Specialist Private Tours
TIKKA TOURS offers an independent travel tour option which includes your own private car and driver, daily breakfast, transfers, sightseeing and local city guides. All your accommodation based on your budget ( 3.5 – 5 star range ). Minimum 2 people.
Andaman Islands and Kolkata
8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS $2,990 • OCT 2019–MAR 2020
The Andaman Islands are pearls in a sea of blue. With shimmering turquoise waters fringed by primeval jungle, fantastic diving, and sugar-white, sun-toasted beaches melting under flame-and-purple sunsets, the far-flung Andaman Islands are the perfect Indian escape. The population is a friendly mix of South and Southeast Asian settlers, as well as Negrito ethnic groups. Adding to the islands' intrigue is their remoteness, 1370km east of the Indian mainland, 200km from Indonesia and 300km from Myanmar (Burma). Of the archipelago's 572 islands, only 36 are inhabited and a small selection is open to travellers. With splendid beaches and diving, ‘Havelock’ (Swaraj) is by far the most popular.
Kolkata (Calcutta) is India’s third-largest city and this 330-year-old metropolis is where India and England collide. Kolkata is regarded as India’s intellectual, artistic and cultural capital. The self-made middle class drives the city's core machinery, a nascent hipster culture thrives among its millennial residents and its dapper Bengali gentry frequent grand colonial-era clubs.
Mumbai food and wine trail
8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS $3,290/$850 ss • OCT 2019–MAR 2020
Watch Mumbai come to life on a street food safari, an experience not to be missed. Relax and enjoy the culinary delights and wine tasting among the stunning world class vineyards of the Nasik region. Indian wines have already entered international markets and are creating waves for their unusual terroir of black cotton soil and tropical climes. If you’re a wine-lover or just appreciate fine foods – we would highly recommend a tour of the wine trail on your next trip through India.
SPECIAL FEB 2020 DEPARTURE • 8 FEB–15 FEB 2020
Hosted by award-winning chef Cameron Cansdell
8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS from $6,990
”A luxury gourmet adventure”
TIKKA TOURS have teamed up with award winning chef Cameron Cansdell, to take lovers of food and wine on a trailblazing adventure to India’s most dynamic and vibrant city Mumbai. We will also explore the nearby emerging wine region of Nashik, producing award winning wine and champagne. Cameron will share his cooking skills and passion for food during several interactive master classes including visits to spice and fish markets. This will be a very special gourmet adventure, all done in luxury and style. A luxury journey based on 10-14 passengers travelling.
Mumbai Arrive in Mumbai & stay at the Taj Mahal Palace. Built in 1903 as the first property of the Taj Group, the hotel is an architectural marvel. Offering panoramic views of the Arabian Sea and the Gateway of India, the hotel is a gracious landmark of the city of Mumbai.
Mumbai Morning city tour of Mumbai & a visit the ‘Dhobi Ghat’ a huge open-air laundry. Special Lunch at The Bombay Canteen & meet up with the chef. The Bombay Canteen is a café and bar that at the heart of India. Housed within the bustling metropolis of Bombay, it prides itself on recreating local dishes and reinterpreting age-old Indian traditions, to create an experience that toasts the old times and celebrates the new. And the bar, has a unique selection of reimagined classic cocktails with firm Indian roots. Each dish and drink has a story to tell, promising you an exciting journey on a plate (and in a glass)! Continue for a Spice Market walk. Care to try the fiery tears-in-the-eyes signature Indian spice mixes? Guntur, Bedki, Reshampatti & Kashmiri are varieties of chilies found here. Buy the spices or get them dry roasted and ground into the masala mix of your choice before your own eyes.
Mumbai Mumbai by Dawn tour. Witness Mumbai, the city of dreams, come to life at the early hours of dawn with this exciting tour. From observing the newspaper vendors to a fish auction at Sassoon Dock. See locals bargain for fresh fruit, vegetables, meat & flowers, the markets are a carnival of colour and sound. Stop for breakfast at a popular local snack joint Ladoo Samrat for a quick bite. Proceed to the supply chain of the famous Dabbawalas (lunchbox carrier’s in Mumbai). You will get to know the intricate details of the tiffin service which has been in existence since almost 130 years. When the Parsis landed in India, little did they know that their culture and food would add a unique dimension to this eclectic country. Over the years, they not only endeavoured to better the lives of the local folks with philanthropic activities, but also created magic in their kitchen. They introduced India to some gastronomic delights, by combining the richness of Persian delicacies with quintessential Indian spices. The most popular of it all, is the ‘Lagan Nu Bhonu’ or the lavish Parsi wedding meal. This three course meal comprises of fish, meat, vegetable lentils, among other things, to make it a balanced and nutritious meal. To round off this whirlwind of culinary flavors, they have a special treat called the ‘Laganu Custard’ a tasty dessert which is India’s answer to the Crème Brule. It comes as little surprise, that this meal is part of your coastal culinary experience. You will interact with Aunty, who will teach you a couple of dishes that are traditionally Parsi. So, you will not only take back her Grandmothers recipes but also a ton of love.
