Classic India

11-Day Example Trip
From
$7,539pp
This ten-night trip is the perfect introduction to India for first-timers and families

We create fully personalised trips from start to finish. From locations to accommodation and guides, everything is selected to suit you.

From expert private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your time off.

We give back to two regional charities in Indian subcontinent from the profits of each one of our trips.

Use our trip ideas to inspire your bespoke experience

Discover India’s most popular cities – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur, otherwise known as the ‘Golden Triangle’ – along with Varanasi, the spiritual heart of India, and the beautiful city of lakes, Udaipur.

This is a wholesome cultural journey where you’ll not only see all the highlights with a private guide but also get a unique insight into life here, by meeting a warm and welcoming roster of locals with some exclusive experiences.

Begin by meeting your very own personal guide who will accompany you for the duration of your adventure, then spend two nights in India’s amiable capital, Delhi. You’ll explore both the jumbled old town and grand architecture of New Delhi, as well seeing the stunning medieval Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb.

Next fly to Varanasi for two nights on the banks of the Ganges in this most holy of cities. Here, witness ancient religious ceremonies on the famous stepped ghats on serene boat trips, be shown the winding back alleys by a local, and visit nearby Sarnath, the site of Buddha’ first sermon.

Fly back west to Agra, home of the iconic Taj Mahal, seeing this perennial testament to love at its most picturesque times – sunrise and sunset. You’ll also visit the imposing Agra Fort, then drive via the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri to Jaipur.

Spend three nights in Rajasthan’s pink capital, Jaipur, a vibrant place home to a collection of India’s most majestic palaces and atmospheric relics. See the famous Amber Fort, the astronomical oddities of Jantar Mantar and learn all about intricate crafts from artisans at the bazaar.

Finally, end your trip with two nights in Udaipur, a scenic little city of palaces surrounded by the Aravalli Hills. As well as seeing Udaipur’s highlights, you’ll be shown around a food and spice market by a resident before a home cooking class.

  • A private guide accompanying you from arrival to departure
  • Exclusive private tours
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers and domestic flights
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip

Trip Itinerary

 
Days 1-3: Delhi
Flights & Transfers

Airport assistance at Delhi Airport

Private transfer to your hotel in Delhi with guide

Accommodation in Delhi
Two nights in Delhi

With a population of over 18 million, Delhi is an international metropolis. Perhaps daunting at first sight, a little exploring soon reveals a rich, diverse and fascinating culture. Throughout most of its history, it has served as the capital of various kingdoms and empires, captured and rebuilt time and time again. Every dynasty left its mark and as you start to explore, you’ll discover reminders and relics from this colossal game of pass the parcel.

As well as centuries worth of history to explore, Delhi is also one of the best places in India to shop, try the many different styles of food and experience the buzz of a city where its millions of inhabitants are going about their daily business. And if weaving your way in and out of the rickshaws and cyclists ever starts to get too much, turn the corner and you’ll find a tranquil garden or a quiet enclave in which to stop, gather your thoughts and recharge.


Old Delhi tour

In complete contrast to the new city, the old city is a labyrinthine maze of lanes overhung by a tangled mass of electric wires. Within this chaos lies a semblance of order – each lane in this area is dedicated to a particular item, rather like a department store. There are lanes selling bangles, grocers, items used in weddings, silverware, clothes, spices and shoes. Sharing the same space are vendors with carts selling a variety of items, street side dentists, natural healers and cobblers. The old city has space for all professions. You will explore the old city in cycle rickshaws and will also walk along some of the more interesting alleys.


New Delhi tour

Explore New Delhi, an area within Delhi built as the seat of the British Indian government in the early twentieth century. Much of the design was by architect Edwins Lutyens, and thus it is referred to as Lutyens' Delhi, who invented his own order of classical architecture. There are grand buildings, such as Rashtrapati Bhavan (formerly known as Viceroy’s House), as well as the Lutyens Bungalow Zone, a green area of residential buildings that has the most expensive real estate in India and possibly the world. You’ll also see Humayun's Tomb, built in 1570 as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.


