Highlights of Northern India

9 days
from
1 349 €
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Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
AIC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
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 
  • Countries visited: India

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:
+356 21423994
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 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

Delhi
to
Delhi
  • Day 1

    Start 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 9.30am (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 2

    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 3

    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 4

    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 5

    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 6

    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 7

    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 8

    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 9

    End Delhi.

    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:
+356 21423994
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 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 Train

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.

Hotels in India usually do not have heating as there are really only a couple of months in the year when the weather can get rather cold.  You can however request more blankets or the hotel may be able to provide a standing heater for your room.  Please talk to your tour leader if you need help in this matter.  

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:
+356 21423994
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 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.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+356 21423994
Call for private group trips:
+44 (0)20 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

Travel literature, whether it’s the fascinating memoirs of a life-changing trip into the mysterious Himalayan mountai

  • Reviewed March 2020

    A fantastic introduction to Northern India.

    This was a wonderful trip. It needs some stamina as there are a lot of early starts and long journeys. Keep an open mind and take it as it comes, there are many rewards. The group got on really well and we had some great laughs. The tour guide was brilliant and was central to the success of the trip. It's made me want to see more of India.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    So many of these. Some of the hotels were so pretty with gorgeous gardens. I really value this on a busy trip so you have a bit of down time in the sunshine. We saw 2 young tigers in Ranthambore and this was a highlight. They were beautiful .Felt a bit alarmed the number of trucks all scrambling to view them, but they seemed ok and not traumatised. The Taj Mahal is very beautiful and Varanasi is beyond belief, especially the evening prayers which are akin to a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was amazing. Such a lovely friendly man, had us all eating out of his hand I'd say. He has done the trip so many times and knows every inch of it. He joined in with us and shared the fun. He was organised and gave very clear instructions for the itinerary each day. Was sad to say goodbye.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need to love curry, journeying and you need, as on many adventure holidays, patience and an ability to take things as they come. The e-visa service seemed to cause problems at the airport, but it was a difficult time with Covid19. I had a year visa which meant I got through immigration very quickly. Those with e-visas took forever. Take your Powerbank out of your main luggage. Take some warm clothes for the early starts, it takes a while to warm up. No-one was ill, the facilities were nowhere near as bad as you might think they would be, even on the overnight trains and stations. Didn't open my medicine pack. Due to the time of year, I came back with pink and orange hair from Holi, but I'm getting used to it. All but 2 hotels were really good, but you take the rough with the smooth on these trips.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Go. You'll love it. it was one of my best tours and I can't wait for the world to get going again.
  • Reviewed March 2020

    Wonderful first experience of Northern India - highly recommended!

    This was an amazing "starter" trip for anyone wanting to begin to experience India. Packed with highlights, everything ran like clockwork (yes, even the train!) and there were no disappointments - friendly people, incredible sights, amazing experiences and incredible food. Highly recommended!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were several highlights but, for me, Varanasi was just amazing and a place I will never forget. It is hard to put into words, but it is amazingly moving, vibrant and life-affirming - truly a unique place that should be visited by everyone. Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Agra and our amazing tiger sighting all ran Varanasi a very close second, though.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour leader really brought India to life. He could handle any questions we threw at him but, best of all in my opinion, was his interpretation of India’s many religions. Rather than a dry talk about each religious site – Hindu, Sikh, Muslim – he vividly described what each religion meant to him, bringing out the colour and vibrancy of each which more than matched the amazing temples and activities we saw. Even as an old student of RE, I learnt more from our tour leader on this trip then I did in3 yrs of studies and without ever feeling I was being lectured to. Really great, and a real enthusiasm and love for his country and culture on show - much appreciated!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get involved and try everything - whether it is dressing up or trying the local delicacies, just do it! The optional evening boat ride in Varanasi is very atmospheric and moving and really shouldn't be missed. If possible, sit on the left hand side of the bus so you have a better view of all the amazing street life - great for photos and it means you definitely will never be bored on the longish road journeys.
  • Reviewed February 2020

