Highlights of North and South

7 NOV - 24 NOV 2020

 

Immerse yourself in the rural towns and villages of Rajasthan, India’s largest state bursting with colour, ancient culture and traditions. Ride rickshaws, explore ancient forts, stay in the comfort of the finest luxury palace hotels and wine and dine on amazing authentic North Indian cuisine. Then discover the best of Kerala, explore the Dutch port city of Fort Cochin, taste tea in the highlands of Munnar, cruise the relaxing scenic backwaters, enjoy an authentic organic farm cooking class and view the spectacular coastal sunsets of Marari.

 
 

 
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Overview

Delhi ( Oberoi Maidens Hotel - Luxury hotel - Heritage room )
• Agra ( Taj Gateway - 5 star hotel - Premium Taj Facing room )
• Ranthambore ( The Tigress Spa & Resort - Luxury resort - Royal luxury suite )
• Samode ( Samode Palace - Boutique heritage palace - Deluxe room )
 Jaipur ( Khas Bagh - Boutique hotel - Deluxe room )
• Cochin ( CGH Eighth Bastion - Luxury hotel - Bastion room )
• Munnar  ( Windermere Estate Plantation & Retreat - Heritage hotel - Estate room )
• Kumarakom ( Kumarakom Lake Resort - Luxury hotel - Pool villa )
• Backwater ( Vaikundam Cruise - Premium Houseboat - AC Cabin )
 Marari ( CGH Marari Beach Resort - Luxury Beach Resort - Garden villa )

EXTENSION
• Mumbai ( Taj Mahal Palace & Tower - Luxury hotel - Superior city view room )

 

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival / Delhi  Transfer and traditional welcome at the Oberoi Maidens hotel.

Day 2

Delhi Breakfast at the hotel. Morning heritage and food walking tour in Old Delhi and enjoy a rickshaw ride. Visit to India gate, government buildings, colourful Khan Market and Bangla Sahib. Lunch at the Dharampura Haveli. Afternoon at your leisure. Dinner at the United Coffee House. Overnight at the Oberoi Maidens hotel.

Day 3

Delhi / Agra Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Agra and check in to Taj Gateway hotel. Free time for lunch. AfternoonEvening visit to the 17th-century World Heritage-listed Agra Fort. Dinner and overnight at the Taj Gateway hotel.

Day 4

Agra / Ranthambore Sunrise visit to the iconic Taj Mahal. Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Ranthambore and packed lunch enroute. Check in to the luxury resort. Evening at your leisure. Dinner at the resort. Overnight at the The Tigress Spa & Resort.

Day 5

Ranthambore Morning adventure safari to Ranthambore National Park. Ranthambore National Park is famous for its Royal Bengal Tigers. Watch the tigers in their natural habitat and see the park’s wildlife up-close during the expertly-guided jeep rides. Breakfast and lunch at the resort. Afternoon jeep safari. Dinner at the resort. Overnight at the The Tigress Spa & Resort.

Day 6

Ranthambore / Samode Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to Samode and check in to the Samode Palace. Free time for lunch. Henna decorative session for guests in the afternoon. Evening at your leisure. Private pool side dinner and overnight at the Samode Palace.

Day 7

Samode / Jaipur Breakfast at the hotel. Jeep safari to explore local farms and villages. Drive to Jaipur, marvel at the city known as ‘the pink city’. Free time for lunch. Check in to the hotel. Be treated to a traditional cooking demonstration followed by an authentic dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the Khas Bagh hotel.

Day 8

Jaipur Breakfast at the hotel. Morning visit to the Amber Fort, built by Raja Man Singh in the 16th-century. ‘Pink city’ rickshaw ride around the city. Later continue on to visit the Observatory and the impressive Hawa Mahal, constructed of red and pink sandstone. Free time for lunch. Afternoon visit to the colourful market. ‘Rhythm with the Elephants’ experience, for many elephants are synonymous with Royal Rajasthan. Followed by a Bush Dinner at Dera Amer, an evening of authentic cuisine under the stars. Overnight at the Khas Bagh hotel.

Day 9

Jaipur / Cochin Breakfast time and morning at your leisure Transfer to the airport for local early evening flight to Kerala. Arrive and Cochin and transfer to the hotel for a traditional welcome. Free time for dinner. Overnight at the Eighth Bastion hotel.

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Day 10

Cochin Breakfast at the hotel. Morning heritage visit to Fort Kochin and time exploring the Dutch colonial port city of Cochin, originally known as the ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Late afternoon cultural ‘Kathakli Dance witness’ a native of Kerala, with elaborate costumes and make up ( including a makeup session ). Followed by the serenity of a relaxing sunset boat cruise. Seafood Dinner at the Old Harbour seaside promenade. Overnight at the Eighth Bastion hotel.

Day 11

Cochin / Munnar Breakfast at hotel. Drive to Munnar and enjoy lunch enroute lunch at River House. Check in to the heritage hotel. The rolling hills around Munnar, South India's largest tea-growing region, are carpeted in emerald-green tea plantations, contoured, clipped and sculpted like ornamental hedges. You’re often up above the clouds watching veils of mist clinging to mountaintops. Evening at your leisure to enjoy your surroundings. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight at the Windermere Estate Plantation and Retreat.

Day 12

Munnar Breakfast at hotel. Go on a tea plantation tour and learn about the process of the regions tea making. Optional visit to Shristi Ngo, a project to empower the specially-abled children of the local tea pluckers. Free time for lunch. The tea-garden panoramas of the estatel are also surrounded by cardamom and coffee plantations. There's a cosy library to enjoy the spectacular vistas, above the country-inspired restaurant, which delivers Indian cuisine rooted in homegrown produce. Free time for dinner. Overnight at the Windermere Estate Plantation and Retreat.

