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OVERVIEW

Solos Only

Discover North India on this small group tour that explores the cities of New Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Get ready to visit palaces, hill forts, aromatic spice markets, and local bazaars. You will move from bustling cities like New Delhi to the harsh yet beautiful landscapes of the Thar Desert that surround Jodhpur, and will get a first-hand view of the local history, culture, and architecture of this stunning region of India.

The tour will travel by road and plane. Whilst much of the tour will take place on dry land, you will also take to the water to cruise around glassy lakes and enjoy boat rides on iconic waterways like the Ganges.

The package includes internal flights in India, air conditioned vehicles, and boat travel, and will show you all the key sights in diverse and vibrant Northern India.

This is a group travel tour that is open to solo travellers.

KERALA INDULGENCE OPTIONAL EXTENSION 

[AVAILABLE FOR OCTOBER 2019]
Take a fascinating journey through India’s tropical south on this special extension package for solo travellers. 

Experience the diversity in scenery, culture and enjoy the warm hospitality of people.  Kerala is a tropical bliss with an idyllic coastline and lush tropical hills.  During this tour, visit Fort Kochi, one of the oldest cosmopolitan port cities in the world.  Embark on an overnight journey discovering the beautiful backwaters of Kerala by houseboat.  See the communities and how they have adapted to life by the water. End with a two night stay by the backwaters at Kumarakom.

Dubbed as ‘Gods Own Country’, Kerala boasts of its rich flora, fauna and the harmonious mixture of communities. 

Come and visit the ‘Venice of the East’ on this unique itinerary for solo travellers.

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PACKAGE DETAILS
  • Ages:
    45+
  • Duration:
    16 Days
  • Status:
    Bookings open
  • Region:
    Asia
  • Destinations:
    India
  • Travel Style:
    Tour,Small deluxe group tour
  • Accommodation:
    Quality hotels
  • Prices:
    see PRICES section
  • Transport:
    Air
  • Pace:
    3
  • Max Group Size:
    16
REVIEWS

'The India trip was fantastic. We saw the best of Northern India in good company and with a very knowledgeable guide and a driver that made us all laugh. India can be confronting for some but we always felt safe and well looked after. One of the best trips I have ever taken!'

Marilyn, 62 years, Melbourne

'A good value for money holiday led by an efficient tour guide.'

David, 68 years, Sydney, NSW
VIEW ALL REVIEWS REQUEST A QUOTE > NEED MORE HELP?
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VARANASI 'SPIRITUAL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD'

Uncover the highlights of the spiritual capital of the world, Varanasi on our Discover North India tour for solo travellers. Join a small group tour including Varanasi and Rajasthan, India. 
With a maximum of 16 people on our Discover North India tour for solo travellers you'll enjoy an up close and personal experience of Northern India.

INCLUSIONS

  • 15 nights hotel stay (heritage and 4 & 5 star hotels)
  • Daily breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 12 dinners
  • Private air conditioned vehicle and driver
  • Services of an English speaking local escort (leader) throughout the tour
  • Meeting & Assistance on arrival/departure at airport
  • Arrival/Departure transfers and surface travel as per program, using Air-Conditioned transport #
  • Three internal one way flights in India
  • Rickshaw ride at Delhi & Varanasi
  • Jeep ride at Fort Amber in Jaipur
  • Boat ride at Lake Pichola in Udaipur & at Ganges river in Varanasi
  • Monument entrance fees
  • Pre paid tips for service personnel
  • All applicable taxes 

    # Arrival and departure airport transfer provided for nominated tour flight, booked with us as part of your package.  

KERALA INDULGENCE EXTENSION

INCLUSIONS:
Optional extension tour for October 2019 departure, at additional cost

  • 3 nights hotel stay (4 & 5 star hotels)
  • 1 night in a deluxe houseboat on the backwaters of Kerala
  • Daily breakfasts
  • 1 lunches
  • 3 dinners
  • Private air conditioned vehicle and driver
  • Services of an English speaking local escort
  • Meeting & assistance on arrival/departure at airport
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers #
  • Pre paid tips for service personnel
  • All presently applicable taxes

# Arrival & departure airport transfer provided for nominated tour flight, booked with us as part of your package.  

Not included: 

  • Airfares if booking a tour only package
  • Airport Transfers if booking your own airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage
  • Visa fees
  • Any tips or porterage at airports, hotels, drivers & local staff
  • Meals and beverages not specified on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry & medical expenses
  • Incidental expenses such as taxi fares, telecommunications

 Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for joining this tour and is in addition to the package price.

Departure Dates for this tour

Departure
Status
Price from
Get a quote
15 - 30 OCT 2019
Bookings open
$6585 tour only, own room. Airfare additional.
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DISCOVER NORTH INDIA: Prices per person (in AUD)

With Your Own Room

Standard: Tour Only

$6,585

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: KERALA INDULGENCE
5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS

Per person

Own Room

Tour Package 

$2425

Post Tour Accommodation: Kurmarakom Lake Resort

$450

SHARE & SAVE
If you are happy to share with a roommate of the same gender, save $1290 on package prices above that include your own room (not sharing).


