Your holiday summary

Holiday type Tours
Country India
Travel type Fly
Price range From £1199
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 10 nights
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India

Experience the extraordinary Taj Mahal and see the tigers of the Ranthambore national park on our escorted tour to some of India’s most amazing sights

Included
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are subject to availability at the relevant supplement (date dependent) from £239 to £339 per person. Nine nights accommodation in three, four or five star hotels; daily breakfast, two lunches and two dinners; scheduled flights to/from Delhi; all transfers; guided tours of New and Old Delhi, Agra and the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, two game drives in Ranthambore, Jaipur city tour, visit to Amber Fort, walking tour of Havelis at Mandawa; all local transport by train or coach as described; porterage of one item of luggage per person; the services of an experienced Riviera tour manager.

  • A tour of northern India’s ‘Golden Triangle’ with additional visits to see tigers at Ranthambore national park and a stay at a heritage hotel in Rajasthan
  • Return direct scheduled flights from Heathrow, with regional flights at a supplement
  • Stay in hand-picked three, four and five star hotels
  • Visit all the major sights of Old and New Delhi
  • See the Taj Mahal
  • Spend two nights in the pink city of Jaipur, with a guided tour of its City Palace, astronomical observatory and the Palace of the Winds
  • Visit Amber Fort
  • Stay in an original Rajasthani fort
  • Take a guided tour of the 400-year old deserted Moghul city of Fatehpur Sikri
  • Daily breakfast and four meals included
  • Escorted by an experienced tour manager
Not included
India visa & Delhi Airport Development Fee, see below.

Delhi Airport Development Fee: as from 01 Dec 2011, Delhi Airport have introduced an Airport Development Fee of INR1434pp (approx. £17.85 at the December 2011 exchange rate). This will be collected by your tour manager on departure.

Visa & Health

All British passport holders require a visa for India. Please ensure that you have at least two empty pages in your passport and that your passport is valid for a minimum of 190 days from the time of submitting your visa application. At the time of departure you will be able to travel as long as both the passport and the visa are valid.

India visas: Single entry tourist visas cost £30 per person, plus a £10.20 service charge and a £2 consular fee and can be applied for in person or by post. Personal applications: to apply for an Indian visa please visit http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk where you can apply, pay online and schedule an appointment to submit your application in person at your nearest centre, dependent on your home address. Postal applications: you must either apply and pay online, print off the completed application form, payment confirmation and submit by post; or alternatively, you may apply online, print off the completed application and submit along with payment by postal order. Personal cheques are NOT accepted. In both cases you must submit your passport along with a self addressed stamped envelope and two, 2” passport photos to: Indian Visa application Centre, 1-3 Canalside, Uxbridge Road, Hayes, Middlesex UB4 0JN.

Please note handwritten applications are no longer accepted. Full details of costs, application form and addresses can be found on http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk, email: info.in@vfshelpline.com or tel: 0905 7570045 (calls cost 95p per minute). Visa fees are subject to change without notice and non-refundable.

Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that in visiting a number of historical sites, paths may be uneven and uphill and we often enjoy walking tours of the main sights. Therefore this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility. In the tropics temperatures and humidity levels will also be quite high for most of the year. Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for India at least a month before departure.

To make the most of your trip, we recommend you check the Foreign Office website at www.fco.gov.uk/travel
Day one

Airport check-in for your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day two

On arrival, we transfer to the five star Taj Palace hotel for one night. All rooms are stylishly furnished and air-conditioned with flat-screen TVs, personal safe, mini-bar and complimentary tea/coffee. After a short rest we commence our guided tour of New Delhi. The city centre, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1911, is bisected by wide, tree-lined avenues, a hub which clearly reflects the Raj legacy and home to the former Viceroy’s Palace, now the Presidential Palace. Heading down the imposing Rajpath, we pass India Gate and the Parliament building. We’ll visit some of Delhi’s older monuments, including the Qutub Minaret, started in 1199, which is the tallest stone built tower in India. Nearby is Humayun’s tomb, an outstanding example of Mogul architecture and the first mausoleum of its type, pre-dating the more widely known Taj Mahal by nearly a century.

Day three

This morning we continue our city tour, first visiting Old Delhi, starting with the Raj Ghat, a fittingly simple memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. We continue past the imposing walls and battlements of the great Red Fort before visiting the Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. We leave Delhi in the afternoon for our drive to Agra, arriving at the four-star Oberoi Trident hotel.

