- Experience the culture & charm of India on this exciting 12-night guided holiday.
- Explore Old Delhi by bicycle & the pink city of Jaipur by tuk tuk.
- Sample local flavours with an interactive culinary workshop hosted by a local chef.
- Learn how to tie a traditional Rajasthani turban & drape sarees.
- Visit the 1,000 year old Chand Baori stepwell & the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri.
- Cycle through the Indian countryside ending with spectacular views of the Taj Mahal.
- Cruise the holy Ganga River & witness the Hindu religious ritual of Aarti in Varanasi.
- Includes 8 nights on a bed and breakfast basis, 2 nights on a half board basis.
Book Your Trip From £1468pp
Book Your Trip From £1169pp
Your Guided Explore India Holiday Overview
Travel with us to India for a unique holiday experience that will allow us to unlock the authentic essence of Indian culture. On this 12-night small group holiday, all the iconic highlights are included, but we’ll also mingle with locals and witness traditional rituals and customs first-hand, for an authentic slice of Indian life. We’ll cycle through the bustling market places in Delhi at sunrise, enjoy a Bollywood movie screening, hike between ancient forts in Jaipur, learn how to cook traditional cuisine from a local chef, practice yoga in the land it originated from and partake in a Hindu aarti ceremony on the banks of the Ganga River. If you’re ready for adventure that gives you a true taste of India, look no further than this incredible holiday.
Please note that visas are required for travel on this tour. Please visit our visa information page for more information.
Activity Level: Challenging
Fly to Delhi
Begin your adventure to India as you depart Dublin on your overnight flight to Delhi.
Arrive in Delhi
Upon your morning arrival in Delhi you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. You will have the rest of the morning at leisure to settle in to your hotel.
Explore New Delhi
Embark on an orientation tour of Lutyen’s Delhi, an area of New Delhi named after the British architect Edwin Lutyen. During your panoramic tour you will see British era bungalows, government offices, the Presidential Palace and India Gate. Afterwards, enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel with your group, before having the remainder of the evening at leisure to spend as you wish.
Explore Old Delhi
Old Delhi by bicycle
Depart your hotel in the early morning for a cultural adventure around Old Delhi by bicycle. On this guided tour with a difference you will explore the nooks & crannies of this walled city as it slowly wakes up! Ride your bicycle through bazars and narrow lanes, bypass temples & places of worship, gaze upon old colonial buildings before enjoying a late breakfast in a local restaurant.
Guided tour of Delhi
In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of Delhi. Visit Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Gandhi, where you can see an eternal flame burning at the spot of his cremation. From here you will move on to the Jama Masjid mosque which is home to the ancient Qur’an. You will also see Humayun’s Tomb, a beautiful 16th Century building and the tomb of the Emperor Humayun. You will finish the day at Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple, known for its community kitchen which offers food to thousands of people every day irrespective of their faith & religion.
Free time at leisure
You will have a full evening at leisure to experience Delhi independently. Perhaps take a tuk tuk to try some authentic food at a local restaurant? Your guide will be happy to suggest somewhere to suit your taste!
Delhi to Jaipur
Delhi to Jaipur
Today you will have the opportunity to witness the changing landscapes of Northern India as you transfer by coach with your local guide from Delhi to Jaipur. (Approximate distance: 271 km. Approximate duration: 6 hours). Upon arrival in Jaipur you will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to settle in to your hotel and get to know your new surroundings. Dinner will be included at your homestay before your evening activities.
Bollywood movie screening
Jaipur is home to Rajmandir, which is the most regal Single Screen Cinema Hall in India, known for its rich interiors. This evening you will experience a Bollywood movie screening in this stunning location. So sit back and relax with some popcorn and enjoy the movie with the locals!
Amber Fort & Palace
Discover Amber Fort & Palace during a guided excursion. Perched on a hill top, the rugged, time-ravaged walls of the Fort not only look beautiful from the outside, but the interior is also a visual paradise. Built in the early 1600s, Amber Fort & Palace is home to the stunning Hall of Mirrors. A beautiful collection of over one million pieces of glass mirror tiles as well as coloured glass adorn the walls and ceiling.
Jaipur city tour
Enjoy a guided city tour of Jaipur, often referred to as the Pink City. You will visit City Palace Museum, to see the former seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, experience the awe-inspiring Jantar Mantar sundial, and finally have an opportunity for a photo outside the famous ‘Palace of Winds.’ Your tour will end with a thrilling tuk tuk ride from the old bazaar back to your homestay.
Jaipur to Dausa
In the early morning depart on a 3km guided hike from Amber Fort & Palace to Jaigarh Fort. The hike takes you through the Aravalli hills passing the walls of Amber and then on to Jaigarh. The hike is moderately paced across hilly terrain before a slightly steeper incline to Jaigarh Fort, from which you will have a stunning view of Jaipur city. This hike will last approximately 1 hour. After your hike return to your homestay for well earned breakfast.
After breakfast you will transfer by coach with your guide to Dausa. (Approximate distance: 195 km. Approximate duration: 4 hours). Your time in Dausa will give you the opportunity to escape the busy city life and immerse yourself in rural India. In the evening there will be a walk organised through the farmyard of your hotel with a local chef. During the walk the chef will talk you through the different types of homegrown produce and help you select vegetables for an interactive group culinary workshop. Dinner tonight will be the outcome of your cooking efforts!
