Ooty-Coonoor itinerary | 3 days 2 nights in Coonoor
When we hear the word ‘Ooty’ suddenly mind will be telling ‘wow’ ! right? – Yes. Ooty(Udhagamandalam) is loving called as “Queen of Hills” or “Queen of Hill stations”. Ooty is one such place in Tamilnadu where the hills are tucked in the Nilgiris or the Blue mountains. Ooty is almost 2240m above sea level and the weather is so pleasing, which allows you to explore the beauty around you without breaking a sweat. And it is a paradise for Love birds as it has lush green parks and tea plantations, tall pines, valleys, peaks, rose garden, lake, last but very important is foggy atmosphere etc., made Ooty a very special tourist place in South India.
Like Ooty, Coonoor is also a beautiful with tea plantations, hills, parks, fog with morning dew. You may feel the dew like rain sometimes ! and we felt it in our trip. The moist breeze of the misty hills of Coonoor tingles the nerves and tickles the senses. It is no surprise that goose bumps amaze and distract at the same time while engrossed in the flavours of this very place and that includes the sights. Coonoor is 1850m above sea level and the weather is same as Ooty, but Coonoor is more quieter than Ooty, also has very good options for stay. That’s why we chose to stay in Coonoor rather than staying at Ooty.
Nilgiri Toy Train is an added attraction to both Ooty and Coonoor. You get to see awesome picturesque valleys, lush green hills, tea plantations, lofty mountains, tall pine trees. Overall Toy train is a must visit when you go to Ooty/Coonoor.
If I have to tell about our stay, we were staying in ‘The Gateway Hotel’ by Taj Hotels. Tucked between manicured gardens, this signature heritage-hotel & restaurant is a lovely place. And they also have a brilliant buffet option for food. Ayurvedic massage centre and rooms with views of the garden and very good staff service make you feel so heavenly.
Getting to Coonoor
Bangalore to Coonoor is around 290 km via Mysore, Ooty. Coonoor is well connected by road around the cities, and the nearest airport is Coimbatore. If you are travelling between Coonoor to Ooty then Toy train is a good option. So that you will be able to enjoy the nature’s beauty!
It is a delightful journey if you have taken your own car then it’s very easy and comfortable for the travel and to roam around during your trip. Also you can enjoy the greenery and peacefulness of the natureYou can take either your car or hire a car and go.
Coonoor does not have an airport, and the Coimbatore airport is the closest domestic airport. Flights to Coimbatore from all major cities in India are operated by all airlines, and there are daily flights from Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Bangalore is the closest international airport
There will be buses to Ooty, from there you can take any other way of transport like local buses or train.
Where to stay in Coonoor
There are plenty of options available, if you plan early.
Food/ Dining in Coonoor
In South India Dining may not be a problem for anybody I feel. Because many options like Indian to Italian, Chinese foods are easily available in most of the places. And there are so many cafes, and local cuisine restaurants are available. With the serene ambience you will feel every bite is worth enjoying.
You can also experience the taste of unadulterated organic honey which is one of the best offerings of the city in terms of natural products. Also you can buy homemade chocolates and variety of tea powders, which is famous in Ooty and Coonoor.
We didn’t do anything much shopping there, just bought a couple of sweaters which was necessary, but prices were bit on the higher side I felt.
So Let’s come to the actual Itinerary
Ooty-Coonoor itinerary | 3 days 2 nights in Coonoor (but totally 5 days) !
It’s very hard to explain that feeling in words that too in one post about the entire journey. Like our Journey starts from Bangalore around 11.30 am and we reach Mysore(Lalitha Mahal Palace hotel) for lunch around 3pm. After finishing the lunch headed towards towards Masinagudi for a night stay, on the way we got to see Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Though we couldn’t see Tiger but able to see many deer, peacocks and the beautiful nature all the way.
Around 6.30 we reached Singaras Coffee Country Masinagudi, one of the peaceful place for the ones who are bored of daily chaos and buzzes in the city. But there is no facility of restaurant there, you can order the food from outside hotel. Apart from that everything was good, rooms were newly built and clean. Staffs are friendly and helping, you can request for campfire, during campfire we were able to see some of the deers. If you are lucky enough you can witness elephant in the vicinity too.
