Bazaars & Backwaters in India

13 days
from
£1,649
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Suitable for:
Age 30s and 40s
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
EIA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Culture
Group size:
6–16

Brace yourself. This two-week extravaganza explores one of the world’s most magnificent lands. A whirlwind tour of the Golden Triangle in the north sees you checking out the highlights in style, with sunrise yoga at the Taj Mahal and a night in a palatial fort. Then head south to Kerala for adventures through the spice-scented countryside and glorious backwaters. You’ll see remarkable wildlife, mingle with the locals and taste extraordinary flavours. To experience the spirituality, history, traditions, cuisine and culture of India, you have to dive right in.

Highlights

  • See some of India’s most famous spectacles , including the Taj Mahal
  • Go bamboo rafting in the lush Periyar National Park
  • Work alongside locals in a village outside Jaipur

Key information

  • Eleven nights 3-5 star hotels, one-night houseboat
  • Airport transfers
  • Countries visited: India

What's included

  • All breakfasts, three lunches, four dinners
  • All transport and listed activities (including one internal flight)
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Yoga in front of the Taj Mahal

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Tips for leaders and staff
  • Flights
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3837
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.

Sustainable Travel

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Learn more about what sustainable travel means to Exodus Edits here…

Itinerary

Delhi
to
Cochin
  • Day 1

    Arrive in vibrant Delhi

    On arrival in Delhi, you’ll transfer to a hotel in the popular Karol Bagh area, known for its eclectic and colourful market. Depending on your arrival time, you may have a little while to start to explore this cacophonous place.

    Hotel: Jivitesh 

  • Day 2

    Get under the skin of Old Delhi

    This morning is dedicated to exploring the sights and sounds of Delhi in ways that support local communities and charities. First there’s an off-the-grid walking tour, exploring Old Delhi with true experts – ex-street children. They’ll show you a side of Old Delhi not seen on standard tours. Curious and enthusiastic, they’re just as likely to ask questions as to answer them as you make your way around the hectic streets and bustling alleyways.

    Next, you’ll visit the kitchens of a Sikh Temple to meet the people who serve food to thousands of Delhi’s most impoverished citizens every day.  You’ll eat alongside the diners before leaving Delhi and taking the expressway to Agra, home of the alluring Taj Mahal. 

    Hotel: Howard Plaza Fern

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 3

    Sunrise yoga at the Taj Mahal

    A yoga class at dawn, with the Taj Mahal bathed in the morning light as your backdrop, will surely be a seminal moment of your trip. Breakfast is back at the hotel before you return to the Taj Mahal for a tour of this beautiful and majestic building.

    Later, you’ll put your dancing shoes on for a lesson in the most energetic moves on the planet -- Bollywood style.  

    Hotel: Howard Plaza Fern

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    On to Jaipur for a bazaar and street food tour

    Today you’ll travel to the enthralling city of Jaipur, stopping at Abhaneri Stepwell en route.  Not your ordinary water well, this architectural gem is a real marvel and is one of the oldest and deepest stepwells in Rajasthan.

    You’ll arrive in Jaipur with plenty of time to explore the colourful bazaars with your tour leader on a foodie walking tour, feasting on delicious pre-dinner street food snacks. 

    Hotel: KK Royal

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    A day with locals

    This morning you’ll visit Amber Fort, a magnificent complex crafted from yellow and pink sandstone. Then it’s on to a Dhula village to meet local families and artisans such as potters and bangle makers. You’ll have the opportunity to get hands-on, helping farmers milk cows or plough fields and genuinely experience rural life.  

    In the evening, there’s time to explore exotic Jaipur and the chaotic streets that thrum with camels, buses and motorbikes.

    Hotel: KK Royal

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Feel like royalty at a Fort Palace stay

    Today you’ll head to the glorious 15th-century Neemrana Fort-Palace, now a spectacular hotel. It’s a sprawling resort that extends over nine palace wings. But before you wander the Fort-Palace’s hanging gardens or , swim in the pools that look out over the hillsides, you’ll take a dromedary (an Arabian camel) for an unforgettable ride around the local area.

    Then, as the sun sets, enjoy the magical atmosphere as hundreds of fairy lights sparkle across the resort.

