India package - Goa beach

India in Style



Route: Delhi - Jaipur - Samode - Agra - Delhi - Panjim (Goa) - Hampi - Calangute (Goa)

During this India package trip, you'll explore India, starting in the historic capital city Delhi before travelling onto Samode Palace which sits in a lovely setting in the peaceful rocky hills above a small village. This will give you a real glimpse of life as a Maharaja and is the perfect place to relax in a peaceful environment that feels far removed from the bustling city streets. Next, your holiday in India will take you to the unforgettable Taj Mahal before heading South to Goa and Hampi.

Everyone gushes about the strange magical atmosphere in Hampi, but you’ll only understand when you get there yourself. It is a bewitching, ancient capital strewn with vast ruins and sculptures that stands in a dramatic landscape of huge boulders. After, you can relax under rustling palm trees on the beaches of Goa and let your experiences sink in over a cold Kingfisher beer at sunset.

To find out more, simply give one of our friendly India Travel Specialists a call on 01273 322044. If you've got more time to explore India, take a look at our range of suggested holidays to India. Alternatively, if you would prefer to build your own India trip, you can choose from our selection of unique bite-sized India tours.
Duration 16 days / 15 nights
Departs every day from Delhi.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels and havelis.
Comfort level 3/4 (see accommodation).

Price

£1915 per person - based on 2 people sharing a private trip

Includes

Accommodation with breakfast, transport and tours as described.

Transport


Private car and internal flight.

Excludes

International flight and local entry fees.

Day 1: Arrival - Delhi

On the first day of your India package trip, you’ll be collected from Delhi by your private driver and taken to your hotel.You will be staying in a charming hotel in Central Delhi - an ideal base from which to explore both the spice markets of Chandi Chowk and the modern bars of Connaught Place. Here, you can catch your breath and rest after your flight.

The rest of the day is free to spend as you wish as there are no planned activities so you can relax for the rest of the day if you like. Although, if you would like to, you can visit the impressive Qutab Minar complex and Humayun's Tomb, both World Heritage Sites. The Qutab Minar has a 5-storey, 72-metre victory tower of red sandstone. Humayun's Tomb is a grand sandstone mausoleum in proper Mughal style. The Taj Mahal, built much later, follows a similar style of architecture.
India package - Delhi action
India package - Jaipur

Day 2: Delhi - Jaipur

(Travel time approx. 5 hours)

It's day two of your India package adventure and today you'll be transferred to Jaipur by air-conditioned car, a trip which takes around 5 hours. The Pink City is a fantastic place to kick off a holiday in India and during your two nights here, you can relax, acclimatise, and explore. There is so much to see in this elegant and astonishing city that you could spend weeks here without getting bored. Jaipur centre is a lively mass of saris, saddhus, holy cows, spice markets, street vendors, camel carts, elephants, beggars, rickshaws, temples, forts and palaces.

In Jaipur, you’ll stay in a cosy family hotel for a firsthand experience of typical Indian hospitality. Breakfast is served in the romantic English tea garden and the family will go out of their way to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. The rooms here are tastefully furnished in traditional Indian-style and several have four-poster beds.

Day 3: Jaipur - City tour

On day three of this India package you’ll take a guided tour of this remarkable city, visiting the City Palace, the Observatory and the fairy-tale Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal). In the afternoon, you’ll explore the imposing Amber Fort that lies just outside the city limits. From the battlements of the Amber Fort, you’ll have a wonderful view of the rocky hills and the smaller walls and forts constructed by the Rajputs and the Mughals in the area.

The City Palace and the Palace of the Winds both stand in the ancient quarter of the city. The City Palace has several beautiful museums with fascinating collections. If you see the flag flying, it means that the Maharaja is in residence. The Palace of the Winds is a world-famous, pyramid-shaped building with dozens of windows. This is where the women of the royal harem could watch the processions in the street below, unseen by the masses.
India package - Amber Fort
India package - Friendly welcome at Samode Palace

Day 4: Jaipur - Samode

(Travel time approx. 1 hour)

Today, you'll travel to the village of Samode to stay in the beautiful Samode Palace. When you approach the village you’ll see the imposing walls of this Rajasthani palace appear. All of a sudden, you’ll feel as though you’re in a fairytale. After passing through two massive gateways, you’ll find yourself in a Samode palace garden. Bowing servants will welcome you into the palace, and you’ll be stunned by its elegance and ambience. Every room in Samode Palace has a different style, with authentic oriental ornaments and furniture. Your Samode Palace accommodation is a glorious example of traditional Rajput-Mughal architecture, and was built by an ancestor of the Singh family.