    Busy itinerary packed with highlights

    This is a busy itinerary that covers all the major sights in the 'Golden Triangle' of Northern India, plus two tiger safaris and Varanasi, in only 7 days off work. Most itineraries on offer for this part of the world won't give you so much in such a short time period. This makes it a great option for travellers with little time to spare and who want to see as much as possible of this part of the world. There is little 'down time' and it can feel a bit rushed at times, but for me this was far outweighed by the opportunity to see so much and visit places I simply couldn't have fitted in at all any other way. The trip was very well organised and run and I enjoyed everything we visited.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Taj Mahal was so impressive - it really is worth seeing it in real life. Pictures and TV can't do it justice. The whole trip was worth it just for that. Seeing a tiger in Rathambhore was thrilling especially as many groups aren't that lucky (but the safaris are worthwhile and enjoyable in their own right even if no tigers appear). Varanasi was fascinating and an unexpected highlight for me. Also visiting the Sikh Gurdwara and its communal kitchens in Delhi was a really interesting trip and gave an insight into an aspect of a religion I knew little about.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was very well organised and efficient. He did a fantastic job keeping a large group together and getting us through an incredibly busy and tightly timed itinerary in sometimes difficult circumstances. He made the trip run smoothly which must have been a mammoth undertaking.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It really does get very cold in February, particularly on the game drives and sunrise starts. You can't wear enough on the early morning safari to keep warm. So pack accordingly! Layers are best as later in the day when the sun's out you won't need your jackets. Most days you have access to a bus so can leave things like coats. European plug adaptors are the most useful to take and can be used in the majority of the hotels. The train does have power points by the bunks. You can purchase a chain and padlock to secure your bags on the train very cheaply at the station - so if you don't already have one, don't splash out in your home country on one. As with all Exodus trips, a softer, smaller bag will serve you better than a big hard suitcase, particularly when trying to fit it under the train bunk beds. There are a number of optional excursions and these aren't always listed in the trip notes. The cost was generally around 1000-1500 rupees per person for a group of 16. It would be higher for smaller groups. The excursions offered were a cooking demonstration on the first evening, a hot air balloon ride on the second morning (this would be more expensive than the cost above), watching a Bollywood film at a local cinema on the second night (this was about 700 rupees and was well worth it, really enjoyable), a sunrise cruise on the river in Varanasi to see the burning ghats (highly highly recommended), a trip to Sarnath on the second day in Varanasi (miss-able, but does pass the time if you don't want to wait around at the hotel), and a sightseeing trip in Delhi on the last day. You won't necessarily see the standard sights on the Delhi trip but the places we went were well worth visiting, especially the Gurdwara. If you do all the trips and eat with the group, you need at least £200 spending money. The shopping trips can't really be avoided despite what the trip notes say as they are done 'en route' to other things, although you can opt to stay on the bus if you prefer. Take a kindle or phone or something else to amuse yourself if that's the case. The items you see are all high-price and outside the budget of some travellers, so if you're going to have to watch your money and find temptation hard to resist, you might also want to sit these out. If you're a keen photographer or historian, planning ahead for your visits is a good idea as you'll get very little time at some of the sights - in particular, those in Jaipur, and Fatephur Sikri. Reading up in advance will help you make the most of the time you get and ensure you don't miss anything you particularly wanted to see/photograph.
  • Reviewed December 2019
    Kevin Adrian Fingleton

    An amazing, enthralling, full-on trip.

