Highlights of Northern India

10 days
from
£1,599
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Traveller ratings
4.6 / 5 from 182 reviews >
Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AIC
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Unique wildlife, fascinating culture and spectacular Moghul architecture

Northern India conjures up memorable and colourful images of turbans, saris, flavoursome curries and rickshaws. We visit the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, home to the wonderful former Maharaja's Palace and the splendid hilltop Amber Fort. Agra and the serene Taj Mahal are not to be missed and fully live up to expectations. An early morning boat ride through the mist along the ghats of Varanasi is probably the most sensory intoxicating excursion in India and is both fascinating and deeply moving – an experience only equalled by spotting a tiger in Ranthambore National Park.

Highlights

  • See the unforgettable Taj Mahal
  • Search for the elusive tiger
  • Meander along the Ganges at Varanasi
  • Sample flavoursome and familiar curries

Key information

  • 7 nights hotels, all en suite, 1 night air-conditioned sleeper train and 1 domestic flight
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by air-conditioned private bus, train, and domestic flight 

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 lunch included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    Flights usually depart London in the evening.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Delhi; transfer to Jaipur.

    Those who are on the group flights will land in Delhi in the morning. Those not on the group flights will need to be at the start hotel by 9am (or at the airport when the group land). A local representative will meet Land Only clients at the start hotel and provide a transfer to the airport where we meet clients arriving on the group flight. Once everyone has arrived we will then depart on the drive to Jaipur, which may take between 5-7 hours depending upon traffic conditions.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 3

    Visit City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and the Amber Fort; free time for exploring.

    Built in the late 18th century, Jaipur is a planned city of broad avenues built of sandstone and painted pink at a later stage. We visit the City Palace in the centre of Jaipur, formerly the residence of the Maharaja, now a fine museum containing rare manuscripts, paintings, royal garments and weapons. Close to the palace is one of the most intriguing sights of India, the observatory of Jai Singh. This is an assembly of immense astronomical instruments made of marble and brass set in a pleasant garden. We will also see Jaipur's impressive landmark, the Hawa Mahal, or Palace of the Winds. We then visit the impressive and splendid Amber Fort, a few miles from the main city, rising above a lake. Jaipur is a centre of many handicrafts, such as durries (woven rugs), carpets, printed cloth, semi-precious stones, leatherwear etc. It will be difficult to leave a workshop without buying anything!
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    To Ranthambore; afternoon game drive in search of elusive tiger.

    We wind our way through the villages of rural India to Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (approx. 5 hr drive); we stay in a hotel not far from the park entrance and make 2 game drives into the park, one in the late afternoon and one the following morning. Ranthambore is one of India's tiger reserves under Project Tiger. After initial success, poaching has drastically reduced the tiger population and the chance of spotting a tiger is small, but many Exodus groups have seen tigers over the last few years. There is other wildlife to spot such as several species of deer, crocodiles and bird life including purple heron, kingfishers, cormorants, parakeets, jacanda, waders and partridges.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Morning game drive; drive to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri.

    In the morning we take our second game drive, trying to find that elusive tiger, before we start our journey to Agra via Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri is the Emperor Akbar's deserted royal city. This impressive and well-preserved citadel became his capital in 1571, after the blessing of a local Moslem holy man correctly predicted the birth of a longed-for son, his successor the Emperor Jehangir. The mosque, designed to hold ten thousand worshippers, the palaces, residences and halls of audience are all made of decorative red sandstone. But this magnificence only lasted 14 years, as in 1584 Akbar left Fatehpur Sikri to secure his outlying territories, leaving this city much as we see it today – in perfect condition. This is another very full but rewarding day. Total driving time approx. 7 hrs.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Visit the incredible Taj Mahal and Agra Fort; overnight train to Varanasi.

    Today we will rise early to visit the beautiful white marble Taj Mahal at sunrise which was built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The Taj is serenely beautiful and never fails to amaze a first time visitor; the white marble exterior changes colour according to the position of the sun during the day and is matched by the rich interior detail. Within striking distance is the imposing Red Fort of Akbar, third of the Moghul Emperors, whose mighty sandstone walls enclose the beautiful white marble Pearl Mosque and the palaces, halls, courtyards and fountains of his sons and successors, Jehangir and Shah Jahan. It is here that the latter spent his last years, imprisoned by his own son Aurangzeb. Later in the day we will transfer to Agra train station and join the overnight sleeper train to Varanasi.

