Tour India's exotic wonders
LOW DEPOSITS UNTIL 29th MARCH - JUST £49** PER PERSON
Explore the teeming, colourful cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur on this superb-value Indian holiday. Step into a landscape said to have inspired Kipling as you spend two nights 'on safari' in Ranthambhore National Park, the home of the legendary Tigers of Ranthambhore, and see the Red Fort, the Palace of the Winds and the awe-inspiring Taj Mahal. It's the perfect introduction to one of the world's most fascinating and alluring destinations.
India - Tigers and the Taj Mahal Tour Itinerary
Your Indian holiday begins with an overnight flight from the UK to Delhi.
Day One: Overnight flight to India
Arrive in Delhi to be greeted by your Tour Manager, then transfer to your hotel for lunch. In the afternoon, a guided tour of the Old City will introduce you to Jama Masjid Mosque and Raj Ghat, Gandhi's famous cremation site close to the Yamuna River.
Day Two: Included Delhi city tour
You'll also see the legendary Red Fort, the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years (until 1857), and take a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk. Before evening falls, you'll also see some of the city's Imperial highlights, including the India Gate war memorial, the vast boulevard of the Rajpath and Parliament House.
This morning, you'll have a chance to explore the ruins of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and the ornate Qutb Minar tower. Later, we'll travel to Agra, India's City of Love and site of the exquisite Taj Mahal. Built as a monument to undying love by grief-stricken Shah Jahan - after the death of his beloved wife - the Taj is seen in all its glory at sunset. Your guided tour of Agra will also take in the royal pavilions, palaces and courtyards of Agra Fort.
Day Three: Included Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque excursion and travel to Agra
Start your day with the unforgettable view of the the Taj Mahal at dawn, seen from across the Yamuna River. After breakfast, you'll visit Abhaneri, a small town famed for its amazing baoris (stepwells). See the mighty Harshat Mata Temple, and discover the architectural beauty of the Chand Baori stepwell and its intricate carved panels. Descending 13 stories and approximately 30 m (100 ft) into the ground, this is one of the deepest and largest stepwells in India.
Day Four: Included excursions to the Taj Mahal, Abhaneri, Harshat Temple and the Chand Baori stepwell
Leaving Abhaneri, you'll travel to Ranthambhore National Park, stopping en route for lunch at the Umaid Lake Palace, a lovely heritage hotel set amid landscaped gardens. Ranthambhore is not only one of the largest national park in northern India, it's also one of the best examples of conservation in the whole country. Once the hunting ground of Indian princes, the park stands atop a 600-metre-high hill range and is home to a number of India's famous. elusive (and still endangered) tigers.
Relax for the afternoon, then enjoy an evening tiger talk with a local naturalist: the perfect preparation for tomorrow's adventure.
This morning, search for some of the park's most revered inhabitants: striped hyenas, sambar deer, sloth bears and, of course, tigers (and perhaps even a leopard) as you enjoy the first of two tours led by an expert naturalist guide. After lunch, your second guided tour will offer another opportunity to look out for tigers and many other extraordinary wild animals at close quarters in their natural environment.
Day Five: Guided wildlife safaris into Ranthambhore National Park
This morning, after the chance to climb up the 273 steps to Ranthambhore Fort on an optional excursion, we'll travel through Rajasthan to Jaipur, nicknamed India's pink city, where you'll stay for the next two nights. Settle into your heritage hotel in downtown Jaipur, and enjoy the on-site facilities, including a relaxing and cooling outdoor pool.
Day Six: From Ranthambhore to Jaipur
Visit Amber, the ancient capital of the Rajput Empire. Discover its magnificent palaces and temples dominated by the stronghold of the Amber Fort, and take the time to see the royal halls and the unrivalled views from the ramparts. After an included lunch, you'll tour Jaipur to see the City Palace Complex, with its museums, and Jantar Mantar, the ancient astronomical observatory. In the evening, you'll enjoy dinner with a local Rajasthani family in the city.
Day Seven: Included Amber Fort excursion
This morning you'll head north to Vanaashrya. En route you'll stop for tea or coffee at Bhangarh, a ruined fort dating from the 17th Century. After a relaxing afternoon, you can take a camel cart to visit the local village and enjoy a pre-dinner cookery demonstration. You'll spend the night in your private tent, a place designed to give you a sense of the India of the past with the little luxuries of the present day (like air conditioning).
Day Eight: From Amber to Vanaashrya
As we make our way back to Delhi, where you'll spend the final night of your holiday in India, we'll stop at the fascinating Heritage Transport Museum, which showcases the development of road, rail and air transport in India.
Day Nine: Included Heritage Transport Museum excursion
Transfer back to the airport and board your flight home after a holiday you'll never forget.
Day 10: Fly back to the UK
Goa Extension Itinerary
Day 10: Fly to Goa
Fly to Goa, meet your guide at the airport and transfer south along the coast to your hotel, for a three-night stay. Spend the rest of the day relaxing by the expansive pool or enjoying an ayurvedic massage in the hotel’s tranquil spa.