Kick start your day with an early morning yoga class on the lawns of your hotel. Yoga, a group of physical, mental, and spiritual disciplines originated in ancient India over 5,000 years ago and has become a popular form of exercise for both the body and the mind in the rest of the world over the last century. Whether yoga is already part of your usual routine or you are a complete beginner, this morning yoga flow will leave you refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on a full day of exploration!
Local village visits
After breakfast embark on an exploration of the nearby local villages of Dausa by traditional jugaad, an open wooden carriage that is powered by a pump. A jugaad is still a very popular mode of transport in Northern India and is used to ferry not just people but often cattle and even furniture between villages. Today’s journey by jugaad will allow you a unique glimpse in to rural Indian lifestyle as you mingle with the locals along the way. A visit to a village primary school is included where you can meet some of the teachers and local school children.
In the afternoon you will continue immersing yourself in local life. There will be the opportunity to learn how to tie a traditional Rajasthani turban and how to drape the colourful sarees. The day will finish with some Bollywood music. Dancing is optional but highly recommended! Dinner is included at your hotel.
Dausa to Agra
Chand Baori Step Well
Depart Dausa for Agra with visits to Chand Baori Step Well & Fatehpur Sikri en route. Chand Baori was built over a thousand years ago in the Abhaneri village of Rajasthan. It is one of the largest stepwells in the world and was constructed by local rulers to tackle the scarcity of water in the dry climate. It has 3,500 narrow steps arranged in perfect symmetry, which descend 20m over 13 floors to the bottom of the well.
Fatehpur Sikri is located 40 Km before Agra. This red sandstone palace complex was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, in honour of the great saint Sheikh Asalim Christi who prophesied the heirless Akbar with the birth of three sons. Fatehpur Sikri was occupied as capital of the Mughal Empire for 14 years but it eventually became deserted and is known today as a “Ghost City”. After your visit you will continue to your hotel in Agra. On arrival in Agra, enjoy dinner at your hotel before having the remainder of the evening at leisure. (Approximate distance from Dausa to Agra excluding sightseeing stops: 172 km. Approximate duration: 3 hours)
The Taj Mahal
Experience sunrise at the famous Taj Mahal, built in 1560 by Shah Jahan in memory of his Queen, Mumtaz Mahal, to enshrine her mortal remains. This architectural marvel is a visual masterpiece and is sure to be one of the highlights of your trip. Later in the morning explore Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Built in the 11th century, an era marked by invasions and battles, this red stone-fortified castle was the site of the India Rebellion of 1857.
Cycle the countryside
In the late afternoon embark on a cycling tour of the Agra countryside with your local expert guide. Cycle through the nearby villages observing the placid country lifestyle. The cycle will pass by agricultural fields and pottery workshops with stops made along the way for you to interact with the locals over some tea and light snacks. The cycle will end with a view of the Taj Mahal. (Distance covered by bicycle: 11km / Duration spent cycling: 2 hours)
This evening you will have the opportunity to spend time at Sheroes Hangout, a community hub located near the Taj Mahal. The women who work at Sheroes Hangout have lived through devastating acid assaults. Sheroes Hangout is designed to promote empowerment and to give these acid attack survivors the confidence to show their faces in public after being disfigured.
Agra to Varanasi
Fly to Varanasi
Depart Agra by coach for Delhi airport to board your internal flight to Varanasi (Approximate distance: 230 km. Approximate duration: 5.5 hours). Varanasi is regarded as the spiritual capital of India. The city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganga River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites.
Upon arrival at your hotel in the evening you will have the remainder of the day at leisure to get your bearings in your new surroundings. Your local expert guide will be happy to suggest places to eat and drink during your free time.
Cruise on the Ganga River & Sarnath
Experience an early morning cruise on the Ganga River. This is the perfect time to visit the holy Ganga as you will see the city waking up. As you sail past the different ghats you will learn the essence of Hinduism. You may also see people taking their morning exercise, washing their clothes or taking a holy dip in the river. Following your cruise you will explore the narrow lanes of the surrounding areas where you will see people coming out of the temples after their morning prayers.After breakfast at your hotel, drive to Sarnath which is the place where Gautama Buddha was enlightened below the Bodhi tree. The direct descendant of that tree is still rooted firmly at the same site. It is a very important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world. The excavation at Sarnath date back to pre-Christ era and the onsite museum has some very ancient & rare art crafts.
Optional Saree weavers village visit Excursion
Benarasi Silk Sarees are among the finest sarees in India and are known for their gold and silver elaborate designs and opulent embroidery. The Benarasi Silk is still made by traditional handlooms in Varanasi and today you will have the opportunity to visit a local weavers village to see this ancient skill in action. Enjoy a guided walk through the village lanes, visit the weavers & their families at their homes and learn about the techniques involved with weaving these beautiful garments which are worn by Hindu families all over the country. Transfers and local guide included (From €19 per person. This excursion is subject to minimum numbers)
You will have the unique opportunity to witness an aarti ceremony from the ghats on the banks of Holy River Ganga. Aarti is a Hindu religious ritual of worship and every evening hundreds of people gather to participate in this daily ritual. The ceremony is performed by seven priests standing on platforms with large oil lamps in both their hands. The worshippers also hold small earthen lamps which are then floated in the river after culmination of the aarti ceremony. Your busy day will end with a group farewell meal at your hotel.
At leisure and return home
At leisure and transfer to the airport
Perhaps you would like to join an early morning Yoga session on the banks of the Ganga River? Or spend the morning at soaking up the atmosphere at a local market? Or maybe you would like to explore the narrow alley ways at your whim? The choice is yours! In the late afternoon transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.
Arrive home following your once in a lifetime adventure in India.