Mumbai Morning visit to the The Magazine Street Kitchen for cooking workshop followed by lunch. Evening ‘Kebab and Curry walk’. The holy precinct of Mumbai Street Food, Mohammad Ali road and Bohri Mohulla is one of the most important stops on your culinary sojourn. They have created an insignia of non-vegetarian street food. Skewered Kebabs, spicy curries and colourful sweets dot these areas aplenty. A walk through Bohri Mohulla, introduces you to the namesake, Bohra Muslims, a business community that found its way to India from Yemen in the 16th century. Quintessential Bohri delicacies such as the 12 pot curry, sherbets, Chana Batata, Boti Kebab & Seekh Kebab. Another legendary stop is Taj Ice-cream, an ice-cream parlour that has been churning handmade ice-cream for over a century. We then enter the famous hole-in-the-wall restaurant that most Mumbaikars swear by – Noor Mohammadi. Here we will have a tryst with Bollywood and try the 'Chicken Sanju Baba', a dish named after the Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt. Finally our last stop would be Minara Masjid, which is a sweet lover’s dream come true. Colourful & flavourful, from barfis, delectable ‘Firnis’ to a classic called ‘Aflatoon’, Minara has it all.
Mumbai /Nashik Drive to Nashik town & be met by wine experts to visit Chandon winery. In the late 1950s, Moët & Chandon, the world's leading Champagne House since 1743, began exploring the potential for producing world-class sparkling wines outside the Champagne region, under the 'Chandon' name. The first Chandon Estate was created in 1959 in Argentina followed by California, Brazil and Australia. Following in the pioneering steps of the founders and continuing its search for new wine-making territories, Moët Hennessy determined that the Nashik region had the potential to produce world-class, premium quality sparkling wine & the 21-acre Chandon’s winery boasts a state-of-the-art production facility to create both variants of Chandon: Chandon Brut and Chandon Rosé. Tour of the Vineyard with wine tasting session followed by lunch at Chandon. Continue onto resort for check-in. The Source at Sula is a new landmark in the heart of India's premier wine region with vistas of the scenic Sula estate vineyards and gentle hills rolling away to Gangapur lake in the distance. Rejuvenate yourself at the Vino spa!
Nashik Nashik, was a city of great significance since the Vedic times; it finds mention in the great epic, Ramayana, ancient poets like Valmiki, Kalidasa and Bhavabhooti offered it great tributes in their verse, was a province under the Mughal empire, and was the ‘land of the brave’ in the times of the Maratha empire. Today, Nashik is one of the holy cities where the celebrations of the Kumbh Melaa festival of grand cleansing and invocations, occur, It is also known for its silver craftsmanship, some relic temples & India’s first, local made wines. Morning visit to Grover Zampa vineyard along with your wine connoisseurs. The tour will allow you to discover what makes these wines truly original, learn about wine making traditions, secret techniques & finish with a wine tasting session. Continue to another vineyard. Vallonné Vineyards is India’s first boutique winery that produces premium French-style wines. Established in 2009, the vineyard promptly won a reputation for quality and innovation with its very first vintage. The sprawling estate rests on the gentle slopes of the Sahyadri ranges & overlooks the Kavnai peak. Their lake-facing restaurant by Malaka Spice, a 21 year-old brand from Pune, specialises in inspired South-East Asian cuisine. Cooking demonstration followed by lunch. Return to resort and rest of the evening at your leisure.
Nashik Morning excursion to Reveilo Vineyard. The roots of the wine can be traced back to Rome. Reveilo owes a lot to the Italian technology and know-how having tied up with an italian group “Enofly” for its technical collaboration. Andrea Valentinuzzi, our Italian wine maker also comes with a rich experience of over 25 years in viticulture and winemaking. These imported root stocks from Italy were first planted on the Indian soil in Nashik in 2006, the first vintage was in 2009. Wine tour followed by lunch. Return to your resort and then do a wine tour of Sula vineyard. Rest for a while and then get ready for the evening cooking session followed by a farewell dinner.
Nashik /Mumbai After breakfast, begin four hour drive back to Mumbai & onto your next destination.
