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Highlights of India

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Cross cultures at a heritage village home in the north and a family homestay in the south
Includes return economy airfares

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Escorted Journey
Women in Saris, Delhi, India
Combine the best of both north and south India on this wide-ranging small group Journey covering the highlights of both regions.

Highlights

Start off with the colours, temples and palaces of Rajasthan, plus of course the resplendent Taj Mahal, before heading south and sailing the peaceful backwaters of Kerala and chilling out on the glorious beaches.

Some of the highlights included are:

  • Walk the backstreets of Delhi with a local guide
  • Explore grand forts and opulent palaces in Rajasthan
  • Learn the true meaning of relaxation aboard a houseboat on Kerala's backwaters
  • Learn the secrets of South Indian cuisine with a cooking demonstration
  • Cross cultures at a heritage village home in the north and a family homestay in the south

Holiday Type

Culture
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
Off the Beaten Track
  • Y
  • Y
  • Y
  • N
  • N

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What's included
  • Small Group Journey with maximum group size 16
  • All authentic local experiences mentioned except where specified optional
  • All international & internal flights
  • 11 nights in 4* hotels & hand-picked local gems
  • 1 night at a heritage property
  • 1 night at a local homestay
  • 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
  • Arrival transfers & all internal transport
Need to know
  • Arrives: Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
  • Time difference: GMT+5:30
  • Visa requirements: British passport holders require a tourist visa; please ask your travel consultant for more information
  • Language: Hindi, English
  • Currency: Indian Rupee (INR)
  • Flying time from UK: Around 9 hours
  • Plug type: 3 large round pins
  • Voltage: 230 volts/50 cycles
Your route

Itinerary

Day 1
Fly from the UK to Delhi.

Fly from the UK to Delhi.

Day 2
Delhi

Delhi

Arrive in Delhi and meet your guide and the rest of your group. Delhi is a heady mix of sights, sounds and smells, so uncover its secrets with a /Streetkids Project/ guide, who, as a former street child themselves, will give you a different perspective on the city and can tell you about life on the streets. Your guide will also show you around the Old Town, including the enormous Jama Majid, the bustling Chandni Chowk market and the historic SisGanj Gurdwara, established in 1783.

3.5* Hotel Africa Avenue GK or similar

Includes a tour by a New Delhi Streetkids Project youth; a guided walk of Old Delhi, including a visit to the city’s main highlights, including the Jama Masjid Mosque

Days 3-4
Agra

Agra

Uncover the beautiful architecture of Agra and gaze in wonder at the gleaming marble façade of the Taj Mahal, the most beautiful structure in India, if not the world. This exquisite marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. But it’s not just about the Taj – you’ll also pay a visit to the Baby Taj, a small Mausoleum with some beautiful inlaid stones, and the impressive Agra Fort, made out of red sandstone and affording some particularly photogenic Taj Mahal views.

comfort-level hotel

Includes visits to the Taj Mahal & the Agra Fort

Days 5-6
Jaipur

Jaipur

On your way to Jaipur, swing by the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri, a small village with a very impressive step well, over 6 metres deep, which was used as a filming location in The Dark Knight Rises film. In Jaipur itself, explore the city palace, glittering with ornate arches and mirrored mosaics, before heading up to the imposing Amber Fort to admire the views over the countryside. Why not get a true taste of India at Jaipur’s impressive, Art Deco style Raj Mandir Cinema, where you can watch a lively Bollywood movie (optional, extra cost).

comfort-level hotel

Includes a visit to Fatehpur Sikri site on the way to Jaipur; a visit to the Amber Fort; a visit to the City Palace

Day 7
Sawarda

Sawarda

Step back in time and enjoy a walk through the traditional village of Sawarda where you’ll have the chance to observe a family prayer session and watch a shimmering golden sunset. The village is filled with friendly children (who just love to have their photo taken), beautiful temples and locals still practising traditional crafts such as pottery on the wheel, gold work and cobbling. There’s even a small step well. Stay the night in a heritage hotel, a mansion that used to be a fort, which gives you a flavour of life in rural India. Enjoy the local cuisine with a home cooked touch. 

comfort-level hotel

Includes a visit to the quaint Sawarda Village

Day 8
Delhi

Delhi

Drive back to Delhi, from where you’ll catch a flight to Kochi. 

3.5* Hotel Africa Avenue GK or similar

Days 9-10
Kochi

Kochi

Arrive in Kochi and meet your new guide and any additional members of your group. Enjoy a walking tour of the old fort, admire the impressive Chinese fishing nets and call in at the Dutch Palace. Confusingly, the Dutch Palace was actually built by the Portuguese, and it was later Dutch amendments and renovations that gave it its name. Visit the oldest European church in India, St Francis, and the 400-year-old synagogue in the lively Jewish Quarter. In the evening, witness an exciting Kathakali Dance performance, with elaborate costumes and dramatic dance movements.

comfort-level hotel

Includes an orientation tour of the city, including a visit to the Dutch Palace & the Jewish Quarter; a local Kathakali Dance performance

Day 11
Kumarakom

Kumarakom

Walk through the grounds of the beautiful Tripunithura Hill Palace, built in 1865 and now an archaeological and heritage museum with a deer park, children’s museum and a collection of rare medicinal plants. Head on to Kumarakom and take an informative walk through the emerald green rice paddies. Jump in your canoe and paddle through the canals past pretty villages such as charming Chempu, and admire the reflections of the palm trees in Kerala’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Vembanad. 

comfort-level hotel

Includes a visit to the Tripunithura Hill Palace; canoeing in the canals; a walking tour of the countryside

Day 12
Kerala Backwaters / Alleppey

Kerala Backwaters / Alleppey

Continue on to Allepey, surrounded by rivers and lagoons, and board your houseboat. Spend the day on board – enjoy some down time in the sunshine on the deck, look out for birds, rice fields and floating water plants, and watch life on the river drift by. The scene is particularly tranquil and bursting with life and activity so get your camera ready. On return to Alleppey, you’ll watch a cooking demonstration and feast on local cuisine with your homestay family before spending the night.

local homestay in Alleppey

Includes a day of cruising the Kerala Backwaters aboard a houseboat; a lesson on local cuisine at the homestay

Days 13-14
Vypin Island

Vypin Island

Finish your Indian adventure among the villages and pristine beaches of Vypin Island, one of a small group of islands that make up Kochi. Vypin Island is 27 kilometres long and is connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. Test out the Ayurvedic spas (optional, extra cost), hire a bike or just relax in the local village or on the beach, it’s up to you - the soft sands of Cherai Beach are particularly popular. Lighthouse-covered Vypin retains a village-like character and a mix of Portuguese, Dutch and Keralan architecture, just like Kochi. 

comfort-level hotel

Includes a spa treatment at a traditional Ayurvedic Spa; a cycling excursion in the village

Day 15
Transfer to Kochi and return to the UK.

Transfer to Kochi and return to the UK.

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