India’s Golden Triangle & Kerala

*** SPECIAL OFFER***£75 off 4th November departure group tour if booked by 31st August 2018

This escorted group tour offers some of the most iconic of India’s cultural, historical and natural treasures. Start in Delhi to tour the ever popular Golden Triangle comprising the historic city of Delhi, Agra’s Taj Mahal and Agra Fort and the Pink City of Jaipur, with its stately forts, palaces and colourful bazaars. Flying to Cochin via a night in Mumbai, you start your Kerala experience with a tour of historic Fort Kochi followed by a drive up to Periyar National Park for a leisurely cruise on Lake Periyar. After an overnight stay under the stars in your rice boat, the tour finishes with a couple of days on the inviting golden sand beach at Kovalam.

Group size – 4-16 people (ask about travelling privately)

Internal travel – Air-conditioned coach

Accompanying guide – English speaking accompanying guide throughout

Meal plan
Bed and Breakfast
Lunch on days 2, 4, 5, 8, 9 & 11
Dinner on days 1, 11

Special Experience: Lunch at a Rubber Plantation near Periyar – You will enjoy a traditional Keralan lunch on a rubber plantation and learn how rubber is tapped and converted to sheets. You will also see the different types of spices and the cultivation of seasonal crops such as tapioca and pineapple.

Day 1
- Delhi
You will be greeted on arrival in Delhi and transferred to the Suryaa hotel, or similar for two nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure, with a welcome dinner at a local restaurant in the evening.

Day 2
Explore Delhi on a full day sightseeing tour. Your day will start with a tour of Old Delhi in the morning: enjoy a cycle rickshaw ride in the bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk followed by a visit to see the Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and the Raj Ghat, a memorial built for Mahatma Gandhi, a prominent figure in India’s struggle for freedom. In the afternoon, you will drive past Lutyens’ New Delhi. The day also includes a visit the tomb of Humayun and the lofty Qutb Minar, an early Mughal structure made of red sandstone and white marble. There is also an optional excursion to Salaam Baalak Walk

Day 3
- Delhi & Agra
In the morning you will drive to Agra (4-5 hours) for an overnight stay in the ITC Mughal hotel or similar. In the afternoon, you will visit the impressive Agra Fort whose buildings, made of red sandstone and marble, are a mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture followed by a visit to the ornate tomb of Itamud-ud-Daula. You can also experience a visit to the Taj Mahal at sunset to marvel at one of the world’s great monuments in a glow of pink and yellow hues.

Day 4- 
Agra & Jaipur
There is a full day’s drive to Jaipur (6-7 hours) with an en route stop at Fatehpur Sikri , the red sandstone city built by Emperor Akbar that was abandoned after just 14 years. Closer to Jaipur, you can stop to see the impressive 9th Century Chand Baori step well at Abhaneri. You will stay at The Lalit hotel or similar, on the outskirts of the city, for two nights.

Day 5
- Jaipur
On this day you will visit the 17th century hilltop Amber Fort and the sparkling Mirror Palace. In the afternoon you will visit the City Palace complex including, its museum and the 18th century Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory. You can drive through the busy bazaars for a photo stop at the recently restored Hawa Mahal, one of the most famous buildings in Jaipur.

Day 6
- Jaipur &Mumbai
You will take an early morning flight to Mumbai and will be transferred to the hotel Trident Nariman Point or similar for an overnight stay. In the afternoon you will visit the Gateway of India. You will drive past Mumbai High court and the ornate Victoria Terminus. You will also go along the Marine drive and visit the Hanging gardens, which offers a splendid view of the city.

Day 7- 
Mumbai &Cochin
You will take a morning flight to Cochin and then be transferred to the Casino Hotel, or similar for two nights. Later, you will visit the Dutch Palace, with its murals of the Ramayana, and the Jewish Synagogue (time permitting). In the evening, you can enjoy a sunset cruise on the harbour, this is a classic Kerala experience. During the cruiuse you will see views of the landmark Chinese fishing nets, this provides an amazing photo opportunity at dusk.

Day 8- 
In the morning you will visit the Kumbalangi village, where you will have the chance to interact with fisherman as they demonstrate local techniques used to harvest prawns, crabs, oysters and small fish. In the evening you will attend a Kathakali performance, a traditional dance drama in which the dancers wear elaborate costumes and make up.

Day 9
- Cochin & Periyar
You will drive along meandering roads through lush, green countryside ascending into the ‘Western Ghats’ at Periyar (5 hours). You will be able to enjoy lunch at a Rubber plantation and will stay at the Cardamom County resort, or similar for two nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 10
- Periyar
In the morning you can take a walk in Periyar Nature Reserve with tribal trackers, in search of wildlife. In the afternoon, you will visit a spice plantation which offers an interesting insight into how various spices such as cardamom, cloves and cinnamon are grown, cultivated and processed.

Day 11
- Periyar & Riceboat
You will drive back down through the hills and plantations towards the backwaters to board a rice boat for an overnight cruise through Lake Vembanad and the backwaters. This is a region that not only shelters some unique animal and bird life, but also lush paddy fields. It is one of the few places in the world where farming is done below sea level.

Day 12
- Riceboat & Kovalam
You will drive to the southern coastal town and the inviting beaches at Kovalam. You will stay at the local styled Travancore Heritage Hotel for two nights.

Day 13- 
Day at leisure.

Day 14
- Kovalam & Trivandrum
Travel to Trivandrum airport for your onward flight.

*** SPECIAL OFFER***£75 off 4th November departure group tour if booked by 31st August 2018

Departure Dates
Sun 14 Oct 2018 £1995
Sun 04 Nov 2018 £1865 £1790
Sun 18 Nov 2018 £1995
Sun 02 Dec 2018 £1995
Sun 13 Jan 2019 £1995
Sun 03 Feb 2019 £1995
Sun 17 Feb 2019 £1995
Sun 03 Mar 2019 £1995
Sun 07 Apr 2019 £1785
Fri 19 Apr 2019 £1785

Single supplements
Ask about single supplements. Other departure dates may be available – ask for details.

Upgraded accommodation may also be an option so please ask for details.

We can add international flghts to this tour so it is protected under the ATOL scheme. We have access to all major airlines from regional airports and can arrange upgrades to Premium, Business Class and First Class where available, as for details.