frolicking in the ocean and went kayaking at sunset. Bliss!
Day 4: Palolem, South Goa.
More yoga, swimming, massages, chilling, shopping and eating in Palolem before taking a leisurely stroll around the rocks exploring Colomb Bay and Patnem Beach. Dinner at Ourem 88 – the best restaurant in Palolem advance reservations are essential in peak season. If you’re feeling more active there’s loads more to explore in Goa (see here for more things to do in Goa) but we’d already done all that and just wanted to relax this time.
Day 5: Agonda, South Goa
We hired a scooter and drove north through some of Goa’s most beautiful countryside to explore Cabo da Rama fort, Cola Beach and Agonda Beach. On Agonda Beach I went horse riding bareback in the sea! Probably the highlight of our holiday! We also explored the abandoned hotel in the jungle at the South end of Agonda Beach before returning to our hotel in Palolem for an early night. (You could base yourself in Agonda if you want a quieter place than Palolem – see here for where to stay in Agonda)
Day 6: Train to Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi is one of my favourite places in India – an incredible collection of ancient temples from the Vijayanagara Empire (one of the most important in South India) set in a magical, surreal landscape of boulders and green paddy fields. (read more here about why I love Hampi so much)
It was an early start to catch the 7.50am Amaravati Express train from Margao (Madgaon) to Hospet Junction. It takes 7 hrs and runs on Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays only. The train ride is a quintessential Indian experience in itself that everyone should try at least once when traveling India. You can also get an overnight sleeper bus from Goa to Hampi but I’ve found these to be quite uncomfortable and I always prefer the train. You should book your train well in advance (1 month) as they get fully booked quickly. The easiest way to book train tickets is on 12Go Asia or on Clear Trip. (see my ultimate guide to train travel in India here)
This is one of the most picturesque train journeys in India as the train travels through the lush Goan countyside in the early morning before heading up through the ghats and right over Dudhsagar Waterfall before traveling through the dusty plains and villages on Karnataka. (Check out my Instagram stories for videos from the train ride) The train reached Hospet only 10 mins late at about 3pm.
From Hospet it’s a 30 min auto rickshaw (tuk tuk) ride to Hampi Bazaar. We then took a circular coracle boat to cross the river and stayed at Nargila Guesthouse on Hippie Island – the most beautiful and chilled area to stay in Hampi and relaxed at the café overlooking the river, temples and gorgeous green paddy fields to chill out and soak up the atmosphere after the journey. (See here for more recommendations of where to stay in Hampi)
Day 7: Exploring Hampi’s Temples
We spent the day visiting the impressive UNESCO listed temples and ancient sights of Hampi including Hampi Bazaar, the Virupaksha Temple (with it’s temple elephant), the Vittala Temple, Royal Enclosure, Queens Bath, Lotus Mahal and Elephant Stables. We finished the day watching an incredible sunset over the temples and unique boulder strewn landscape from Hemakuta Hill.
Day 8: Exploring the Hampi countryside
We spent time exploring the cafes, yoga classes, massages and jewellery making courses on Hippie Island and then rented a scooter to explore the other side of Hampi. Zipping through the gorgeous green paddy fields and boulder strewn landscape, discovering the ruins of so many small temples, Sanapur lake the ancient village of Anegundi before climbing up the steps of the Hanuman temple for an incredible view and sunset. (Read more about things to do in Hampi here)
Day 9: Train back to Goa
An early start to catch the 6.20am Amaravati Express train from Hospet Junction to Margao (Madgaon) in Goa. It takes 7 hrs 30 mins and runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Trains in India are notoriously late so we didn’t want to risk booking our flight to Mumbai that day. Good job we didn’t as the train was 4 hours late making it a long journey so we were glad to stay one night Colva beach, which is the closest to Margao, at Soul Vacation.
Day 10: Flight to Mumbai
My favourite big Indian city has always been Mumbai (Bombay) I love the buzz and colonial architecture of India’s city of dreams. You can catch the train from Goa to Mumbai but it’s another 12 hour journey so instead we had a leisurely morning in the hotel pool and on Colva beach and caught the 2.30 pm Indigo flight to Mumbai which arrived at 4pm.
We stayed at Residency Hotel Fort. It’s a great mid range hotel in the middle of the most atmospheric, colonial area of Mumbai close to all the sights. There was some construction work going on next door for the new Mumbai metro which made it a bit noisy but once it’s finished the location can’t be beaten. (See here for more recommendations on where to stay in Mumbai)
Day 11: Colonial Mumbai
The areas of Fort and Colaba are home to some of the most atmospheric crumbling colonial architecture and buzzing street life. We visited the impressive Unesco listed Chhatrapti Shivaji Terminus train station, Flora Fountain, Mumbai High Court, University of Mumbai and Khala Ghoda. Then wandered down to the Gateway of India, Colaba Causeway, eat at Leopolds and watched the sunset at Chowpatty beach and Marine Drive.
Day 12: Visiting Dharavi Slum, Mumbai
Mumbai is India’s answer to Hollywood and people come from all over India to follow their dreams however millions still live in poverty in slums so I think if you want to understand India it’s a important to see this side too. We visited Dharavi Slum on a tour with Reality Tours who give 80% of the profit back to the slum. Did you know the slum actually turns over more than $700 million per year! I actually found it very inspiring and it changed my perception on poverty (read my post about Dharavi here)
Day 13: Elephanta Island and Caves, Mumbai
For my Mum’s last day in India we treated ourselves to afternoon tea at the famous Taj Mahal Palace Heritage Hotel. Nearby, from the Gateway of India you can take a boat ride about 1 hour to Elephanta Island home to some Unesco listed caves and rock cut temples. The iconic view from the boat only is worth the trip!
Day 14: Fly Home
Said a sad goodbye to my Mum as she caught her flight to London and I caught a flight back to Goa. Already dreaming of more trips to take her on!
I hope you found our South India 2 week itinerary inspiring and helpful. We are already planning some more 2 week India itineraries for her next trip!
If you have more time to travel India check out my 3 month ultimate India itinerary that I took when I was backpacking.
If you want some India experts to help you plan your trip, provide expert inspiration on your itinerary, book transportation and handpicked hotels and give you local tips then I recommend checking out India Someday. I know these guys personally and have used them many times – read my review here. They will even give Global Gallivanting readers 5% off the trip planning fee (just quote GLOBALGALLIVANTING5 when enquiring)
Do you have any more ideas for a 2 week India trip? I’d love to hear your ideas.