Saturday 14 November 2015. Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
Today embark on a full day sightseeing tour of the city, kicking off in the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi. Here we will see the famous Red Fort, the towering minarets and marble domes of Jama Masjif – one of the oldest and most impressive mosques in the city, and government buildings. Later we head into New Delhi, with its wide boulevards, plentiful parks and majestic parliament buildings and palaces. View the lofty Qutab Minar tower, and the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb. In the evening enjoy a Welcome Dinner in an Indian restaurant.
Overnight: Delhi | Breakfast, Dinner
Delhi – Ajmer - Pushkar. Today we take an early morning train to the town of Ajmer and enjoy a sightseeing tour upon arrival. Located just 11 kilometres away from Pushkar, Ajmer is an important railway town and home to the mausoleum of Muslim Sufi Saint Chisti. Not being part of any principality, it represents the multi-religious character of India and is a blend of Sufi culture and Hindu religion. Ajmer also has a reputation as a great centre of education, with the Mayo College standing above the rest. Later this afternoon we drive on to Pushkar for the evening.
Overnight: Pushkar | Breakfast, Dinner
Pushkar Camel Fair. Today is our first day at the Pushkar Camel Fair. Once a year this sleepy lakeside town erupts into a frenzy of activity, as hundreds of thousands of cattle traders, pilgrims, breeders, herdsmen, farmers and travellers descend upon the town for the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. After lunch we head over to the fair grounds for a glimpse of this authentic cultural affair. Here you can witness the serious business of livestock trading as well as watch (or take part) in some fun activities, such as a game of tug of war, a cricket match, a competition for the longest moustache, and a camel beauty-pageant. There are also plenty of market stalls with local wares on sale, including bracelets, clothing, and fabrics.
As well as the colourful activities of the fairground this annual event also carries some religious significance. According to legend, while searching for a place to perform a fire sacrifice the Hindu god Brahma made Pushkar Lake appear out of thin air and as such on the day of a full moon during the fair thousands of pilgrims flock to the Ghats of the lake to bathe in its sacred waters. On day 5 enjoy free time at the fair in the morning before an afternoon drive to Jaipur.
Overnight: Pushkar (1) Jaipur (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 1
We start the day with a stately elephant ride up to the lofty Amber Fort. Once inside the sheer rock walls we explore palaces, gardens, temples and opulent private apartments that were once home to Mughal rulers. In the afternoon we enjoy a city tour of Jaipur. Here we will see the remains of the Hawa Mahal palace, visit the ancient Jantar Mantar observatory, and explore the vast City Palace, with its many courtyards, gardens and majestic buildings. There will also be the chance to browse several museums and art galleries.
Overnight: Jaipur | Breakfast
Jaipur – Agra. This morning we set out for Agra, home to the magnificent Taj Mahal. En route we visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569. Upon arrival into Agra we check in to our hotel and enjoy some free time before heading over to the imposing Agra Fort in the early evening. This 16th century sandstone fortress was once home to Mughal rulers, and within its fortified walls you can still find evidence of the empire’s grandeur with a number of enchanting mosques and stunning palaces.
Overnight: Agra | Breakfast
Agra - Delhi. In the morning we visit the magnificent Taj Mahal just in time for sunrise. This iconic white marble mausoleum was constructed to commemorate the late wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, taking over 22 years to build. In 1983 the structure was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is possibly one of the most universally recognised masterpieces in the world. Later on we begin our drive to Delhi arriving in the evening.
Overnight: Delhi | Breakfast
Sunday 22 November 2015. Today we say goodbye to India as our tour comes to an end. After breakfast and check-out you will be transferred to the airport for your onward travel.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
The modern and smart Almondz Hotel offers guests good sized well appointed rooms which all come with complimentary Wi-Fi. The in-house restaurant is highly recommended providing diners with delicious food and a friendly service. Please note that the majority of hotel rooms do not have windows.
Royal Desert Camp is a seasonal camp, with cottages and luxurious tents, originating back to Mughal battle times.
The beautiful heritage style Mandawa Haveli is a fine example of typical Rajasthan architecture - set in terraced gardens with pretty courtyards. All rooms are well appointed with intricately carved wooden beds and king-size royal portraits. An evening spent enjoying a lavish Rajasthani dinner in front of a traditional folk dance is highly recommended. Well located in the heart of Jaipur city on Sansar Chandra Road, just a few minute’s drive from the Palace of the Winds.
The newly constructed Retreat in Agra tastefully creates an artful balance of contemporary elegance and modern design. Guest rooms are bright with a chic design and luxury hard wood flooring. The hotel has a mouth watering multi cuisine restaurant containing Chinese, Continental and Indian Cuisine. A tasty tipple at the Just Madira bar is a great way to spend the evening after a hard days wandering around the various forts and mausoleums that Agra is famous for. Perfectly located just a short drive from Agra’s most famous sites including Agra Fort and the Taj Mahal.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in India, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.