A TASTE OF INDIA

- A Secret Retreats journey -

 

India is a place beyond all others where one must not take things too seriously—the midday sun always excepted.
– Rudyard Kipling

Join for a veritable feast of a tour, as you journey from bustling Delhi through colourful Rajasthan. You begin by visiting the amazing Taj Mahal, continue to the iconic cities of Jaipur and Udaipur and also stay for two nights in a lovely retreat in the small town of Shahpura. Along the way you will discover many facets of Indian culture, including the country’s delicious food.
sucheta-hans-summertime-villa-goa-india

Photo: Sucheta and Hans, hosts at Summertime Villa in Goa, who have explored all corners of India both for pleasure and as their occupation share with you here their best selection.

Highlights of the journey

  • The Taj Mahal at Agra
  • Colourful cities and palaces of Rajasthan
  • Wonderful small handpicked hotels
  • Possible extension to the beaches of Goa
Starting price 1,800 USD / person

BOOK HERE

 

Day 1 - 2: Delhi

Arrive in Delhi, where you'll be met by your English-speaking representative who will take you straight to your hotel where you can relax for the remainder of the day to recuperate from the jet lag. You will stay for two nights in Shanti Home, a stylish and serene hotel tucked away in a quiet West Delhi suburb offering personal service with an excellent restaurant and a small spa.

After breakfast, you will travel to the heart of New Delhi by metro and cycle rickshaw. You will be guided through the fascinating maze of narrow streets around the main street of Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, a bustling jumble of craft shops, traders, mosques and temples. At one end of this street is the huge Red Fort, the symbol of Delhi, which contains within it palaces and impressive public buildings and at the other is the colourful and aromatic Spice Market, the roof of which offers great views over Old Delhi. The afternoon is spent at leisure.

Hotel: Shanti Home

Day 3: Agra

Time to leave New Delhi and head to Agra, on the early morning express train. Back in the 16th century, the Mughals made Agra the capital of India and constructed all those world-famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort which you will visit on an afternoon guided tour. The Taj Mahal is one of the most fascinating and beautiful monuments of the world. About 20,000 workers were employed in its construction, completed after some 20 years. So perfect are the proportions of the Taj and so exquisite its workmanship that this really is one of the world's most marvellous buildings.

Hotel: The Grand Imperial, Agra’s only heritage hotel.

Day 4 - 5: Jaipur

Leaving Agra taking the road to Jaipur you will stop along the way at the enigmatic abandoned Moghul capital of Fatehpur Sikri, a complex of forts, palaces and mosques built in sandstone, before continuing on to India's desert capital of Jaipur, affectionately referred to as the Pink City because of the pink walls and buildings of the old city. You will be staying for two nights in Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh, a truly gorgeous small property offering sensitive design and warm family style service. The rooftop terrace offers spectacular views across to Nahalgarh Fort (the tiger fort) and is a perfect place for afternoon tea or a sundowner.

Start early today to join a walking tour of Jaipur where you can observe local artisans in their workshops and see how people still live a very traditional life in the narrow streets of the Pink City. At the same time, you'll have an opportunity to sample some of the regions culinary delights from some of the city's most popular street food vendors. Afterwards, visit Jaipur’s famous City Palace and the Observatory and in the afternoon, head for the fabulous Amber Fort, situated 11 km north of from Jaipur, and walk the steep paths leading to a magnificent complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples.

Hotel: Hotel 47 Jobner Bagh

Day 6 - 7: Shahpura

After breakfast, a drive to Shahpura, a small town in central Rajasthan. It houses Shahpura Bagh, a 120 year old estate set in 45 acres of gardens and pasture and surrounded by lakes. This was the summer residence of the rulers of Shahpura and is now a fine heritage hotel with just ten beautifully furnished rooms and suites. Meals, made from fresh farm ingredients, are served in the family's residence - either on the sunlit verandah, in the front garden or in the formal dining room.

Shahpura Bagh is run by exceptionally amiable hosts, Shatrujeet Singh and his wife Maya. They organize interesting excursions to a nearby fort and to their eco-farm, located next to a water reservoir created by their ancestors. There is a walking trail around the property, and bicycles are available for the use of guests, though many find it difficult to leave the delightful swimming pool, making it ideal for those seeking some activity, as well as for those looking for pure relaxation.

Hotel: Shahpura Bagh

Day 8 - 9: Udaipur

Today you continue to Udaipur. Set around the vast Pichola Lake and dominated by dramatic palaces, Udaipur is surely Rajasthan's most picturesque city. High whitewashed houses and narrow, winding alleys lend it an almost medieval charm. You will stay for two nights in Fateh Garh, located on a hill just outside Udaipur, with 360 degree views. The breathtaking panoramic views from the terrace stretch over Lake Pichola with the Lake Palace Hotel, the City Palace complex, and the magnificent hills which surround Udaipur.

This morning you will visit the City Palace, carved out of yellow sandstone on the banks of the Lake Pichola. The main part of the City Palace is now preserved as a museum and houses a large and varied collection of mosaics, glass and porcelain figures, miniatures and paintings. Nearby is the Jagdish temple, a centre of constant activity. Afterwards you can enjoy a boat ride on Lake Pichola. The rest of the day can be spent wandering the maze of narrow streets that make up the city’s ever fascinating bazaars.