Day 13

Munnar / Kumarakom Breakfast time. Drive to Kumarakom. Check in to the resort. The queen of Kumarakom’s luxury accommodation is this Keralan-inspired beauty fronting Vembanad Lake, complete with ayurvedic spa, yoga, two restaurants, its own houseboats and idyllic tropical gardens. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. Dinner by poolside. Overnight at the Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Day 14

Kumarakom Breakfast time. Morning at your leisure. Country boat transfer to Philipkuty's Farm. Cooking class followed by a traditional lunch prepared in the demonstration. Return to the resort by motor boat. Enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. Free time for dinner. Overnight at the Kumarakom Lake Resort.

Day 15

Kumarakom / Houseboat Breakfast time. Drive to Alleppey for embarking of the houseboat. Lunch on board and afternoon visit to a local village. Cruising along the palm tree-lined backwaters of Kerala on a houseboat, watching local villages and lush jungle slip by while your on-board chef cooks up a storm, is an essential South Indian experience. ‘Twice the Bliss Band’ musical performance. Enjoy dinner and overnight aboard the houseboat.

Day 16

Houseboat / Marari Breakfast on board. Transfer to Marari and check in to the beach resort. Free time for lunch. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure and relaxing. Dinner and overnight at the Marari Beach Resort.

Day 17

Marari Breakfast at the resort. Morning at your leisure. Free time for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure and relaxing. Farewell seafood dinner at the Chakra Beach Grilll restaurant to share memories and celebrate. Overnight at the Marari Beach Resort.

Day 18

Marari / Cochin / Departure Breakfast time and leisure time. Transfer to airport for flight and on arrival connect with international flight for departure.

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Trip Extension

Day 1

Cochin / Mumbai Breakfast time. Transfer to Cochin airport for a midday departure to Delhi. Check in to the hotel. Afternoon at your leisure. Free time for dinner. Overnight at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.

Day 2

Mumbai Breakfast at the hotel. Go on a city tour of this pulsating and cosmopolitan city, home to 14 million people and ‘Bollywood’. Lunch at the Mumbai Canteen, one of Mumbai's hottest restaurants. Rest of the day at your lesiure for shopping and exploring. Free time for dinner. Overnight at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.

Day 3

Mumbai Breakfast at the hotel. Go on a ‘Dharavi slum’ tour to this fascinating part of the city. Free time for lunch. Evening ‘Khau gully’ tour, a food walk tour dedicated to the street food of Mumbai. This tour takes you and your tastebuds through a cultural joyride through food. Overnight at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower.

Day 5

Mumbai / Departure Go on a Mumbai by dawn tour. Breakfast at Parsee Home, a cultural cafe run by settlers of the Zoroastrian faith. Return to the hotel for packing. Transfer to airport for international flight and departure.

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Prepare for your trip

 India is everything, and more, all at once.

It's a sensory potpourri; a visual explosion of bright saris, lumbering cows, marigolds, incense, spices and bursts of sunlight - where you're guaranteed to craft your very own Darjeeling Limited experience.

As for the language, Hindi isn't spoken by everyone in India - in fact there are more than 20 languages spoken throughout the country and English tends to serve as a common one.

A few Hindi phrases will definitely help along the way: "Namaskar" (hello), "shukriya" (thank you), "aap kaise hai" (how are you), "kitna hai" (how much) and "naam kya hai" (what's your name), may come in handy on your trip.

As for money, you'll be dealing in Indian rupees - there are about 55 rupees to each Aussie dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted, but make sure you know all your pin codes as signing has been phased out around the country.

WHERE TO SHOP

Rajasthan is known for colourful embroidered textiles, as well as miniature paintings, papier mache puppets and embroidered leather shoes (Ganesh Emporium in Udaipur is a textiles and antique jewellery mecca; more than 20 rooms overflow with treasures sourced from around the country).

To buy precious and semi-precious gemstones head to the "pink city" of Jaipur, where gorgeous blue-glazed pottery is also made.

Marble wares inspired by the Taj Mahal, some of them exquisitely detailed and inlaid with semi-precious stones, can be sourced in Agra, while Varanasi is a popular place to pick up silk and saris.

Kerala is known for oils and essence. The best and purest forms of oils and essence are found here. Kochi’s options to shop almost rivals its obsession with food. Pick up an array of packaged spices on offer, such as cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, tamarind, cloves and bay leaves… let the wafting aromas guide you there.

In Cochin there are many varieties of cotton clothes and silk emporiums... you can’t leave without buying at least one traditional saree. Along with colourful bead handicrafts, brass bangles, metal mirrors, silver and gold jewellery.

Always a trade destination, from tradtional merchants to hip, young designers who create modern, fresh styles and fashion.

 
 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

All tours include domestic flights, accommodation, transport, air conditioned mini coach with refreshments, sightseeing entrance fees, special tour events and activities, local guides, most meals and tipping (except for national guide). Prices may be subject to currency fluctuation or surcharges.


TOUR PRICE

18 Days /17 Nights
$ 10,490
( twin share per person )
$ 3,750 ( single supplement )
Fully escorted

TOUR includes Diwali festival of lights in Jaipur.

Marari Beach Resort garden pool villa upgrade available in Kerala.


MUMBAI post tour EXTENSION
4 Days /3 Nights•25–28 Nov
$ 2,580
( twin share per person )
$ 940 ( single supplement )


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