During your Samode Palace stay you can enjoy two beautiful swimming pools, a sauna and Ayurvedic centre, a sublime restaurant and an intimate courtyard bar, you'll really experience life as a Maharaja. It really is no wonder that Samode Palace has been ranked among the Top 5 Hotels in the World by Time Magazine.

Day 5: Samode

After breakfast in one of the shady inner courtyards or the elegant Samode Palace restaurant, and once you have explored Samode Palace itself, take a stroll out of the grand gateway and down into the village. It does not take long to explore the village and take in the marked contrast between palace and village environs. The village grew up around the palace to serve the resident Maharaja back in the day.
 
You could also ask your driver to take you down the road to the more remote Samode Bagh. Here there are luxury, fully furnished tents set in lovely peaceful gardens with stables and a pool. This accommodation belongs to the same family as you can tell by the style and detail of the swimming pool and furnishings.
India package - Samode Palace
India package - Bharatpur

Day 6: Samode - Galta - Bharatpur - Fatehpur Sikri - Agra

(Travel time approx. 5 hours)

This morning, you'll leave Samode and head east towards Galta, a secluded mystical spot that will leave a lasting impression on you. The Monkey Temple here is a pilgrimage site that attracts flocks of brightly-robed devotees every day. The stream that trickles out of the rocks here is reputed to be water from the holy River Ganges, although this is geographically impossible. People bathe and sing on the steps (ghats) that lead down into the pools. Their voices echo through the rocky gorge, which opens into a wider valley dotted with temples that have been overrun with monkeys. This is an exhilarating sight. Galta is an optional stop, but well worth the visit.

After Galta, you’ll drive for another three hours on your India package tour before arriving in Bharatpur. This is a fascinating waterworld, criss-crossed by all sorts of dykes. Maharajas of the historic Singh family used this region as their hunting grounds, and the scenery is breathtaking. If you like, you can stop off and stretch your legs here too.
There are hundreds of rare birds in the Bharatpur wetlands, such as the rare Siberian crane. Currently, there are several tigers here, originally from Ranthambore National Park. It’s unlikely that you’ll see this in action, but keep your eyes peeled all the same.

A few kilometres further on, you’ll come to stunning Fatehpur Sikri. The great ruler Akbar set up his capital here, and built a grand city, but after only 40 years the water supply became too difficult to maintain, so all of the inhabitants packed up and moved on. Now it is an atmospheric ghost city, full of green parrots and monkeys. You can arrange for a guide to lead you through the forgotten city, and tell you the stories behind the monuments. This is also an optional stop, so if you'd prefer to head straight to your hotel in Agra just ask your driver.

After visiting Fatehpur Sikri on your India package, you’ll drive on to Agra, where you’ll arrive at your clean and comfortable hotel after a busy and very varied day.
India package - Bharatpur monkeys
India package - Taj Mahal

Day 7: Agra - Taj Mahal

After breakfast this morning, you’ll set off to visit another two breathtaking sites. First, you’ll be taken to the Taj Mahal, a real highlight of your India package. Standing serenely in the first light of the morning, we are sure that this stunning building will surpass all your expectations. It is one of the few buildings in the world that has the ability to move people. It was built by Shah Jahan as a token of his love for his deceased wife, and is undoubtedly the most romantic burial site in the world. After visiting the Taj Mahal, you’ll head for Agra Fort. This huge but restrained structure seems to be immersed in a dreamy atmosphere when it’s bathed in the golden afternoon light, which slants through the pillars and galleries. From its majestic walls and through its arches, you can see the Taj Mahal, just as Shah Jahan would have done centuries ago, when he was imprisoned here by his son.

Day 8: Agra - Delhi

(Travel time approx. 5-6 hours)

You'll stay in a charming hotel in Central Delhi, with comfortable rooms and modern facilities. The hotel is near to both the alleyways and spice bazaars of Old Delhi and the spacious shopping emporiums of Connaught Place.

You can use day eight of your India package in Delhi to explore the city's sights - the crowded, narrow lanes of Chandi Chowk, the stately Humayan’s Tomb, the greenery of Lodi Gardens, and the fascinating and moving Gandhi Museum. If you didn't get the chance to visit last time you were in Delhi then we would recommend heading to the Red Fort, one of Delhi's main attractions.
India package - Red Fort Delhi
India package - Portuguese Goa

Day 9: Delhi - Goa

(Travel time approx. 2.5 hours by plane, approx. 1 hour by car)

Today, you will be collected from your comfortable Delhi hotel and transferred to the airport where you will board a short flight to tropical Goa. On arrival in Goa our driver will be waiting for you at the airport and you will be driven to your charming colonial townhouse in the picturesque Latin neighbourhood of Fontainhas.

