Day 1: UK to DelhiDepart from the UK on your overnight flight to Delhi.
Day 2: DelhiOn arrival in the capital, transfer to your hotel and enjoy some free time to relax or, if you can’t wait to explore, then you can lose yourself in the city’s maze of narrow streets and experience the fragrant spices and vibrant colours of the local bazaars. Visit the Jama Masjid Mosque and drive past the impressive Red Fort during an afternoon drive around the city. This evening you’ll have the chance to meet the rest of your group during a welcome dinner hosted by your tour leader. Stay: Maidens. D.
Day 3: Delhi to AgraSee more of the main sights of Old and New Delhi including the Raj Ghat – an open-air memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, and drive past the grand government buildings. Drive south to the city of Agra which is famous as the home of the magnificent Taj Mahal but also hosts other UNESCO World Heritage Sites, antiquarian buildings that include magnificent examples of Mughal architecture as well as classic churches and unique sandstone tombs. The 16th-Century Agra Fort is an impressive red sandstone monument that houses fairytale palaces, audience halls and two white marble mosques. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 131 miles. Stay: Trident, Agra. B, D.
Day 4: AgraRise early for the incredible highlight of your tour – the once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching the sunrise at the spectacular Taj Mahal, one of the finest pieces of architecture in the world. This exquisite monument to eternal love was created by Shah Jahan in response to his adored wife’s dying wish that he should ‘build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before’. Be mesmerised by the captivating beauty of the Taj as it appears to change colour as the light changes and takes on an ethereal pink glow. Continue on from the Taj Mahal to the Agra Fort, once the residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty. Another highlight today is an excursion to the Itmad-Ud-Daulah, also known as Baby Taj. This stunning marble tomb was built between 1622 and 1628, is studded with semi-precious stones and appears to resemble a giant jewel box. Complete your Taj experience by heading to Mehtab Bagh at sunset – this park offers sensational views of the Taj Mahal as the gleaming marble reflects the ever-changing sky, from yellow to orange and then white. Stay: Trident, Agra. B.
Day 5: Agra to JaipurHead west to the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital. Stop en route to see the perfectly preserved deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri which was founded in 1569 but was abandoned just 16 years later due to a lack of water supply. The city remains an exceptional example of Mughal splendour. You’ll also explore the fascinating step-well at Abhaneri. En route to Jaipur you will stop at the Laxmi Vilas Palace for lunch. This evening you can enjoy dinner with a local family at Nokha House, a traditional guesthouse (Guests travelling on 08 Mar will follow a slightly different itinerary on Days 5-6 with dinner at the Trident and Holi celebrations on Day 6 during lunch. Guests travelling on 14 Oct will join the local family on Day 6 instead for dinner and Diwali celebrations). Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 160 miles. Stay: Trident, Jaipur. B, L, D.
Day 6: JaipurThis morning there is an optional hot-air balloon ride if you’d like to enjoy a different perspective of the city, high up away from the hustle and bustle below. A full day of sightseeing includes visits to the ancient and imposing Amber Fort which sits on a hilltop overlooking the Maota Lake, and the City Palace – an exquisite complex of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture that also houses a museum and art gallery. You’ll also visit the Royal Observatory, admire views of the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) which features a unique facade resembling the honeycomb of a beehive, and ride a rickshaw to a local market. Stay: Trident, Jaipur. B, D.
Day 7: Jaipur to DelhiThe long drive back to Delhi gives you the opportunity to chat to your tour leader and learn more about northern India’s culture and history. If you choose to extend your holiday then you will end the main tour today and continue to your next destination. We offer a fantastic range of optional extensions, whether you prefer to relax on golden sands; breathe in fresh mountain air in the foothills of the Himalayas; or discover the spiritual nation of Nepal on a fascinating cultural tour. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 158 miles. Stay: Trident, Gurgaon. B.
Day 8: DelhiEnjoy a relaxing morning at leisure before transferring to the airport for your flight to the UK. B.