Epic India (23 Days) (from New Delhi to Goa) - 23 Nights Discovery

kerala and south india

Start in New Delhi and end in Goa! With the discovery tour Epic India (23 Days) (from New Delhi to Goa), you have a 23 day tour package taking you through New Delhi, India and 11 other destinations in India. Epic India (23 Days) (from New Delhi to Goa) includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

Itinerary

  • Delhi

    Namaste! Welcome to Delhi. Today is an arrival day with no planned activities, except a welcome meeting at 6 pm where youll meet your tour leader and fellow travel pals. If you arrive earlier in the day, why not hit the streets and try and get into the Delhi flow. If youre feeling historical there?s the 14th-century Humayuns Tomb or 11th-century Qutub Minar. There?s also the former residence of royal families and British soldiers ? the mighty Red Fort.?After this important meeting, why not continue the introductions over an optional group dinner. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Delhi - Overnight train

    This morning head out on a walking tour around the commercial heart of Delhi, visiting?Chandni Chowk (Sheeshganj Gurudwara) and Connaught Place along the way.?Explore Old Delhi on a bicycle rickshaw to dig that little bit deeper. Youll then have some free time to do as much sightseeing as you can, before boarding an overnight train bound for Varanasi. The journey should take around 13 hours and youll arrive into Varanasi early in the morning. Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

  • Varanasi

    Arriving into Varanasi early, head straight to the hotel to freshen up before plunging head first into this holy city, which is one of the worlds oldest. Explore the narrow laneways and backstreets on a walking tour with your guide, before watching the world pass by along the ghats. Your evening is then free to do as you wish. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Varanasi - Overnight train

    Wake up early and experience one of the highlights of your time in India. This morning, jump in boats and watch the sunrise over the Ganges. Pilgrims bathing, cremation fires and riverside haircuts - India is best before dawn and this is the best way to see it. The rest of your day is free to explore, before catching an?overnight train to Agra tonight (approximately 11 hours). Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

  • Agra

    Arriving into Agra early this morning, head to the most iconic site in India, the Taj Mahal.?The highlights of India just keep coming. You have a full day to explore Agra on a motorised rickshaw trip, with Agra Fort being another incredible optional activity in the afternoon. The rest of your day is then free. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Jaipur

    Jump on a bus this morning and travel for around four hours to?Rajasthans pink capital, Jaipur. On arrival into the city stop off at the?Hawa Mahal (pink sandstone palace) before heading to your hotel. Use the opportunity to freshen up and then venture out for a walking tour of the old city. In your spare time, perhaps take an optional tour of the Jaipur City Palace. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Jaipur

    For many travellers, a hot air balloon experience is one of the highlights of Jaipur. Ballooning can be done over Jaipur on the morning of Day 7, between September and June. For additional information, please see the important notes section of your trip notes. Later in the morning,?enjoy a guided tour of the medieval Amber Fort with a local guide. The rest of your day is then free to explore Jaipur on your own. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Bundi

    In and around BundiTravel for around five hours this morning to Bundi, which feels like a world away from the chaos of Jaipur. Home to the famed stepwells and a ruined hilltop castle, its a compact town best explored on foot. Meet your local guide and see this charming town through his eyes. Your guide will take you around the stepwell, Bundi Palace and may even point you in the right direction of best cup of chai in Rajasthan. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Bundi - Overnight train

    Enjoy a free day to check out more of Bundi. Perhaps spend the day exploring the citys 50-odd stepwells. Stroll narrow lanes of blue houses, one of the many enduring signs of the Bundis royal past. Or check out some of the citys temples or lakes. Otherwise, you cant go wrong with another cup of chai before settling in for this evenings ten-hour overnight train journey. Tonight, youll hop a train bound for Delhi. Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

  • Delhi

    Arrive into Delhi early, with the day free to check out some of the sights you missed at the beginning of the trip and do some more exploring. There are shopping experiences aplenty or if youre after a bit more structure, perhaps book an Urban Adventure day trip. Dont worry if youre feeling overhelmed by choice in Delhi. Your tour leader can offer advice on how to make the most of your free day. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Delhi - Trivandrum

