7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This introductory small group tour to northern India takes you on a fascinating journey of discovery, visiting many of the country’s most iconic sights. Experience India’s unique culture as you explore the famous Golden Triangle in style. See the imperial monuments of Delhi, the royal palaces of Jaipur, and the bucket-list favourite, the spectacular Taj Mahal in Agra.

• Delhi: 1 night
• Agra: 2 nights
• Jaipur: 2 nights
• Delhi: 1 night

7nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Stay longer

Tigers of Ranthambore 4 nights Complete your holiday in India in one of the most accessible places to go on a tiger safari, Ranthambore National Park.

Day 1: Jaipur to Ranthambore Departing your tour on Day 7 in Jaipur, transfer by road to your hotel in Ranthambore. On arrival, you’ll have the rest of your day at leisure with the option to go on one of two optional excursions: An afternoon game drive or a visit an art school and local village or go on a village tour (all at extra cost and subject to availability). The Ranthambore School of Art is near the town of Sawai Madhopur and worth a visit as it patronizes the paintings of the painters from the local villages. The primary theme of their paintings is the terrific tigers of Ranthambore. The wild cats are depicted very realistically in their true glory in paintings of the Ranthambore School of Art. The painters play an important role in spreading awareness about the need to conserve and preserve the tigers of Ranthambore among the villagers by interacting with them. There are many villages in Sawai Madhopur which can be visited. Surrounded by with the rolling hills of Aravallis, It is quite attractive with a pleasant atmosphere. The villages of Sawai Madhopur hold their own distinct charm. The rural life of Sawai Madhopur reflects the determination of the people to survive in even most difficult of circumstances. The people of these villages belong to different communities and are segregated according to the nature of their profession. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 112 miles. Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge (or similar). L, D.

Day 2: Ranthambore Your tiger safari begins today, when you’ll get to try and spot the striped predator on shared jeep game drives in the morning and afternoon. Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Ranthambore You’ll get another opportunity to search for India’s stunning wildlife in a morning game drive, with a second optional game drive in the afternoon (at extra cost). Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Ranthambore to Delhi Depart for the station for your train journey back to Delhi. The rest of your day is at leisure. Approx. journey time: 4¼ hours, 236 miles. Stay: Trident Gurgaon (or similar). B.

Day 5: Delhi to UK Transfer to their airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Himalaya Foothills (Shimla) 4 nights Take in the fresh mountainous surroundings of the former British Raj summer capital, Shimla.

Day 1: Delhi to Shimla Transfer to New Delhi station for your train journey on the Shatabdi Express to Chandigarh (approx. 3½ hours). On arrival, you’ll transfer by road to your hotel in Shimla. Approx. journey time: 7½ hours, 75 miles. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar).

Day 2: Shimla Today you explore Shimla starting with a visit to an impressive Hindu temple containing shrines to the many and various Hindi gods. Continue to the Vice-regal Lodge, this also happens to be the place where the partition of India into two parts, India and Pakistan, was planned on the world map. The British architecture here is amazing; the wooden work inside the building is still kept alive as it was during the British rule. The building is now used by Indian scholars and is called Institute for Advanced Studies. Later enjoy a leisurely stroll back along the Mall to Scandal Point. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 3: Shimla Your time is free to explore Shimla at your own pace today. Perhaps stroll through the pine forests, or relax and enjoy the facilities of the hotel. Or you may have chosen to pre-book an optional excursion to Woodville Palace and Apple Valley. Woodville Palace was formerly the residence of the Commanders-in-Chief of the British Indian Army, but now a fascinating hotel caught in a 1930s time warp, housing many photos and memorabilia of the Maharajas and the Raj. Woodville Palace, located 7000 feet above sea level and half a mile away from the Shimla mall, has its share of timeless romantic history. Its history seeks to trace the grace and grandeur of the Indian Kings as well as the lifestyle of the British Raj and therein lies the essence of Woodville. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 4: Shimla to Delhi Begin your journey back to Delhi on Shimla’s famous Toy Train (approx 2¾ hours). You’ll get gorgeous mountain views in this old-world style train as it travels to Solan. Here, you’ll take a road transfer (approx. 1½ hours) to Kalka for your onward train back to Delhi (approx. 4¼ hours), with dinner on the train. Approx. journey time: 8½ hours, 214 miles. Stay: Maidens Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Delhi to UK Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Nepal 5 nights Explore temples and palaces in Kathmandu and get off the beaten track in Pokhara, the former Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.

