PRIVATE TOUR: From bustling Kolkata, India’s vibrant capital of culture, to the astounding beauty of Darjeeling and surrounding Sikkim, with its verdant tea plantations, Himalayan vistas and Buddhist monasteries - take the road less travelled on this captivating 11 day journey.
The graft of a European city imposed on an Asian landscape lends Kolkata a bewitching blend of color, charm and excitement. The city is a compelling medley of ancient and modern with its skyscrapers and Raj-era architecture. It’s colorful, effervescent and overflowing with life and tradition.
Enjoy a city sights tour including a visit to the imposing Victoria Memorial. Opened by the Prince of Wales in 1921, this vision in marble is often called the “Taj” of the British Raj. We also visit the New Market – a bazaar on Chowringhee Road, the stately Indian Museum founded in 1814 and the oldest and largest in India, St Paul’s Cathedral and the extraordinary Marble Palace which houses paintings by Rubens, Titian and Reynolds.
Overnight: Kolkata | Breakfast
Kolkata - Kalimpong. Early this morning enjoy a visit to the famous flower market near Howrah Bridge, followed by a boat ride on the Hooghly River. Later, fly to Bagdogra. From here, a drive to Kalimpong - a remote hill station set among the rolling foothills and deep valleys of the stunning Himalayas.
Kalimpong’s attractions include three monasteries including Tharpa Choeling, Tongsa and Zong Dog Palri Fo-Brang, a handful of ancient churches and a colorful bazaar area known as Tenth Mile bulging with Tibetan and Buddhist curios and handicrafts. Kalimpong is also renowned for its horticulture, with some 50 nurseries devoted to orchids and many other flower varieties.
Overnight: Kalimpong | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Kalimpong - Gangtok. We drive north to Gangtok. Owing to its proximity to the Tibetan border, the capital of Sikkim is steeped in Tibetan culture. Characterised by mists, fluttering prayer flags, painted roofs and pagoda-styled houses, a rich cultural heritage,
friendly people coupled with excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga Range from many points in the city, Gangtok is scenically beautiful.
On day 5, enjoy an excursion to the Rumtek Monastery followed by a sightseeing tour of Gangtok, including the Namgyalak Institute of Tibetology. The afternoon is free to relax or explore.
Overnight: Gangtok | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Gangtok - Pelling (Pemayangtse). Continuing to Pelling via Tashiding, enjoy an afternoon visit to the lofty heights of the hallowed Pemayangtse Monastery - one of the principal monasteries in the state of Sikkim. Founded in the 17th century, the monastery, which has been reconstructed several times, is the main center of the Nyingmapa sect, established in the 8th century AD. The followers of the sect wear red caps rather than the yellow ones worn by monks in other monasteries. Near the monastery, there are the traditional austere dwellings of the monks. Breath-taking scenery can be witnessed from the vantage point; carpets of alpine vegetation and numerous waterfalls lining the hillsides which are sometimes covered with a blanket of snow.
Overnight: Pelling | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Pelling - Darjeeling. The journey continues to Darjeeling. Home of Darjeeling tea and with a panoramic backdrop of the awesome Himalayan snow-clad peaks. Early on day 8, enjoy a drive to Tiger Hill to witness sunrise over the snowy peaks of Kanchenjunga; followed by a visit to Ghoom Gompa (monastery), sightseeing back in town and a visit to a real tea estate.
Day 9 is free for you to explore Darjeeling your way. See some Buddhist monasteries or visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training school for mountain climbers. Its museum features memorabilia from the first ascent of Everest. It is also worthwhile taking a stroll through town. Owing to Darjeeling’s proximity to Tibet, the town also has a Tibetan Refugee Centre comprising care for the young and old and craft workshops that produce carpets, leather work and other Tibetan curios, hunt for a bargain or simply go trekking!
Overnight: Darjeeling | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Darjeeling – Bagdogra - Kolkata (via New Jalpaiguri). Later this morning, the journey continues to Bagdogra from here you will board the flight to Kolkata. Arrive in Kolkata and transfer to your hotel. The remains of the day is at leisure.
Today we bid you goodbye with a transfer from the hotel to airport.
If you'd like to extend your stay, we offer a variety of hotels, short stays and add-ons for you to choose from. Please read our best places to visit or best things to see each month for suggested places to visit on your holiday. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please let us know so we can accommodate your request.
For information about visas, top travel tips, best time to travel and much more, browse our travel guide.
7 day Bhutan Breakaway!
Journey to the Kingdom of Bhutan! Nestled in the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan has for centuries remained cautiously aloof from the rest of the world. Opening its doors to the world in 1974, Bhutan's incredible scenery & hospitable charm has been revealed to travelers hungry for new experiences.
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single Room' price is applicable when a single room is required, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults.Read More
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
The Peerless Inn, Kolkata
Located in the heart of Kolkata, the Peerlees Inn is the perfect mix of warm and friendly service with excellent facilities offering modern comfort. The homely rooms have large windows overlooking the city streets with the conveniences you'd expect of a 4 star hotel. Authentic Bengali cuisine can be enjoyed at the Aaheli restaurant with international cuisine served at the Oceanic restaurant. Those with a sweet tooth can head to the Tea Lounge for mouthwatering pastries, chocolates and cookies. The Peerless Inn on Chowringhee is in Kolkata's city centre. It is close to Eden Gardens, New Market and the Victoria Memorial.
Hindustan International, Kolkata
The Hindustan International is a modern hotel, stylishly furnished throughout with a peaceful outdoor pool and well-manicured lawns. The smartly presented rooms feature contemporary decor with a comfortable seating area, mini bar, DVD player and in-house DVD library. The hotel boasts a swimming pool, fitness centre, pastry shop as well as a trendy underground nightclub. The popular Oriental Express restaurant serves tempting cuisine from countries across Asia while the luxurious spa offers a range of signature treatments.
Silver Oaks, Kalimpong
The luxurious Silver Oaks is a traditional hotel with bright, sunny and spacious rooms and exquisitely manicured gardens. From the hotel guests are able to organise all sorts of experiences including indulging in some afternoon tea, building up a sweat on a scenic walking trail or even getting the adrenaline pumping on a white water rafting excursion. The hotel is 95 km from the airport and 85 km from the railway station.
Translating as 'house of jewels' in reference to the wealth of natural beauty that surrounds the property, the Nor-Khill is an Elgin heritage hotel with typical Sikkimese architecture and spacious, elegant rooms. Restored to its original grandeur, the snug and cozy interior of the Nor-Khill is decked with etchings and lithographs and period furniture. Each of the deluxe rooms and suites affords a little luxury with rich furnishings and magnificent views of the Himalayas from the windows. An added benefit is the WiFi access throughout the property.
Elgin Mount Pandim, Pelling
The Elgin Mount Pandim is a beautiful, charming hotel with magnificent views. The rooms have been elegantly decorated with a range of bright colours and adorned with regal pillars and chandeliers. There is a variety of different facilities available at the hotel including a library, where guests can curl up in the evenings with a good book. There is also a dining room where delicious food from a number of different countries is served on a daily basis. The hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from the Pemayangtse monastery.
Elgin Hotel, Darjeeling
The Elgin Hotel is a 125 year old well-preserved Victorian mansion with tastefully furnished rooms. Once the summer residence of the Maharaja, it is now a luxury hotel affording fantastic views of the surrounding tea plantations. The Orchid Dining Room features inviting interiors with classical tunes played on the grand piano whilst European and Asian dishes are served. Other dining options at the Elgin include a garden gazebo, Tea Lounge and Timber Bar. At the spa guests can select from a menu of various massage and beauty treatments.