India North & South
From the opulent island palace of Udaipur and the majesty of the Taj Mahal, to the bustling markets of Mumbai and the relaxing waterways of Cochin, India is a tapestry woven of overlying empires, religions, and cultures—where both cities and nature tend towards the extreme. Set off on an incredible journey through beautiful landscapes, bustling cities, ancient history, and enjoy unswervingly delicious cuisine along the way.
Best time to visit: October-June
Ideal For: Couples
Day 1 – Arrive in Delhi
Arriving in Delhi in the evening, you will be met at the airport and brought to your boutique hotel.
Day 2 – Explore Delhi
Start your discovery of India with a guided city tour beginning with a drive through the heavily British-influenced area of Lutyens’ New Delhi, stopping at the iconic India Gate before heading to the gold-domed Bangla Sahib Gurudwara complex. After lunch, take a brief tour of the vast collection of artifacts at the National Museum and then end the day with a visit to the Qutab complex, featuring the impressive 239-foot-tall Qutab Minar.
Day 3 – Museums & Monuments of Old Delhi
Continue exploring the city on a guided tour of Old Delhi, beginning with the Red Fort, home to the Mughal emperors for nearly 200 years. Within the towering sandstone walls there are an array of museums and monuments which are a blend of Persian, Indian, and European influences. Next, venture into the ancient alleys of the Chandni Chowk on a guided rickshaw ride, explore the Jama Masjid mosque, and end the day visiting the peaceful Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi was cremated.
Day 4 – Travel to Agra & Visit the Taj Mahal
After breakfast this morning you will be driven north to Agra, the home of the incomparable Taj Mahal. Settle into your luxury resort and then in the afternoon enjoy a guided visit to the red-sandstone Agra Fort, a testament to the might of the Mughal Empire. In the early evening, get your first taste of the Taj Mahal and its magnificent gardens as the sun sets on the world’s most impressive mausoleum.
Day 5 – The Taj to Jaipur
Visit the Taj Mahal in the early morning to watch the sunrise and further explore the halls of the monument and the Mughal gardens. Return to your hotel for a late breakfast and then drive to the Rajasthani village of Abhaneri to see the immense Chand Baori stepwell. Continue your journey to Jaipur and settle into your boutique luxury resort for the evening.
Day 6 – Palaces of Jaipur
Begin the day with an excursion to the Amber Fort and Palace, a massive complex overlooking Maota Lake. Next, return to the valley below the fort and visit the Samode Palace, now a boutique hotel, for a Rajasthani-style lunch. In the afternoon, experience a camel back or cart-drawn safari through an area dotted with monuments and small villages.
Day 7 – Tour the Hills of Jaipur & Fly to Udaipur
After breakfast enjoy a guided tour of the walled city of Jaipur, including the City Palace complex, and the unique 18th-century Jantar Mantar observatory. Continue your tour to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage site and temples of Galtaji in the Aravalli Hills on the outskirts of Jaipur, which are also home to a large tribe of monkeys. Head to the airport in the afternoon for your flight to Udaipur, where you will enjoy spectacular lakeside lodging.
Day 8 – Lakes & Palaces of Udaipur
Start exploring the City of Lakes on a guided tour that begins at the majestic City Palace complex, whose rooms are decorated with thousands of handcrafted mirrors and stained glass windows. Enjoy a private tour of the Crystal Gallery, which hosts the world’s largest collection of crystal, and then head to Lake Pichola for a cruise. End the day at the Monsoon Palace for amazing views over the lakes at sunset.
Day 9 – Enjoy the Lakefront & Fly to Mumbai
Spend a relaxing morning at your resort, enjoy an early lunch on the lakefront, and then take a guided three-wheeler Tuk-Tuk ride and a walk through several of the many outdoor markets. Head to the airport in the late afternoon to catch your flight to Mumbai, where you will be met and driven to your hotel.
Day 10 – Tour Mumbai & Onward to Aurangabad
Check out of your hotel and then get to know this metropolis on a guided city tour beginning at the Gateway of India on Mumbai’s harbor. Visit the bustling Gothic-style Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus rail station, Town Hall, and the Prince of Wales Museum. After lunch, drive through the Flora Fountain and Fort area and up to the hanging gardens of Malabar Hill for panoramic views over the city. Transfer to the airport for an evening flight to Aurangabad.
Day 11 – The Caves of Aurangabad
The world-renowned Ajanta and Ellora caves are widely recognized as India’s most amazing archaeological sites. Spend today on a full-day guided excursion to Ajanta, a network of 28 decorated caves where Buddhist monks were painting and sculpting in the 2nd century BCE. After exploring the caves, drive back to your hotel in Aurangabad.
Day 12 – Ellora Monastery & Return to Mumbai
Today you will have the opportunity to explore the cave temples and monasteries of Ellora, built between 600 and 1000 CE and decorated with intricate stonework on an incredible scale. On your way back to Aurangabad, stop at the sculpted hilltop Daulatabad Fort before driving to the airport for your flight back to Mumbai.
Day 13 – Fly to Cochin
Return to the airport in the morning for an early flight to Cochin in southern India, where you will be greeted at the airport and transferred to your boutique historic hotel. Enjoy a guided tour of the island of Cherai, which is home to the Azheekal Sree Varaha Venkateswara Temple and Portuguese Fort. In the evening, get a true taste of Kerala culture with cooking classes and dinner at the home of a local chef.
Day 14 – Cochin’s Forts & Fishing Traditions
Today, explore the architectural and cultural heritage of the port city of Cochin, starting with a tour of the Jewish Synagogue and nearby antique shops of the colorful Jew Street. Visit St. Francis Church, explore the Fort Kochi area, and see the traditional Chinese fishing nets on the beachfront. In the evening, experience a performance of Kathakali dance, which is an ancient form of storytelling.
Day 15 – Cochin Backwaters Cruise
Check out of your hotel and drive to Alleppey in the Kerala backwaters and embark on a houseboat day-cruise. Float along canals, small rivers, and lakes whose banks are blanketed in exotic plants and coconut trees, enjoying fresh-cooked food on board. Disembark at sunset at your lakeside resort as all the houseboats in the backwaters anchor for the night.
Day 16 – Afternoon Departure
Enjoy your lakeside setting this morning, taking advantage of the resort’s spa, visiting local organic farms, or watching martial arts performances. In the early afternoon you will drive back to Cochin for your flight to Mumbai or Delhi, connecting to your international flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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