This wonderful introductory tour of India's rich and cultural history explores the sights and sounds of the Golden Triangle, including the iconic Taj Mahal, with the added experience of spotting tigers in the beautiful Ranthambore National Park, one of the best places in the world to see these majestic animals.
Fly overnight with Virgin Atlantic non-stop direct flight to Delhi.
On arrival, transfer to your hotel for the rest of the day at leisure. Delhi is a bustling metropolis, which combines the ancient with the modern. Amidst the skyscrapers can be found many monuments which stand as silent reminders of the region’s ancient legacy. Stay at The Eros Delhi for 2 nights.
After breakfast enjoy a city tour of Old and New Delhi, beginning with a visit to the Red Fort. The magnificent Red Fort, overlooking the river Jamuna, was built between 1638-1648 when the Moghul Empire was at its peak. The tour continues to Jama Masjid, one of Asia’s largest mosques. Later visit Raj Ghat and drive past India Gate, Parliament building and the President’s Residence, before visiting Qutab Minar, the tallest stone tower in India. (B)
This morning depart by road to Agra (205 km/approx 4 hours 30 min excluding sightseeing) which was once the capital of the Mughal Empire. En-route visit Itmad-ud-Daulah (‘Baby Taj). This afternoon visit Agra Fort, an outstanding example of Mughal architecture and the seat and stronghold of the Mughal Empire under successive generations. Continue with a visit to the magnificent Taj Mahal. Emperor Shah Jahan built this exquisite white marble mausoleum for his favourite queen, Mumtaz Mahal. The monument was commissioned in 1631 and took 20,000 artisans 22 years to complete. Stay overnight at the Clarks Shiraz Hotel. (B)
Drive to Bharatpur this morning (56km/approx 1 hour 30 min not including sightseeing) via the deserted 16th-century city of Fatehpur Sikri, built by Akbar the Great and abandoned on the emperor’s death. In the afternoon, board the Express train to Sawai Madhopur (2 hours 15 min in an air-conditioned chair car) and proceed by road to your hotel, near to Ranthambore National Park (16 km/approx 20 min). Stay 2 nights at the Ranthambore Regency. (B/D)
Early morning and late afternoon game-drives, with the opportunity to see some of India’s richest and most diverse wildlife with over 270 species of birds, 12 reptiles and 30 mammals. This is one of the best places in India to see the Royal Bengal Tiger. During your stay you can visit a cooperative society managed by villagers; a society for crafts and crafts people which was formed to support the villagers of Ranthambhore. The aim of the project is to help villagers use their own skills, have a means of employment and income and take responsibility for their own design, production, accounting and marketing of their crafts. (B/L/D)
Enjoy an early morning game-drive to take a final opportunity to explore Ranthambore. Afterwards you head for your next destination with a drive to Jaipur (180km/approx. 4 hours). The vibrant 18th-century capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the ‘Pink City’ because of the pink coloured buildings in its old city. You will arrive at Jaipur in the late afternoon. Evening at leisure. Stay 2 nights at The Lalit, Jaipur.(B)
Take a morning tour of Amber Fort by jeep or car, a honey coloured fortress palace in the Aravalli Hills. Possessing a chamber of mirrors, the interiors are a decorative arts paradise and there are striking views of the gorge. In the afternoon, visit the Observatory and City Palace which boasts courtyards, impressive gateways and temples. Witness the elegant façade of the Hawa Mahal, the spectacular Palace of the Winds, built by King Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, and one of Jaipur’s photographic highlights. The evening is at leisure to explore Jaipur further; home to cultural delights and also a shopper’s paradise! (B) Please note: Due to concerns over elephant welfare Virgin Holidays do not offer the excursion to Amber Fort by elephant. The visit will be done by jeep instead.
This morning take the early morning train to Delhi (6.00am-10.30am). Check-in at The Eros Dehli for 1 night. Afternoon at leisure. (B)
Please note: Departure groups travelling after May '17 will no longer take the train back to Delhi and instead will travel by road. Please ask your Virgin Holidays consultant for the new itinerary information.
After breakfast, depart for the airport and the Virgin Atlantic flight to London Heathrow. Alternatively why not extend your stay on the beaches of Goa. (B)
The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.
Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability, flights and date of departure. Prices are for departure dates ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room with return economy flights. Single room and flight upgrade prices are available at a supplement.
Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts on 0203 668 8616 or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.
The first day of the tour is at leisure so allows you enough time to arrive and relax. If you wish to arrive earlier extra nights can be added to your tour in the Royal Plaza in Delhi. We recommend extending your tour with a few nights on the tropical beaches of Goa.
GMT +5 hours 30 min (summer) +6 hours 30 min (winter)
8 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners.
Occasionally we may need to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard.
India is a vast country and journey times between destinations can sometimes be long. Journey times are listed in the itinerary and are approximate.
There is a maximum of 25 people per group.
An Indian visa is required for all British passport holders and MUST be obtained before your arrival in India. Recent changes mean you can now apply for an e-Visa at a cost of $60USD per person at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. This must be completed between 7-30 days prior to arrival in India, eg if you are applying on 01 Sep then you can select an arrival date from 05 Sep-04 Oct. Your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your departure date from India and have at least two blank pages. Further information can be viewed on the above link. If you wish to obtain a paper visa we recommend using ‘CIBT’ who will obtain all visas in person, and return your passport to you by registered post. Contact them on www.uk.cibt.com/virginholidaysjourneys or 0844 800 4650.