Darjeeling tour - Darjeeling tea pickers

Tea Time in Darjeeling

Route: Darjeeling

Darjeeling is regarded as the champagne of tea, and during this Darjeeling tour, you’ll get a taste of tea-drinking high life in the Himalayas. You will spend the night in Kurseong before heading to Darjeeling the next day on the famous toy train. On the way up you will see tea plantations dotted with dozens of pickers, and the Himalayas will form a mighty backdrop. It may be famous for its tea, but Darjeeling is also a multicultural Indian city, with many Nepalese inhabitants and a thriving Tibetan community. On Tiger Hill, you’ll wait for the rising sun to provide an amazing view- bathing the landscape in a golden glow. You’ll also visit a Buddhist monastery and drink tea with exiled Tibetans in the hills during your Darjeeling tour.

If you'd like to start building your own India trip, take a look at our range of unique bite-sized India tours. Or, if you'd rather leave the planning to us, why not choose from one of our suggested holidays to India. Need some more advice or inspiration? Have a chat with one of our India travel specialists on 01273 322044.

Duration 4 days / 3 nights
Daily (Tea factory shut on Sundays)

Accommodation

Standard - Historical hotel in Kurseong and a centrally located hotel in Darjeeling - Category 3 (see accommodation)

Price

£275 per person - based on 2 people sharing

Includes

Accommodation with breakfast, excursions with guide, transport by private car, toy train ticket

Transport

Toy train, Private car

Excludes

International flights

Day 1: Arrival in Kurseong

On the first day of your Darjeeling tour you'll arrive in Kurseong either by car from New Jalpaiguri (sleeper train) or Bagdora (plane). During the drive you'll travel across Indian plains with mountain slopes in the background. Enjoy the surrounding views while driving through the mountainous countryside.

Kurseong is a charming hill station with a cool climate. Many of the Indian hill stations were first established as a refuge for the British colonies but today are frequented by tourists and locals who want to escape the heat of Kolkata (Calcutta). You'll spend your night in a restored British colonial house at the foot of the Himalayas. You'll be greeted with a view of the majestic Kanchenjunga, one of the highest mountains in the world, and the green tea fields that surround the hotel. The rest of the day is free for your to explore the town at your leisure.
Darjeeling tour - Kurseong
Darjeeling tour - Toy Train

Day 2: Toy train to Darjeeling

Today you'll take the scenic toy train from Kurseong to Darjeeling on the Himalayan Railway for the next adventure on your trip to India. This mountain town is nestled between the Himalayan kingdom's of Bhutan and Nepal, and surrounded by white mountain peaks. The streets are narrow, steep and typically busy as usual in India, with dozens of ramshackle stalls selling anything and everything. In the market square, at the very top of the hill, you’ll find yourself encircled by snow-capped mountains, some reaching heights exceeding 8000metres (over 26,000 feet).

You’re free to explore on your own for the rest of today. Here, you can amble through the tea fields where you’ll see the Indian pickers carrying large baskets on their backs. Darjeeling is renowned for its tea, which is still produced by hand here in small factories. You’ll spend two nights in a central, cosy hotel.

Day 3: Darjeeling and surrounds

On day three of your Darjeeling tour, you’ll have an early start to make it to the top of Tiger Hill before sunrise. Weather permitting, the views are definitely worth it! You’ll have a fantastic view of the first beams of sunshine appearing between the snow-capped Himalayas- a real highlight of your India trip. As the morning mist disappears from the valley, the view will become even more amazing. It can be pretty cold and windy up here, so make sure you are warmly dressed. As soon as the sun rises higher and the valley begins to warm up, you’ll drive to the oldest Buddhist monastery in Darjeeling, the next stop on your Darjeeing tour. This monastery dates from 1875 and is home to many well-preserved books. An english-speaking guide will accompany you through the grounds and explain the history of the building.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy a typical Nepalese or Tibetan lunch in the centre of Darjeeling. You’ll visit a museum about the history of climbing in the Himalayas, accompanied again by a guide. Next on your Darjeeling tour, you’ll take a trip to the famous zoo with its rare red panda and snow leopard. You’ll finish off the day in the Tibetan refugee centre, where exiled Tibetans make clothes and carpets from local wool. 

Darjeeling tour - Darjeeling and the Himalayas
Darjeeling tour - View of Darjeeling

Day 4: Departure from Darjeeling

Today, your Darjeeling tour ends after breakfast. Would you like to head deeper into Sikkim? If so, you could enjoy a real India experience on our Sikkim tour which visits the towns of Gangtok and Kalimpong in the green foothills and the monasteries in the local area. You could also choose to venture out on a 5-day Sikkim Trek through the lower slopes of the pristine Himalayas.

Alternatively, you can travel overland into the enigmatic kingdom of Bhutan via the border at Phuentsholing. Take a look at our Bite-Sized Bhutan Tours to see what we offer. Then just let us know your requirements via our quote request form, and we’ll make you a personal Travel Plan. 

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