Qutb Minar and Humanyun's Tomb

Visit the immense Qutb Minar - at 72.5m (238 feet) in height, the tallest brick minaret in the world. The intricate tower was built in 1199AD to commemorate victory over the Rajput king, marking beginning of Muslim rule in India. Qutb Minar and the complex around it form the Qutb Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site the contains other structures in the complex include the Alai Gate, the Alai Minar, the Iron Pillar and the ruins of several earlier Jain temples.

You'll also see Humayun's Tomb, commissioned in 1569 by the Mugal Emperor's son Akbar as the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, starting a fashion that would culminate in the Taj Mahal.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer to Delhi airport with guide

Flight from Delhi to Varanasi

Private transfer to your hotel with guide

 
Days 3-5: Varanasi
Accommodation in Varanasi
Two nights in Varanasi

An ancient settlement on the banks of the Ganges, Varanasi is India’s spiritual capital and important among numerous faiths. Varanasi’s 84 ghats - stone embankments that step down into the river- are its most iconic sight. Most are crowded with pilgrims performing ritual ablutions in the river waters while a few are used solely for cremation. Sublime and sometimes shocking to visitors, the whole experience is utterly unforgettable.
The rest of city is home to some 23,000 temples, the sandstone Ramnagar Fort and numerous centres of education, philosophy, music and art. Small-scale industries and household production employ most of Varanasi’s residents and its winding alleyways are one of the best places to find fine silks, carpets and crafts.


Evening aarti prayer ceremony

In the evening, you will be taken for a boat ride on the River Ganges and experience the evening aarti prayer, one of the most important and popular ceremonies of the Hindu faith sometimes called the 'ceremony of light' that involves waving lighted wicks before the sacred images to infuse the flames with the deities’ love, energy and blessings. You will also float your own lamps down the river.


Ganges boat ride and old city walking tour

This morning you will be taken for a boat ride on the River Ganges. After the boat ride you will meet a local expert on the ghats who will lead you on a private walking tour in the old city. On this walk you will see the back alleys, old havelis, temples, labyrinth of streets, street vendors and pilgrims that line the banks of the Ganges.


Tour of Sarnath

Head out of Varanasi to visit the sacred site of Sarnath. It is here that Buddha is believed to have set in motion what Buddhists call the Wheel of Dharma by delivering his first sermon to the five companions with whom he had sought enlightenment. Together with him, they formed the first sangha, or company of Buddhist monks. You'll explore the ancient stupas and make a visit to the small but excellent museum at the site.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer to Varanasi airport with guide

Flight from Varanasi to Agra

Private transfer to your hotel in Agra with guide

 
Days 5-6: Agra and the Taj Mahal
Accommodation in Agra and the Taj Mahal
One night in Agra

It has graced the pages of books for centuries but nothing quite prepares you for seeing the Taj Mahal for the very fist time. The ultimate symbol of eternal love, this is one of India's most memorable and emotive sights. The Taj Mahal sits on the banks of the holy Yamuna River within 42 acres of beautiful gardens. The domed mausoleum sits 52m above the river bank, surrounded by minarets on all four sides. It is flanked by a mosque and a guest house, both made from red sandstone and mirror images of each other. There is no denying that the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is one of the main reasons people visit Agra. However, it’s well worth lingering to explore the city’s magnificent fort that lies just 3km to the west.


Sunset visit to the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, Agra, India in the lights of the sunset.

Visiting the Taj Mahal at sunset is a truly magical experience, as the light plays on the marble of the tomb and its reflection shimmers in the water. Heartbroken after the death of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, during the birth of their 14th child, Shah Jahan set about building the world’s most beautiful monument in her honour. It took a workforce of more than 20,000 men 22 years to build, painstakingly making sure every slab of marble, precious stone and stroke of calligraphy was perfect. It is undoubtedly one of the most impressive sights on earth and the world's greatest symbol of love.


Sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal

As the light changes, so too does the colour of the Taj Mahal. One of the best times to visit is in the early hours when it is bathed in the ethereal glow of the morning light.


Tour of Agra Fort

Just a few kilometres from the Taj Mahal sits the impressive Agra Fort, where the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan was imprisoned by his son. Here you will see the art and crafting of the white marble that has made the area so famous, the Pearl Mosque and the Halls of Public and Private Audience.


Private transfer to Jaipur via Fatehpur Sikri with guide

En route to Jaipur, you may like to visit the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after just 15 years due to scarcity of water. See the graceful buildings including the Jama Masjid, the Tomb of Salim Chishti, the Panch Mahal and other palaces.


