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Palatial architecture and tropical backwaters

India is a culture-filled destination where bustling metropolises rub shoulders with ancient history and tropical paradises. For a breathtaking cultural experience you need to set off on a holiday to India. The energy and spirit of this country is like nothing you've experienced before, making a holiday to India the trip of a lifetime.

Tours in India

Keralan boat

Embark on adventure through India

  

Discover the authentic culture of India on one of our many tours. Be it a sight-seeing packed guided tour taking you to the hot spots of India or a royal passage through the grand vistas on the Deccan Odyssey rail tour, our touring holidays of India are a must for all adventurers.

Essential information for India

Local time

Language

Flag of India
Hindi and English

Currency

Indian Rupee
Official currency of India

Flight information

9h
Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM)
Direct flight

Flight schedule

  • Virgin Atlantic fly daily to Delhi and also to Mumbai from London Heathrow
are our main partner airline

Do I need a visa?

British citizens require a visa for India and need to obtain this before travelling.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Best time to visit India

The peak season for tourism is Nov-Mar when daytime temperatures are warm and nights can be cool. Spring months between Apr-Jun can become very hot as well as summer with high temperatures and rains from Jul-Sep/Oct. The tiger reserves are closed during this time too (Apr-Sep). 

Experience colours and spice: Highlights of India

From the private beach resorts of Goa to the bustling, culture-rich cities of Rajasthan, spotting magnificent wildlife on safari to exploring the ancient, fairytale-like ruins of Hampi... India is one of those countries that not only lives up to, but far surpasses, every expectation. It’s as intoxicatingly colourful, vibrant and culturally rich as you’ve heard.

This unforgettable country has something to offer every kind of holidayer, so let’s get you started with some of our India holiday highlights:

  • Rajasthan boasts architectural and cultural must-sees. In Jaipur, discover the Amber Fort and the vibrant buildings known as the ‘Pink City’. Wander the busy streets, dip in and out of the various market stalls and shops for some of the best artsy souvenirs the country has to offer, and travel local-style with a trip in a rickshaw. Be sure to haggle for the best price! While in Rajasthan, be sure to travel on the Deccan Odyssey to the state’s villages, where you’ll meet the local tribes.
  • Head to the sacred city of Varanasi, on the banks of the mighty Ganges, to experience its spectacular and fascinating culture. Hindu pilgrims come to this holy city, one of the oldest cities in the world, to bathe in the sacred waters and cremate their loved ones. There’s nowhere on Earth quite like Varanasi – India holidays would be incomplete without a stop here.
  • In almost total contrast, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi, is an otherworldly oasis of green palm trees, paddies and plantations contrasted with rusty hued ruins and boulders. Hampi Bazaar is the perfect chillout spot after you’ve finished exploring the beautiful area, boasting lantern-lit rooftop restaurants aplenty.
  • If you’re seeking beach holidays to India, heading south is always a safe bet – Goa and Kerala offer some of the most spectacular coastlines. There’s sun, sea and sand, of course, but also spirituality and tranquility in towns like Anjuna, Goa.
  • The stunning Varkala beach in Kerala is the perfect spot for relaxation, lined with cliffside beach shacks overlooking the Arabian Sea and yoga on the beach to help you zen out. If luxury India holidays mean secluded beaches, head to the holy town of Gokarna in northern Karnataka to relax on one of four pristine stretches of sand.
  • Sportier types will enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling around the coral reefs at Tarkarli beach in southern Maharashtra. This one’s a little off the beaten track, so perfect if you prefer to avoid touristy beaches.
  • Not all temples, busy streets and colourful culture, India holidays are great for nature lovers and adventurous types, too. For safari, nothing quite beats spotting the Royal Bengal Tiger and the elusive leopard at the Ranthambore National Park. Truly one of the best places on Earth to see these incredible animals, why not take a tour as an extra to our India holiday packages?
  • The ideal way to relax while also taking in some of India’s most famous sights, take a houseboat tour of Kerala’s backwaters. It’s hard to beat cruising through the breathtaking palm-studded lagoons. If trains are more your thing, a ride on the Kalka-Shimla toy train, which twists and turns past some of the most beautiful scenery northern India has to offer, is a must.
  • Take a trip to the temples of Galtaji, an ancient hindu pilgrimage site just outside of Jaipur, Rajasthan. One of the temples is known as “Monkey Temple”, and is an animal lover’s dream. Buy some peanuts at the bottom and you’ll be a (monkey) crowd pleaser.
  • India holidays are sure to be unforgettable, but inject some added luxury and it’ll be one for the holiday hall of fame. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just want to treat yourself, planning luxury India holidays is easy: we’ve done it for you. Why not experience India’s ‘Blue Train’ onboard the Deccan Odyssey between Delhi and Mumbai? Wake up to breathtaking scenery and stay at luxury hotels at each end of your journey.
  • Stay at the glorious Park Hyatt, overlooking Arossim Beach in Goa, home to an organic spice farm, sleek rooms and the award-winning Sereno Spa. Our luxury India holidays and all-inclusive India holidays are world-class, no-fuss, and absolutely not to be missed.

With all the smells, colours and cultural traditions, where better to sample exciting and exotic foods than on holiday in India?

  • Take to the beaches of Goa for spicy seafood dishes that British curries don’t even nearly match up to, as well as Portuguese-influenced cuisine. From laidback restaurants to ocean-side shacks, the Goan dining experience is like no other, no matter your tastes.Aboard the Deccan Odyssey, luxuriate with fine dining and five-star service from waiters dressed in traditional Maharashtrian attire – you’ll feel like you’re in a Wes Anderson movie. The food is truly exquisite, and the views from the train will take your breath away.
  • Mumbai is known for its deliciously distinctive street foods, or chaat. Head to Juhu beach for the best offerings – look out for pav bhaji, a tomato and vegetable-based curry dish served with soft, garlic-y bread, vada pav, a spiced potato burger, and pani puri, crunchy, crispy spheres filled with chickpeas, tamarind chutney and other tasty things. Better yet, you can feed two people – and we mean feed – for a couple of pounds max.
  • For India holidays spent in Kerala, sample the tropical state’s southern delights in the form of thali (small servings) with a side of vegetable stuffed paratha (flatbread) for good measure.

Of course, this rich and vibrant country is known for its equally colourful festivals, and it’s certainly worth planning holidays to India around one if you can! Most of note…

  • October/November: India celebrates Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Provided you stay in an area with a Hindu culture, the festivities, alight with lanterns and candles, will be all around.
  • Spring: an explosion of colour marks the celebration of Holi, where old age traditions meet modern parties filled with music and food. This is a famous festival for a reason – don’t miss it.

Itching to get yourself one of our India holidays? We certainly don’t blame you! We’ve handled all the boring bits, so all you need to do is browse our selection of India package holidays and hotels and book today. See you at the airport!

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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