Trip Code: india19-10

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Itinerary

HIGHLIGHTS
  • A mix of styles and activities in both Old and New Delhi.
  • Touring the mystical holy city of Varanasi.
  • A tour of the mighty Taj Mahal in Agra.
  • An evening and sunrise boat trip on the Ganges River, Varanasi.
  • Exploring the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur.
  • The ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur.
  • Travelling to the ‘Venice of the East’ in Udaipur.
  • Dinner overlooking the famous lakes and palaces of Udaipur
  • The experience of ‘heritage’ hotels at some destinations
  • Enjoy a small group experience only for solo travellers
OPTIONAL EXTENSION: KERALA INDULGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
  • Visit Fort Kochi
  • See the traditional Chinese fishing nets
  • Travel on a premium houseboat on the backwaters
  • Take a walking tour of a backwaters village
  • The experience of ‘heritage’ hotels
  • Enjoy an evening sunset cruise on the backwaters
  • See local Toddy Tappers
  • Enjoy a small group experience only for solo travellers

DAY 1 
Arrive to NEW DELHI

Arrive at Delhi Indira Gandhi (IGI) International Airport. The group will be met by our tour leader and transferred to your hotel in New Delhi, the bustling capital city of India.*

The next two days and nights will be spent exploring vibrant New Delhi.

Meals:  N/A

* applies to passengers travelling on the group nominated flight as part of their total package. For travellers making their own flight arrangements please liaise with us about airport transfer options.

DAY 2 
Explore NEW DELHI

Start the day by enjoying breakfast at your leisure at our hotel. This will be followed by a group briefing at 10am. This will give you the opportunity to discuss the tour details, meet your tour leader, and ask any general tour questions.

Today you will be taken back in time to the ancient walled city of Old Delhi, also known as ‘Shahjahanaabad’, which dates from the 17th century. You will explore the spectacular Jama Masjid or ‘Friday Mosque’, built by Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor also famous for his construction of the mighty Taj Mahal at Agra. Make sure to look out for the iconic red sandstone minarets and the breath-taking marble domes.

From Jama Mosque, you will move onto a rickshaw tour of Old Delhi, the highlight of which will be a trip to the sprawling Chandani Chowk market. In the days of old, the markets were flanked with canals to reflect the moonlight. Chandni Chowk is full to the brim of exquisite Indian fabrics, gold and silver ware, and aromatic spices. Enjoy this riot of colours and mouth-watering smells from the comfort of your own traditional cycle rickshaw, designed to give you a front row seat to life in Old Delhi whilst also beating the heat.

Having worked up an appetite perusing the local flavours at Chandni Chowk, lunch will be served at Chor Bizarre Restaurant .

Today we also visit Raj Ghat, the final resting place of Mahatma Ghandi, set on the banks of the Yamuna River. This revered spot and pilgrimage site is marked with a black marble tomb and an eternal flame that burns next to picturesque lawns. From here you will move on to the National Ghandi Museum to learn more about the life and work of this iconic figure.

You will then end the afternoon with a city orientation tour that includes the famous Delhi Gate that links Old Delhi with New Delhi. Keep an eye out and see if you can spot the ornate carved stone elephants.

This evening is at your leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

DAY 3 
Delhi - Varanasi by Flight

After breakfast, you will travel to Delhi Indira Gandhi (IGI) International Airport for a short domestic flight to the city of Varanasi, known as the holiest city in India. Varanasi is home to the magnificent Ganges River, and is an important place of worship in Hinduism and Jainism. It is also said to be the city where Buddha founded Buddhism.

The group will be met at Varanasi airport and transferred to your hotel. There will be free time to relax and rest after the flight.

In the early evening, we transfer from our hotel to the Ganges, to enjoy a relaxed walk along the banks of the Ganges, whose sacred waters attract pilgrims from all over the world. The Ganges is also known in Hinduism as the goddess Ganga. Dinner will follow at a local restaurant

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner (The Kabab Factory Restaurant)

DAY 4
Varanasi

Get ready for an early start to witness the sunrise with a boat trip on the Ganges to watch the morning bathing rituals and famous cremations. It’s a spectacle to behold and a tour highlight. We return to the hotel for breakfast after the boat ride.

This morning, explore Varanasi on a walking tour of the old city and its famous lanes that wind through traditional markets, the labyrinth of laneways and local spots of interest. The tour will end with a cycle rickshaw tour to explore more of the old city.

