A Road trip is a perfect opportunity to break away from the shell of city life and explore the beautiful mother nature. Its an escape plan, a thrilling adventure and an outing like none other. If you live in Chennai, you are in for a surprise since this marvellous city is surrounded by lovely destinations and beautiful roads. So fill up the tank, lower the windows, turn up the base and hit the roads. Experience the beautiful countryside and the depth of serene landscapes on these road trips around Chennai.  A road trip is not just hitting the road in your car at your whims and fancies but instead, it involves a lot of planning. Go through the 7 point checklist: The most important things for a Road Trip to know more about how to plan for your road trip and make it a memorable one. Done with the checklist? We have curated the list of 7 most scenic road trips from Chennai that will truly reinvent you and recharge you to face the world.

1. Nellore

Nellore has been prominent in South India and has been in the limelight several times. Nellore has been part of all the prominent rulers of past such as the Cholas, Chalukyas, Pandavas and evidence suggest it existed in even the 3rd century BC. In the more recent past, Nellore was taken over by the British from Arcot Nawabs and became the part of Madras presidency. Nellore has an important role in the emergence of Telugu language and also in the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh. Travelling to Nellore, you can see all the old heritage sites as well as the natural wonders such as beaches, waterfalls, temples, bird sanctuaries etc.


The trip to this beach town is very exciting and you will surely make a lot of memories if you make this journey with your friends. Situated on the sea shore, Nellore has a tropical climate round the year that you can get adjusted to easily. Once you are there, the cool sea breeze would surely refresh you with its energy. Couples this is one of the opportunities to travel together in a beautiful environment. Leave the comfort of your couple friendly hotel in Chennai and embark on this journey. While you are there, don't miss the Pulicat Lake, Mypadu beach and Ranganatha temple.

Road trip Distance: 177 km

Estimated travel time: 3 to 4 hours

Best time to visit: October to February

2. Pondicherry

Pondicherry a.k.a. ‘Paris of the East’ is just 155 kilometres from Chennai via the East Coast Road. The East coast road, NH32 and NH48 are the three routes you can take for this road trip but the East Coast Road (ECR) is the recommended one since its shorter and is more scenic. The picturesque view along the eastern ghats and Bay of Bengal along the East coast road make sit the ideal route and it takes hardly 3-4 hours to reach Pondicherry. This route also has several other sites that are worth visiting such as The Alambara Fort, Mahabalipuram (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Mudaliarkuppam, and Kalpakkam, a centre for nuclear facility.


This scenic route is a must-visit for couples visiting Chennai. There are several couple-friendly hotels in Chennai where you can stay and later make this road trip.

Road Trip Distance: 175 km

Estimated travel time: 3 to 4 hours

Best time to visit: October to March

3. Yercaud

If you really love to challenge yourself and the longer the drive more is the fun for you, then certainly a trip to Yercaud is what you have been willing for. Located in Salem, Tamil Nadu, Yercaud is one of the most beautiful hill stations of South India that is yet unexplored. Yercaud is famous for its major plantations of coffee, jackfruit, guava, Orange black pepper etc. If you want to escape the heat and humidity of Chennai, Yercaud is the perfect place for you. With a year-round cool climate, Yercaud is aptly known as the Jewel of the South. With lush green slopes and dense vegetation, the hill station will be a perfect place to visit and destress yourself leaving the buzz of the city life behind. Don't forget to enjoy the local delicacies served on a banana leaf. Yercaud is also famous for handmade chocolates so bring a few from there and gift your loved ones. Or even better take your partner there with you.


There is no dearth of hotel for unmarried couples in Chennai so you can take your live-in partner without any trouble. There are several attractions in Yercaud such as an emerald lake, Anna park, Shevaroy temple, Kiliyur falls, etc.

Road Trip Distance: 356 km

Estimated Travel Time: 7 to 8 hours

Best time to visit: January to December

4. Nandi Hills

Nandi hills can easily be called the number 1 weekend destination for the people of Bangalore. Swaths of bike riders and tourists can be seen flocking the 60 km long drive along the beautiful NH-7 every weekend that too early in the morning. If you are staying in Chennai, still you can take a drive to the Nandi hills which is just 350 km from Chennai. Couples, this could be the perfect long ride with your love, so get out of your hotel rooms in Chennai and reach the spot in wee hours to catch a glimpse of the best sunrise that you would have ever seen. The hilltop has several shrines, monuments with brilliantly carved arches and huge pillars that make the view on top even more magnificent. You can only witness the beauty to comprehend its depth and understand why it is called the "Hillocks borrowed from heaven". You can even stay in Bangalore if you reach odd hours.

Nandi Hills

Just rent a day-use hotel and turn this trip into a daycation. There are several couple-friendly hotels in Bangalore that offer such day-use services.

Road Trip Distance: 350 kilometres

Estimated travel time: 6 to 7 hours

Best time to visit: September to May

5. Mahabalipuram

If you are more into temples and that too ancient ones, you might want to visit the Cave Temples of Mahabalipuram, a 6th-century wonder with numerous cave temples carved brilliantly. Its also a UNESCO world heritage site so you know how important this thing must have been in the past as well. The caves are located on a hill in Kanchipuram district in Tamil Nadu. The most impressive is the carving of Goddess Durga killing the demon Mahishasur on one of the walls of the cave. You will be astounded with the brilliance and magnificence of these caves.


Mahabalipuram is a beach town and is famous for adventure activities such as surfing. The white sandy beaches, the cool sea breeze, and the palm trees lining the beach make for an impressive outing. At a distance of just 52 km from Chennai, this is one of the shortest road trips but is very enjoyable. Take some time out on any of the weekends and explore the ancient town of Mahabalipuram. You might love to visit the Shore Temple, Five Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance, Sadras etc while you are here.

Road Trip Distance: 52 km

Estimated Travel Time: 1 to 2 hours

Best time to visit: October to March

6. Yelagiri

If your dream is to cruise on the highway with open windows and feeling the air, visit Yelagiri from Chennai. It is one of those destinations where the journey itself is a relishing experience. There are mesmerizing landscapes every now and then which will make you stop by at every mile to relish the beauty before moving forward. This route is a loved route by bikers simply for the greenery that runs along the roads till Yelagiri. This route is packed with mountains and coconut trees that tower over your car. Lush green forests and mountains on both sides make your drive a soothing experience. If nothing else, you will surely feel rejuvenated after making this trip into Nature's lap and it will certainly help in relaxing your mind and soul. While visiting Yelagiri don't miss the Yelagiri Adventure Camp, Nature park, Jalagamparai Falls etc among other sites.


This scenic route is a must-visit for couples visiting Chennai. There are several couple-friendly hotels in Chennai where you can stay and later make this road trip.

Road Trip Distance: 230 km

Estimated Travel Time: 5 to 6 hours

Best time to visit: November to February

A road trip is an exciting part of travel. If done with the right people such as friends, family or love of your life, it even shoots to the extreme happiness zone. So if you ever happen to be in Chennai, just plan a road trip to any of these wonderful locations in the South.

Must read: 10 places that are just a day-long drive away from Bangalore