Your holiday summary

Holiday type Tours
Country India
Nepal
Travel type Fly
Price range From £2159
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 14 nights
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0330 333 6751

India and Nepal

People say it’s a life-changing experience, and there’s no doubt that when you make the journey to India and Nepal, you’ll return with a new perspective on life. Fascinating and intriguing, this is a world that’s far removed from our western way of living. Our tour encompasses the very best that northern India has offer. From Delhi and the Taj Mahal to Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world, you’ll visit holy temples and mosques, palaces, the fortresses of the Moghul Empire and many powerful reminders of the past glories of the Raj.

Included
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Scheduled return flights; 13 nights accommodation with daily breakfast and five meals; all transport as indicated; porterage of one bag per person; tour of New and Old Delhi, visit to Taj Mahal and Agra Fort; visit to Orchha Fort and Chhatris; tour of Khajuraho temples; evening and morning boat ride on Ganges, rickshaw ride and city tour of Varanasi; visit to Sarnath; Kathmandu city tour; Mt. Everest scenic flight; elephant-back safari at Chitwan; boat ride on lake at Pohkara and early-morning trip to see sunrise over the Annapurna range; services of an experienced Riviera tour manager

NB: Whilst there are three opportunities to take the Everest flight during the tour, should weather conditions make flying unsafe (this is rare), the sterling equivalent of the fare will be refunded on your return to the UK.


  • Return scheduled flights from London Heathrow or Manchester
  • Stay in hand-picked three, four and five star hotels
  • Daily breakfast and five meals included
  • Visit the major sights of Old and New Delhi
  • See the Taj Mahal
  • Spend two nights in Varanasi on the banks of the Ganges, with boat trips on the river and a rickshaw ride
  • See the temple carvings of Khajuraho
  • Visit Kathmandu, the centre of Nepali culture and wander through the famous Durbar Square
  • Take one of the world’s most exciting flights – to see Mt. Everest and the Himalayas from the air
  • Take an elephant-back safari through the forests of Chitwan national park, in search of rhinos and tigers
  • Stay in Pokhara, with its close-up view over the Annapurna range
  • Escorted by an experienced tour manager
Not included
India and Nepal visas.

Visa and Health

All British passport holders require a visa for India and Nepal.

Multiple entry India tourist visas cost £30 per person, plus a £10.20 service charge and £2 consular fee, and can be applied for in person or by post via the India Visa Application Centres in either London, Birmingham or Edinburgh, depending on your home address. Full details of costs, application form, addresses etc, can be found on http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk, email:info.in@vfshelpline.com or tel: 0905 757 0045 (premium rate line).

Nepal visas: cost $25 per person available on arrival in Kathmandu.

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

You arrive at the airport for your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day two

Arriving late morning, you stay one night at the five star Hilton Janakpuri hotel, with all the excellent facilities you expect from a world-class hotel. After a rest you begin a guided tour of New Delhi, a city that clearly reflects the legacy of the British Raj. Surprisingly green, it is divided by wide tree-lined avenues with the Presidential Palace (formerly the Viceroy’s residence) at its centre. You see the imposing Rajpath, India Gate and the Parliament building. You will also visit the 12th century Qutub Minaret – the tallest stone-built tower in India and Humayun’s tomb, upon which the Taj Mahal is modelled.

Day three

A guided tour of Old Delhi takes you first to the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi, the Raj Ghat. Then there’s the Red Fort, one of the world’s great fortifications with huge walls nearly two miles long. Next it’s one of Asia’s largest mosques, the Jama Masjid. Holding 25,000 worshippers, it displays wonderfully intricate decoration and marble work. In the afternoon we take a drive to Agra through rural India to stay two nights at the four star Taj Gateway hotel.

Day four

We wake early to catch the sun rise over the Taj Mahal - undisputedly one of the world’s most beautiful buildings. In the soft morning light, as the mist rises from the Yamuna river. Built from dazzling marble, its colour changes from white to yellow, cream and almost to orange. Next you visit the immense Agra Fort. Completed in 1573 from red sandstone, dominating the surrounding area, this was the seat of the vast Moghul Empire. This evening you can visit the Taj Mahal at sunset as an option. Bathed in light of a different colour, the varying shadows afford another view of this astonishing and world-renowned icon.