    Sleeper Train

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Relax and enjoy the wonders of Varanasi.

    We arrive in Varanasi during the morning and transfer to our hotel. Varanasi, located on the river Ganges, is one of the holiest cities in India and stands at the centre of the Hindu Universe. As such, the city lives and breathes Hinduism: there are thousands of pilgrims, wandering holy men (Sadhus), religious elders and casual visitors. It is a city to get immersed in by exploring its maze of narrow lanes and the many temples and watching the Hindu ceremonies that take place around the clock. There is time to explore the emporiums specialising in silks and brocades or maybe take a massage by the banks of the Ganges. Your leader can organise various optional sightseeing trips during your 2 days here.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Dawn boat ride on the Ganges visiting the bathing ghats; afternoon flight to Delhi.

    Just before dawn, we take a boat out on the Ganges to witness the extraordinary spectacle on the ghats, the steps leading down to the river. Every day thousands of Hindu pilgrims come to these three miles of riverbank to soak in the holy waters.  This afternoon we fly back to Delhi.  

    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Delhi free day or optional sightseeing

    Today you are free to relax or explore the sites of New and Old Delhi (an optional sightseeing trip will be organised if you wish). Recommended sites are the Red Fort, Humayun's Tomb, India Gate, Jama Masjid (India's largest mosque), Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) and Raj Ghat. For last minute shopping, we recommend the market area of Chandni Chowk or Karol Bagh. 
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Fly to London.

    Those on the flight inclusive package will depart for the airport this morning for the daytime flight back to London; Land Only arrangements will finish after check-out from the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

India

Visas are required if you are British and for most other nationalities. For UK residents full details of the visa process can be found here. Other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies.

If your trip visits Ladakh, in the very north of India, or Sikkim in the northeast, do not mention this on your Indian visa application. This can sometimes slow down or even cause the embassy to reject your visa.

When you reach immigration, you are required to pick up an immigration form. If you have an e-visa, ensure you stand in the correct queue - please follow the signs to the e-visa booth (in Delhi this is at the back of the immigration hall). You will need to fill out an additional form at the booth - please make sure that you have the details of your start hotel ready (these details can be found on your Final Joining Instructions).

 

Vaccinations

India

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. The risk of malaria is slight but you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. Some of our India trips spend time at altitude. In regions over approx. 2000m, there is low to no risk of mosquito-borne diseases. For trips going to altitudes of over 3000m there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please see the TRIP NOTES for further information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 lunch are included in this trip.

India is famous for its food and there is ample chance to try various curries such as the familiar tandoori, biriyani and rogan josh. If you are a vegetarian, India is a great destination. There are wonderful desserts and excellent beers, soft drinks and Indian specialities such as lassi, a refreshing yoghurt drink.

You should allow at least £15-25 (approx. US$20 - US$35) per day for lunch and dinner. You can eat out very cheaply in India, but if you go to the more expensive restaurants most of the time, you will spend more than the suggested amount. In most of the towns there is a good choice of restaurants and a choice between Indian and Western food. Please note that service in restaurants can be quite slow. Tea and soft drinks are very cheap. A (large!) bottle of beer is approximately £3 (approx. US$4).

Mineral water is widely available, but drinking water is provided in a large container in the bus in order to reduce our use of plastic, so please bring your own water bottle with you to refill. 

Weather

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)

This holiday is designed so that you can see the best parts of Northern India in a short period of time. Therefore this is generally a fast-paced itinerary and please bear in mind that once everyone has arrived in Delhi we will then depart on the drive to Jaipur, which may take between 5-7 hours depending upon traffic conditions. We recommend an extra night in Delhi at the start of the trip if you'd prefer not to do this journey after your flight.

You should be prepared for some long days and some early starts. The times stated in the trip notes are actual driving times and do not include photo, tea, comfort or lunch breaks. Journeys can sometimes take longer due to local traffic or road damage after the monsoon. During December and January departures, fog is common and this can sometimes slow us down. These departures may also experience severe train delays or cancellations. If a severe delay occurs, the group will travel overnight on a private comfortable bus instead. In the rare event of not being able to travel by bus at night because of severe fog, and flying is also not an option, we have an alternative itinerary in place where we visit Bharatpur, Deeg Palace and Mathura instead of Varanasi. However, this scenario is rare.