Varanasi is known for its fine quality silks, Benaras Hindu University, being one of the largest residential universities in Asia and ‘paan’, which is a preparation combining betel leaf with areca nut, and sometimes tobacco. Paan is chewed for its stimulant and psychoactive effects.  In the afternoon, you will tour a silk and textile weaving showroom to experience first-hand how these exquisite fabrics are produced.  {If you don’t feel like going shopping, then there is the option to opt out. And we will transfer to you the Hotel.}

You will end the day with a sunset boat trip to witness the Aarti Fire Ceremony, a religious ritual in Hinduism in which torches or candles containing ghee or camphor are set alight and presented as offerings to the deities. After witnessing this ceremonial spectacle, you will then head out for dinner at Shri Annapurna restaurant for a traditional North Indian meal named Thali. Diners will get to sample a variety of small local dishes as part of the traditional Thali set, including curries, yoghurts, and chutneys.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 
Varanasi - New Delhi by Flight

Start the day in Varanasi with the (optional activity) of an early morning Surya Namaskar yoga class. The class will be held near the iconic Varanasi Ghats, the stone steps leading down to the Ganges that are used by those wishing to bathe or worship in the sacred waters. (Sign up and payment for the class can be made directly to your tour leader).

In time you will transfer to Varanasi airport for your flight to Dehli. Upon arrival in Dehli you will be transferred to Restaurant Lazeez Affaire for lunch.

As afternoon moves to evening you will travel to a local Sikh Gurudwara temple, named Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. Topped with a stunning gold dome, this is one of the largest and grandest Sikh houses of worship in Delhi, and the complex even features a pool known as a ‘Sarovar’. A serene and relaxing way to end the day in Delhi.

Later transfer to the Hotel. Dinner tonight at your Hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6
Delhi - Agra by Surface (220 KMS / 03 HRS.)

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Agra. Known as the city of the Taj.

In the evening, you will enjoy a walk along the serene banks of the Yamuna River to witness the splendour of the unparalleled Taj Mahal from the riverside before you get to explore it up close tomorrow.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7
Agra

Get ready for entry to the Taj Mahal when the gates first open to beat the crowds and explore this 17th century wonder on a guided tour. The structure is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you will get to spend time marveling at the ornate inner decorations as well as meandering in the abundant flower gardens studded with water features that are said to be modelled on the rivers of Paradise. You will then return to your hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast, you will have the chance to visit Agra Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and the sister monument to the Taj Mahal, formerly a walled city built out of red sandstone.

Today, lunch is at your leisure.

Kick off the afternoon portion of the tour with a visit to Sadar Bazaar and textile showrooms experience the best of local Indian arts, crafts, and food. The bazaar features aromatic sweet shops, leather handicrafts, and beautiful marble work, said to be the best in all of India. Travellers can choose to opt out of this trip with transport back to the hotel if desired.

Dinner will be served at country side village at a local family home near the Agra. The cuisine will be  traditional Mughlai, and will feature dishes first developed in medieval times in India. Reflecting the way in which food was served during the times of the Mughal Empire, you will have the chance to sample classic North Indian staples that include Rogan Josh, Biryani, and Korma.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 
Agra /Fatehpur Sikri / Jaipur 

Today you will depart for Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’, and the capital of the state of Rajasthan in the north of India. Enroute visiting Fatehpur Sikri the imperial city of the Mughal dynasty built by Akbar. Lunch will be served along the way at a hotel restaurant.

We arrive to our hotel and then this evening transfer to the hotel  this evening we visit The Birla Temple, originally known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple, and is situated below the Moti Dungri Fort in Jaipur. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, this temple is a proud architectural landmark of Jaipur. Built in pure white marble, the Birla Temple is unlike the traditional ancient Hindu temples, and is built with a modern approach.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9 
Jaipur

We will start the day with a guided tour of City Palace, a majestic complex that is known for its stunning palaces, courtyards, gardens, and other administrative buildings that date from the 18th century.

After the trip to the City Palace, there will be time for lunch at your leisure. Also a witness a block printing demonstration.

In the afternoon you will get a chance to visit the old city bazaars, which are found within the ancient walled part of the city. The bazaars showcase the best of the region’s handicrafts including jewellery, metalwork, textiles, utensils, traditional footwear and pottery, where bargaining is considered an essential skill when making a purchase.

For a truly unforgettable experience in the evening, you will join a cooking demonstration of Indian cuisine that will take you through the importance and uses of local ingredients, and teach you how to whip up some staple Indian dishes. The cooking demonstration will be followed by dinner at a family home.

Meal: Breakfast, Dinner (At Indian Family Home, with demonstration)

DAY 10 
Jaipur

Get ready for an early start as you set out on a trip to Amber Fort that sits atop a hill in the town of Amer, just outside of Jaipur. A place of great historical significance in India, the fort looks out over Maota Lake, and is famous for its Hindu design aesthetic. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is part of a group known as the Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

We return for lunch at hotel and then, you will then have the option to have an astrology reading. Perfect for those interested in Indian mysticism who want a glimpse into the future!

The afternoon will be spent at your leisure.