Day five

Leaving Agra by train in comfortable air-conditioned ‘chair-class’ to Jhansi, one of the centres of the Indian mutiny, we continue by coach to nearby Orchha. Surrounded by jungles, this medieval town is an architectural gem. Discover the 14 chhatris – or cenotaphs – built as memorials to its Bundela rulers. Soak up the atmosphere as parrots and vultures circle the buildings, with fabulous views of the river. See at the palaces of the Orchha Fort complex and the fine architecture and step inside to see the bold, colourful religious murals. After lunch at the Amar Mahal Palace or Orchha resort we drive to the small town of Khajuraho for bed and breakfast at the four-star hotel Taj Chandela.

Day six

Today we visit some of Khajuraho’s temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of India. Originally 85 temples were built between the 10-12th centuries and today 22 of these shrines survive. Their colours change with the intensity of the sun and the carved figures illustrate sensuous poses of such high standard of quality that you can distinguish jewellery and manicured nails. You then take the 45 minute flight to Varanasi. Founded in the sixth century BC, and one of the oldest cities in the world, Hindus believe it to be the centre of their universe. Nestling on the holy River Ganges, Varanasi’s old city is a labyrinth of tangled alleys, shops and workshops, through which we take a rickshaw to the river. Buzzing with pilgrims, the banks are lined by high, centuries-old palaces, with descending steps or ‘ghats’ down to the waters. Here the faithful wash themselves in the holy waters while brightly-clad Brahmin priests practise yoga and meditation. Boarding a small boat you explore the waterfront, where we witness the Aarti, one of the most impressive Hindu ceremonies, as large crowds chant and pray, setting small candles adrift on the water in memory of loved ones. You may also see several of Varanasi’s famous funeral pyres, where mourners gather and the whole riverbank glows with a flickering yellow as the deceased receives instant enlightenment. We stay two nights with breakfast at the four star Taj Gateway hotel.

Day seven

The soft morning sun illuminates the river through the mist. After a morning boat ride, you walk through Varanasi’s narrow lanes and array of shops selling carpets, intricate polished brassware and fine silks. This afternoon we drive to nearby Sarnath, where, as legend has it, 2,500 years ago, after gaining enlightenment himself, the Lord Buddha gave his first sermon, founding one of the most enduring of world religions. We visit the 1,700-year-old Dhamekh Stupa, towering 31m high and said to mark the spot where Buddha revealed his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana - and see a green marble coffin allegedly containing his relics.

Day eight

After a free morning we fly to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. Set in a bowl shaped Himalayan valley 4,500 feet above sea level, this captivating city and Nepal’s cultural heart is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The contrast with India is striking, with Buddhist temples reminiscent of the Far East much in evidence. We visit the 14th century Boudhanath Stupa, Tibetan in origin and one of the holiest of Buddhist sites. The gentle sound of chanting and praying fills the air, while traders sell lamps, cloth and all sorts of fascinating goods in an enchanting whirl of colour and noise. We stay two nights with breakfast at the sumptuous five star Hyatt Regency hotel.

Day nine

Today you experience something most people never will, a flight to the Himalayas to see Mount Everest. Twice the size of the Alps, their sheer immensity is mind-blowing. Carrying just 16 passengers, our aircraft flies over peaks and clouds bathed in an early morning golden glow. The 45-minute flight offers an incredible panorama, and you can take a photograph of the world’s highest mountain from the cockpit. If conditions are unsuitable we have two more opportunities during the holiday. This afternoon you explore the sights of Kathmandu and the Durbar Square, the most glorious example of traditional Nepalese architecture, where Nepal’s kings were crowned.

