Ultimate India

Overview

Embark on an incredible journey from north to south as you experience the very best of India’s culture, heritage and wildlife on this captivating small group tour. Experience the contrasts between the hectic cities, the slow-paced backwaters of Kerala and the elusive tigers of Ranthambore National Park as you tick off must-see sights including the iconic Golden Triangle.

What's Included:

  • Delhi: 2 nights
  • Agra: 1 night
  • Ranthambore: 2 nights
  • Jaipur: 2 nights
  • Mumbai: 2 nights
  • Kumarakom: 2 nights
  • Alleppey (Alappuzha) (Houseboat): 1 night
  • Kochi (Cochin): 2 nights
  • Quality accommodation
  • Insightful local tour leaders
  • Hand-picked itineraries
  • Flexible arrival times
  • Small groups and a relaxed approach
  • Porterage and guide tips
  • Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
  • All specified flights.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Delhi

Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.

Day 2: Delhi

On arrival, transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, visit the 42-metre-high India Gate and drive past the President House and Parliament Building. This evening there’s a welcome dinner at the hotel hosted by your tour leader. Stay: Taj Palace, New Delhi (or similar). D.

Day 3: Delhi

Enjoy a full day of sightseeing including a visit to Qutub Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, and the Jama Masjid Mosque. Drive past the impressive Red Fort and Raj Ghat – a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Stay: Taj Palace, New Delhi (or similar). B.

Day 4: Delhi to Agra

Rise early for a quick breakfast and board the Gatiman Express train to Agra. On arrival, visit the 16th-Century Agra Fort, home to the fairytale Jahangir Palace. This afternoon visit Itmad-Ud-Daulah, also known as Baby Taj, a beautiful marble tomb studded with semi-precious stones. Continue to Mehtab Bagh, or ‘Moonlight Gardens’ at sunset and admire the views of the exquisite Taj Mahal. Approx. journey time: 2 hours. Stay: Trident, Agra (or similar). B.

Day 5: Agra to Ranthambore

Rise early for another incredible highlight – watching the sunrise at the legendary Taj Mahal. To see this incredible monument to love bathed in early morning sunshine is a very special experience. After breakfast drive to Ranthambore National Park, stopping to visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri en route. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 168 miles. Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Ranthambore

Today join morning and afternoon game drives in open-top canters in Ranthambore National Park which boasts one of the country’s leading tiger conservation efforts. It is renowned as one of the best parks in India to spot this elusive animal. Stay: Vivanta by Taj – Sawai Madhopur (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Ranthambore to Jaipur

This morning you have the option of joining another game drive before breakfast. You’ll then depart the park and enjoy a packed lunch on your journey to Jaipur which is renowned for its beautiful palaces and forts. Enjoy an evening at leisure. Approx. journey time: 4 hours, 99 miles. Stay: Jai Mahal Palace (or similar). B, L.

Day 8: Jaipur

Explore the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur with a full day of sightseeing. Visit the imposing Amber Fort, City Palace and the Royal Observatory. Stop to admire the unique Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds) from the outside. Stay: Jai Mahal Palace (or similar). B.

Day 9: Jaipur to Mumbai

Fly to the port city of Mumbai and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to relax or explore. This evening a heritage walk takes you into the heart of the historic fort area. Explore the European half of the old town, admire the Victoria Terminus, F.W. Steven’s gothic masterpiece, and stroll along the Heritage Mile of Mumbai. Soak up the atmosphere at the ornate Flora Fountain and visit the historic art district of Kala Ghoda. Stay: Trident, Nariman Point (or similar). B.

Day 10: Mumbai

Explore the city with visits to the Gateway of India, Marine Drive and the Prince of Wales Museum. Observe the city’s famous Dabbawalas (Tiffin meal delivery service) in action at one of the stations. Visit the Jain temple, Dhobi Ghat and Mani Bhawan where Gandhi once stayed. The rest of the day is at leisure for independent exploration or relaxation. Stay: Trident, Nariman Point (or similar). B.

Day 11: Mumbai to Kumarakom

Transfer to the airport for your flight south to Cochin, a coastal city made up of a series of islands and canals (approx. 2 hours). Drive south to Kumarakom which is famously the gateway to the beautiful backwaters and lakes of Kerala. Transfer to your hotel which lies on the tranquil shore of Lake Vambanad. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours, 30 miles. Stay: Coconut Lagoon (or similar). B.

Day 12: Kumarakom

This morning, visit the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary. During a short trek through the estate you may see a variety of species including egrets and Siberian cranes. The region is known for its local family-run homestays, and today you will have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely lunch at the charming Philip Kutty Farm. The day ends with an evening cultural performance at your hotel. Stay: Coconut Lagoon (or similar). B, L.

Day 13: Kumarakom to Alappuzha

Enjoy a free morning before one of the highlights of your tour – an overnight cruise on the tranquil backwaters. Transfer to the jetty to board your traditional air-conditioned houseboat. Enjoy the serenity as you glide across canals, passing stunning scenery and remote villages. Approx. journey time: 1 hour, 20 miles. Stay: Deluxe Houseboat. B, L, D.

Day 14: Alappuzha to Kochi

Disembark and drive back to Kochi, stopping en route at Kumbalangi, a traditional fishing village where you can observe local activities such as crab farming and net making. After lunch at the village, continue to Cochin and relax at your hotel which is located near the iconic Chinese fishing nets. This evening, admire elaborate costumes, dramatic make-up and a combination of classical dance and drama during a traditional Kathakali dance show. Approx. journey time: 1½ hours, 33 miles. Stay: Eighth Bastion (or similar). B, L.

Day 15: Kochi

Explore the city on a half-day tour which visits the Dutch Palace which was built by the Portuguese in 1555, renovated by the Dutch over a hundred years later and today houses works of art. You’ll also visit the Jewish Synagogue and Mattancherry Palace, and learn about the city’s colonial history as you witness the blend of Portuguese, Dutch and British architecture during a walking tour of Fort Cochin. This evening, enjoy a Keralan cooking demo followed by farewell dinner with a local family. Stay: Eighth Bastion (or similar). B, D.

Day 16: Kochi

Transfer to Kochi airport for your flight to the UK. B.

Hand Picked By

Jon Shillito

Kuoni offers amazing destinations, as well as a fantastic range of holiday types from All inclusive luxury holidays, safaris, escorted tours and much more.

Jon Shillito

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departure dates in 2019, 2020 and 2021
  • Board Basis: Mixed Meal Plan
  • Duration: 15 nights
  • Departure Airport: London
  • Guide Price: From £4,295pp
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