Hotel: Fateh Garh

Day 10: Udaipur – Departure via Mumbai/Delhi or an extension to Goa

Today your tour ends after breakfast. We will arrange a transfer for you to Udaipur airport to connect with your onward flight. From Udaipur you can either fly to Delhi or to Mumbai, or fly via Mumbai to Goa to combine your journey through Rajasthan with a few days in the former Portuguese colony of Goa.

The Hotels

Shanti Home

Shahpura Bagh

Grand Imperial

Fateh Garh

47 Jobner Bagh

Ahilya by the Sea

Starting price 1,800 USD net per person based on 2 persons sharing the same room.

Valid for travel before 30 September 2017.

 

The total price includes:

  • Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis in the hotels detailed in the itinerary.
  • Train Tickets by Gaatiman Express (AC - Chair Car) from Delhi to Agra (08:10/09:50).
  • Private AC chauffeur-driven car/coach from Day 3 (Agra) to Day 8 (Udaipur).
  • All transport for transfers and sightseeing by private AC chauffeur-driven car/coach.
  • Local English-speaking guide for the half day tour of Old Delhi by metro & rickshaw on Day 2.
  • Local English-speaking guide for the half day tour of Agra on Day 3.
  • Local English-speaking guide for the walking tour of Jaipur on Day 5.
  • Local English-speaking guide for the excursion to Amber Fort on Day 5.
  • Local English-speaking guide for the half day city tour of Udaipur on Day 9.
  • Boat ride on Pichola lake (by shared boat) on Day 9.

 

The total price does not include:

  • VISA - A valid visa for India is required – please enquire and apply with the Indian Embassy in your country of residence well in advance or your travel dates (Please make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date and that you have a valid visa for entry to India).
  • Early/late check in/out service at hotels. Check-in and check-out time in Indian hotels is generally fixed at 12 noon. Early or late service is subject to availability.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Services, Meals and Drinks other than those detailed in the itinerary.
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature.
  • Entrance fees (unless specifically detailed in the inclusions) and extra charges for camera and video.
  • Travel Insurance (a requirement).

 

 

EXTENSION TO GOA

In order to relax by the sea after crossing Rajasthan:

Day 10 - 11: Goa

Fly via Mumbai to the former Portuguese colony of Goa. The former Portuguese colony of Goa is famous for its easy-going ambience, good food, and lovely climate. It boasts a coastline with beautiful beaches, palm fringed rivers, lush scenery with paddy fields, mango groves and white washed villas. Enjoy a three night stay in Summertime, a laid-back luxury villa in Goa with tropical gardens, koi pond, and infinity pool - total privacy in a secluded location, yet close to the famous beaches of north Goa.

These days, Goa's easy-going ambience, good food, and lovely climate have made it one of the most popular beach destinations in India to unwind. You will have a full day at leisure to relax at Summertime’s infinity pool or take Ayurveda treatments at the treehouse spa. Alternatively, you can take a car to one of Goa’s best beaches, visit the nearby Reis Magos fort, or charter our 42ft luxury motor yacht, the Solita, to cruise out to sea to watch dolphins play or sail up river to explore Goa’s backwaters and birdlife.

Day 12 - 13: Goa – Airport

A guided morning tour will introduce you to Fontainhas, the old Latin quarter of Panjim, which has preserved its Portuguese heritage remarkably well with overhanging balconies and red-tiled roofs, white-washed churches and numerous small cafes and bars. Not far away are the Churches of Old Goa, the standing monuments to the legacy left behind by the Portuguese. You will have the option to round off your morning tour with lunch in Panaji’s Mum’s Kitchen, whose menu comprises traditional recipes sourced from Hindu, Christian and Portuguese families from all over Goa.

Your tour ends after breakfast. We will organize a transfer for you to the Goa airport to connect with your onward travel.

Hotel: Summertime is a 3-bedroom villa which is perfect for 4 to 6 people.
If you are 2 or 3 people travelling together then we’ll accommodate you for three nights in a small boutique property called Ahilya by the Sea, overlooking the wide-open Mandovi bay, where fishermen work and dolphins play.

Starting price for the 3 night-extension: 775 USD net per person based on 2 persons sharing the same room or 675 USD per person (for a minimum of 4 persons sharing Summertime Villa).

 

The total price includes:

  • Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis in the hotels detailed in the itinerary.
  • All transport for transfers and sightseeing by private AC chauffeur-driven car/coach.
  • Local English-speaking guide for the half day tour of Panjim & the Churches of Old Goa on Day 3.

 

The total price does not include:

  • Early/late check in/out service at hotels. Check-in and check-out time in Indian hotels is generally fixed at 12 noon.
  • Early or late service is subject to availability.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Services, Meals and Drinks other than those detailed in the itinerary.
  • Laundry, telephone calls and expenditure of a personal nature.
  • Entrance fees (unless specifically detailed in the inclusions) and extra charges for camera and video.
  • Travel Insurance.


 

This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Sucheta and Hans and Odyssey Tours (License CIN U92410MH1992PTCO66430)