Day 10

You take the scenic drive to Chitwan national park, Nepal’s most famous wildlife reserve and one of the finest in Asia. Overlooking the forested valley and the Rapti river, the Narayani Safari lodge, where we stay for two nights with full- board is clean and comfortable but simple, without telephones or televisions - a real opportunity to experience and savour the peaceful surroundings. We visit a local village by ox cart to learn how local people live in a sustainable manner in harmony with their beautiful surroundings. After dinner, a slide show brings the huge variety of flora and fauna of the reserve to life.

Day 11

Viewing wildlife in its natural habitat is often a life-changing experience. Rising early, as the sun breaks and accompanied by a dawn chorus, we cross the misty river into the reserve in the traditional manner – on elephant back. This gentle giant quietly brushes through the undergrowth to ensure wildlife viewing at its best. Each elephant carries four people and your naturalist guide should help you spot rhino, sloth bears, wild boar, and if you’re very lucky, a Royal Bengal tiger. We return for breakfast and to watch the elephants bathing in the river. After lunch, we have the option of a trip by dugout canoe to a crocodile farm, returning on foot along the riverbank.

Day 12

We drive north towards the small town of Pokhara in central Nepal. Inhale the clean air, taking time to fully appreciate the beauty of an area surrounded by some of the world’s highest mountains. This afternoon, we take a boat ride across Lake Phewa for views of the Annapurna mountain range. Watch reflections of their white peaks sparkle in the water, and listen to the soothing sound of silence. We stay for two nights at the four star Pokhara Grande hotel with breakfast.

Day 13

A relaxing day to potter about this charming lakeside town, with plenty of opportunities to bargain for local handicrafts, try out some of the many restaurants and take in the views.

Day 14

Wake up early today and catch the sun rise over the Annapurna range. Watch the mountain peaks turn from soft pink to gold as the sun climbs higher in the clear blue sky. There are twelve peaks in the world higher than 25,000 feet, eight of them are in Nepal and from this spot on clear days you can see three of them. In the afternoon, we fly back to Kathmandu for our final night at the five star Hyatt Regency hotel.

Day 15

Depart for our flight home via Delhi or Doha, arriving later the same day.
New Delhi – five star Hilton Janakpuri

Located about 20 minutes drive from Delhi airport. There’s a heated outdoor pool, fitness room and spa, and dining options include an Italian trattoria, a Chinese restaurant, an Indian restaurant with Kashmiri specialities and an all-day dining venue. There’s snacks and afternoon tea available in the lobby lounge bar, plus a bar with live music on most evenings. The 228 spacious and well-appointed rooms are air-conditioned, with luxury bathroom, hairdryer, bathrobes, flat screen cable TV, writing desk, wireless internet (extra charge), iron/iron board, minibar, safe and tea/coffee-maker.

Agra – four star Gateway hotel

Managed by Taj Hotels and situated in the centre of town overlooking six acres of well-tended gardens and an outdoor pool. The hotel has a lobby lounge, an all-day restaurant serving Indian and continental buffets as well as a la carte menus, plus an Indian restaurant and bar. The 100 comfortable rooms are all air-conditioned, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, TV, minibar, wireless internet (extra charge), safe and tea/coffee-maker.

Khajuraho – four-star Chandela hotel

A low-rise property located in eleven acres of grounds with an outdoor, palm-shaded swimming pool, two restaurants and a bar with pool table. There are 94 comfortable rooms, all air-conditioned, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, flat screen TV, writing desk, minibar, wireless internet (extra charge), safe, tea/coffee-maker and balcony or patio.

Varanasi – four star Gateway hotel

Managed by Taj Hotels and located in an oasis of calm in 40 acres of gardens in the grounds of the former Maharaja’s palace. The hotel has a lobby lounge, an all-day restaurant serving Indian and continental buffets as well as a la carte menus, plus an Indian restaurant and colonial-style bar. There’s an outdoor pool and fitness room and spa. The 130 comfortable rooms are all air-conditioned, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, TV, minibar, wireless internet (extra charge), safe and tea/coffee-maker.

