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Exploring India

Food & Cultural Highlights of North India

This 11-day trip through India’s culturally rich and vibrant north highlights some of the region’s most spectacular architectural gems, imposing forts, exhilarating markets and fascinating heritage. In addition to exploring the captivating history and beauty of India, this tour also focuses on one of the best aspects of this magical country, the food! Aromatic spices, regional traditions and family recipes… food and cooking is at the core of daily life in India, and this itinerary allows you to experience it firsthand.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to India!

This morning your overnight flight arrives in to Delhi, oozing with history and intrigue. Your driver and guide will greet you at New Delhi International Airport and transport you to your comfortable accommodation. Once you’ve had an opportunity to unpack and have some rest, you will head out with your guide to explore New Delhi. This region of the city was planned and built by the British in the 1920’s and is characterised by Sir Edwin Lutyens’ monumental architecture. You will drive through the city, with its wide tree-lined avenues, discovering India Gate, the Diplomatic Enclave and Humayun’s Tomb, aptly called the predecessor of the Taj Mahal because of its ornate Mughal style of architecture.

Stay at friendly guest house Colonel’s Retreat.

Day 2 - Traditional Haveli and tea tasting

This morning you will be joined by your local guide for a walking tour through the tangle of narrow lanes in Old Delhi, soaking up the atmosphere and experiencing the intense aromas of spices and incense. During this tour, you will be taken to a local Haveli home where you will meet the family and gain an insight in to their lives and traditions. Head up to the open terrace on the roof to view Delhi and the surrounding neighborhood from a different perspective.

Later this afternoon, stop for some tea tasting at Delhi’s first tea parlour, opened in 1981. Tea drinking forms the central part of daily life in India, whether that be the sweet and spicy masala chai served up from street stalls or steaming cups of fresh Darjeeling tea, surprising refreshing in the heat of the day.

Day 3 - Journey to the Pink City

This morning you will leave Delhi and travel to the Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, and the capital of colourful Rajasthan. A riot of colour and noise, Jaipur’s bustling markets and stunning architecture makes the city a favourite amongst visitors.

After checking in to your accommodation and having some time to relax and enjoy some lunch, you will head out with your local guide to explore some of Jaipur’s architectural gems – the City Palace Complex, Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) and the fascinating Jantar Mantar observatory, which dates back to the early 18th century.

Day 4 - Discover Amer Fort and Bollywood!

This morning you will be joined by your guide once more to explore the imposing Amer Fort (also known as Amber Fort). This exquisite piece of Rajput architecture has beautiful royal halls featuring intricate ivory, mirror and glass work and is a delight to stroll through. The views from the fort over the surrounding landscape are breath taking so be sure to keep your camera handy!

This evening you can visit the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema to experience the celebration of colours and music of a Bollywood movie!

Day 5 - Taste of Jaipur

Have a day at leisure today to relax or explore under your own steam. Perhaps take a rickshaw in to the markets for some fabric or spice shopping or simply potter the streets, soaking up the atmosphere and local way of life.

This evening, the charismatic hosts of Dera Mandawa boutique hotel will invite you in to their kitchen for a wonderful evening of cooking (and of course eating!) traditional Rajasthani cuisine.

Day 6 - Discover the architectural highlights of Agra

This morning you depart Jaipur and journey to Agra by road, a city best known for the spectacular Taj Mahal. En route, stop at Chand Baori (step well) at Abhaneri. One of largest stepwells in the world, Chand Baori was built to conserve water and provide respite from the intense heat, and on completion it was dedicated to Hashat Mata – Goddess of Joy and Happiness.

On arrival in to Agra, and after checking in to your accommodation, you will then enjoy an evening tour of some of the city’s most famous landmarks in the atmospheric evening light with your knowledgeable guide.

Day 7 - The magic of the Taj Mahal

This morning starts with a sunrise visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal, the monument of love. Visiting in the ethereal early morning light only adds to the romance of the experience, and the crowds tend to be quieter at this time.

After breakfast and some time to relax, join your guide in exploring the imposing Red Fort and learn about the fascinating history held between the walls!

Day 8 - Journey to Lucknow

Today you will journey to the capital of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow. The city stands on the banks of the Gomti River and is home to many architectural gems, rich in history and intrigue. This evening enjoy a heritage Victorian walk through the city, learning about it’s history and meeting some of the locals who have fascinating stories to tell!

Day 9 - Taste of Lucknow

After a morning exploring the city of Lucknow in more depth with your local guide, covering interesting sites such as La Martiniere School, Lucknow Residency and Immambara, enjoy and afternoon at leisure to relax.

This evening, explore the culinary highlights of the city by joining your guide for a foodie tour. Hop in and of traditional roadsite eateries, tasting your way through Lucknow’s local delicacies straight out of the kitchen!

Day 10 - Experience the famous Indian railway!

After a leisurely morning, board your Express Train to New Delhi. Enjoy the experience of India’s famous railway! Stay overnight in Delhi before your journey home tomorrow.

Day 11 - Home time!

Today you will board your international flight back home. Safe journey!

DETAILS: -

This itinerary costs from £2200 per person B&B and is based on two people sharing during the high season (Oct-Mar) excluding the peak Christmas and New Year period. The price includes all private transfers and domestic travel but not international flights.

International flights tend to cost about £600pp for a return – do ask us for advice. Alternatively we can book the flights for you but a booking fee may apply.

What's included?