Day 1: Delhi to Kathmandu After breakfast transfer to Delhi International airport to board a flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. In the afternoon proceed for sightseeing of the stupa of Budhanath which lies 8 KM east of Kathmandu. On this colossal and ancient stupa, one of the biggest in the world, are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. The height of this stupa is 36 meters. It is said to have been built by Lichchhavi King Mana Dev in the fifth century A.D. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels. Boudhanath is generally acknowledged to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside Tibet. Tibetans simply call it CHORTEN CHEMPO "Great Stupa". Stay: Hyatt Regency (or similar). B.

Day 2: Kathmandu This morning you may have pre-booked an optional early mountain flight which, weather permitting, will allow breath-taking views of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. This morning you will visit Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath. Kathmandu Durbar Square is home to palaces, temples and courtyards. Many of the palaces and temples in Durbar Square were built during the reign of the Malla Kings (1200 to 1768) and are beautiful examples of Newari Architecture, Nepal’s most distinctive architectural style. This important historical attraction has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are more than a dozen buildings and statues of note in this small area. Swyambhunath is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. This afternoon you will partake in sightseeing of Patan City. Patan is a center of Buddhist and Hindu culture. It is a city of Buddhist monuments, Hindu temples and fine wood carvings. Lalitpur is the name of this city which 'means the city of beauty'. The city is known as the paradise of fine arts. Patan also boasts a Durbar Square full of temples. You will also experience the magic of singing bowls with singing bowl master during sightseeing of Patan City. Singing bowls are renowned for their healing and relaxing qualities and were invented by ancient Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist monks for physical, mental and spiritual rejuvenation. Stay: Hyatt Regency (or similar). B.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara Today you’ll travel to Pokhara. Set around a stunning lake and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, Pokhara is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Nepal and is a popular starting place for trekking. On arrival at your hotel, the rest of your day is at leisure. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 124 miles. Stay: Temple Tree Resort (or similar). B.

Day 4: Pokhara This morning you will have a half day of sightseeing in Pokhara and surrounds where you will see Devi’s Fall, a lovely waterfall 2 kilometers from Pokhara, Gupteswore Cave, which is a limestone cave dedicated to Lord Shiva and Seti Gorge which is a stunning part of the Pokhara Valley. In the afternoon you will enjoy a boat trip on Fewa Lake, the second largest lake in the Kingdom. Stay: Temple Tree Resort (or similar). B.

Day 5: Pokhara to Kathmandu Transfer back to Kathmandu for your last full day in Nepal. You’ll have some time at leisure before dinner, which will be at a local Nepali restaurant featuring a cultural dance show. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 124 miles. Stay: Hyatt Regency (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Kathmandu to UK Following an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi followed by your return flight to the UK. B.

Bhutan 6 nights Discover this mysterious kingdom and visit the amazing Tiger’s Nest monastery nestled in the cliffside.

Day 1: Delhi to Thimphu Depart from Delhi on your flight to Paro (approx. 2½ hours). On a clear day, you’ll get a spectacular view as you fly over the Himalayas. Transfer to your hotel in Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, for an afternoon at leisure before a drive to Buddha Point where a huge Buddha statue overlooks the city. Approx. journey time: 1 hour, 40 miles. Stay: Hotel River View (or similar). L, D.

Day 2: Thimphu Head off on the full-day tour of Thimphu which includes; National Memorial Chorten which was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who had wanted to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”), and a monument to peace, and the busy weekend market by the river (market is open Thursday-Sunday). Stay: Hotel River View (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Thimphu to Punakha It’s an early start this morning as you drive along the Dochula Pass to Punakha. Arrive at your hotel for lunch, and spend the afternoon on a hike to a temple dedicated to the "Divine Madman", an eccentric monk from the 16th century famous for many his many amusing, Rabelaisian folklore stories,.and a visit to Wangduephodrang, a typical small Bhutanese town, with bustling market and well-stocked shops. This area is also known for its fine bamboo work, stone carvings, locally mined slate, and a yak dairy research station. You will then return to your hotel for dinner. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 48 miles. Stay: Hotel YT (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Punakha to Paro Transfer to Paro and check into your hotel. This afternoon, you’ll go on a towards the north end of the valley to view the Ta Dzong (closed on Govt. Holidays), formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Then walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) situated at a commanding height overlooking Paro valley. Built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646, this Dzong now houses Paro’s monk body and the offices of the civil administration and is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. In the evening, you’ll visit a traditional farmhouse and meet a local family. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 81 miles. Stay: Hotel Olathang (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Paro Today, you’ll visit Bhutan’s most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, founding father of the Bhutanese form of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. The main structure was severely damaged by fire in 1998, but after many years of painstaking restoration work, the complex has now been fully restored to its former glory. In the afternoon, take an excursion to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought off Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Later you will visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Later you will visit the town’s handicraft shops before returning to your hotel. Stay: Hotel Olathang (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Paro to Delhi After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Stay: Novotel (or similar). B.

Day 7: Delhi Depart after breakfast for your return flight back to the UK. B.

Beaches of India 3 nights If you fancy chilling out after your tour, Goa’s honey-sand beaches have a charming, bohemian vibe – or head to Kerala’s small coastal town of Kovalam where you can find pretty, secluded coves and laid-back resorts.

NB If you are extending your holiday at a beach resort or in Ranthambore, then you will end the main tour in Jaipur on Day 7.

Combine your tour Highlights of India - Taj Tour can be easily combined with our Kerala Explorer if you want to experience the contrasts between hectic northern India and the calm backcwaters of the south. Or you can combine with our Nepal & Bhutan Explorer to experience the wonder of the Himalayas.

Day 1: UK to Delhi Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2: Delhi On arrival in the capital, transfer to your hotel and enjoy some free time to relax. This afternoon you’ll head to Old Delhi to visit Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India built by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan whose other architectural feats include the legendary Taj Mahal. Drive past the impressive Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the main seat of the Mughal Empire for 200 years, on an afternoon drive around India’s capital city. This evening your group will have a welcome dinner with a glass of Indian wine or beer, hosted by your tour leader.
Stay: Maidens Hotel, New Delhi (or similar)
Meals: Dinner.

Day 3: Delhi to Agra See more of the main sights of New Delhi including the Raj Ghat – an open-air memorial to Mahatma Gandhi surrounded by trees planted by visiting dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II. Drive past the grand Neo-classical government buildings, designed by British architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens, during the British Raj. Have lunch at a local restaurant before driving south to Agra, a city which is famous as the home of the magnificent Taj Mahal but also hosts other UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 131 miles.
Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Agra Rise early for the incredible highlight of your tour – the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching the sunrise at the spectacular Taj Mahal, one of the finest pieces of architecture in the world. This exquisite monument to eternal love was created by Emperor Shah Jahan in response to his adored wife’s dying wish that he should ‘build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before’. Be mesmerised by the captivating beauty of the Taj as it appears to change colour as the light changes and takes on an ethereal pink glow. Another highlight today is Itimad-ud-Daulah, also known as Baby Taj. This stunning marble tomb is studded with semi-precious stones and appears to resemble a giant jewel box. See the 16th-Century Agra Fort, an impressive red sandstone monument that houses fairytale palaces, audience halls and two white marble mosques. Complete your Taj experience by heading to Mehtab Bagh at sunset – this park has sensational views of the Taj Mahal as the gleaming marble reflects the ever-changing sky, from yellow to orange and then white.
Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast.

Day 5: Agra to Jaipur Head west to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital. Stop to see the perfectly preserved deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri on the way, which was founded in 1569 only to be abandoned just 16 years later after the water supply ran out. Stop for lunch at Laxmi Vilas, a splendid heritage hotel. You’ll also explore Chand Baori, the fascinating step-well at Abhaneri. The symmetry of 3500 steps working its way down 13 storeys to the well below is an amazing sight – and an impressive feat built between the 8th and 9th Century. Approx. journey time: 7 hours, 160 miles.
Stay: Trident Jaipur (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Jaipur This morning there’s an optional hot-air balloon ride if you’d like to start your day with a bird’s-eye view of the blush-pink city, high up away from the hustle and bustle below. A full day of sightseeing includes visits to the ancient and imposing Amber Fort which sits on a hilltop overlooking Maota Lake. Wander through the palatial grounds and see the Sheesh Mahal, a room embellished with thousands of mirror fragments that are said to be able to light up the entire room by reflecting a single candle flame. Visit the City Palace – an exquisite complex of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture that also houses a museum and art gallery. You’ll also get to visit the Royal Observatory and admire views of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), and its unique honeycomb façade. Then take a rickshaw ride and experience the buzz of daily life in a local market before returning to your hotel. Tonight, you’ll have a farewell dinner with a local family which includes a cooking demonstration.
Stay: Trident Jaipur (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Jaipur to Delhi The long drive back to Delhi gives you the chance to chat to your tour leader and learn more about northern India’s culture and history. In the evening, you can take an optional trip to the Kingdom of Dreams to experience the opulence and drama of a live Bollywood show. If you choose to extend your holiday, you’ll end the main tour today and continue to your next destination. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 158 miles.
Stay: Trident, Gurgaon (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast

Day 8: Delhi Have a relaxing morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your tour in India, Nepal or Bhutan. Meals: Breakfast.


Stay longer

Tigers of Ranthambore 4 nights Complete your holiday in India in one of the most accessible places to go on a tiger safari, Ranthambore National Park.

Day 1: Jaipur to Ranthambore Departing your tour on Day 7 in Jaipur, transfer by road to your hotel in Ranthambore. On arrival, you’ll have the rest of your day at leisure with the option to go on one of two optional excursions: An afternoon game drive or a visit an art school and local village or go on a village tour (all at extra cost and subject to availability). The Ranthambore School of Art is near the town of Sawai Madhopur and worth a visit as it patronizes the paintings of the painters from the local villages. The primary theme of their paintings is the terrific tigers of Ranthambore. The wild cats are depicted very realistically in their true glory in paintings of the Ranthambore School of Art. The painters play an important role in spreading awareness about the need to conserve and preserve the tigers of Ranthambore among the villagers by interacting with them. There are many villages in Sawai Madhopur which can be visited. Surrounded by with the rolling hills of Aravallis, It is quite attractive with a pleasant atmosphere. The villages of Sawai Madhopur hold their own distinct charm. The rural life of Sawai Madhopur reflects the determination of the people to survive in even most difficult of circumstances. The people of these villages belong to different communities and are segregated according to the nature of their profession. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 112 miles. Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge (or similar). L, D.

Day 2: Ranthambore Your tiger safari begins today, when you’ll get to try and spot the striped predator on shared jeep game drives in the morning and afternoon. Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Ranthambore You’ll get another opportunity to search for India’s stunning wildlife in a morning game drive, with a second optional game drive in the afternoon (at extra cost). Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur Lodge (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Ranthambore to Delhi Depart for the station for your train journey back to Delhi. The rest of your day is at leisure. Approx. journey time: 4¼ hours, 236 miles. Stay: Trident Gurgaon (or similar). B.

Day 5: Delhi to UK Transfer to their airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Himalaya Foothills (Shimla) 4 nights Take in the fresh mountainous surroundings of the former British Raj summer capital, Shimla.

Day 1: Delhi to Shimla Transfer to New Delhi station for your train journey on the Shatabdi Express to Chandigarh (approx. 3½ hours). On arrival, you’ll transfer by road to your hotel in Shimla. Approx. journey time: 7½ hours, 75 miles. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar).

Day 2: Shimla Today you explore Shimla starting with a visit to an impressive Hindu temple containing shrines to the many and various Hindi gods. Continue to the Vice-regal Lodge, this also happens to be the place where the partition of India into two parts, India and Pakistan, was planned on the world map. The British architecture here is amazing; the wooden work inside the building is still kept alive as it was during the British rule. The building is now used by Indian scholars and is called Institute for Advanced Studies. Later enjoy a leisurely stroll back along the Mall to Scandal Point. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 3: Shimla Your time is free to explore Shimla at your own pace today. Perhaps stroll through the pine forests, or relax and enjoy the facilities of the hotel. Or you may have chosen to pre-book an optional excursion to Woodville Palace and Apple Valley. Woodville Palace was formerly the residence of the Commanders-in-Chief of the British Indian Army, but now a fascinating hotel caught in a 1930s time warp, housing many photos and memorabilia of the Maharajas and the Raj. Woodville Palace, located 7000 feet above sea level and half a mile away from the Shimla mall, has its share of timeless romantic history. Its history seeks to trace the grace and grandeur of the Indian Kings as well as the lifestyle of the British Raj and therein lies the essence of Woodville. Stay: The Oberoi Cecil (or similar). B.

Day 4: Shimla to Delhi Begin your journey back to Delhi on Shimla’s famous Toy Train (approx 2¾ hours). You’ll get gorgeous mountain views in this old-world style train as it travels to Solan. Here, you’ll take a road transfer (approx. 1½ hours) to Kalka for your onward train back to Delhi (approx. 4¼ hours), with dinner on the train. Approx. journey time: 8½ hours, 214 miles. Stay: Maidens Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Delhi to UK Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.

Nepal 5 nights Explore temples and palaces in Kathmandu and get off the beaten track in Pokhara, the former Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal.

Day 1: Delhi to Kathmandu After breakfast transfer to Delhi International airport to board a flight to Kathmandu. Upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. In the afternoon proceed for sightseeing of the stupa of Budhanath which lies 8 KM east of Kathmandu. On this colossal and ancient stupa, one of the biggest in the world, are the all-seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. The height of this stupa is 36 meters. It is said to have been built by Lichchhavi King Mana Dev in the fifth century A.D. It is built on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels. Boudhanath is generally acknowledged to be the most important Tibetan Buddhist monument outside Tibet. Tibetans simply call it CHORTEN CHEMPO "Great Stupa". Stay: Hyatt Regency (or similar). B.

Day 2: Kathmandu This morning you may have pre-booked an optional early mountain flight which, weather permitting, will allow breath-taking views of the Himalayas and Mt. Everest. This morning you will visit Kathmandu Durbar Square and Swayambhunath. Kathmandu Durbar Square is home to palaces, temples and courtyards. Many of the palaces and temples in Durbar Square were built during the reign of the Malla Kings (1200 to 1768) and are beautiful examples of Newari Architecture, Nepal’s most distinctive architectural style. This important historical attraction has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are more than a dozen buildings and statues of note in this small area. Swyambhunath is perhaps the best place to observe the religious harmony in Nepal. This afternoon you will partake in sightseeing of Patan City. Patan is a center of Buddhist and Hindu culture. It is a city of Buddhist monuments, Hindu temples and fine wood carvings. Lalitpur is the name of this city which 'means the city of beauty'. The city is known as the paradise of fine arts. Patan also boasts a Durbar Square full of temples. You will also experience the magic of singing bowls with singing bowl master during sightseeing of Patan City. Singing bowls are renowned for their healing and relaxing qualities and were invented by ancient Tibetan and Nepali Buddhist monks for physical, mental and spiritual rejuvenation. Stay: Hyatt Regency (or similar). B.

Day 3: Kathmandu to Pokhara Today you’ll travel to Pokhara. Set around a stunning lake and the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, Pokhara is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Nepal and is a popular starting place for trekking. On arrival at your hotel, the rest of your day is at leisure. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 124 miles. Stay: Temple Tree Resort (or similar). B.

Day 4: Pokhara This morning you will have a half day of sightseeing in Pokhara and surrounds where you will see Devi’s Fall, a lovely waterfall 2 kilometers from Pokhara, Gupteswore Cave, which is a limestone cave dedicated to Lord Shiva and Seti Gorge which is a stunning part of the Pokhara Valley. In the afternoon you will enjoy a boat trip on Fewa Lake, the second largest lake in the Kingdom. Stay: Temple Tree Resort (or similar). B.

Day 5: Pokhara to Kathmandu Transfer back to Kathmandu for your last full day in Nepal. You’ll have some time at leisure before dinner, which will be at a local Nepali restaurant featuring a cultural dance show. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 124 miles. Stay: Hyatt Regency (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Kathmandu to UK Following an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi followed by your return flight to the UK. B.

Bhutan 6 nights Discover this mysterious kingdom and visit the amazing Tiger’s Nest monastery nestled in the cliffside.

Day 1: Delhi to Thimphu Depart from Delhi on your flight to Paro (approx. 2½ hours). On a clear day, you’ll get a spectacular view as you fly over the Himalayas. Transfer to your hotel in Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, for an afternoon at leisure before a drive to Buddha Point where a huge Buddha statue overlooks the city. Approx. journey time: 1 hour, 40 miles. Stay: Hotel River View (or similar). L, D.

Day 2: Thimphu Head off on the full-day tour of Thimphu which includes; National Memorial Chorten which was originally envisaged by Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who had wanted to erect a monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it is both a memorial to the Late King (“the father of modern Bhutan”), and a monument to peace, and the busy weekend market by the river (market is open Thursday-Sunday). Stay: Hotel River View (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 3: Thimphu to Punakha It’s an early start this morning as you drive along the Dochula Pass to Punakha. Arrive at your hotel for lunch, and spend the afternoon on a hike to a temple dedicated to the "Divine Madman", an eccentric monk from the 16th century famous for many his many amusing, Rabelaisian folklore stories,.and a visit to Wangduephodrang, a typical small Bhutanese town, with bustling market and well-stocked shops. This area is also known for its fine bamboo work, stone carvings, locally mined slate, and a yak dairy research station. You will then return to your hotel for dinner. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 48 miles. Stay: Hotel YT (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Punakha to Paro Transfer to Paro and check into your hotel. This afternoon, you’ll go on a towards the north end of the valley to view the Ta Dzong (closed on Govt. Holidays), formerly a watchtower and now the National Museum. The museum collection includes ancient Bhutanese art and artifacts, weapons, coins, stamps and a small natural history collection. Then walk down a hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) situated at a commanding height overlooking Paro valley. Built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1646, this Dzong now houses Paro’s monk body and the offices of the civil administration and is symbolic as the religious and secular center of all affairs of the valley. In the evening, you’ll visit a traditional farmhouse and meet a local family. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 81 miles. Stay: Hotel Olathang (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 5: Paro Today, you’ll visit Bhutan’s most famous landmark, the Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. It is believed that Guru Rinpoche, founding father of the Bhutanese form of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. The main structure was severely damaged by fire in 1998, but after many years of painstaking restoration work, the complex has now been fully restored to its former glory. In the afternoon, take an excursion to Drukgyel Dzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought off Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, “mountain goddess” can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong. Later you will visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by the Tibetan king, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Later you will visit the town’s handicraft shops before returning to your hotel. Stay: Hotel Olathang (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Paro to Delhi After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Stay: Novotel (or similar). B.

Day 7: Delhi Depart after breakfast for your return flight back to the UK. B.

Beaches of India 3 nights If you fancy chilling out after your tour, Goa’s honey-sand beaches have a charming, bohemian vibe – or head to Kerala’s small coastal town of Kovalam where you can find pretty, secluded coves and laid-back resorts.

NB If you are extending your holiday at a beach resort or in Ranthambore, then you will end the main tour in Jaipur on Day 7.

Combine your tour Highlights of India - Taj Tour can be easily combined with our Kerala Explorer if you want to experience the contrasts between hectic northern India and the calm backcwaters of the south. Or you can combine with our Nepal & Bhutan Explorer to experience the wonder of the Himalayas.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Perfect for first-timers keen to visit some of India’s must-see sights or as a starting point before going on to other parts of India.

Good to know

• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey, where the minimum age is 12)
• Average group size of 10 guests
• A maximum of 18 guests
• Journey times do not take into account stops or traffic conditions
• We recommend travelling with no more than one suitcase and one day bag

What to expect

• India can be an assault on the senses but this is part of the experience
• Some long days with early starts
• A packed itinerary with a lot of travelling on the road
• Check-in at hotels is after 12pm
•  India’s colourful cities can be hectic with a fast-paced way of life  but this assault on the senses is all part of the experience
• Photography may not be allowed inside monuments, palaces or museums
• A good level of fitness is required

Accommodation on tour

We’ve chosen quality hotels that are ideally located for local exploration and offer a comfortable base for post-excursion relaxation. These hotels are traditional in style like Maidens Hotel in New Delhi, so you can enjoy a flavour of your destination – whether it’s the striking architecture, locally inspired cuisine, close proximity to the sights or stunning views.

Solo travellers

Sole-use room from £1760

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2021 Sep 18; Oct 16, 23

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £1693 per person

Excursions

Day 6: Hot Air Balloon Flight from £262 per person
Day 7: Bollywood Show from £72 per person

Special offer

SAVE UP TO £100 PER PERSON
  • Departs 18 Sep 2021

  • 7 nights

  • London Heathrow

  • Maximum 18 guests

  • Guaranteed departure

Quality accommodation, insightful local tour leader, hand-picked itineraries, meals where most convenient, all specified flights, porterage & guide tips included. Also available as a private tour.

Fly with British Airways from London Heathrow

from £1269

per person

Special offer

SAVE UP TO £100 PER PERSON
  • Departs 18 Sep 2021

  • 7 nights

  • London Heathrow

  • Maximum 18 guests

  • Guaranteed departure

Quality accommodation, insightful local tour leader, hand-picked itineraries, meals where most convenient, all specified flights, porterage & guide tips included. Also available as a private tour.

Fly with British Airways from London Heathrow

from £1269

per person

Kuoni highlights

Kuoni highlights

Marvel at Jaipur's Amber Fort One of India's best preserved forts, this is a massive structure perched high on a hillside with amazing views over the city.

See the Taj Mahal at its best Visit at sunrise and sunset as the rising or falling cun casts different light over the monument making it look like it is changing colour.

Ride the streets in a rickshaw Take an exhilarating ride through the winding lanes of Jaipur to experience daily life in action.