Goa Beach escape
5 DAYS/4 NIGHTS $1,400/$649 ss • OCT 2019–MAR 2020
Nothing spells tranquility quite like Goa, with its sandy beaches, captivating sunsets, green paddy cultivations and old world charm. The state of sun and surf has perfected the art of ‘susegad’ (taking it easy). Traditional festivities overlaid by a Portuguese colonial influence of churches, basilicas and old mansions. Goa offers a warm hospitality and the undemanding pleasures of beach life. Goa also has many wildlife parks with a rich biodiversity and the numerous waterfalls on adventurous scenic treks.
Family Fun in India
13 DAYS/12 NIGHTS $6,855 twin share/$5,900 triple share• JAN 2020
On this epic journey you will travel through the desert state of Rajasthan – ‘the Land of the Kings.’ You will not only take in the highlights, including the Taj Mahal, the’ pink and blue cities’ of Jaipur and Jodhpur but also explore thebackroads and stay in small, friendly local villages. You will all experience luxury palaces to be treated like the maharajah and even overnight at 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ for a fun movie night. See the incredible wildlife of India on an exotic, magical, fun family adventure!
Camel rides in the desert and a culture that is so vibrant and colourful, they will feel as if they are part of a movie set, travelling in India with kids is one of the most eye opening trips you will take as a family. Simple things like their first trip in a tuk tuk will be a memory for life. As will playing cricket with the children at your homestay. The welcome for families is just phenomenal. As with travel anywhere in the world, when you have kids, the door is usually opened wide but in India it is flung open with fervent excitement.
Golden triangle with a twist
7 DAYS/6 NIGHTS $2,475/$1,011 ss • OCT 2019–MAR 2020
If time is limited, or you just want to discover India independently with a visit to the Taj Mahal, then this tour is a ‘must do’! Enjoy the energetic and ancient capital city of Delhi, before heading to Agra to view the famous Taj Mahal at dawn. Visit the famous ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, with its majestic Amber Fort and its exciting markets and Bazaars. TIKKA TOURS twist is to take you out of the big bustling cities and for you to experience rural life and its traditions in the delightful village of Samode, nestled in the Aravali Hills and home to one of Rajasthans most loved heritage Palace hotels where you will be staying.
Textile tour of Rajasthan
12 DAYS/11 NIGHTS $5,990/$2,432 ss • OCT 2019–MAR 2020
The textile industry in India can trace its origins back to Vedic scriptures which detail weaving and spinning techniques and four thousand years ago to the Indus Valley civilisation. India’s textiles provided grist to European mills during the Industrial Revolution and created a handloom cottage industry during the country’s struggle for self-rule. India’s textile legacy remains through the evidence of a rich, thriving industry and a global trade portrayed in the drapes of sculptures and painting works of art, th remains of Indian-origin fabric and dye in Egyptian tombs. Trace how Indian silk traversed the Silk Route to be sold in western countries alongside China silk, and in traditions that have been passed on for generations and still live on today.
One of the tour highlights is a visit to the ‘Nahar Niwas for Royal vintage textiles’. They specialise in the restoration of heirloom pieces belonging to the royal and noble families of Rajasthan. Combining the techniques of ‘Zardozi’ and ‘Aari’ embellishment and stitching to be restored to their prime, the vintage wedding wear of the Royal ladies, which are woven and embellished in pure golden and silver thread.
Varanasi and Ganges
3 DAYS/2 NIGHTS $1,887/$380 ss • OCT 2019–MAR 2020
A city at the confluence of two tributaries of the Ganges river, Varanasi is steeped in the spiritual sanctity and knowledge of three of the worlds great religions – Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism. Spiritually enlightening and fantastically photogenic, Varanasi is at its brilliant best by the ‘Ghats’, the long stretch of steps leading down to the water on the western bank of the Ganges. It’s a world-class ‘people-watching’ stroll as you mingle with the fascinating mixture of people who come to the Ganges not only for a ritual bath but also to wash clothes, do yoga, offer blessings, sell flowers, get a massage, play cricket, wash their buffaloes, improve their karma or simply stare at the Ganges.
Varanasi is also the spiritual home of India's ‘sadhus’ (holy men) often seen in their colourful orange robes, flowing beards and decorative beads. They are revered by Hindus as representatives of the gods and sometimes worshiped as gods themselves. Varanasi is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, about 3,000 years or longer and its nickname is ‘The spiritual capital of India’.
Some of the tour highlights include rising early to head out by boat at dawn to watch the colourful Ghats vibrantly come to life as pilgrims begin to bathe themselves in the holy river when the river is bathed in a mellow light and they perform ‘puja’ (prayers) to the rising sun, and an evening ‘Ganga Aarti’ (river worship ceremony), a ritual of lighting lamps at sunset and offering prayers to the river deity ‘Ganga’, a quintessential sacred and spiritual experience.
Supplement costings apply in Dec 2019 – Mar 2020 on Specialist Private Tours.
ss – Single Supplement