For those looking to experience India’s contrast between the bustling north and tropical south, this itinerary is the perfect blend of the two. Start with 10 days exploring the colourful cities and tranquil countryside of Rajasthan before travelling south to explore the lush green backwaters and stunning tea plantations of Kerala.
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. Nothing is planned for this afternoon to allow you to recover from your flight, so relax and enjoy the hotel’s roof top seating area or head out for a wander.
Today you will have a full tour of Old and New Delhi. Your guide will explain the full history and highlight the contrast between the Old and New regions of the city. A highlight of the tour is a guided walk or cycle rickshaw through the sprawling narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, where you can absorb the sights, sounds and fascinating local life in the depths of Old Delhi. The tour takes approximately 5 hours, and the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Today you will rise early and experience India’s famous railways as you catch your morning train to Agra. After settling in to your accommodation, your guide will take you around Agra’s key sights, one of the highlights being the magnificent Red Fort. Later this afternoon, you will finish the day by enjoying the sunset from the quiet gardens of Mehtab Bagh, which sit behind the spectacular Taj Mahal. A peaceful and magical experience.
The Taj Mahal is one of the most romantic and iconic buildings in the world, and one that most certainly lives up to it’s hype. We recommend visiting at sunrise, when the crowds are a little quieter and the ethereal early morning light adds to the magical atmosphere. After your visit, you will continue your journey to the Pink City and capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur. The remainder of the day is free to spend as you wish.
Today your guide will join you in exploring the beautiful old city of Jaipur, discovering the imposing Amber Fort and intricate facade of the Palace of the Winds. Learn about the fascinating workings behind Jantar Mantar Observatory and soak up the colourful atmosphere of this beautiful city. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure.
Today is a free day to enjoy at your own pace. Perhaps jump in a rickshaw and meander around Jaipur’s exhilarating markets or relax in the serene courtyards of your hotel. However you decide to spend your day, remember to keep your camera handy to capture some beautiful photographs!
Today your driver will transfer you the rural village of Barli, where you will be staying in the beautifully restored Fort Barli. The heritage property is full of character and charm and has a lovely swimming pool to relax in, or you can head out in to the local village. Meander through the dusty colourful lanes, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying an insight into life in rural Rajasthan.
After a leisurely breakfast at Fort Barli, you will continue your journey to Udaipur with your driver. Udaipur has a truly beautiful setting, built on the banks of serene Lake Pichola, and has a wonderful relaxed atmosphere. On arrival, the afternoon is yours to spend as you wish. Perhaps enjoy a cold drink overlooking the lake and iconic Lake Palace, or take a stroll through the vibrant streets.
Today you will be joined by your guide to explore the interesting and beautiful sights the city has to offer. You will meander through the old part of the city visiting the City Palace, rich with history and intricate traditional decoration, fascinating Jagdish Temple and the pretty Saheliyon Ki Bari gardens, or ‘Garden of the Maids’. The remainder of the day and evening is yours to enjoy as you wish before your depart north India tomorrow.
Fly to the south of India today from Udaipur via Mumbai to the luscious and green state of Kerala. On arrival you will be met by your driver who will transfer you to the historical port of Fort Cochin. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure taking in the sights and culture, experiencing the contrast from the first half of your trip.
Explore a guided tour of Fort Cochin this morning. As you travel through the colonial streets you will pass sights such as the oldest church in India, St Francis, the Dutch Palace and the Santa Cruz Basilica.
The rest of the day is to spend as you wish. If you would like to attend a Kathakali performance tonight, which originates from Kerala, please let us know or ask at your hotel on arrival.
Travel up to the Western Ghats and to the area surrounding the hill station of Munnar today. With spice and tea plantations from every vantage point, staying in one of the isolated properties here with unspoilt views is a truly memorable experience.
Your guide will take you on a trek today where you will not only get to see the area but also learn about this part of Kerala. You may like to enjoy one of the other activities your property offers this afternoon.
After a leisurely morning where you might like to enjoy another activity in Munnar your driver will pick you up for your journey to the Periyar National Park. This drive is particularly beautiful and your driver will be happy for you to make stops to take some stunning photographs. When you have arrived you will have the evening to relax at your leisure.
An early start today as you head out with a local ranger on a jungle walk of the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. Keep your eye out for sambar deer, giant squirrels, monkeys and wild boar amongst impressive bird life. Following an early lunch your driver will pick you up for the journey West to the beautiful Keralan backwaters. Enjoy a night on your rice barge where you will be served a fantastic Indian dinner after you have drifted through the scenic waterways.
A further day on the backwaters. You may like to have another night on the rice barge so you can journey through the narrower and more scenic parts of this area. Bicycles mean you can explore villages and the food will continue to change but be delicious and memorable. Stay in a homestay on the backwaters if not having a second night on the barge.
For your final stop in Kerala enjoy the golden sand beaches of Marari where you can relax and reflect on your fantastic Indian experience.
Day at leisure.
Your driver will pick you up today in plenty of time to take you back to Cochin for your flight home.
This itinerary costs from £2,650 per person B&B and is based on two people sharing during the high season (Oct-Mar) excluding the 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.