    In and around TrivandrumEnjoy a free morning in Delhi before making your own way to the airport for an unaccompanied flight to Trivandrum (flight and transfers are not included). Upon arrival, use a free afternoon to discover why Mahatma Gandhi dubbed Trivandrum the ?Evergreen city of India?. Then head back to your hotel at 6 pm for a group meeting. As this is a combination trip, the make up of your group will likely change today. Some of your group will depart in Delhi, while new travellers will likely be joining in Trivandrum. Your tour leader will also change. Meet your new crew at the evening meeting, then perhaps head out for a group dinner. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Varkala

    In the morning, head up the coast to the town of Varkala (approximately 2 hours). Once settled into your hotel, use some free time to explore the Keralan coast, which is home to some of India?s most awesome beaches on the Arabian Sea. Soaring cliffs protect Varkala?s sandy bay and, depending on the time of year, dolphins can be spotted from high up on the rocks. The main beach here is Papanasam Beach, which is long and golden with a backdrop of red laterite cliffs from where mineral water springs forth. Chill out here and witness fishermen pulling up their nets from the sea. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Varkala

    Enjoy a free day in Varkala. This is a great place to sit back and relax, but if you want to get active there are plenty of water activities on offer, such as surfing and windsurfing. Otherwise, kick back on the beach and enjoy some low key time. Even though this is a popular destination for Indian tourists, the beaches are quiet and laid-back. If you have time, perhaps rent a bicycle and ride through fishing villages to Varkala Light House. Your leader will have all the top tips on what to do today. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Kerala Backwaters

    Take a local three-hour train along the Keralan coastline to Alleppey (Alappuzha). Alleppeys sleepy, palm-shaded backwaters are Keralas hidden treasure. Once an important trading port and now famous for its August snake boat races, Alleppey is the starting point for most journeys into the backwaters. An auto rickshaw will take you from the train station to the boat boarding point. Crossing the backwaters, head to an island village where your local homestay is located (approximately 1 hour). Your guide will take you on a walk around the village and introduce you to the local community. This is a great chance to meet and talk with the people who live here. Strolling under palm trees and weaving in between the rice fields that cover the island, learn about their lifestyles. Take a leisurely pole boat ride around the lake and enjoy the outstanding scenery, then chow down on a traditional home-cooked meal. Accommodation: Homestay

  • Kochi

    In the morning, cross the backwaters by private boat back to Alleppey (1.5 hours). You?ll then take a local two-hour bus to Kochi, arriving around midday. Spread over several islands, Kochi is a fascinating place full of Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and English influences. Here you?ll stay in a lodge in a central location close to most of the sights in Fort Kochi. Once you get here, stretch your legs with an orientation walk around some of the sights of the nearby area, including St Francis Church, Santa Cruz Basilica and the famous Chinese fishing nets. In the evening, there?s the option to attend a classic Kathakali dance performance at 5 pm. This performance takes years of special training and is an amazing slice of Keralan cultural traditions. Accommodation: Lodge

  • Kochi - Overnight train

    Head to the Mattancherry part of Fort Kochi to explore the old Jewish quarter, synagogue (the Jewish community here goes back to 1,000 AD) and Dutch Palace (Kochi Palace) on an orientation walking tour. The tour takes around three hours, with the rest of the day free to do as you wish. Why not join an Urban Adventures day tours, such as Fort Cochin by Bike, Home Cooked Kochi or Kochi Food and Culture Tour. Afterwards, it?s time to get a true Indian experience ? an overnight train to Bangalore. Indian trains are like a moving town ? watch the colourful landscape fly by and chat with the locals as the chai wallah walks down the aisle singing about his tea. Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

