Become acquainted with one of the most vibrant countries in the world. Embark on a journey, from the deserts of Rajasthan in the north, to the backwaters of Kerala in the south to experience the land of extraordinary contrasts.
Our Grand Tour of India tour will see you exploring the most iconic sites, delving into deep-rooted culture and dining on delicious cuisine.
Discover architectural masterpieces in Delhi, Old and New
Take a cruise on India’s holiest river, the Ganges
Watch a spectacular sunrise over India's most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal
Relax as you cruise through the stillness of these tranquil backwaters
Our Grand Tour of India Tour has been thoughtfully designed and thoroughly researched to bring you a range of once-in-a-lifetime experiences, many of which are entirely exclusive to us.
Witness an exuberant performance of the traditional dance-drama that is Kathakali. Kerala's best-known performing art, it is an extravagant retelling of Hindu epics complete with colourful costumes and elaborate make up.
Embark on a camel cart ride out into the starkly beautiful landscapes of the Thar Desert – though it may appear barren, you’ll find the desert is surprisingly full of things to see.
Surprisingly little known outside of India, discover the magnificent artistic treasures of the Ajanta and Ellora caves, a series of caverns full of intricate frescoes and carvings created by Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monks
This tour is suited for customers who have an extensive amount of time to explore India and wish to take in the most famous and iconic sights in depth. This tour also incorporates a train journey and a 1 night cruise in the Kerala Backwaters.
Fly to Delhi. Depending on your time of arrival the rest of the day is yours at leisure.
Explore Old Delhi; see the Red Fort and walk to Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. After lunch, view India Gate and Parliament House before exploring Gandhi Smriti and Qutub Minar.
Fly to the ancient city of Varanasi. Head just out of town to the fascinating Buddhist site of Sarnath, where Buddha is said to have delivered his first sermon. The next day, rise early to cruise on the Ganges and explore the city. Later take a rickshaw to the ghats and witness a puja ceremony.
Transfer to the airport to fly to Khajuraho to see the exquisite temples and their intricately carved, erotic imagery. Enjoy a cultural dance display.
Travel to the 16th-century city of Orchha and then on to Jhansi station where you'll board the Shatabdi Express train to Agra.
Watch the sun rise over the Taj Mahal which is often swathed in mist and tinged pink – a magical experience. This afternoon visit the colossal 16th-century Agra Fort.
Visit the ghost city of Fatephur Sikri on the way to Ranthambore National Park, home to many animals such as leopards, hyena, bears and tigers. The next day enjoy both an early morning and afternoon safari.
Journey to the 'Pink City' of Jaipur for a two-night stay. Make a brief stop at the Hawa Mahal, the 'Palace of the Winds' before admiring the majestic Amber Fort, the Maharaja's City Palace and Jantar Mantar, the largest stone and marble-crafted observatory in the world.
Travel to Pushkar, a sacred pilgrimage destination for Hindus. This afternoon visit its sacred lake, ghats and the Brahma Temple before a camel cart ride in the desert. The next day visit Khimsar, perched on the edge on the great Thar Desert.
Rising from the sandy plains of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is known as the 'Golden City'. Head to Sunset Point to enjoy the views. The next day head to the magnificent Jaisalmer fort, and ride a camel through the Sam Sand Dunes.
Travel to Jodhpur and tour the city, exploring the magnificence of Mehrangarh Fort, visiting the museum of Umaid Bhawan Palace and the spice market. The next day drive through the desert by jeep to Bishnoi village.
Drive to Udaipur via the Jain temple complex of Ranakpur and Surya Temple as well as other Jain Temples. The next day explore the city, driving around Fateh Sagar Lake with stops at the Folk Museum, Mewar Art Gallery and Sahelion Ki Bari Garden. Later visit the ornate City Palace and take a cruise on the shimmering Lake Pichola.
Morning at leisure before boarding a flight to Aurangabad.
Visit the incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ajanta and Ellora Caves and discover the beautiful murals and exquisite carvings of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain imagery. Fly to Mumbai.
Tour cosmopolitan Mumbai, India's economic powerhouse. View the Gateway to India, dawdle along Marine Drive and visit Chowpatty Beach, Mani Bhavan, Dhobi Ghat, Crawford Market and Flora Fountain. Fly to the relaxed Keralan city of Kochi.
Fascinating Kochi is strung across the islands and peninsulas of the Malabar coast. Visit the Dutch Palace and Fort Kochi before seeing the famous Chinese fishing nets and strolling through colourful markets. This evening enjoy an exuberant Kathakali dance performance.
Visit Kochi's synagogue, before heading out of the city to Nedumudy to board your houseboat. On this converted rice barge or 'kettuvallam' you will drift along the peaceful backwaters. Lunch and dinner are served on-board and you will stay overnight here too.
Enjoy breakfast as you cruise into Alleppey, then travel to the beach resort of Kovalam.
Explore Kerala's capital Trivandrum, with visits to Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple, the Zoological Gardens, Sri Chitra Art Gallery, the Observatory and Kanakakunnu Palace. Return to Kovalam for your final night stay.
Fly to Australia, arriving home the same or following day.
