Because India is such a large country, we recommend not trying to take on too much in one trip. It is worth considering when it is you want to visit, what kind of holiday you would like and how much you would like spend to help decide where to visit.
The classic ‘Golden Triangle’ itinerary is often a popular trip for the first time visitor, and is also ideal if you are short on time. This trip includes some time in Delhi, where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the capital and really soak up the rich history and culture of India. Followed by Agra, home to the spectacular Taj Mahal, and vibrant Jaipur. The ‘Pink City’ is the capital of Rajasthan and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2019.
It is popular to extend this trip to include more of Rajasthan. Experience the colour and unique charm of each city, perhaps venturing to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur, in contrast to the region’s beautiful and peaceful countryside. Alternatively you may like to head further east and include Varanasi, one of the oldest and most sacred cities in India, or the incredible food culture of Lucknow.
Adding some time in the southern states, such as Kerala, onto a trip through Rajasthan is a wonderful way to get a feel for the drastically different landscapes, traditions and local cultures across the country. Or a visit to south India makes a wonderfully relaxing holiday in its own right – think drifting along the palm-fringed backwaters, lazing on the golden beaches and strolling through rolling tea plantations.
For something a little different, the foothills of the Himalayas can be a fascinating trip. Visit Dharamsala and Mcleod Ganj, home to Tibetan communities and the Dalai Lama, Amritsar, where the beautiful Golden Temple glimmers, and the hill station of Shimla which is a thoroughly interesting insight in to British Colonial times (and an opportunity to experience the iconic ‘Toy Train’).
For a tropical beach break, the palm fringed shores of Goa are a good choice for sun, sea and sand with a relaxed bohemian vibe, whilst still being within easy reach of elsewhere in India. Located in the southern half of the country on the western coast, Goa is great as a beach add-on to a cultural tour or as a stand alone beach holiday in itself. An ideal combination is to spend a few days in Mumbai before heading south to Goa via an easy domestic flight. Having the opportunity to explore and experience the city streets of Mumbai before relaxing on a tropical beach provides a wonderfully balanced trip.
If you are looking to experience the ultimate exotic hideaway, the Andaman Islands are India’s hidden paradise. Still fairly untouched by tourism, the remote Andaman Islands are home to some spectacular beaches, world class diving and thick exotic rainforest with an abundance of wildlife. Staying in one of our favourite boutique hotels, a holiday to the islands will provide a total escape from modern life and a chance to immerse yourself in raw and beautiful nature.