Day four

We rise early to catch the sun rising over the Taj Mahal. In the soft morning light, as the mist rises from the Yamuna river behind it, the Taj Mahal seems to float, mirage-like, above the surrounding landscape. A combination of extraordinary beauty, symmetry and history makes this wonder of the world one of the most amazing monuments on the planet and you will have plenty of time to admire it from all angles. Moving on, we continue our tour with a visit to the vast red sandstone Agra Fort. Completed in 1573, it was the headquarters of the Mogul Empire, boasting vast size and opulence, its buildings make it more of a walled palace than a fort. In the evening you have the option of completing a wonderful day with another visit to the Taj Mahal, to witness the shrine at sunset.

Day five

Leaving Agra this morning we continue towards the ancient abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri, built in 1571, as Emperor Akbar’s imperial capital. Although it was mysteriously abandoned just 15 years later it remains in a remarkable state of preservation, with numerous palaces, wide courtyards and carvings. Just 15kms away is the Laxmi Niwas Palace, a luxury Heritage hotel in Bharatpur where we stop for lunch before going on to the railway station to catch the Shatabdi express for our comfortable two and a half hour journey to Ranthambore national park. Originally the private hunting preserve of Maharajahs, its 400 square kilometres of forested rolling hills, valleys and lakes form a unique ecosystem. Started in 1973, India’s famous Tiger Project was created to protect the country’s tiger population. Despite many difficulties, the tigers of Ranthambore have survived and numbers have stabilised. Our hotel for the next two nights is the comfortable family-run three star Ranthambore Regency on full board basis.

Day six

An early start this morning is worth the sacrifice as we head out to the park for our safari using specially-built, 20-person, open-top, four-wheel drive vehicles known as canters. After many years of conservation, Ranthambore is now the best place to spot tigers in India, but the reserve is about more than tigers – over 300 bird species have been counted including impressive crested eagles, painted stork and wild peacocks. The park’s residents also include large numbers of sambars, the largest Asian antelope, as well as marsh crocodiles, wild boar and rare sloth bears and leopards. Look out for the playful troop of blackfaced langur monkeys near the main entrance gate. We return to our hotel in the late morning, with time to relax before and after lunch. In the afternoon we take our second trip into the park for another chance to spot the tigers.

Day seven

Leaving Ranthambore after breakfast we head north to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur. Our afternoon tour will cover all the major highlights of this ancient city. The famous Hawa Mahal, known as the Palace of the Winds, is one of our first stops before we continue to the Astronomical Observatory constructed in 1726 and on to the City Palace, still home to the present Maharajah of Jaipur, where we’ll view collections of costumes, carpets, paintings and the impressive armoury. Our hotel for the next two nights is the new four-star Royal Orchid hotel on bed and breakfast basis.

Day eight

This morning another highlight, on a tour of highlights. You’ll visit the immense Amber Fort, located in the hills just a short drive out of Jaipur. Sampling all the most fascinating sights, our guided tour includes the sections reserved for the Maharajah’s wives and concubines as well as the remarkable hall of mirrors, with tiny delicate convex mirrors embedded like a mosaic in the walls and ceilings.

Day nine

After breakfast, we bid goodbye to Jaipur and head north, deeper into the interior of rural Rajasthan. We pass numerous small villages and towns on our way to the Sekhawati region of the state and the village of Mandawa. This was once part of India’s Silk Road and over the years the merchants here grew very rich, building a large number of luxurious mansions known as ‘havelis’, to display their wealth through the magnificence of their frescoed walls. Although most of these have now been abandoned, the imposing and luxurious residence of the local kings has been lovingly restored into an amazing Heritage hotel, the Castle Mandawa, where we stay for the night. A maze of winding corridors, cool courtyards and arched colonnades, all the charming rooms are different, but most are very spacious and some have four-poster double beds. Rooms are air-conditioned, with bath and shower, but no TV. In the afternoon we take a guided walk through the village to explore the best examples of the havelis that lie just outside the walls of the Castle Mandawa.

Day 10

After a leisurely breakfast, we head back to Delhi and the last night of our tour, at the Taj Palace hotel.

Day 11

In the morning we will transfer to the airport for our flight home, arriving back in the UK to reflect on a once-in-lifetime tour.
New Delhi - five star deluxe Taj Palace hotel

Located in the tree-lined, Diplomatic Enclave of New Delhi. As soon as you step into its cool white marble lobby, you know you have arrived somewhere exceptional! There are several dining options: the Kafe Fontana is open all day and offers continental, middle-eastern and Indian cuisine, whilst the Blue Ginger is the city’s best Vietnamese restaurant. The Masala Art specialises in contemporary Indian cuisine with a uniquely interactive show kitchen, and the Orient Express is a more formal dining experience in a replica carriage of the famous train, with an emphasis on French cuisine. There is also a stylish cocktail bar and a popular Tea Lounge serving a variety of teas & coffees with light snacks and desserts throughout the day and liqueurs in the evenings. The open-air pool is surrounded by a spacious sun terrace and a putting green, and there’s a fitness centre, a beauty salon and spa with an extensive range of treatments. All 402 beautifully appointed rooms are air-conditioned, with luxury en-suite bathroom with bathrobes and hairdryer, flat-screen satellite TV and DVD, wireless internet (extra charge), writing desk, safe, minibar, tea/coffee-maker and city/pool views.

