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. Discover the imperial monuments of Delhi, the Royal Palaces of Jaipur, and that bucket-list favourite, the spectacular Taj Mahal in Agra.
- Delhi: 1 night
- Agra: 2 nights
- Jaipur: 2 nights
- Delhi: 1 night
What to expect
• Some long days with early starts
• A lot of travelling on the road
• Some time at leisure for relaxing or exploring
• 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.
Accommodation on tour
We have selected quality hotels that are ideally located for local exploration and offer a comfortable base for post-excursion relaxation. They are traditional in style so that you can enjoy a flavour of your destination, whether it’s the striking architecture, delicious locally inspired cuisine, close proximity to the sights or stunning views.
What is included in the tour
• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• Return flights to UK
What is NOT included in the tour
- Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips and gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
- The required Indian visa
- Anything not detailed on the itinerary.
An Indian visa is required for all British passport holders and MUST be obtained before your arrival in India. You can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost of $100 USD per person at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. The application must be completed between 4–120 days prior to your arrival in India. Your e-visa will be valid for 60 days from the date of your arrival. You should ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages.
Day 1: UK to DelhiDepart 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. In the afternoon, visit the Jama Masjid Mosque in Old Delhi, 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, during an afternoon drive around India’s capital city. This evening your group will enjoy a welcome dinner with a glass of Indian wine or beer, hosted by your tour leader. Stay: Maidens Hotel, New Delhi (or similar). D.
Day 3: Delhi to AgraSee 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 such as Queen Elizabeth II. Drive past the grand neo-classical government buildings, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and a relic of the British Raj. Enjoy 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: 5 hours, 131 miles. Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 4: AgraRise early for the incredible highlight of your tour – the once-in-alifetime 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 an excursion to the 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 offers 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). B.
Day 5: Agra to JaipurHead west to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital. Stop en route to see the perfectly preserved deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri which was founded in 1569 but was abandoned just 16 years later due to a lack of water supply. Stop for lunch at Laxmi Vilas Palace, a heritage hotel and former royal residence. You’ll also explore Chand Baori, the fascinating step-well at Abhaneri. The marvellous symmetry of 3500 steps working its way down the 13 storeys to the well below is an amazing sight – and an impressive feat, built between the 8th and 9th Century. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 160 miles. Stay: ITC Rajputana (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 6: JaipurThis morning there is an optional hot-air balloon ride if you’d like to enjoy a different perspective of the 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 the 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 the flame of a single candle. 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) which features a unique façade resembling the honeycomb of a beehive. Experience the buzz of daily life with a rickshaw ride 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. (Guests travelling on 16 Mar will follow a slightly different itinerary on Days 5-6 with dinner at the hotel and Holi celebrations on Day 6 during lunch. Guests travelling on 22 Oct will join the local family on Day 6 instead for dinner and Diwali celebrations). Stay: ITC Rajputana (or similar). B, D.
Day 7: Jaipur to DelhiThe long drive back to Delhi gives you the opportunity 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 then you will end the main tour today and continue to your next destination. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 158 miles. Stay: Trident, Gurgaon (or similar). B.
Day 8: DelhiEnjoy a relaxing morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight to the UK