INCLUDED:
  • Prices start from £2200 per person
  • Accommodation on B&B basis
  • Private transfers in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Train tickets
  • Local taxes
  • All excursions and activities mentioned in the itinerary
  • All trips are ATOL protected or ABTA bonded to ensure you are fully covered
Make a booking

This 11-day trip through India’s culturally rich and vibrant north highlights some of the region’s most spectacular architectural gems, imposing forts, exhilarating markets and fascinating heritage. In addition to exploring the captivating history and beauty of India, this tour also focuses on one of the best aspects of this magical country, the food! Aromatic spices, regional traditions and family recipes… food and cooking is at the core of daily life in India, and this itinerary allows you to experience it firsthand.

Delhi
The gateway to many north India trips, Old and New Delhi are full of history and charm and it is an exciting place to explore. More
Agra
Agra is home to one of the most iconic buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal. Visiting this monument at sunrise is a truly magical once in a lifetime experience, and one that must not be missed. More
Jaipur
The capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur is a riot of colour and rich in fascinating history. Stroll around the magnificent Amber Fort and marvel at the intricate facade of the Palace of the Winds. More
Ranthambore National Park
Search for the majestic Tiger and enjoy the peaceful landscape of rural Rajasthan. Fantastic accommodation options and a high population of Tigers makes Ranthambore a brilliant addition to north India tours for wildlife enthusiasts! More
Jodhpur
The blue hue of the city's old town, imposing Mehrangarh Fort and bustling markets makes Jodhpur one of the most colourful and characterful cities in Rajasthan. A selection of properties ranging from rustic traditional Haveli's to luxurious palaces make for a wonderful stay. The Blue City is the perfect backdrop for atmospheric photographs, so be sure to keep your camera handy! More
Jaisalmer
Known as The Golden City, and for good reason. Jaisalmer city and Fort rises out of the honey hued sands of the Thar Desert, and along with elaborate and intricate architecture it is one of the most atmospheric cities in north India. A camel ride into the surrounding dunes for a night under the stars completes the magical experience. More
Udaipur
The romantic lake-side city of Udaipur has a more relaxed pace than other cities, so is the perfect last stop on any Rajasthan tours. The picturesque Lake Pichola, the iconic Lake Palace, seemingly floating in the water, and the stunning hillside as the backdrop create the perfect setting for a lazy evening, cold beverage in hand, watching the sunset. More
Mumbai
Vibrant and exciting, Mumbai is a city of extremes. The home of Bollywood and the rich and famous, it is also home to one of the largest slums in Asia, Dharavi. A tour around Mumbai highlights the iconic monuments and rich culture, and gives a wonderful opportunity to get under the skin of the city and gain an insight into local life. More
Goa
Beaches lined with colourful shacks, golden sands, tropical Palm Trees and a relaxed, bohemian vibe is what you can expect to find in Goa. Head to north Goa for more of a buzz, central Goa to explore the relaxed capital of Panjim, and the less built-up south for a little more seclusion and peace. More
Fort Cochin
Relaxed and historic Fort Cochin is a wonderful place to explore, enjoying the beautiful sights of the Chinese fishing nets, colourful fishing boats lining the shore, coconut stalls sitting under the dappled sunlight and, if you're lucky, the odd sighting of the river Dolphin. More
Munnar
Travel inland from Kerala's tropical coast and you discover the hill station of Munnar, nestled within lush green tea plantations and breathtaking scenery. Spend your time walking through the country side and enjoying the view, learning how tea is picked and processed and gaining an insight into the local way of life in the hills. More
Thekkady
Thekkady is the location of Periyar National Park, a must for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Kerala. Enjoy Jungle treks into the park and keep your eyes peeled for Sambar Deer, Giant Squirrels, Monkeys and Wild Boar amongst impressive bird life. More
The Backwaters
Experiencing life on the backwaters is often a highlight of trips to Kerala. Drift down the waterways on a traditional Houseboat, or choose from a number of wonderful properties to stay in to enjoy this serene way of life, a total contrast from Indian cities. More
Marari Beach
The beautiful and peaceful Marari Beach is a wonderful way to end a trip in Kerala, relaxing on the vast golden sands and dipping your toes in the warm Arabian ocean. The setting of Kerala's tropical coastline is the perfect relaxing end to a tour of this region where you can just enjoy the surrounding nature. More
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands
You can expect to find stunning white sand beaches, azure waters, world class diving and exotic jungle on these remote islands in the Bay of Bengal. It can be a little more of a challenge to reach the islands, but it is more than worth it for the secluded tropical hideaway that awaits. More
Wayanad
The alluring rainforest covered mountains of Wayanad are spectacular and a must for nature lovers. Home to coffee and spice plantations, it makes a wonderful scenic change from the exotic beaches and tranquil waterways found on the coast of northern Kerala. More
Nileshwar
Nileshwar in northern Kerala is home to a beautiful coastline and peaceful waterways. Less touched by tourism than elsewhere in India, visitors to this region benefit from an off the beaten track experience of traditional houseboat cruises and village life on the waters edge. More
Varanasi
Located on the banks of the sacred River Ganges, Varanasi is one of Hinduism's seven holy cities. An incredibly spiritual, historic and culturally rich city, a visit to Varanasi never fails to be a memorable one. Witness daily rituals on the water's edge and navigate the tangle of narrow lanes weaving through the city, too narrow for cars to pass through. More
Lucknow
Lucknow is the capital of Uttar Pradesh and full of magnificent architecture and fascinating history. The city is also very well known for it's delicious cuisine, unique to the region. More

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