    This trip is not for the faint-hearted. Despite various lengths being quoted, the traveler is effectively on the road in India for 8 days, and flies home on day 9. But in the 8 days you pack in an incredible number of beautiful, memorable sights. You will (hopefully, like we did) meet a smallish group of nice, decent, funny people that you are happy to travel, eat and drink with, and who look out for one another. Transport is effective and comfortable. You'll struggle to take in the volume of sights, sounds and smells that India will provide. The food is wonderful, hotels are comfortable and all in all, it's hard to avoid the 'trip of a lifetime' cliche.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi - both the night-time 'blessing of the Ganges' ceremony, and about 7 hours later, the dawn boat ride on the Ganges to see the sun rise thru the mists and float past the cremation ghats (at a distance). And in between, the chaotic tuk tuk ride. There were many other highlights, but that one just took my breath away.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay was truly excellent. Easy company, informed, patient at explaining the culture, history, politics and so on. He was very organised, because this trip is a mini-military-operation. It has to be, to see that many amazing things in 8 days. And he added little touches to enhance the trip (eg flowers to scatter on the Ganges). I wanted to see a step well (If I could) so I asked early on, and we got to see one in Jaipur that was not a tourist sight, by making a short detour. That was another highlight for me.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared to get tired. But you can sleep on the bus, the hotel beds are comfortable. And you have the post-trip period back home to look forward to, looking at your (way too many) photographs. It really is full-on, but in a great way. And it seems to match the pace of the places you are seeing - it's not a place to dawdle. Finally, if you are into photography, you'll probably never be somewhere with so many photos 'waiting to be taken'. Bring less clothes - this is not a dressing up holiday - and more camera gear. Last thing, as I think of it. Pollution in Delhi is quite bad - it's just a fact of life. But you are only there for about 48 hours, and even if you get a short term sore throat you recover quickly once you exit the city. It's worth it, I think.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was my first ever trip to India. I utterly loved it, from beginning to end. If you want a chill out holiday, look elsewhere. If you want a safe, well-organised, short sharp trip around some of the key parts of India, this is the one for you. Enjoy
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Gabriella Sardi

    Fantastic trip!

    An amazing trip with a very full on itinerary! You’ ll see all the highlights of Northern India, you will do all the must activities like boat ride in Varanasi. Yes, there will be early mornings, but in return you’ll got to see fantastic places during sunrise! Yes, there will be long bus journeys, but you’ll travel through small villages and see how people live and take some amazing photos. Yes, most hotels were basic, but nice and clean with friendly staff. Yes, the overnight train is fun! Read your trip notes to know what to expect, arrive with open mind, ask questions and enjoy this amazing country!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Varanasi! I wasn’t very keen on that town, read lots of disturbing facts. But the morning boat ride on the Ganges was very inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had the best tour leader ever. Friendly, very knowledgeable, had amazing customer service and went all above and beyond for all of us! Thank you Naveen Bazaz! You are a true treasure for your company!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read your travel notes, they have all the info you need to know! Travel with open mind, ask questions and enjoy!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you Exodus! This was an amazing trip! Had an amazing time which i won’t forget for sure!!
  • Reviewed January 2019
    Carolyn (Judy) Howlett

    Highlights of Northern India

    Absolutely superb. Our guide, Ajay Gupta, was out of this world. All Exodus guides are super but he was just amazing. The sights we saw in such a short time, the standard of the hotels, the food - oh my goodness! I cannot recommend this trip highly enough

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Choosing one is difficult. The Taj mahal is of course a major site - chosen as one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and rightly so. But I loved the observatory, partly because it was so unexpected.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Amazing. wonderful. Friendly, knowledgable, everything a guide should be , and more. He made the trip the delight it was

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    don't change money at the airport - you'll be charged 10% commission. find an ATM from a major national bank and use that.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Difficult to enthuse too highly about this trip. Incredible India indeed.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    Cathryn Shean

    Highlights of Northern India

    Fabulous advice and guidance, ethical and sustainable throughout. The Taj Mahal was amazing and the boat trip on the river Ganges was inspirational an unexpected highlight. The whole trip was well planned, felt very safe as a solo traveller.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing a tiger in a wild was memorable even though there was only a 50% chance.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent tour leader, especially on the overnight train, as the train was on time and the majority of the group were still sleeping, we could have missed the station in Delhi if he was not there. Couldn't have had a better tour leader, as he was indispensable on this trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a small sheet and travel pillow for the overnight train.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Will definitely use exodus again.

Dates & Prices

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 

Not found the date you’re looking for? We can organise this itinerary as a Private Adventure – just click on the tab above the list of dates and prices, let us know your preferred dates of travel and how many people are travelling, and we’ll do the rest!

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