There is a lot to see in the time you are in India, but everything is scheduled so that it doesn't feel too rushed. You should come armed for an experience: India can be hard work and the heat and the bustle of some of the cities can be a little overwhelming. That said, there are places where you can find peace and this is one of the few places in the world from where you will return armed with great stories and memories to last a lifetime.

Please note that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is responsible for the conservation of many monuments in India, including the Taj Mahal, and very occasionally this may mean that work is taking place at sites visited on this trip. The ASI’s schedule is never published so it is not possible to forewarn our clients of when work will be taking place.

Holi and Diwali Festivals

Some departures will be in India during the festivals of Holi and Diwali. They are great festivals to witness and some very minor itinerary alterations may be made locally in order to make the most of these occasions. Holi celebrations typically involve people throwing coloured water at each other and smearing powder on each other's faces. This is accompanied by dancing, music and traditional Holi sweets such as Ghujiya and Bhanng. It's a riot of colours as the powder bursts into the sky. During Diwali, the festival of lights, people typically light up their houses, shops and streets, and celebrate on the streets with fireworks.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Overnight Trains

7 nights hotels, 1 night air-conditioned sleeper train.

The hotels used are standard city tourist hotels (2 or 3-star, local rating). All rooms have en suite facilities. Service and amenities are generally adequate.

Single accommodation (from GBP125) excludes sleeper trains.

Overnight trains

These are booked in 2-tier (or 3-tier if 2-tier is not available) sleeper A/C. There are many excellent trains in India but the standard of seating and sleeping is not in line with European standards. All seats are pre-allocated at the time the tickets are issued, meaning that we cannot guarantee the whole group are together on the train; your leader will manage this as best as possible and will always check on you during the journey. Indian trains are safe to travel on but we recommend that you keep valuables with you at all times. Snacks are often offered on board (at an additional cost). Whilst some trains have western-style facilities, the majority of services are equipped with squat toilets. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Here at Exodus we are incredibly passionate about wildlife and the conservation efforts to save it.

Embracing a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge, but if you’re going to keep it up there’s got to be more to it than

  • Reviewed February 2019
    Evelyn Alpert

    Amazing!

    This is a fabulous trip for those wanting to begin knowing and understanding India. We were a very small group of only 7 and our guide Krishna was exceptional. I could have done without the overnight train, but I suppose it is part of the experience, and you will survive it (bring earplugs!). I combined this trip with the tiger safari, which was a perfect way to experience different kinds of India. I hope to get back to India soon again, and won’t hesitate to go with Exodus!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi without a doubt!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Krishna is the best leader ever! He’s knowledgeable, helpful, funny, energetic, and he treated us like grownups. He would offer us opportunities to do things “out of the box” which inevitably turned out to be fun with more local flavor. He’s a treasure and you should try to travel with him!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check the weather! It was much cooler than I expected, based on everyone telling me how hot India is.
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Annie (Ann) Railton

    Never again!

    Having done the colours of Rajasthan in 2014 I was not expecting a lot from this trip as I had seen most of the major sites before, however a last minute illness stopped my friend from going so I did travel anyway. I have to say I was more than disappointed with the standards of the hotels, I can’t say given a choice again I would stay at anyone of them. There was also a great lack of down time, as a matter of fact there wasn’t any, it seemed like a very rushed trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting home!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Gaj was helpful, friendly, not terribly informative, a lot of the specific sites we had other more local guides which was fine who always had a little extra to take us to, like a shop/factory.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I have travelled a number of times with Exodus and have recommended them to friends but I think you have this trip wrong, very wrong. A long flight from the UK followed by a flight to Varanasi the next day followed by an uncomfortable and frankly unpleasant overnight train ride to Agra was just too much. Too much in too short a time. I think I need to start looking at other providers.
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Be Clough

    Excellent

    A great taylor made trip, maximum of two nights in anyone place, most (2 exceptions) of the guides were absolutely excellent, one driver for all but the first 4 days. Good hotels.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight for me was the Pushkar camel festival and on hindsight I would have had another day here.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had different guides in each location with lots of local knowledge