We draw from a wide range of hotels on our holidays, each one is chosen to suit the tour you are travelling on meaning your accommodation can range from a smart business hotel in one city to a family run guesthouse in a smaller town. Here are some examples of the type of hotel you can expect to find on this tour.
Well-placed in the sightseeing, shopping, and culture area of New Delhi and NCR city, Hotel The Royal Plaza provides access to the city's biggest attractions including; The National Philatelic Museum, Parliament Building, and Jantar Mantar Astronomical Observatory. The hotel has luxurious en-suite rooms, and also features a fitness centre, sauna, outdoor pool, and spa where guests can relax and unwind after a busy day.
Featuring traditional Rajasthan décor, Desert Tulip Hotel & Resort is located minutes away from the Jaisalmer Fort. All en-suite rooms feature modern amenities including, cable television, a personal safe and tea/coffee-making facilities. The hotel’s restaurant serves traditional Rajasthani Cuisine and a selection of buffet dishes. There is also a spa and games room.
Located in Jodhpur, The Fern Residency is an upscale business hotel with 50 high-end en-suite rooms, all featuring a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a seating area. Dining options include Ocean Restaurant serving delicious Indian and International cuisines. Other facilities include an outdoor terrace and sauna.
Hotel Hilltop Palace is situated atop Ambavgarh Hill, overlooking Lake Fatehsagar and the historic Udaipur Town. The hotel offers 62 tasteful rooms with modern amenities, including air-conditioning, a safety deposit box and television. The hotel boasts an on-site restaurant serving Northern Indian cuisine, as well as Rajasthani Folk dances arranged on request.
Ambassador Ajanta is located in the heart of the city centre in a unique location with more than 13 acres of lush greenery right in the middle of the business district. The 92 en-suite rooms offer an intimate, full-service experience, with amenities including; access to Wi-Fi and a safety deposit box. The hotel’s onsite restaurant also offers delicious Indian, Chinese and European dishes.
Located along the seafront at Marine Drive, in the heart of South Mumbai's famous Queens Necklace, The Ambassador boasts 112 air-conditioned excellently appointed en-suite rooms, each equipped with CCTV, channel music, a refrigerator and other amenities. Other facilities include a restaurant, BBQ facilities and a shop.
Located by the famed beaches of Kovalam, 15 metres from the sea, Uday Samudra Beach Resort is an exclusive 5 Star leisure beach hotel - a destination by itself. The hotel boasts luxurious air-conditioned en-suite rooms with modern amenities and the restaurant serves a variety of delicious Chinese, continental and local dishes. Live cultural programmes also can be enjoyed during dinner time.
Located on the edge of Jaipur’s centre, the Four Points by Sheraton is a bright modern hotel with an excellent range of facilities. As well as a large outdoor pool, there is also a fitness centre and spa to help you relax. The hotel restaurant serves both local and Western dishes buffet style whilst there is also a bar for a few refreshing beverages. Rooms are simple and comfortable and boast flat screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, floor to ceiling windows with city or Aravali Hills views, en suite bathroom with shower, minibar, tea and coffee making facilities and safety deposit box.
This modern hotel is just 5 minutes from the airport. Relax around the swimming pool after a day exploring the temples, try out the gym or have a treatment in the spa. In the evening try out one of the two restaurants, both of which serve both local and international cuisine, before heading to the bar for a nightcap. There is also an inhouse disco. The contemporary style rooms have marble floors and air-conditioning as well as television, safe, minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. The en suite bathroom has either a bath or shower.
A five-minute drive from the national park entrance, this hotel is sat in lovely landscaped gardens and boasts beautiful views. Inspired by nature, it is perfectly located to savour the peace and tranquillity of rural India. There is a restaurant, pool, library, a spa offering Ayurveda treatments and lounge area, whilst a nightly campfire is great for socialising and naturalist talks for learning about the local flora and fauna. Accommodation are spacious with lovely, colourful accents and have air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, fridge, sitting are and en suite shower room.
Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Fort Cochin, the Casino Hotel combines relaxed Keralan style with modern comforts. There is an outdoor pool, gym, lounge and shop, whilst the restaurants serve Indian, Chinese and continental cuisine and specialise in fresh fish dishes. There is also free Wi-Fi and an Ayurveda massage service. Bedrooms are bright and spacious with typically Keralan aspects and offer air conditioning, safe, minibar, television and en suite bathroom.
Places Visited: Australia - Delhi (2N) - Varanasi (2N) - Khajuraho (1N) - Jhansi - Agra (2N) - Ranthambore (2N) - Jaipur (2N) - Pushkar (1N) - Khmisar (1N) - Jaisalmer (2N) - Jodhpur (2N) - Udaipur (2N) - Aurangbad (2N) - Mumbai (1N) - Kochi (2N) - Houseboat (1N) - Kovalam (2N) - Trivandrum - Australia
If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs or you prefer travelling with your own personal guide, contact us to arrange this as a Private Tour.
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There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
Extend your holiday or break up your journey with one of our extensions and stopovers. Choose from city breaks or some beach time, or spend more time in your chosen destination.