Next day morning after finishing the breakfast and we checked out and started our journey towards Coonoor via Ooty. It was beautiful nature, hairpin bends, valleys, tall pine trees, greener tea plantations everything we witnessed throughout our journey. We stopped at Culinarium-Coonoor, which is nestled in the vast and beautiful Ketti Valley (second widest valley in the world).Superb location and ambience, desserts and bakery items which we ordered were very nice though the service was late. Very good place for a quick stop and enjoy the quick bites, pastries, bakery items, lunch/dinner. Food was delicious and yummy!.
Around 2pm we reached Gateway hotel Coonoor by Taj. After checking in we had our lunch and relaxed for that day.
3 days in Coonoor : Relaxed Coonoor itinerary
Day 1: Sim’s Park
The Sim’s Park was developed around the natural contours of the land more than hundred years ago. The initiative of the development of the park was undertaken by Mr J.D. Sim’s and Major Murray in the year 1874. Sim’s park is one of the famous tourist attractions and having the oldest trees. The Sim’s park is the ideal place to indulge in all of your favourite nature activities, including clicking splendid photographs, taking long peaceful walks, boating and sightseeing. The garden has been divided into four parts – the Rose Garden, a small lily pond, the flowering plants area and a boating area. Children especially love the boat rides in the lake, while adults mostly prefer to sit back and relax. There are no shops that serve food inside the park. Thus, it is good to carry some light snacks and water along.
Day 2: Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Chocolate museum
Nilgiri Mountain Railway | Toy Train
Toy Train is one of the must visit when you go to Ooty or Coonoor. The Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR), better known as Ooty toy train is the highlight of the popular hill town of Ooty in Tamil Nadu, India. This is a world heritage train that travels between Mettupalayam to Ooty via Coonoor daily and imparts picturesque views while providing relief from the stifling summer heat. Started in the year 1899, it has continued to charm its visitors with equal zest winding its way through the best of nature. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.
Coonoor to Ooty train ride is ethereal that weaves amidst the forests, dark snaking tunnels, sharp bends and amid the mist and fog. The toy train ride in Ooty is a trip to treasure up and down the hilly slopes. Apart from offering a beautiful journey, the uniqueness of the ride lies in the fact that the rail system is the steepest in Asia. The ride starts from Mettupalayam; a small place on river Bhavani. For the first few miles, vacationers travel on plains but the next miles take up to an elevation of up to a height of 4363 feet. This lovely toy train ride is best means to discover the pristine treasures of the Nilgiris.
Here are some glimpse of those:
For enjoying this beautiful Toy train journey you need to book the ticket online or at the ticket counter. If you are taking in the ticket counter better go 1 or 2 hour before to avoid queue.
Chocolate museum is on the way when we were returning from the Ooty Toy train. So thought of visiting. After taking the tickets we entered. Museum has good facilities to show and explain how the chocolates are made in home. One person will explain the entire process of making the chocolates bars from the cocoa fruit. I will write a separate article on Chocolate Museum very soon.
Its a journey from Bean to Bar and its pure joy in every bite. You will get chocolate dipped wafer as complimentary. Also you can buy variety of chocolates there if you are chocolate lover.
Day 3: Ayurvedic Spa
We were checking out from the hotel, so we wanted to experience the Ayurvedic spa services. It was a wonderful time spent for ourselves. I was so relaxed after coming from the spa.
We checked out, had our lunch and started to Salem for a night stay. We were staying in Zibe Salem by GRT hotels. It was again a good hotel and good chef, who personally come to you ask for your tastes. Nice food and kind of good hotel.
Next day morning we started and reached around 2.30 to Bangalore. So totally it was 4 nights and 5 days leisure trip.
Many other places to visit as it was our leisure, relaxed trip so we didn’t roam outside much. here are the other places you can plan to visit
- Ketti Valley Viewpoint
- Lamb’s Rock
- Dolphin’s Nose
- Dodabetta Peak
- Kamaraj Sagar / Sandynalla Reservoir & Pine Forest
- Wenlock Downs
- Pykara Dam & Reservoir
- Pykara Falls
Tips : If you are planning your trip on long weekends then better plan early otherwise you will have to compromise on the price of the stay. we had planned in December like after Christmas to New Year time, so almost all the good hotels were full.
Also its better if you carry sweaters, scarf and muffler because in the morning and night it will be chill. If you forgot it then you can buy in local shops.
Have you visited Coonoor/ Ooty? If yes please share your experience in the comments.
Stay tuned for more travel blogs… 🙂