Dinner tonight is by your own arrangement.

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11 
Jaipur - Jodhpur by Surface (338 KMS / 06 HRS.)

Today we will travel to the city of Jodhpur that sits in the imposing Thar Desert. Jodhpur is often referred to by locals as ‘Sun City’ so get ready for some sunshine and blue skies. The city is studded with decorated palaces, crumbling forts, and elaborate temples. Jodhpur is also known as the ‘Blue City’ so watch out for the traditional blue buildings that are dotted around Mehrangarh Fort.

In the afternoon there will be a market visit for you to experience the local culture first-hand and peruse the high quality textiles, handicrafts, and exquisite footwear that comes in a range of flamboyant colours and styles.

Dinner tonight is at Indique Restaurant OVERLOOKING THE FORT.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 
Jodhpur (The Blue City)

Start the day with a visit to Mehrangarh Fort that dates from the 15th century and is located atop a hill that offers amazing views of the city. The fort is encircled by fortified walls, and the interior includes palaces, rambling gardens, and courtyards. The visit includes a guided tour so that you can learn all about the historical significance of the fort.

In the afternoon, we visit Umaid Bhawan Palace Museum, Asia’s most opulent royal abode. The palace is still the private residence of the Jodhpur royal family, and you can visit the large on site museum as part of the tour.

Dinner tonight will be served at a local restaurant. Bring your appetite and get ready for a unique cuisine that makes the most of the local ingredients found in the arid lands of Rajasthan.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 13 
Jodhpur / Ranakpur / Udaipur – Venice of the East

We will leave Jodhpur early to travel to Udaipur. This will be one of the longer travel days while on tour. Enroute visiting Ranakpur “famous for Jain Temples with intricate carvings”. Guides are not allowed inside the temples but audio guides are available at the entrance (a small fee for the audio guide is payable directly to the temple). Lunch will be served at Hotel Fateh Bagh in Ranakpur.

We will arrive at our hotel in the afternoon and have time to relax before our dinner at the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14 
Udaipur

We will start the day with a morning guided tour of the City Palace complex and adjoining museums. The former residence of a long lineage of Rajasthan kings, the palace is notable due to its ornate style and intricate attention to detail. As you wander the palace grounds, look out for beautiful views of Lake Pichola below.

Later today we make some market and bazaar visits, different to your morning visit.

In the evening you will dine while overlooking the palaces and lakes of Udaipur. This is a truly unique experience and will make an unforgettable end to your trip to Udaipur.

Meals: Breakfast, Highlight dinner

DAY 15 
Udaipur

Special Experience
There will be an optional experience of taking a one hour yoga class with local Indian yogi, Mr Prakesh. Classes begin at 8am and guests of all levels of ability including beginners are welcome. After yoga, return to the hotel for breakfast.

From mid-morning, you will take a boat tour on Lake Pichola to take in the scenery, which will then be followed by a drive up to Monsoon Palace. The palace gets its name due to the fact that it was built mainly as an observation point for monsoon clouds, and James Bond fans may recognise it from the film Octopussy. The rest of the day is free for guests to enjoy some leisure time and dinner is at our hotel this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16
Udaipur - New Delhi

It’s our final day and a leisurely breakfast is enjoyed at our hotel with the rest of the morning free. In the afternoon the group will take a flight to return to New Delhi, to connect with the onward evening flight home *

Meals: Breakfast

*applies to passengers travelling on the group nominated flight as part of their total package. For travelers making their own flight arrangements please liaise with us about your travel plans.

 

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: KERALA INDULGENCE 

[available for October 2019 departure]

Time permitting, this is the perfect complement to your Northern India experience.  From Delhi, fly to Cochin and discover the amazing backwaters of Kerala. [When you book the tour & airfare package this flight is included]

DAY 1
Cochin – Fort Kochi

On arrival at Cochin Airport you will be met by Encounter Travel Representative once you exit the arrival hall and whisked away to your waiting transport. You will be transferred to Fort Cochin Hotel.

Cochin (Kochi) is spread across islands and promontories in a stunning location between the Arabian Sea and the Backwaters. The city was founded in 1341 when a flood created a natural safe port, which became the principal harbour for Malabar Coast’s spice trade. Cochin was on the main trade route between Europe and China. The rulers invited people of various religions to settle here, attracting the Jews and the Christians who built places of worship and their own communities.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2
Houseboat

After breakfast we make our way to Alleppey. 

Alleppey is the hub of Kerala’s backwaters, home to a vast network of waterways and more than a thousand houseboats.  Alleppey becomes a graceful and greenery-fringe that disappears into a watery world of villages, punted canoes, toddy shops and of course houseboats.  

This afternoon board your houseboat for a cruise in the backwaters of Kerala and explore the life around this region.  Float along and gaze over paddy fields and succulent green, curvaceous rice barges and enjoy seeing village life along the banks. 