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Not a lot to do on an evening once you’ve eaten, take lots of reading
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Joe Crook

    Excellent introduction to India

    Delhi to Jaipur for Pink Fort Jaipur to Ranthambore to see a tiger - and YES, we did see a tiger, plus crocodiles and other stunning scenery and wildlife. Ranthambore to Agra - Taj Mahal - I thought I would be indifferent to this but was blown away - the visit takes you there at sunrise - before the worst of the crowds - stunning. Agra to Varanasi by overnight train - the train was a bit of a shock to the system but delivered us safely. Evening boat trip on the Ganges to see the funeral pyres and the religious ceremonies - thought-provoking and moving. Morning boat trip on a much quieter Ganges - Awe Inspiring - take the time to stop and think about where you are - and what this place means to so many millions of people - sunrise over the Ganges, from ON the Ganges - very profound moment. Another overnight train back to Delhi - we knew what to expect this time so less of a shock. Sadly train was delayed so the planned 12 hour trip took 20 - but the scenery is interesting.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Floating on the Ganges watching the sun rise over the Ganges - I am not a person of faith, but I was struck and genuinely moved by how lucky I was to witness an event that would be life-affirming to countless millions of others.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jatin - the fixer. Never flustered. Never impatient. ALWAYS with a solution - a real professional. Plus, warm and generous, well informed and very informative. Your first visit to India can be a daunting experience. Jatin was a reassuring and comforting presence, and, simply, a very nice man.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Arrive a day early. Many in our tour alighted from a 7 or 8 hour flight from the UK and got straight onto a 5 to 7 hour bus trip..... I'm very glad we had day and a night in Delhi before setting off on that one. Also, ensure you take plenty of anti-septic hand gel with you. I really don't know if they saved us from 'Delhi-belly' but if nothing else, it gives you great peace of mind.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I'm rather disappointed that when Exodus organised a transfer from the airport to the hotel, they charged me £41. When the hotel arranged a taxi back to the airport at the end of the holiday it cost 900 or 100 rupees - £9 or £10. I'm prepared to pay a little over the odds for the reassurance of being met and helped to find a car, but £41 does still feel at least twice what I think would be fair.
  • Reviewed December 2018

    Ronish Baxter at Agra Tour

    I, Ronish Baxter was on Agra Tour in month of September, 2018. I like the place agra on the basis of heritage. There are a lot of old and ancient places to visit such as Taj Mahal, Buland Darwaza any more. I think if a person is religious then also anyone can go for agra tour because neat by Agra there is Vrindavan and Mathura where we can do our religious deed. As, we know Agra is famous for Taj Mahal which is in the list of seven wonders of the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Visit to Taj Mahal and I felt like heaven. It is true that it is Wonder of the world. White Marble, Awesome. No words to express my feeling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was good and co-operative.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, anyone can go for. It is economical and safe.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thanks for this pleasant trip ~Ronish Baxter
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Michael Saynor

    India

    Good trip but lack of sleep can catch up with you .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    religious festival on the bout trip the river Ganges .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The very best Jatin helped to make our holiday .
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Jean Pollard

    Magical and crazy in equal measure!