 
Days 6-9: Jaipur
Accommodation in Jaipur
Three nights in Jaipur

The capital of Rajasthan and its largest city, Jaipur is at once the state’s commercial hub and one of its most fascinating cultural destinations. The pace of life here is fast, but take your time and in this somewhat frantic city you'll find some of India’s most majestic palaces and atmospheric relics.


Tour of Jaipur's City Palace

Visit the sprawling City Palace which is painted pink in keeping with the color theme of the old city. The impressive facade and interiors are a blend of predominately Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture. Within the palace complex are several museums including a textile gallery exhibiting a fine selection of textiles and costumes from the royal collection. You'll also enjoy a tour also of the ceremonial rooms and private quarters which are usually off limits to the public.


Visit the Jantar Mantar

Maharaja Jai Singh II, the founder of the pink city, was an avid astrologer and built five observatories around northern India. The Jantar Mantar is the
largest of the five and houses what is believed to be the world's largest sun dial. The observatory consists of 14 geometric devices for measuring time, tracking constellations and observing the orbits around the sun.


Visit the bazaars of Jaipur's old city

Explore the Badi Chaupad and Johari bazaars in Jaipur's old city. Wandering through the maze of stalls and studios, you'll see craftspeople working on all sorts of forms of local art including zardozi embroidery, gota work, kinary, silver ornament work and precious and semi-precious stonework.


Tour of Amber Fort

Amber, the ancient capital of the region, still recalls its heydays in the majestic ramparts rising steeply along the contoured hillsides. It is an extremely well preserved building and during your guided tour you'll visit the Jagmandir, or Hall of Victory, with its glittering mirrors, the Jai Mahal and Temple of Kali.


Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing

Visit the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, a gem of a museum tucked away in a beautiful building among the cobbled streets of Amber. Here you can see the incredible work that goes into this traditional form of block printing on cotton and silk.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer to Jaipur airport with guide

Flight from Jaipur to Udaipur

Private transfer to Udaipur with guide

 
Days 9-11: Udaipur
Accommodation in Udaipur
Two nights in Udaipur

The scenic city of Udaipur sits surrounded on all sides by the wooded Aravalli Hills, its grand palaces reflected in serene lakes. The old city is a bustling jumble of alleys and side streets, but tranquility is never far away, be it boating on one of the lakes or a panoramic view from the hilltop Monsoon Temple. For shoppers, Udaipur’s ancient bazaars and a vibrant arts scene make it a great place to find intricate Mughal inspired miniature paintings, marble and silver craft. For those seeking some adventure, the rolling countryside outside the city can be explored on foot or horseback.


Market tour and home cooking class with Minakshi Singh

Meet your hosts for this morning, Minakshi and Mahipal Singh, at their home. First you will make a visit to the local market to learn about vegetables and spices, before a cooking lesson in the kitchen of their home. Minakshi Singh, will take you on a culinary journey, teaching you all about Indian spices and how to use them when cooking Indian dishes at home. This will be hands on session with you cooking along with her. At the end, enjoy your creations for lunch.


Tour of Udaipur's City Palace

The City Palace, sat on the banks of Lake Pichola, is one of the architectural wonders of Rajasthan, its detailed art and workmanship a tribute to the skills of local craftspeople. A collection of towers, domes and arches, the Palace illustrates several architectural styles including Moghal and Rajput. The royal family claim to be 'surya vansh', descendents of the sun, and so the whole structure faces east and there is a stunning bejewelled image of the sun at the entrance. Inside the Palace there is an interesting collection of Rajput miniature paintings and the Crystal Gallery which houses an eccentric collection of art and furniture.


Guided walk through Udaipur's old city

Enjoy wandering the old city with your guide, winding your way through lanes that teem with cows, elephants and people. You'll pass shops, folk art hung on the walls of houses and pretty latticed haveli windows.


Jal Sanjhvi water painting

Jal Sanjhvi is the art of drawing on water, a popular ritual performed at temples dedicated to Krishna where coloured powders are used to draw iconic images onto water. A full canvas takes about five hours to create, and you'll arrive in time to see the picture completed.


Flights & Transfers

Private transfer to Udaipur airport with guide

Flight from Udaipur to Delhi