Lunch will be served onboard the cruise. 

The Houseboats are equipped with fully furnished bedrooms with ensuites. Mouthwatering Kerala dishes are served onboard the boat. Relax while floating along and in the evening taking in your beautiful surrounds. Tonight, enjoy the delight of royal dinner under the stars. 

There is an optional activity this evening -  to roam around the villages by bicycle (additional expense).

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3
Houseboat – Kumarakom

After breakfast disembark at your backwater resort.

Kumarakom is an unbelievably beautiful paradise of mangrove forests, emerald green paddy fields and coconut groves interspersed with enchanting waterways and canals adorned with white lilies. Situated on the Vembanad Lake, in this small water world you'll come across plenty of traditional country crafts, boats and canoes which will take you into the heart of the scenic lake.

Check in at hotel and you are at leisure for the rest of the day.

Why not enjoy some of the resort’s activities, including the option of an Ayurvedic (at your own expense). 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4
Kumarakom

After breakfast spend the morning exploring a typical Kerala backwater village and witness first-hand the unhurried pace of life. Take a small country boat cruise, with an experienced local guide. During the trip, experience how local people, who have their home on the banks of these canals, use this canal for their daily life.

This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the backwaters. This evening, enjoy a sunset cruise for in-house guests from the hotel.

Tonight, there will be a farewell dinner to enjoy. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5
Departure

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before making your way to Cochin airport for your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Itineraries are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. IF there is any itinerary change prior to departure of significance we aim to inform you prior to travel. Itinerary changes while on tour will be informed by your tour leader/guide while on tour.

Solos Only
This tour is operated by Encounter Travel.   Book with Encounter Travel for your Return Traveller Reward (conditions apply) or earn your status as a Return Traveller for future savings.

View Full Itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

HOTELS

Destination

Hotel Name

Nights of Stay

Delhi

Crowne Plaza Rohini (Feb) Or

The Leela Ambience Convention Hotel (Oct)

2

Varanasi

Radisson (Feb) Or

Hotel Madin (Oct)

2

Agra

Mansingh Palace

2

Jaipur

Shahpura House

3

Jodhpur

Ranbanka

2

Udaipur

Fateh Niwas

3

KERALA INDULGENCE – OPTIONAL EXTENSION

Destination

Hotel Name

Nights of Stay

Kochi

Forte Kochi

1

Alleppey

Houseboat

1

Kumarakom

Kumarakom Lake Resort

2

Hotels are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. Should this occur, a hotel of a similar standard will be provided.

Shahpura House, Jaipur

Forte Kochi, Kochi

Kumarakom Lake Resort, Kumarakom

HOTEL DESCRIPTIONS

CROWNE PLAZA ROHINI, DELHI
Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini, an upscale hotel, is the 5 star hotel in Delhi offering travelers a holistic approach to hel For Success. Guests at Crowne Plaza New Delhi Rohini, the 5-star hotel in New Delhi can unwind in leisure activities in Adya encompassing of an outdoor swimming pool, spa, fitness centre and beauty salon that promises to be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience for the body, mind and soul.

THE LEELA AMBIENCE CONVENTION HOTEL, DELHI
The Leela Ambience Convention hotel in Delhi, offers spacious, well-appointed rooms with a contemporary design.  Situated in close proximity to the business districts of Connaught Place, Noida, ITO and more.

RADISSON, VARANASI
Situated in what is considered the spiritual capital of India, Radisson Hotel Varanasi is ideally located for visiting nearby shrines and temples. The hotel lies less than four miles from the River Ganges and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, also known as the “Golden Temple.” At the hotel, you can enjoy a restful sleep in the comfortable rooms.

HOTEL MADIN, VARANASI
The Madin’s rooms introduce a refreshing mix of opulent luxury and value-for-money conveniences. The rooms are furnished with automated touch panels, free Wi-Fi , HD Channels iron and iron board and all modern amenities to make your stay most comforting. When it comes to Food and Beverage, the all-day Coffee Shop, pool side barbeque and grill and Rooftop restaurant serves a brand of culinary experience that is expansively global yet charmingly local. Finally, guests can rejuvenate themselves at the spa, sauna, massage and gym, to round up a stay experience that’s exhilarating in every way.

MANSINGH PALACE, AGRA
Providing heavenly comfort to guests, Mansingh Palace, Agra, a five star hotel, provides an enthralling view of the magnanimous "Taj Mahal". The 100 well furnished rooms are paradigms of exquisiteness and extravagance. The hotel offers a multi-cuisine restaurant, All day dining options, bar, health club, swimming pool, conference & banquet halls and an open area beside the pool for parties and get-together. All rooms of the hotel are centrally air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities like ,LED TV, Electronic safe deposit, mini bar, hair dryer and electric kettle.