  • Mysore

    In and around MysoreYou?ll arrive into Bangalore pretty early in the morning, then catch a bus to your hotel in Mysore (approximately 5 hours). Mysore is an easy-going town with a pleasant climate; it?s well laid out, with wide streets and many gardens, making it perfect for wandering on foot. It?s also one of the best smelling places in India ? it?s a major base for incense makers, so you?ll be surrounded by the aromas of sandalwood, jasmine, rose and musk. A visit to Mysore isnt complete without a look around Mysore Palace. One of the most ornate palaces in India, its interior is a riot of colour, mosaics and mirrors. There?s also the option to visit the Keshava Temple in Somnathpur, a stunning example of Hoysala architecture just an hour out of town. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Mysore - Overnight train

    Whatever you do, it?s up to you. It?s a free day. There?s loads of time to explore the explore the surrounding countryside, so head out and climb Chamundi Hill ? site of the Sri Chamundeswari Temple, which is dedicated to Goddess Durga. No bull ? half way up you can?t miss the huge vahana of Lord Shiva that?s carved from a single piece of black granite (it?s a bull). In the evening (approximately 7 pm), board another overnight train bound for Hampi. This should take around ten hours, arriving early in the morning. Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

  • Hampi

    Arrive into Hampi and cross the river to your guesthouse on a small boat. Hampi is an ancient temple town sitting on the banks of the Tungabhadra River. Once you?re settled in, maybe head over to the architectural masterpiece of Vittala Temple. This 16th-century temple is the home of mandapas (pillared pavilions), a pool, a palace and the popular stone chariot, which Hindu mythology says was Lord Vishnu?s pimped out ride. Need some tips? Youre leader is the one with all the insider knowledge! Accommodation: Hotel

  • Hampi

    Hampi?s a surreal ancient city on a prehistoric-looking landscape of huge boulders. It?s got literally thousands of ruins scattered about, and you could spend forever going from temple to temple in the back of a rickshaw. The town?s famous for it?s part in the Hindu epic story Ramayana, with Shiva and Parvati getting hitched here. Today you can explore the ruins of the Vijayanagar Empire and the huge boulders on the outskirts of town. Check the majestic dome and pillars of the Virupaksha temple, the royal quarters, and the Archaeological Museum to get an idea of life here in the 16th-century. The essential sunrise or sunset pics can be snapped at Hemakuta Hill or Matanga Hill. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Hampi - Overnight train

    Hampi is a great place to kick back and relax. Here there?s no better place to chill out that in Virupapuragaddi, which you can get to via boats across the river. It?s called the Hippie side and you can laze about in the backpacker cafes here. If you?re feeling like more walking then you can climb up the steps to the top of Annegudi Hill, which has great views of the surrounding countryside. If you?re not templed-out then there are no doubt still tonnes of hidden structures for you to explore by foot or bike. In the early evening, drive for around three hours by private vehicle to Hubli, where you?ll board an overnight nine-hour train to Goa. Accommodation: Overnight sleeper train

  • Goa

    Once the train arrives in Goa, head to the hotel and check in. Brimming with Portuguese influences and famous for the sandy beaches lining its coast, Goa is a fascinating region in Indias southwest. The day is free to do what you like. Perhaps relax on the beach, sip a cocktail at a local bar or go for a final dinner in the evening with the rest of the group. Accommodation: Hotel

  • Goa

    Your epic India adventure comes to an end after breakfast. There are no activities planned for this final day. Goa is a great place to end the trip ? if you can, we recommend staying on for a couple of nights to relax and explore.

Inclusion

  • GST on total package
  • Accomodation in a well appointed room
  • Meals as per hotel plan and ones mentioned in itinerary
  • All transfers and sightseeing as per the itinerary in an air-conditioned vehicle (except in the hills when the air-conditioner will be switched off)
  • All toll taxes, parking fees and driver allowances
  • All applicable hotel taxes

Exclusion

  • Anything not mentioned under ‘Package Inclusions??:tm:
  • All personal expenses, optional tours and extra meals
  • Camera fees, alcoholic/non-alcoholic beverages
  • Vehicle service on leisure days for sightseeing not included in the itinerary
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Tips, laundry and phone calls

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