The idyllic town of Pondicherry is a locale of cultures and ideas. The local Tamil culture, French colonial past and home to an experimental community of people professing integral living, it breeds creativity and exudes the virtues of peaceful coexistence. It is reminiscent of the bygone era of the French colonialists, yet it is so refreshingly modern in its outlook. The French style avenues, the gorgeous beaches where you can laze around all day, the churches, the temples and the poetically named streets make Pondicherry a perfect place to vacation. I love to curate experiences and I think the following 5-day itinerary for Pondicherry would be perfect. But before we start, let me remind you that the first step to making any trip successful is to get travel insurance online.
Day 1: Let’s Explore Pondicherry
Arrive at Pondicherry and enjoy your breakfast at Bon Bake. Their Basil Tomato & Cheese Sandwich and hot chocolate are highly recommended!
After a relaxing bath, head to Promenade Beach to laze around for a few hours. I recommend visiting the Pondicherry Museum, the Puducherry Botanical Gardens and the Light House.
End your day with a romantic dinner sitting under the mango trees at La Maison Rose.
Day 2: Auroville day!
It’s time to visit Auroville, the City of Dawn and participate in the ‘Explore Auroville with Ambre’ tour. They have a 1 day or a 3-day tour option. When hunger pangs get unbearable, do visit the Auroville famous for its hot croissants, baguettes and pastries. The Happy Food Restaurant & Market is perfect for lunch. Don’t forget to purchase their delicious homemade jams and syrups.
Day 3: Let’s be a tourist!
Spend your third day at Pondicherry exploring all the tourist spots. I recommend visiting the Pondicherry Museum, the Puducherry Botanical Gardens and the Light House.
A boat ride at the Chunnambar Backwater resort is the perfect way to unwind and give your feet the much-needed rest after exploring Pondicherry for the entire day!
Day 4: Shop to your heart’s content
No trip is complete without taking back something local that will make you remember the good days! I recommend three must-visit places! Janaki which is a project to promote conscious and sustainable living sells beautiful apparel, pottery, aromatherapy products, hair and skin care products. If you want to purchase some unique apparels from independent designers, do visit Casablanca on Mission street. People who love embroidery will fall in love with the exquisite handiwork of women at the Cluny Embroidery Centre.
Day 5: Food for the soul
Pondicherry is a delicious amalgamation of different cultures and this is evident in the gorgeous cafes and restaurants dotted around the place. Spend your last day at Pondicherry by indulging in:
-A blend of Tamil spices and French flavours at Cafe Carte Blanche
-Burgers, crepes and croques at Cafe de Flore
Ending your day at Kasha Ki Asha, an ethnic café, run by a group of women serving scrumptious food and funky postcards, magnets, souvenirs, clothes, slippers, home accessories, handmade soaps, and a lot of other artsy stuff.
Don’t forget to pick up some pastries for your ride back to the airport and baked goodies for friends and family back at home. 🙂
Here are a few quick tips in addition to my itinerary for Pondicherry to make your trip successful
Pondicherry can get a wee bit expensive during the peak tourism season, so plan your trip accordingly.
Auroville has some fabulous and affordable guesthouses for tourists. Book them in advance because they are nearly always full. This is a great way to save money.
Pondicherry Tourism offers a full day tour city tour for just Rs. 300. Do try it out.
Remember to enjoy the fresh seafood and the French cuisine along with some of their delicious wines!
Research thoroughly, as there are many travel insurance companies out there before you insure your trip.
Stay safe, have fun and soak in all the culture that Pondicherry has to offer!