SHAHPURA HOUSE, JAIPUR
Shahpura House, once residence of erstwhile rulers and scion of the Shekhawat clan of Rajputs. The house has been converted into a hotel by Maharaj Surendra Singh ji and the doors have been flung open to the visitors from all over the world. Rare among hotels it has remained a family home, where the members of the erstwhile ruling family welcome you personally as their honored guest.

The Traditional Rajput architect, a mixture of Mughal and Indian, a facade with domes and frescoes. The House is a very fine example of Shekhawati frescos and architecture. The family portraits, which add to the charm of this hotel where tradition still runs strong. Like many historic houses, Shahpura House is a curious mixture of the old and the new.

Shahpura House, Jaipur is located in a plush residential area of Jaipur, well insulated from the bustle and chaos of the city in Rajasthan, a Northwestern province of India.Jaipur also called the Pink City, surrounded by the ancient Aravali Mountains and set on the edge of three lakes, is a brilliant kaleidoscope of narrow lanes flanked by bright stalls, gardens, lakes, palaces and temples. The Shahpura House is about 4 kilometers from the city center (Court Square).

RANBANKA, JODHPUR
Ranbanka Palace was a part of India's first heritage hotel and is Jodhpur's premier ‘Classic Heritage Hotel’, certified by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

Built at the turn of the last century for Maharajadhiraj Sir Ajit Singh ji, this magnificent palace captures the prevalent colonial influences of its time and immerses them in the echoes of another bygone era. Fire places, mantelpieces, arm chairs and hunting trophies seamlessly blend with divans, jharokas and intricate marble inlays.

Owned and operated by direct descendants of Jodhpur's founder, this palace hotel regales and grips with its many old world charms and modern offerings. Ranbanka Palace showcases Jodhpur's authentic flavors, history, luxury and cultural heritage amidst contemporary comforts.

Ranbanka Palace is named after the war cry - Ranbanka Rathore, meaning the invincible

FATEH NIWAS, UDAIPUR
Fateh Niwas Udaipur is Boutique Heritage Hotel located near Pichola Lake and offers a splendid view of Aravali Ranges. The hotel offers a grand stay at Deluxe Rooms, designed for creating a royal splendour with its decor and comfort. With premium Deluxe Rooms, the hotel offers a perfect blend of the royal class of living and urban comfort at one of the best hotels in Udaipur. With an incredible swimming pool facility on the rooftop with a view of Pichola lake and many more leisure facilities which escalate the experience of guests.

KERALA INDULGENCE - OPTIONAL EXTENSION

FORTE KOCHI, KOCHI
Forte Kochi shines like a pearl among the hotels in Fort Kochi - one of the oldest cosmopolitan port cities in the world.

The hotel Fort Kochi has welcomed weary travelers for centuries from Arab and Chinese traders to Jews seeking shelter and new lives. The town has witnessed many a conquest and has been colonised by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British in succession.

Its tree hemmed streets, sun-kissed shores and tall ancient edifices still bear remnants of past eras. And in one such imposing yet unassuming structure is Forte Kochi. Originally built by the Portuguese, the mansion presents a medley of Portuguese, Dutch and British influences and was converted to a magnificent home in the late 1800s. This ancient structure was once part of the palatial home of an eminent Jew family. Now restored to its past glory, this boutique hotel enchants its visitors with glimpses of life once known and lived, centuries ago.
Step into one of the best Heritage Hotels in India and step into an age so far away.

HOUSEBOAT, ALLEPPEY
The Houseboats are equipped with fully furnished bedrooms with attached bathrooms. Mouthwatering Kerala dishes are served onboard the boat.

  • A large bedroom with two sides full glass walls, giving a panoramic view of the lush green nature outside. These toughened glasses are also reflective. This ensures privacy to guests inside, while making them one with nature. Glass ceiling over the master bed.
  • A large, air-conditioned bathroom fitted with a top- of- line whirlpool-Jacuzzi with colour therapy, bubble bath, high oxygen and water massage features.
  • Study- room with plasma TV connected with satellite dish antenna, choice of music and movie CDs and DVDs, games, sing-along-Karaoke system, internet connectivity, and a choice of books.
  • Inter-connected children’s room, providing parents a sense of security. The study room mentioned above gets converted into this children’s room.
  • Mosquito-insect free front deck, protected by fibre-glass insect screen which can be drawn in the evening.
  • On-board water filtration plant providing drinking quality water for bathing and all other purpose.

KUMARAKOM LAKE RESORT, KUMARAKOM
The rooms, villas and suites at Kumarakom Lake Resort are a perfect blend of Kerala's traditional architectural charm with luxurious, modern comforts. Each is a careful reconstruction of manas, the 16th century traditional homesteads of Kerala, with many such manas having been transplanted from their original locations and reassembled painstakingly by hand, plank by plank, tile by tile, to create the luxurious abodes at Kumarakom Lake Resort. The traditionally styled, luxuriously modern, open-roofed bathrooms set in small, aesthetically designed courtyards are a common feature to the villas and suites.