Kathmandu – five star Hyatt Regency hotel

Located around 20 minutes drive from the airport and half an hour from the city centre. Set in 37 acres of grounds, the hotel boasts a large pool with bar, fitness room and spacious lobby area in a Nepalese theme. The dining venues include The Café, the hotel’s main buffet and a la carte restaurant open all day and the Rox restaurant specialising in southern European cuisine. The 280 spacious rooms are air-conditioned, with luxury bathroom, hairdryer, bathrobes, TV, writing desk, wireless internet (extra charge), minibar, safe, tea/coffee-maker and pool or garden views.

Chitwan national park – Narayani Safari lodge

Located on the edge of the national park overlooking the Rapti river and the forests beyond. There is a terrace overlooking river and a restaurant/bar. This rustic Lodge tries to have a minimal impact on its natural surroundings, therefore facilities are few and due to the relatively isolated location, the electricity supply is via a generator and may be unreliable. In the cooler winter months, hot water bottles are provided in the rooms. Payment for drinks/extras is cash only. The 32 rooms are in semi-detached bungalows, very simply furnished and include an overhead fan and shower/wc with hot water available for an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon.

Pokhara – four star Pokhara Grande resort

Located in a quiet spot on the way into the centre of town. There’s an outdoor pool, main restaurant, lobby bar and fitness/spa centre. All rooms have air-conditioning, ensuite bathroom, hairdryer, TV, minibar and tea/coffee-maker.
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Departure date Departing point Departure UK Arrive at Destination Nights Price  
18-Oct-2014 Manchester 14:45 23:45 14 2599.00 please call
18-Oct-2014 Heathrow Airport 20:45 09:45 14 2599.00 please call
15-Nov-2014 Manchester 14:00 23:55 14 2539.00 book
15-Nov-2014 Heathrow Airport 14:15 23:55 14 2539.00 book
29-Jan-2015 Heathrow Airport 20:50 10:40 14 2599.00 book
31-Jan-2015 Manchester 14:00 23:55 14 2569.00 book
31-Jan-2015 Heathrow Airport 14:15 23:55 14 2569.00 book
07-Feb-2015 Manchester 14:00 23:55 14 2569.00 book
07-Feb-2015 Heathrow Airport 14:15 23:55 14 2569.00 book
12-Feb-2015 Heathrow Airport 20:50 10:40 14 2599.00 book
14-Feb-2015 Manchester 14:00 23:55 14 2569.00 book
14-Feb-2015 Heathrow Airport 14:15 23:55 14 2569.00 book
19-Feb-2015 Heathrow Airport 20:50 10:40 14 2599.00 book
19-Feb-2015 Heathrow Airport 20:50 10:40 14 2599.00 book
28-Feb-2015 Heathrow Airport 14:15 23:55 14 2569.00 book
05-Mar-2015 Heathrow Airport 20:50 10:40 14 2599.00 book
07-Mar-2015 Manchester 14:00 23:55 14 2569.00 book
07-Mar-2015 Heathrow Airport 14:15 23:55 14 2569.00 book
07-Mar-2015 00:00 00:00 14 2269.00 book
14-Mar-2015 Manchester 14:00 23:55 14 2569.00 book
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We returned in April from a brilliant holiday in India & Nepal with plenty of early starts and so much packed in, Taj Mahal, 2 Ganges River Trips, Karma Sutra Temples, Flight Over The Himalayas, Kathmandu, Elephant Ride, Rickshaw Ride, Sunrise Over The Annapurna, Indian Train Journey to name but a few. India the usual exciting chaos and Nepal breathtakingly calm. Hotels all 4 or 5 star except the more basic Chetwin National Park Resort. However all very good. Riviera Holidays admin was fine also Sarah our Tour Guide was excellent plus good local guides. Generally meals out, drinks etc were very reasonable in India and even more so in Nepal. Slight downsides were the amount of time spent in traffic jams in Delhi when we wondered if we could have been in a better located hotel and Day 8 when we undertook the short flight from Varanasi to Kathmandu but did little else and no lunch was available. Nevertheless although we came home short of sleep and exhausted we had a truly memorable holiday.
May 2014
Rob & Judy Naylor