You’ll spend the next three nights in this atmospheric house, dating back to 1850 and surrounded by narrow streets. Here you can spend your time as you wish as you explore Goa and soak up the colonial atmosphere. Your room will be furnished in Portuguese colonial style with its own balcony. Meals and drinks are served to house guests on the veranda of the house. Across the road from the mansion, you’ll find a Hindu house managed by the same owner, where you can relax in the shady, tranquil inner courtyard.

Day 10: Goa - Hampi

(Travel time approx. 7-8 hours)

Today you’ll travel inland from Goa to Hampi, a magical village on the shores of the Tungabhadra River. The journey takes about 7½ hours and it is definitely worth the trip. Hampi is a small farming town in the state of Karnataka, nestled amongst mind-boggling ancient ruins and sculptures. In Hampi, you'll explore the ruins which are the remains of the old city of Vijayanagara, the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the early mornings and late afternoons, the combination of gentle light and striking landscape gives Hampi a special ambience that defies description. In the afternoon on the first day of your tour from Goa to Hampi, you’ll visit the Tungabhadra Dam and the Japanese Gardens. You’ll stay in lovely resort, situated just outside of Hampi centre.
India package - Hampi
India package - Hampi Ruins

Day 11: Hampi Tour

After breakfast on day two of your Goa to Hampi trip, you’ll spend the whole day exploring with your English-speaking guide. The ruins are spread across a large distance between massive rocks, banana plantations and bright green shrubs. The remains of the palaces and gates to the city tell a magical story and showcase the creativity of the emperor of Vijayanagara. You’ll visit many extraordinary sites - the Temple of Malyavanta, Hampi Bazaar (a beautiful street in the days of the Vijayanagaran Empire), the Virupaksha Temple, the Ugra Narasimha Burial Mound and the Vithala Temple complex with its 56 musical columns. 
 
At the end of the day, you’ll be dropped off at your resort. There’s nothing planned for the evening, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore. You’ll get a real taste of Indian rural living, with buffalo carts, cows and goats, roaming everywhere. There are several small restaurants serving local dishes and, as the sun slowly sets, you can climb the nearby hill to enjoy the magical sunset.

Day 12: Hampi

Day twelve of your India trip is completely free, and there’s plenty to discover in this little town before you head back to Goa. Hampi was once a huge capital city in the Vijaynagaran Empire, larger at that time than Paris or London. Like Fatehpur Sikri in the north, it has been deserted for centuries. One of the most famous ruins is the massive stone carriage that is parked in front of an impressive gallery of decorated pillars, each sculpted from a single block of stone. Alternatively, you could hire a bicycle or scooter and head for the dam. Jump into the clear blue waters from the overhanging boulders and explore things at your own pace on this India trip.
India package - Friendly Locals
India package - Goa Accommodation

Day 13: Hampi - Goa

(Travel time approx. 7-8 hours)

After travelling from Goa to Hampi, your India trip comes to an end after breakfast today. So, you’ll say farewell to this unforgettable place, and set off on the 7½-hour drive back to Goa.

Your driver will drop you off at your Goa hotel; a small-scale resort located on Calangute Beach which is comfortable and charming. This small boutique resort built in Portuguese style is brand new and set in the middle of a large tropical garden with a lovely pool. It's a peaceful sanctuary in the lively Calangute, and we enjoyed being able to escape the hustle and bustle and relax back at the quiet resort with a good book and a cool drink. The rooms are tastefully decorated with four-poster beds and colonial furniture, there's air-conditioning and a balcony overlooking the lush gardens or the pool. From the resort it's less than 10 minutes walk to the nearest beach, one of the prettiest in Goa and great for all kinds of water sports.

Day 14 - 16: Goa

During your India trip to Goa, you'll find that the water is warm, the air sultry, and the palms rustle gently in the breeze. But aside from relaxing, there’s lots to do here, you can go on a boat trip with one of the local fishermen to go dolphin spotting, or visit one of the other nearby beaches.

The famous flea market in Anjuna (Wednesdays) is a great place for souvenir shopping, or if you're not here on a Wednesday try the local market in Apora, 4km south of Anjuna. In both markets you can find colourful bags, trinkets, jewellery and unique items to take home to remind you always of your India trip. 

Of course, doing nothing is fine too. You could simply stretch out on the beach with a cold Kingfisher and a good book.
India package - Anjuna Market
India package - Goa Beach

Day 16: Departure from Goa

This India package ends after breakfast this morning, and when the time comes, you'll head for the airport for your flight home.

Of course, you are welcome to extend your stay on the beach by a few days, or even continue your trip with a few more of our India tours. Just ask our India travel specialists for more information or add any special requirements to the quote request form.

A peek at your accommodation (click to enlarge)

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