Day 11: Enjoy your Goan surroundings
Choose to spend today soaking up the southern Indian sun, perhaps by the hotel’s pool, or venture further afield to explore the wide-open beaches situated just a moment’s walk from your hotel. Likewise, choose to dine in your hotel, or to visit one of a number of local eateries.
Day 12: Relax or explore in Goa
Once again, today you are free to simply let Goa’s relaxed southern feeling wash over you, perhaps with a long, lazy walk on the beach. Alternatively, choose to join us on an optional excursion to Aguada Fort and the Basilica of Bom Jesus.
Day 13: Fly home
Bid a fond farewell to Portuguese influenced Goa, as you transfer from your hotel to the airport and board your flight home.
A Taste of Kerala Extension Itinerary
Day 10: Travel to Kochi
Begin your tour extension with a flight to the southern Indian jewel of Kochi, where you will be met by your tour guide and escorted to your first hotel - the four-star deluxe Trident. Check-in, rest and relax, or take a dip in the courtyard pool, prior to taking dinner in the hotel’s restaurant.
Day 11: Explore ‘God’s Own Country’
Begin your exploration of Kerala, ‘God’s Own Country’, today, with a tour of historic Kochin. Take in the Portuguese-built and peculiarly named Dutch Palace, the spectacular Paradesi Synagogue and the area’s photogenic Chinese fishing nets. In the evening, enjoy a traditional Kathakali dance show.
Day 12: Discover a world of spice
This morning travel to Periyar, inland from Kochi, to spend one night in the Greenwoods Hotel. After checking into your hotel, enjoy an enlightening tour of a local spice plantation. In the evening, relax in your hotel, taking advantage of its spa, swimming pool and treehouse cafe.
Day 13: Visit Lake Periyar
Rise early on the fourth day of your extension to take to the waters of Lake Periyar for a wildlife boat tour, after which we transfer to our third and final stop, coastal Alleppey. Check in to your resort hotel set on the lush banks of the Punnamada Lake, and spend the rest of the day recharging your batteries.
Day 14: Relax on Kerala’s backwaters
Today, get to know Kerala’s famed backwaters, as you take lunch on a traditional 'kettuvallam' houseboat and cruise by as all life plays out on the area’s labyrinthine banks. Later, return to your hotel and enjoy a restful evening looking back on your journey through incredible India.
Day 15: Fly home
On your final day in India, transfer from Alleppey to Kochi, and board your flight back to the UK.
Udaipur Extension Itinerary
Day 10: Travel to Udaipur
Fly to lakeside Udaipur, be greeted by your tour guide and transfer to your hotel. Choose to spend the rest of the day pool-side, re-energising after your trip, or strike out into the welcoming streets of one of India’s most magical cities.
Day 11: Get to know Udaipur
Today, take a tour of Udaipur, the former capital city of the Mewar Kingdom, home to the incredible City Palace that incorporates 11 ornate palaces, Sahelion-ki-Bari gardens and Jagdish Temples. After a day spent around the lake, the evening brings the opportunity to take to the water on a boat ride to see the spectacular water palaces up close.
Day 12: Fly from Udaipur to Delhi
Enjoy your last morning in warm-hearted Udaipur, before bidding farewell to one of India’s jewels and flying to the country’s bustling capital. Check into your hotel and enjoy your last evening in India.
Day 13: Fly home
Wave goodbye to India and her wonderfully welcoming people, as you board your flight back to the UK.
Marari Beach, Kerala Extension Itinerary
Day 10: Travel to Marari Beach
Fly to ocean-side Kochi today, and transfer south along the coast to your hotel, beginning your three-night stay on Marari Beach. Check-in, explore the hotel and unwind.
Day 11: Explore Marari Beach
Enjoy your first full day in Marari Beach. Choose to begin with a swim in the on-site pool or enjoy a relaxing ayurvedic treatment, before exploring farther afield, with a walk along the golden beach. Later, dine in the hotel or explore the local area.
Day 12: Unwind at the hotel
Today, choose to relax pool-side, letting Kerala’s mellow atmosphere sooth, or perhaps take out one of the hotel’s bicycles and explore the local area at a leisurely pace. In the evening, enjoy dinner in the hotel and look back on your time and experiences in this wonderful country.
Day 13: Fly home
This morning you’ll transfer back to Kochi’s airport and begin your flight home.
Varanasi Extension Itinerary
Day 10: Travel to India’s most holy city
Fly to historic Varanasi, and transfer to your hotel. Take some time to relax before venturing out into the old city’s pulsating heart. Rub shoulders with holy men and walk with devotees towards this evening’s Aarti ceremony on the banks of the sacred Ganges. Later, take dinner in your hotel.
Day 11: Discover Varanasi’s history
After breakfast this morning, take a boat ride along the great Ganges, known locally as Mother Ganga - India’s most sacred river. Later, take in over 2000 years of history as you are taken on a guided tour of this most important of Indian conurbations. Afterwards, enjoy lunch and take an excursion to Sarnath to visit is museum and ruins.
Day 12: Varanasi to Delhi
Spend this morning relaxing in your hotel, or choose to venture out into Varanasi’s beguiling streets for one last time. In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and fly to Delhi. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel, dine and rest.
Day 13: Fly home
This morning take breakfast in your hotel, before transferring to the airport and boarding your flight home.