Note: Some twin share rooms may have single beds.

 

Hotel descriptions are taken from the hotel website and edited to suit our page.

Hotels are subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. Should this occur, a hotel of a similar standard will be provided.


More About Accommodation

GETTING THERE

Arrive to: New Delhi, India           
Depart from: New Delhi, India

WITH OPTIONAL EXENTION: Kerala Indulgence  
Arrive to: New Delhi, India
Depart from: Cochin, India

VISAS – YES, REQUIRED
You must hold a valid passport with a minimum of six 6 months validity from your return date to your home country and have at least two blank passport pages for stamping. See 'VISA' information in our MORE INFORMATION section below.

An e-Tourist Visa (eTV) is available for Australia passports travelling to India.   It also applies to passport holders of Canada, New Zealand, USA.  Many other countries apply.  Visit this link for details.

International Travellers whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation sightseeing , casual visit to meet friends or relatives, short duration medical treatment or casual business visit.

You must also have a return ticket or onward journey ticket, with sufficient money to spend during your stay.

Visa requirements for India are known to change. This information will be reviewed closer to the time of travel when documents are issued.

The application must be completed prior to 4 days in advance of the date of arrival with a window of 30 days.  Example: If you are applying on 1st Sept then applicant can select arrival date from 5th September to 4th October.

For all tour participants, we will provide more details about this, and strongly recommend using a visa service.

For full details, click here

HOTEL CHECK IN /CHECK OUT TIMES
Consider the hotel check in time on arrival and the hotel check out time on departure. 

Early Check In
If your flight arrives well in advance of the hotel check in time, then we recommend travellers consider booking an additional night at the hotel the evening prior to guarantee a morning check-in. Early check in without payment can be requested, and is at the discretion of the hotel, but cannot be guaranteed.

Late Check Out
If your flight departs after the hotel check out time we recommend that you make an enquiry with us about securing a late check out with payment.  Some hotels will require payment in full of the next night of stay while others may have a rate for a late check out such as a payment to extend check out until 6pm as an example.

Late check out can be requested but without payment cannot be guaranteed.

FLIGHT ITINERARY
The flight itinerary is provided with your quote.

TRANSFERS
All travellers with included group transfers are met and greeted at the airport, outside the arrivals halls.

Take note, when you arrive to New Delhi there are 2 sections where drivers meet arriving passengers. There is a section inside and outside the arrivals hall. Our group is met inside the arrivals hall.

With Group Flight
If you arrive and/or depart on the group flight, booked with us as part of your travel package the airport to hotel transfers are included as part of your package price. It’s a private group transfer for our group members.

With Group Flight, 1 Day Pre Tour
We encourage travelers to elect 1 night pre tour in New Dehli. It provides the opportunity to have a day at your leisure before the tour commences.

If you take this option and arrive on the nominated group flight, booked with us as part of your travel package the airport to hotel transfers are also included as part of your package price when you arrive 1 night pre tour. It’s a private group transfer for our group members.

All Other Non-Group Flights or Own Arrangements
For guests arriving on flights other than the nominated group flights as above, a private taxi transfer can be arranged between New Delhi and the group hotel. A service fee applies (based on a small car for 1 passenger, inclusive of taxes)

The driver will meet and greet passenger outside the airport with a name card.

DETAILS

Read on for other key trip information that you should know before you decide on joining the group.

TRIP AVAILABILITY
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit. Tour space is limited. Also, many services on this tour must be booked well in advance. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience

FELLOW TRAVELLERS
You will enjoy this small group experience with a maximum group size of 16 travellers. This tour is exclusively for single-solo travellers.

THE PACE [3 out of 5]
This is a medium paced tour with some full days and other half days of sightseeing.

You will require reasonable fitness, enough for the tolerance of daily walking, hot weather and some days with long hours of travel by road. There’s also some early starts for some the sightseeing inclusions.  India is a vast country and not dissimilar to Australia to travel between major destinations there is some decent travel time by road – please be prepared for the road travel.

You need to let go of your western ways and let things happen as they do in India. These types of things are part of parcel of any travel in a 3rd world country.

Please advise us in advance if you have any health issues or are taking any form of medication as this is a strict condition of travel that this information is provided to us at the time of booking. All is confidential.

ABOUT THE MEALS
It’s regular that our trips include a number of group dining experiences.  There’s nothing better than to share a meal with new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

Daily breakfast is included and lunches and dinners as specified by the itinerary.

Meals are Indian cuisine. If you do not like Indian food you will have limited choices in most destinations except most breakfasts have some western choices. There are meal options that are tasty but not overly hot in taste but spices are used in the majority of Indian meals. To a western palette it may seem repetitious if you are not accustomed to eating a lot of Indian food. This is all part of the experience – to eat like a local.

Drinks, desserts and extra tea/coffee are not included with meals.