    Hotel:  Neemrana Fort Palace Hotel 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Fly south to Kerala

    Leaving your palatial surroundings behind, head to Delhi airport for a flight south to Cochin (or Kochi as it’s otherwise known) in Kerala. There’s a wild mix of history and culture here, curated from the influences of over 600 years of traders and travellers. The Cochin of today is a centre of Keralan arts and wandering the quaint lanes lined with cafes, galleries and handicraft shops give you a sense of this traditional and contemporary art scene. Dinner this evening is on a pier at a waterfront restaurant, serving seafood specialities.  

    Hotel: No 18 Fort Cochin

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Cycle around historic Fort Cochin

    Arguably the best way to see Fort Cochin is by bike. So today you’ll take a leisurely cycle ride, stopping to try your hand at working the Chinese Fishing Nets, the imposing cantilevered contraptions that are a legacy of ancient traders.  After, the time is your own to continue exploring Cochin. This evening there’s a private sundowner cruise to enjoy another blazing Indian sunset with drinks and snacks.

    Hotel: No 18 Fort Cochin

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Explore a spice plantation

    Today head inland to the misty, spice-scented valleys of Periyar National Park. There’s time to settle into the hotel after the journey before joining a local specialist on a spice garden walking tour to learn how spices grow, smell and taste. This evening there’s a mesmerising martial arts performance and dinner. 

    Hotel: Cardamon County 

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 10

    Hike and raft through Periyar National Park

    After breakfast, you’ll explore Periyar National Park. As you walk through the forest, your ranger will point out animal tracks, perhaps from bison, sambar, wild boar or elephants. Although elusive, there are tigers here too. Next, take to the lake on a bamboo raft for a serene and reflective look at the majesty of the park.  There’s a picnic for lunch, and then the afternoon is free to indulge in the hotel’s spa and wellness facilities.

    Hotel: Cardamom County

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Stay on a houseboat in Alleppey

    Transfer to the glorious water-world of Alleppey. It’s the centre of Kerala’s backwaters and a maze of waterways. The houseboats here are a famous feature and you’ll stay onboard one of these basic but beautiful vessels tonight. Boarding in time for lunch you will see local village life unfold as we pass through green paddy fields and verdant countryside. Tonight, your houseboat crew will prepare a traditional Keralan dinner.

    Kerala Houseboat

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Kick back on Cherai Beach

    Leaving your houseboat in Alleppey behind, you’re bound for Cherai Beach on Vypeen Island. The pace here is decidedly unhurried (a world away from your city experiences) and the day is yours to relax on the beach, lapped by the Arabian Sea. If you’re looking for more adventure, there are plenty of watersports to try. Or simply kick back and enjoy the sound of the waves as a fitting farewell to your Indian immersion.

    Hotel:  Sea Lagoon

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    A final breakfast

    Your Indian adventure comes to an end after breakfast when you can join the free transfer to Cochin airport. 

    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, three lunches and four dinners are included
  •  If you are a vegetarian, India is an easy destination to travel through

Where meals are not included, our tour leaders always encourage people to try local restaurants and will arrange a group dinner for those who would like to meet up with their fellow travellers. 

Is this trip for you?

  • This trip is suitable for anyone with a normal level of fitness
  • For bamboo rafting it is important to be able to swim and feel comfortable on the water. Life-jackets are provided

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:
0208 772 3837
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 and Houseboat

Jivitesh, Delhi

Comfortable and well-equipped rooms within easy reach of local shops and entertainment.

Howard Plaza - The Fern, Agra

This hotel is close to the iconic Taj Mahal. Along with comfortable rooms and excellent facilities, it’s got top eco-credentials.

KK Royal, Jaipur

Close to Amer’s palaces, the KK Royal has spacious and elegant rooms with views of the forts and hills.

Neemrana Fort, Neemrana

An exceptional and experiential place to stay, this medieval Fort-Palace is now a spectacular hotel with grandly furnished rooms.

No 18 Fort Kochi, Cochin

Smartly finished guestrooms fill this colonial building in the heart of Fort Kochi.

Cardamom County, Thekkady

A glorious nature resort nestled in the verdant Keralan landscape. Its various facilities include a butterfly garden, Ayurveda and spa.

Houseboats, Alleppey

Stay on-board a simple and authentic crewed houseboat to journey through the waterways of Alleppey. 

Sea Lagoon Health Resort, Cherai Beach

Occupying a sublime spot between the Arabian Sea and the serene backwaters, this is the ultimate resort for unwinding.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3837
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.

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Dates & Prices

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Call us on 0208 772 3837