Experience the best India has to offer in this special small group tour. Visit Old and New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, but also enjoy a driving safari in Ranthambhore National Park, the best place in India to spot the elusive tiger, and a visit to Shimla, the "summer capital" of British India, with a ride on the famous "toy" train.
A select small group tour, staying in characterful 3- to 5-star accommodation. The tour is timed to coincide with the Makar Sakranti festival in Jaipur giving you another unique insight in Indian culture.
Depart London Heathrow or your regional airport on the first day.
This morning your overnight flight arrives into Delhi, oozing with history and intrigue. Your driver will greet you at New Delhi International Airport and transport you to your hotel. We have not planned anything for this afternoon to allow you to recover from your flight, so relax and enjoy the hotel’s lovely pool area or head out for a wander.
Today you enjoy 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, a young local guide who join you for this walk tour will enthusiastically show you some the hidden places of Old Delhi (the guides are street children who have been trained by a local NGO Salam Balak Trust). The tour takes about 7-8 hours, and the remainder of the evening is at your leisure. (B)
Today you will drive to Agra (around 4 hours). After settling into your hotel, 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. (B)
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 drive to Ranthambhore (around 6 hours) visiting the deserted city of Fatehpur-Sikri with your guide in attendance. Check into your lovely lodge and relax for the evening enjoying a massage or by the pool. (B, D)
Today you will enjoy morning and evening Jeep safaris (shared) to enjoy the wildlife and try and spot the majestic Royal Bengal Tiger and many other animals and birds. Afternoon will be free to relax!
After breakfast, you will continue your journey to the Pink City and capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur. Today we will experience Jaipur’s exhilarating markets and soak up the colourful atmosphere of this beautiful city before returning to your hotel. Stay at characterful boutique hotel, Shahpura House. (B)
Today your guide will take you to explore 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 enjoy the amazing collection of Textiles and Arms and Ammunition at City Palace. Later in the afternoon, we arrive on top of a local Rajput Family’s home in the city to enjoy Makar Sakranti celebration. Makar Sakranti is the start of Hindu New Year, and is celebrated with much fanfare. Families climb on top of roofs of their homes right in the morning and fly kites, food, snacks etc are served the whole day as children and elders all join together in flying kites and also engaging in a kind of dog fight in air to cut the other people’s kite. Loud music and people dancing and making noise is a amazing spectacle to see. You will enjoy the experience along with snacks and soft drinks served. (B)
Today enjoy a free day in Jaipur to explore the city or indulge yourselves in some last-minute shopping. (B)
Today you board an early flight from Jaipur to Chandigarh. On arrival you will be driven (around 3.5 hrs) to Shimla where you stay at the lovely Oberoi Cecil for next 3 nights. (B)
Today you will have a guided tour of Shimla which will begin with visit to Viceregal Lodge designed by a British Architect followed by a walk along the ridge, and a visit to Christ Church, the second oldest church in North India. You will have the afternoon at leisure to walk around yourself. (B)
Free day. (B)
Free day to relax. (B)
Today morning you will be transferred to the Railway Station to take the famous toy train to Kalka arriving late afternoon where you on own connect to your onward express train to Delhi arriving at night. You will be met and transferred to your hotel near to the international airport. (B)
In the morning board your flight back to UK, arriving later the same day. (B)
Here are details of the preferred hotels for this tour. Similar hotels may be substituted. All are characterful, clean, well-presented hotels with good facilities offering a comfortable stay on a touring holiday.
DELHI: OBEROI MAIDENS Hotel
Classic heritage hotel, originally built in 1903 at the height of the British Raj. Located in New Delhi it provides comfortable 5-star facilities, including outdoor swimming pool.
jaipur: ShaHpura house
Heritage hotel, the former residence of the royal family of Shahpura whose descendants still manage the hotel. Stylish luxury in beautiful surroundings.
Explore the Indian continent with our tours. Here are the options that we have available: