21 days from £1,189 (was £1,399)
- Discover the city hustle and bustle of Delhi and Mumbai
- Get off the beaten track in rural Tordi Sagar
- See the home of Mahatma Gandhi at Gandhi Ashram
- Relax on the beautiful beaches of Goa and Varkala
- Stay with a local family in Alleppey and learn to cook Keralan cuisine
- Enjoy a backwater ferry cruise on the beautiful canals and rivers of Allepey
Explore India from north to south on this fantastic 3-week group experience. Kicking off in bustling Delhi, you’ll see India’s top highlights, including the iconic Taj Mahal, the Amber Fort of Jaipur and the rural village of Tordi Sagar. You’ll then discover the temples of Pushkar and the beautiful waterways of Udaipur, before stopping off in mighty Mumbai for a city break, checking out the home of Mahatma Gandhi en route. The second half of your trip is dedicated to the south-west coast, including Goa and Kochi. Here you’ll enjoy beach time, a unique local homestay experience and an unforgettable cruise on the backwaters of Allepey. This is the ultimate way to explore the beauty, bustle and culture of India!
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Day 1: Delhi
Fly into Delhi today and make your way from the airport to your city accommodation. Here, you can relax, freshen up after your flight and ease into the Indian way of life! Tonight, you’ll meet your group and guide at a welcome meeting. An airport transfer is not included in your trip, but we can arrange this for you for an additional cost, contact us for further details.
Day 2: Delhi to Agra
This morning, we’ll hop on a train to Agra and discover one of India’s most famous sights: the majestic Taj Mahal. We’ll explore the building on a guided tour and see the iconic Mughal architecture in beautiful slanting sunlight. You also have the option to visit the Agra Fort, a stunning red sandstone monument, and the Baby Taj, an intricately designed mausoleum (extra cost). Your evening is then free to relax, eat and chat with your group.
Day 3: Agra to Jaipur
We’ll journey west this morning to Jaipur. We’ll travel by public bus, which offers a unique insight into daily life and culture in India. It’s a fairly long journey of around 7 hours, with a break, so sit back and watch the colours and countryside of India sweep past your window. On arrival in Jaipur, we’ll enjoy a brief orientation walk to get our bearings and then enjoy some free time to explore.
Day 4: Jaipur
This morning, we’ll check out the magnificent Amber Fort. This epic building towers above a beautiful artificial lake and is a fantastic example of how Hindu and Muslim architecture can be brought together. You’ll then enjoy a free afternoon to explore at your own pace. Why not catch a Bollywood movie at the cinema, or simply relax at a café and watch the world go by?
Day 5: Jaipur to Tordi Sagar
Next stop: the rural village of Tordi Sagar. This is a chance to get away from the busy streets and gain a unique insight into rural life in India. We’ll enjoy a tour of this peaceful village, meeting local potters and cobblers, and discover its towering red sand dunes. We may even get chance to play the locals at a friendly game of cricket!
Day 6: Tordi Sagar to Pushkar
We’ll enjoy our final moments in the village this morning and then cross Snake Mountain to Pushkar, the home of the world’s only temple to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. This is a popular pilgrimage site, and the gleaming white town can be crammed with pilgrims at certain times of year. Tonight, we’ll settle into our accommodation and take an orientation walk around the town.
Day 7: Pushkar
Rise early this morning and climb to the top of a nearby hill to watch the sunrise at Savitri Temple. After sunrise, the rest of the day is free to explore. Why not relax and rejuvenate with a yoga class, or enjoy a massage? For a more adventurous experience, you could strike out into the desert and tuck into a traditional meal with music, dancing and entertainment (extra cost).
Day 8: Pushkar to Udaipur
Board a train today to Udaipur. Travelling by train is a must-do experience while in India and offers a fascinating glimpse of local life. Udaipur is known as India’s most romantic city – and it’s easy to see why! With its vast lakes, gleaming palaces and distant hills, this gorgeous city is certainly easy on the eye. On arrival, we’ll get our bearings with an orientation walk and then enjoy a free evening to relax after our journey.
Day 9-10: Udaipur
Enjoy two full free days in this spectacular city. There are many things to do here, the only problem is choosing! Optional activities include learning to prepare Indian food at a cooking class, exploring the City Palace and the Monsoon Palace, or visiting the white marble temple devoted to Adinath, Ranakpur Jain. You’ll be spoiled for choice in this fantastic city!
Day 11: Udaipur to Mumbai
We’ll leave Udaipur behind today and take a local bus to Ahmedabad. Here, we’ll see the home of Mahatma Gandhi, a must-do experience while you’re in this part of the world. We’ll then a board an overnight train to the coast and Mumbai. This overnight train will last 7-8 hours and you’ll have a bed which will let you get some much-needed rest before the next stage of your adventure.
Day 12: Mumbai
We’ll wake up this morning as the train pulls into Mumbai. After an orientation walk around Colaba and Fort Area, the rest of the day is free to discover this incredible city for yourself. Discover the Gateway of India, enjoy a slice of luxury at the nearby Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, check out Chowpatty Beach or take a boat across to Elephanta Island, which is home to beautiful cave temples. When you feel peckish, dive into Mumbai’s excellent culinary scene and sample some delicious Indian delights.
Day 13-14: Mumbai to Goa
Take a short, included flight south to Goa this morning. When we arrive, we’ll transfer to our accommodation on the beaches of North Goa. Here, you can relax on the gorgeous sandy beaches, tuck into beautiful locally-sourced seafood, or venture into Old Goa and discover impressive colonial-era churches and convents. We have a full free day on day 14 to make the most of this stunning area.
Day 15: Goa to Kochi
Fly south to Kochi, a spectacular port city with an incredible mix of architectural, culinary and artistic influences. Here you’ll discover atmospheric historic streets and stunning waterside walkways – plenty to explore for backpackers. Spend the rest of the day wandering the city, enjoying food and drinks with your group and preparing for your final week in India!
Day 16: Kochi to Allepey
We’ll rise early this morning to explore the picturesque Jewish Quarter of Kochi. Then, to avoid the heat, we’ll make tracks for the riverside destination of Allepey, where beautiful rivers wind between small settlements and trickle gently into tranquil lakes and lagoons. Enjoy a guided walk led by a local guide. Then gain a unique insight into local culture with an included homestay experience. Stay with a family and learn how to cook some delicious Keralan cuisine, before tucking into your creations!
Day 17: Allepey to Kollam
This morning, after breakfast with our hosts, we’ll get out onto the waters of Allepey on an included ferry cruise. Glide through the spectacular backwaters and marvel at the low hanging coconut trees and rippling blue-green waters. After this incredible experience, we’ll journey further south along the coast to Kollam, another wonderful seaside city.
Day 18: Kollam to Varkala
We’ll visit the Kollam Fishing Docks first thing to see local fisherman at work. We’ll then carry onto the Neendakara Fishing Harbour and see market-sellers advertising fresh catches. Enjoy the sights, sounds (and fishy smells!) of this bustling place and then journey south to Varkala. Here, you could visit the beautiful Janarhana Swamu Temple, dedicated to a form of Vishnu. Alternatively, you could relax with a massage or even visit a local healer!
Day 19: Varkala
Enjoy a full free day here to relax on the beach, visit temples, wander markets in search of souvenirs or simply laze the days away in a local restaurant. One unique experience is an Ayurvedic Massage, which is thought to improve circulation and detox your body. Not a bad way to spend the day!
Day 20: Varkala to Kochi
We’ll take the train back up to Kochi, the final stop of this fantastic 3-week tour. After an orientation walk around Fort Kochi, taking in St Francis Church, the Dutch Palace, the Jewish Quarter and the impressive Chinese fishing nets, the rest of the day is yours to explore. Why not go and watch a Kathakali dance, one of the oldest forms of dance in India?
Day 21: Kochi
Your tour ends this morning in Kochi. You can either stick around for more independent travel adventures in India, or head to the airport to fly home or on to another country. An airport transfer is not included but is easy to arrange. Your guide will be able to help you organise this journey.
Please note activities and itineraries are subject to change.
- 20 nights’ accommodation
- Guided tour of the Taj Mahal
- All transport between included destinations (inc. 2 internal flights)
- Guided tour of Tordi Sagar
- Sunrise at Savitri Temple
- Visit to Gandhi Ashram
- Kerala boat tour
- Kerala homestay
- Kollam backwater cruise
- Neendakara Fishing Harbour trip
- 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- Dedicated trip guide
- 24-hour emergency support
- International Flights
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers
- Most Meals
- Optional Activities
20 nights of accommodation are included on this tour. 18 nights will be spent in either twin-share hotels or multi-share hostels. 1 night will be spent on an overnight train. 1 night will be spent in a local homestay.
2 breakfast, 3 lunches and 2 dinners are included. You will need to buy the rest of your meals yourself. This allows you to sample local cuisine in restaurants and markets. Indian food is fantastic and mainly very cheap, so you’re sure to find something to tickle your fancy! We recommend budgeting US$450-585 for meals not included.
You will need to arrange your flight to land into New Delhi airport on your programme start date, day 1 of your tour. You will then make your own way from the airport to your accommodation.
Please note, we can arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
A welcome meeting is held at your trip joining point at around 6pm on your trip start date. Your trip ends on the morning of your programme end date, no activities are planned for this day and you are free to depart at any time.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
The minimum age to join this group trip is 18 years, tha maximum age is 39 years.
A visa is required for entry to India and must be obtained before you travel. You can apply for a tourist visa or an e-tourist visa via the Indian High Commission. Your passport will need to be machine readable, have two blank pages available for immigration stamps, and must have at least six months' validity remaining on entry to India. All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
p>How much spending money should I bring? This depends on what sort of traveller you are! Some people can travel India on a tight budget, eating only street food and doing free activities. Others like to splash out a little more and eat in nice restaurants and do lots of excursions. We recommend budgeting around £300-450 for meals and drinks. You should then budget a little extra depending on what activities you’d like to do in each location. Download the trip notes for details of optional activity prices.
Will I experience culture shock? India is a beautiful country and it is unlike anything you will have experienced before. You can expect to see poverty, pollution and big crowds, which can be overwhelming. Prepare yourself to encounter very different ways of life, and remember, you can always chat to your trip guide about any problems you may have. You’re sure to have a very memorable experience in this amazing place.
How many people will be in my group? The average group size for this trip is 14 people. The maximum is 18.