India Tailormade Holidays
Incredible India awaits you in 2016
If you are planning a holiday to India in 2016, whatever your travel interests are - wildlife, local culture and food, history, blissful beaches, luxury or outdoor adventure - or any combination of these, we’re here to plan that perfect holiday to India for you. The Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Udaipur- classic sites of North India and Rajasthan - and unmissable for a first visit to India and the lush tropical state of Kerala in India's South is popular for returning travellers. We’ll recommend activities that perfectly complement your itinerary, suggest destinations off the beaten track and handpick unique things to see and do, ensuring that your holiday to India is truly memorable.
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When planning your holiday we go a step beyond and include some special and unique experiences.Read more about our approach to designing your tailormade holiday.
Must-sees for a tailormade holiday to India
India is an incredibly vast country and it's difficult to do it justice in just one visit. Depending on how much time you have, we'd recommend that you focus on one part of India, possibly two if you plan to spend a couple of weeks or more on holiday. While the North of India and Rajasthan are the most popular parts of the country with travellers, Kerala in the south is gaining a lot interest too. Below we've picked out some of India's main draw cards for you.
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Useful tips for planning your tailormade trip to India
HOW LONG WOULD YOU LIKE TO VISIT INDIA FOR? We recommend a minimum of 10-days for a visit to India. If you've only got a week, you can still see the main sites of the Golden Triangle; Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. As India is vast, we do recommend that you focus on one part of the country for holidays under 2 weeks, though you could just about see the main highlights of both North and South India within two weeks.
WHAT SORT OF ACCOMMODATION WOULD YOU PREFER? India offers an amazing choice of hotels, from simple authentic heritage type properties to opulent 7-star hotels fit for royalty. Our recommendation is that you mix things up a bit, so you get to experience different sides of the country through the accommodation you stay at. If visiting Kerala or Kashmir, staying on a traditional rice boat or houseboat is a novel experience while Rajasthan serves up charming havelis (stately homes) and converted forts for your stay too.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY A GUIDE THROUGHOUT YOUR TRIP? We always include the services of qualified English speaking local guides from India at each of the places you visit. These guides know their cities and towns inside and out and are best placed to ensure you get the most out of your holiday. We can also arrange for a national guide/escort to accompany you throughout your holiday, so if you would prefer this option, please ask us for associated prices.
TRAVELLING AROUND INDIA - KNOWING YOUR OPTIONS Distances can be quite large in India, so for longer journeys we do recommend that you fly. India has a number of professional scheduled airlines like Jet Airways, Indigo and Spice Jet and their national domestic carrier, Indian Airlines. Travelling by road in India is a great way to see more of the country and it's an opportunity to stop off at local villages to experience the rural side to life in India too. And for something truly authentic, we suggest building in at least one journey by train.
WHAT SORT OF PACE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRAVEL AT? This is fairly important as it will impact on how many places you visit on your holiday. When you are touring India, there will be a fair bit of hotel check-in and check-out with the usual unpacking and packing that goes with the territory. We'll advise you on how long you need to explore each place you visit at a comfortable pace, but do request you let us know if you would like to build in a few spare days or free afternoons for a bit of poolside R&R.
ARE THERE ASPECTS OF INDIA THAT YOU ARE PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN? Beyond the classic sites, there's so much more to India - fabulous food and restaurants, lots of wildlife, a rich and varied history, amazing crafts and fabrics, a thriving local arts scene, colourful markets, top trekking & nature walks and a sublime palm fringed shoreline with beaches galore. And we are here to design that special tailor-made holiday to suit your particular interests and preferences.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR BUDGET The type of accommodation you choose will significantly affect the price of your tailor-made holiday in India. Not just the hotel, but the particular category of room as well. We therefore request that you give us a clear steer on your budget so that we can ensure we deliver the best value for your holiday. Other key factors on price include the time of year when you travel; the peak seasons such as Christmas and New Year in India often carry supplements, particularly in coastal locations like Goa and Kerala. On the flipside, there are usually amazing deals available at top hotels if travelling during the summer and monsoonal months of June through August.
India tailormade holiday inspirations
Travel beyond the sites and get a real feel for life in India. There's so many interesting and unique things to do in India and here's a few less known gems that made our shortlist.
Camel Safari in Bikaner
Drive out into the desert from Bikaner by vintage jeep to the camel handlers village where you get to mingle with the locals. It's a short camel safari up to a top vantage point to see the sunset over a delicious Indian dinner, a perfect way to end the day.
The backwaters of Kerala
For a total chill, take a rice boat on the tranquil backwaters of Kerala near the town of Poorvar. Right in the thick of a tangle of lush tropical waterways, glide past colourful local villages and spot the many migratory and resident wild birds. If you don't fancy spending a night on a backwaters, we can arrange shorter 2-3 hour cruises too.
Railways of the Raj
Indian train stations are a real hive of activity, literally buzzing 24-7. Travelling by train is a great way to mingle with the locals and you're likely to find yourself playing a game of cards with them too! Consider a private version of our Railways of the Raj tour, taking in Kolkata, Darjeeling and Shimla.
Learn to cook Indian food
Love Indian cuisine? Add some extra spice to your holiday with a unique hands-on culinary course in Goa. Learn how to prepare a traditional Indian meal and take some of that holiday flavour home with you. Read more here.
The Rajmandir Heritage Cinema
If you're travelling to Jaipur, head out in the evening to the famous Raj Mandir Cinema, a heritage listed building with 1970’s decor galore. Indian's just love watching Bollywood movies and it'll be an interesting experience watching one at one of India's most loved cinemas.
Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai
Widely considered the world’s largest outdoor laundry, the Mumbai Dhobi Ghats are certainly worth visiting. This is where linen for hospitals and hotels all over Mumbai are washed and our guided tour of the area offers a fascinating insight into the sheer ingenuity of Mumbai’s poorer communities.
Classic tailormade holiday itineraries for India:
It's a tough job to whittle down all that India offers into a handful of recommended itineraries, but to us, the Golden Triangle, tropical Kerala and the Holy city of Varanasi on the Ganges win out! There's of course plenty more to India, so please browse our interactive map below for further holiday inspiration.
Visit the highlights of India
THE BEST OF THE NORTH:Beyond New Delhi and the Taj Mahal, Rajasthan, the regal ‘Land of the Rajputs’, is top of most travellers list for India. The colour, pomp and history of Rajasthan makes it is one of India’s biggest draw cards. Places like the Pink City of Jaipur, the Lake City of Udaipur, the Blue City of Jodhpur and romantic desert outposts such as Jaisalmer are Rajasthan personified. Our other recommendations for a tailormade holiday to North India include the Golden Temple at Amritsar, the carved temples of Khajuraho, the holy Ganges at Varanasi and the stunning natural beauty of Kashmir.
INDIA'S TROPICAL SOUTH:Increasing in popularity, South India is known for its tropical climate, lush vegetation, palm fringed beaches and mouth watering coconut and spice-based cuisine. Highlights include In Tamil Nadu’s capital of Chennai (Madras), the spectacular shore temples of Mahabalipuram, the former French enclave of Pondicherry, the temples at Madurai, the hill stations of Ooty and Coonoor and historical Trichy. In Kerala, kick back on a rice boat in the tropical backwaters, discover wildlife at Periyar, sip a cuppa at beautiful Munnar tea estate and uncover oodles of history at charming Kochi, topping your holiday off at one Kerala’s stunning beaches. Tyrpically, 2 weeks is plenty for a tailor made holiday in the South of India, covering the main points of interest at a relaxed pace.