    This trip is not for the faint hearted and although it is classed as 'leisurely' there is a bit of walking in high temperature and lots of steps, especially at the train stations. Most mornings were 05.30 start with many hours transferring between places either by air con. mini bus or sleeper train. The hotels ranged from ok to wonderful. The sights were beautiful and historically interesting. Our guide was excellent and very proud of his country and his religion. All the cities are traffic heavy specially with local tuk tuks, the noise is deafening from all the horns hooting, it is very dusty and sometimes smelly. Tuk tuk rides are exhilirating and frightening but glad we did it! If you don't like curry (I tried really hard) food that is available in the places the guide takes you to is limited but ok e.g. a few pasta and noodle dishes. The only meat you will find is chicken, often still on the bone but hidden in the rice and also mutton. At times this was a hard trip but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The part I had wanted to do the most was visit Varanasi. We went at sunrise and sunset and the experience was magical and different both times. The funeral pyres on the ghats was very moving as was the boat trip and the evening ceremony that takes place at the edge of the Ganges every evening. The sights and sounds will stay with me for ever. The Taj Mahal is incredible and strangely familiar, again we went at sunrise. On the last day in Delhi we took ourselves to the Sikh temple at the suggestion of our guide and it was so welcoming and amazingly beautiful. Our family group of 5 were given a tour by a sikh lady volunteer who took photos and selfies as well as told us some of the history. Lovely memories. Seeing a tiger on safari. Everything in between.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ronit our leader was exceptional. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. He happily answered all of our questions and explained what we saw and the history behind them very well. He looked after us when out and about and gave us hints and tips of what to do and not to do when being approached by people wanting to sell you something. There are a lot of street vendors at the different sites. I had 'Delhi belly' and he was very concerned and helpful. Ronit was happy to tell us a liitle about himself and his life.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The overnight train is tough. The bunks are hard but you are given clean sheets, pillow and blanket. The second time we put the folded blanket underneath us to give a bit more thickness. We also took a small inflatable pillow and used this as well. It can get cold in the air con. especially on the side top bunk. It was better to be with other people from our party but this wasn't possible on the first trip. At one side of the carriage there are 2 squat toilets and on the other 1 squat and 1 more conventional. Take toilet paper and wipes and lots of hand sanitiser. We took a bike chain as suggested but didn't feel the need to use it. The trip from Varanasi to Delhi is 12 hours and there is often delays. Our train broke down in the middle of the night and our journey took 16 hours! Change your money at the airport as although some hotels offer the service the tight time schedule didn't allow for much free time. Take diarrhoea tablets and sunscreen. The dress code for women is more relaxed than described on the website unless visiting temples or mosques etc.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to see some upsetting things. Very poor people living on the streets. Beggars knocking on the bus window. Disabled people struggling. Lots and lots of cows absolutely everywhere. Lots of dogs in a poor condition. It can be very dusty you might like to take a mask. The country is full of surprises and there is never a dull moment. Your senses will be overloaded. Go with an open mind. Dont be frightened to haggle but be kind as the majority are trying to make a few rupees to make life more bearable. Smile and say 'Namaste' and enjoy every minute.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Nicole Walker

    Words aren't sufficient

    ...to describe or explain the wonderful experience and memories this tour provides. The itinerary is arranged to provide Visits around the culture, religion, history and wildlife of the country but the experience includes so much more- noise, smell, bright colour, chaos, food- be open to everything and you will not be disappointed . The tour is necessarily "full on" but the sights and experiences outweigh the pace.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whilst the Taj Mahal was an obvious highlight the additional activities arranged by our Leader Nabin Gurung were the highlights specifically visiting the children in a rural primary school as well as the sunset boat trip on the Ganges to experience prayers at night- a vision which will be a life long memory.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Nabin was so knowledgable teaching us many things, answering all our questions at our beck and call no matter what time of day or night, no request too big or small. He arranged additional activities instead of down time to ensure we maximised our visit . It was clear he really cared about our experience and his professional and super organised approach to everything made the tour perfect. He was personable and got to know each of the group and our sense of humour and needs personally. He made sure all of our experiences were equal especially whilst viewing the tiger at rathembore. Nabin was an excellent leader providing the highest level of customer service.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for an almost non stop tour but don't be put off by that - book this tour now!
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Pam Bell

    Highlights Indeed!

    As a first timer to India, this trip provided a memorable experience of colour, noise, marvellous historic architecture and lovely friendly people. Plus a totally amazing sighting of a tiger.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a tiger in its natural habitat was beyond any experience had so far. A close second was the magnificent Taj Mahal.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mayank was outstanding. Calm, professional, friendly and always aware of all our needs.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some very long road journeys. Arrange at least an extra day for your own sight seeing in Delhi, at the end of the trip. The train back from Varanasi can arrive very late, curtailing the chances of seeing much before the flight home.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Elisa Tarr

    Fast paced amazing tour of northern India

    A great way to see lots of places in the 'golden triangle' in a safe well organised way.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Buying a 'flying' carpet from co-operative in Jaipur Experiencing Holi festival Watching the sunset over the Ganges

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very smiley, friendly, knowledgable and helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    At the train stations spending 100rupies to have porter carry larger bag is very helpful Don't be afraid to ask any questions of the guides & group leader

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Expect delays when travelling by train

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

 

Private Adventures 

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