About the Food in India
The traditional cuisine of North India is Hindu vegetarian. Whilst meat is available at many top end hotels, we encourage travellers to eat the wide range of delicious vegetarian dishes available. In our opinion there may be health risks associated with eating meat in India due to differences in food hygiene standards.

In many parts of Indian, Hindu vegetarian meals are the standard and they this means no fish, chicken, pork, beef or mutton (goat).

We advise travellers against street food and that you only dine at places that are recommended by your guide or escort/leader. By following best advice it’s far less likely that you will become unwell with any stomach complaints.

Food of Kerala
You can expect the food of Kerala to be more spicy that the north. Some dishes may be more spicy than the western palette is accustomed too – take care when you choose your dishes – you may find some curries packed full of spice that take you by surprise.

About the Water in India
Due to poor quality of drinking water in India, you must only drink bottled water and only bottled water from reliable sources. Also, use bottled water for brushing teeth. Most hotels have bottled water included in the room for the purpose of brushing teeth.

About Special Diets
Please be sure to advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. We always do our best to accommodate special diet needs and in most cases, special dietary needs can be met. However, in some destinations the variety of choice for certain special diets may be limited. If you are concerned please check with us before you book.

GROUP GUIDE
This is a private group tour with a local English speaking group escort and a driver. The driver may have limited or no English.

TRANSPORT
Transport is by private vehicle. All transfers, sightseeing and excursions are by an 18-seater air conditioned mini-coach for up to 15 passengers. Where the group reaches 16 passengers, a 27-seater air-conditioned coach is utilised.

Throughout the tour there will be some leisurely boat trips.

About The Road Transport
While on the road, commuting from one destination to another, driving is generally at around 75-80 kilometres per hour on the main highways. The speed is slower on lesser roads and through towns, and it’s not uncommon to be travelling at only 40-50 kilometres per hour. It’s a slower pace than what we are accustomed to in countries like Australia, New Zealand and other western countries. Furthermore, the driving style is different. There is a lot of overtaking of slower vehicles, more ‘honking of horns’ and at times what may feel like a precarious situation to westerners. Tour drivers are very experienced and well adept to managing this driving style. For anyone anxious about this, you should talk to us before you confirm your booking.

TOUR LUGGAGE INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
Luggage is limited to one medium size suitcase per person up to 20kg, the sum of its length/width and depth not to exceed 140cm (56") plus an overnight bag (airline bag size) which may be carried on board the vehicle. If your luggage exceeds this limit, we ask that you make alternative arrangements for the excess to be forwarded to the termination point of your tour. We suggest you have wheels on your suitcase, as there are certain places where assistance is not available. 

For airline luggage information and restrictions refer to your airline for details.  If you are flying business class they will have limits above those permitted for touring and therefore the minimum checked luggage weight needs to be adhered to.

ABOUT MOBILE PHONE USE / INTERNET
You may like to purchase a prepaid sim card to take with you while travelling. Otherwise, ask your phone provider about International Roaming packages/offers for your mobile phone. 

SIM cards or international roaming packages can be good options to keep in touch with friends and family back home.  Be sure the sim card you purchase will cover all the countries you are travelling to.  

Many hotels these days offer WiFi—some for free, others for a modest fee.

WhatsApp
If you don’t already use this service, we recommend downloading this application also. It’s a mobile phone App that offers fast, simple, secure messaging and calling for free (data charges may apply – ask your phone provider).

As a general indication, for many of our tours, our guides use WhatsApp to communicate with the group.

TRAVEL GUIDE QUICK FACTS
Visit our Travel Guide page on our website for destination information.

TRAVELLER REVIEWS

'The India trip was fantastic. We saw the best of Northern India in good company and with a very knowledgeable guide and a driver that made us all laugh. India can be confronting for some but we always felt safe and well looked after. One of the best trips I have ever taken!'

Marilyn, 62 years, Melbourne

'A good value for money holiday led by an efficient tour guide.'

David, 68 years, Sydney, NSW

'This is definitely for those who seek an Indian holiday that will take you out of your comfort zone and visit all those places that you have learned and wondered so much about. For those of us who seek that ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!!'

Gayle, QLD
Since 2006
We've already racked up 13 years of experience creating and delivering the best ever holidays for solo travellers. As a boutique tour operator, we delight in detail, delivering personal service and finding your next best memory.
Australian Owned
100% Australian, created by Australians for Australians; we 'get' the Australian travel style. And, better still, our arms are open to welcome our friends from other countries around the world, who'd like to travel with friendly Aussies.
Small Group Tours
Travel solo, not alone when you join one of our small group tours. Share your journey, without the drawbacks of big coach tours or the solitude of being alone.
Age-Matched Tours
From our traveller feedback we know that our age-matched holidays are one of the main reasons that solo travellers choose to join us. All our 'Solos Only ' tours are age-matched, making for a better chance that you'll be travelling other like minded single travellers.