Agra - four-star Oberoi Trident hotel

Located in quiet surroundings, near to the Taj Mahal. Managed by the famed Oberoi group, this low-rise modern hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens with water features and a swimming pool. The hotel grows all its own vegetables and the contemporary-style restaurant offers both buffets and a la carte Indian and continental cuisine, as well as popular wood-fired pizza oven. There is also a small lobby bar and fitness room. All 137 comfortable rooms overlook the Mogul-style gardens or pool and are air-conditioned, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, minibar, satellite TV, safe, wireless internet (extra charge) and tea/coffee-maker.

Ranthambore - three-star Ranthambore Regency hotel

A charming family-run, low-rise hotel located close to the entrance of the national park. Built around lush, well-tended gardens with a small pool and plenty of quiet shady spots to relax in, this is one of our clients’ favourite hotels for its low-key informal atmosphere and personal service. There is also a large lounge with bar and a small shop. All guests are on full board basis and the hotel’s buffet restaurant offers a wide selection of (mild!) regional Indian dishes and western options. All 42 rooms are spacious and air-conditioned, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, cable TV, wireless internet (extra charge), mini-fridge, tea/coffee-maker and look out into the gardens.

Jaipur - four star Royal Orchid hotel

Located on the way into the centre of Jaipur. This new hotel features a roof-top swimming pool and sundeck, an all-day dining restaurant with Indian & continental buffets and a la carte menus, an Indian restaurant and a cocktail bar. All 139 rooms are tastefully decorated and offer air-conditioning, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, flat-screen TV and DVD, wireless internet (extra charge), writing desk, minibar, safe and tea/coffee-maker.

Mandawa - Castle Mandawa

A heritage hotel lovingly converted from the original Mandawa fort. As soon as you pass through its stout wooden gates, still studded with sharp metal spikes to deter attackers, you’ll realise that this is a very different sort of hotel! Dating back to 1755, the village grew up around the fort and the original buildings have been considerably added to over the centuries creating a maze of turrets, battlements, winding corridors, cool courtyards and arched colonnades, with some little surprise round every corner. There is an open-air pool and ayurvedic spa and meals are taken either inside or outside in one of the courtyards. Take a seat in the imposing drawing room hung with portraits and photographs from a bygone era, relax in the high-ceilinged verandah bar or play a game of pool in the billiard room. The 70 charming rooms are all very different, but most are spacious and are simply decorated with locally-made furniture – some even have four-poster beds. They are air-conditioned with en-suite bath or shower, but in keeping with the ambience of the hotel, there are no TVs.

Swimming pools in India: most outside pools are not heated and may not be usable in the winter months.
16 results
Departure date Departing point Departure UK Arrive at Destination Nights Price  
29-Oct-2014 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1699.00 please call
19-Jan-2015 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1599.00 book
19-Jan-2015 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1895.00 book
12-Mar-2015 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1599.00 book
12-Mar-2015 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1914.00 book
26-Mar-2015 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1499.00 book
26-Mar-2015 Heathrow Airport 21:50 11:55 10 1891.00 book
09-Apr-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 10:40 10 1399.00 book
09-Apr-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 10:40 10 1809.00 book
27-Apr-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1299.00 book
27-Apr-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1754.00 book
11-May-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1199.00 book
11-May-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1654.00 book
26-Sep-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1499.00 book
15-Oct-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1599.00 book
30-Nov-2015 Heathrow Airport 22:00 11:00 10 1599.00 book
16 results


We have just returned from India (28th Oct-11th Nov). We were delighted with the tour. We would like to single out for praise the excellent tour manager Abeed Mukadam, who cared for our needs extremely well, handling all eventualities with professionalism and good humour; and the superb local guide Kamalendra Singh Bhati, who shared his considerable knowledge with engaging charm and personal warmth. The driver and driver's assistant were also professional and friendly, assuring our comfort and safety. The local guide at Shimla was also knowledgable, charming and friendly. We could not imagine a more pleasurable holiday experience. Thank you.
Nov 2010
Nell and John Napier