India holidays

Holidays in India

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. With bustling cities, beaches and iconic landmarks to immerse yourself in, the energy and spirit of this country is like nothing you’ve experienced before - so it’s no surprise that this was the birthplace of yoga. With so much to see and do, a holiday to India really is the trip of a lifetime.

Hotels in India

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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.
  • 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.

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.

Essential information for India

Local time
+ 4hrs
Flag of India
Hindi and English
Indian Rupee
Official currency of India
Flight information
Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM)
Direct flight
Flight schedule
Virgin Atlantic fly daily to Delhi and also to Mumbai from London Heathrow
Our main partner airline

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). 

Do I need a Visa?

All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa from an Indian Mission/Post or eVisa.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

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