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Written by Savi, 3 Comments

A road trip in Tamil Nadu translates into driving through the clouds, misty tea estates, and culinary gems. Here we will provide pointers for everything you need to plan a trip to Ooty, Coonoor, and the Nilgiris – especially a list of things to do in the area, places to see, and where to eat in Ooty and Coonoor.

Let’s go, shall we?

Tea Estates galore on a road trip in Tamil Nadu 🙂


Renting a car and choosing a hotel on a Road Trip in Tamil Nadu

Renting a car will make exploring places on this trip not just easy, but cost-effective too! We flew from Delhi to Coimbatore and rented a car in Coimbatore. However it is easy to rent a car, no matter which airport you land at! You can compare prices and rent a car here

There is no shortage of good accommodation in Ooty and Coonoor. However prices tend to fluctuate dramatically depending on the season and dates. So we are providing not one but four great options for you. You can check them all out and decide what is perfect for you and your family:

  • Gateway Coonoor or McIver Conoor are charming options for those of you who like hotels with a lot of character- the Colonial buildings are well preserved and the staff is really nice too.
  • Destiny The Farm Resort is another hotel, perfect for those of you who enjoy scenic accommodation. This is ideal for guests who just want to relax in nature instead of packing their trip with things to do and see
  • If you’re keen on an luxurious and immersive holiday, then look up MindEscapes. From gastronomy to fitness and pillow menus to nature trails, this retreat has it all.


Ooty and surrounding towns make for the perfect monsoon getaway 🙂


Things to do & see on a road trip in Tamil Nadu

The highlight of a trip to Ooty and Coonoor is to relax in the midst of nature and enjoy the surroundings – think misty hills, tea plantations, and little coffee shops on winding roads. However there are a few places you must visit and things you must do on this road trip in Tamil Nadu

  • Ride an old school train in Ooty:Take a ride in the colourful compartments or dance on the roof if you’re an SRK fan for this is where Chaiyyan Chaiyyan was shot. Try to book a first class ticket as the train tends to get very crowded. Did you know this toy train that runs on a super scenic route between Ooty & Mettupalayam dates back to 1908 and is actually a designated UNESCO Heritage Site?
  • Visit a tea estate and a tea factory:There is no shortage of tea-estates in the Nilgiris. Visit one closest to your hotel and make sure you take a tour of the adjoining tea factory too
  • Dolphin Nose Viewpoint makes for a great drive through winding roads – the viewpoint is a must visit for photographers, especially on a chilly morning
  • Another viewpoint you shouldn’t miss is Doddabetta Peak. There are 24 peaks in Nilgiris and this is the highest, making it the perfect vantage point to absorb views of the area
  • Emerald Lake is located in a tiny village in the Nilgiris. Not many visitors make it there but its a great pitstop on a road trip in Tamil Nadu, especially on a clear day. If you have time to visit just one lake, make it Emerald Lake
  • Of course there are several other lakes in the area. The most popular and (consequently) most crowded is the Ooty Lake. Other lakes you can visit include Upper Bhavani Lake, Avalanche Lake, Bellikkal Lake, Pykara Lake, and Kamaraj Sagar
  • If you enjoy doing new things on holiday, you can take a cheese-making workshop at Acres Wild Farm. You can sample local cheeses here and if you enjoy homestays, you can even stay here


This old-school train ride in Ooty is a must do on your road trip in Tamil Nadu


Scenic train ride in Ooty, Tamil Nadu

Where to eat on a road trip in Tamil Nadu

We got amazing food, irrespective of where we stopped in the area – be it a restaurant inside a luxurious hotel or a hole-in-the-wall eatery. Here are some commendable suggestions we got from locals:

  • If you are open to a drive, you must visit this small eatery called Rock Bistro on the way to the iconic Dolphin’s Nose viewpoint. The food is tasty & affordable, but it’s this view of the Nilgiri Mountains that we stayed for! Amazing views indeed!
  • Hot chocolate at Moddys Chocolate in Coonoor
  • Culinarium at Ketty, on the way from Coonoor to Ooty, for desserts and views
  • Open Kitchen Coonoor is a good option if you are craving burgers or pizzas
  • Place to Bee at Ooty is a cosy cafe that promotes conservation of bees
  • Little Earth, near Stephen’s church, has a cute little store and good food
  • Earls Secret at Kings Cliff in Ooty is a really nice restaurant with great ambience
  • Sugar Dribble Cafe in Ooty is a cute place to unwind with a baked treat
  • Hari Mess in Kotagiri is a tiny eatery that has acquired an iconic reputation due to its food
  • Centaur in Coonoor is small takeaway that came highly recommended for the best Malabar Parantha
  • Ooty & Coonoor town centres are also home to lots of cute cafés that serve great food like Cafe Diem and Third Wave Coffee.


View from Rock Bistro en-route to Dolphin’s Nose


We hope this gave you lots of ideas on how to spend a relaxing holiday in Ooty or Coonoor. This is a beautiful part of India and you must plan a road trip in Tamil Nadu to see enjoy the beauty of the Nilgiris when you get a chance.

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