Winter in the Indian Himalayas
History, art and hiking in Delhi, Chandigarh and Shimla
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Specialist guides
- All transfers and return flights between Delhi and Chandigarh
- All excursions and hike mentioned in the itinerary
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
Begin with two nights in Delhi, spending a full day being shown around its historic architectural highlights from the bustling Old Town, the neoclassic New Town and towering 800 year old Qutb Minar.
You’ll then fly north to the city of Chandigarh, a modernist masterpiece, staying at the brand new Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa, and touring the fascinating Rock Garden.
Spend the last four nights based in the beautiful Wilderflower Hall overlooking the Himalayas. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, was once the summer capital of British India due to its wonderful climate and stunning scenery. Explore the hill resort, take a ride on its railway – UNESCO World Heritage Site – and explore the forested valleys that surround it on hikes and mountain bike rides.
Example Trip Itinerary
Airport assistance at Delhi Airport
Private transfer to your hotel in Delhi with guide
Accommodation in Delhi
- 190 rooms and 43 suites
- Four restaurants
- Two bars
- Tea lounge
- Outdoor swimming pool
A driveway lined with tall palm trees leads to the grand white facade of The Imperial, one of Delhi’s most iconic hotels. Harking back to the days of the Raj, The Imperial is filled with old-world charm, its fascinating history a permanent presence. The opulence of colonial India is felt from the moment you enter; the high ceilings, crystal chandeliers and artwork from the 18th and 19th centuries giving a sense of grandeur. Rooms are beautifully styled with antique furniture, marble floors covered in Indian rugs, and photographs of iconic Indian landmarks and events on the walls. When the hotel opened its doors in the 30s, it became a meeting point for figures including Nehru, Ghandi, Jinnah and Lord Mountbatton who came to discuss the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan. Photographs of the various battalions during the British Raj adorn the walls and the 1911 Restaurant is a celebration of the year Delhi became the new capital of India. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to eating and drinking, with four restaurants offering south east Asian, gourmet Indian and European cuisine. There is also a pastry shop and a tea lounge with a glass domed ceiling and tinkling fountain and the hotel’s two bars are some of the city’s most popular. An outdoor swimming pool is set within the verdant gardens of the hotel and there is a spa offering Ayurvedic therapies for when you want to simply drift away. Once you’ve recharged your batteries, head out and explore Delhi – you’re ideally located on Janpath, just moments from the renowned shopping district of Connaught Place and a short rickshaw ride from India Gate.
- 40 rooms
- Two restaurants
- Cigar lounge
- Outdoor pool
- Tennis and squash courts
With its clean lines, crisp decor and modern take on Moghul architecture, The Lodhi is a cool and contemporary hotel in the heart of New Delhi. Despite being set within seven acres of grounds, the hotel has just 40 rooms giving it an intimate and exlusive feel. Rooms are elegantly styled in shades of dusky blue, grey and green and come with private balconies and plunge pools. Huge glass windows offer views out across Humayun’s Tomb and the Lodhi Gardens, from which the hotel takes its name. Sophisticated design touches prevail thoughout, from the light installations and sculptures to the gallery space in the foyer showcasing the work of contemporary Indian artists. The hotel’s restaurant, On the Waterfront, has a real buzz about it, with the ground floor overlooking a reflection pool and a glass pavillion for private parties. The Elan focuses on India’s diverse culinary traditions, and here you can same local delicacies from the north to the south. The library and cigar lounge are peaceful retreats in which to escape with a good book, while for those wanting to stretch their legs there is a 50m lap pool, three tennis courts, squash courts and a gym. Delhi Golf Club is also located opposite the hotel. After a day of sightseeing and exploring the city, relax in the tranquil spa which offers a range of traditional Indian treatments and therapies.
- 254 rooms and suites
- Rooftop swimming pool
- ESPA spa
- Four restaurants
- Butler service available
A modern and opulent hotel in the heart of Delhi’s diplomatic enclave, The Leela Palace New Delhi is sumptuous option that fuses traditional and modern Indian styles with European touches for an eclectic spectacle. There are 254 rooms and suites, all large and handsomely furnished with Regency-style furniture and Indian miniatures adorning the walls. Bathrooms too are spacious with stand-alone baths and walk in showers. The rest of the hotel is decorated with a curated collection of modern art, bouquets of fresh flowers – 14,000 blooms are delivered daily. Service is attentive, all rooms have access to a butler service and the lobby concierge desk can organise hotel cars (Rolls Royce Phantom and BMW 7 series), taxis and guides including personal shoppers. Up on the roof is a spectacular temperature-controlled pool and there is also a spacious ESPA spa. Dining is varied, from sushi at Megu to Italian fine dining at Le Cirque, north Indian specialities at Jamavar, global cuisine at Qube and cocktails with finger food in the Library Bar’s sunked walled garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Private transfer to Delhi airport with guide
Flight from Delhi to Chandigarh
Private transfer to your hotel in Chandigarh
Accommodation in Chandigarh
- Private villas, luxury tents and rooms
- Swimming pool
- Restaurant and bar
The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa is located among 8,000 acres of protected natural, a short way outside of Chandigarh, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The resort combines traditional Rajput and Mughal architectural elements with beautiful gardens and modern touches. Accommodation ranges from private villas to opulent tents, some with a private pool, and luxury rooms. All rooms, tents and villas are exquisitely adorned, with hand crafted, traditional design features, and many enjoy forest views. The huge Oberoi Spa is a tranquil, light-filled space, a wonderfully relaxing environment in which to experience a mixture of Ayurveda, Eastern, Western and signature Oberoi massage therapies, along with hydrotherapy, saunas and a hammam. The restaurant is an all day, multi cuisine dining venue, with both indoor and al fresco seating. Guests can also relax and unwind with an aperitif or a nightcap at our bar.
Chandigarh is the capital of both of Haryana and Punjab states, located on their borders yet technically within neither, in the green foothills of the Sivalik mountain range. It was one of the earliest planned cities in post-independence India, a modernist masterwork by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier who worked on top of the plans of Polish architect Maciej Nowicki and American planner Albert Mayer and in a team with Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry. The Capital Complex was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016
A grid street system was adopted, along with a ‘Garden City’ design where high rises were ruled out, parks, gardens, lakes and rivers incorporated into the overarching scheme, and all surrounded by forest. Many of the public buildings such as Capitol Complex with its High Court, Secretariat and Legislative Assembly, as well as the giant Open Hand Monument, are Le Corbusier’s grandest works and have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chandigarh is generally regarded as a grand success and today is one of the cleanest, happiest and wealthiest cities in India with one of the highest standards of living. ,
Take a stroll around the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, a 40 acre park filled with waterfalls and sculptures made entirely from recycled materials created by a government official in secret over an 18 year period before being discovered, and the city's man made Sukhna Lake which draws boaters, artists and anglers.
Spend today at leisure, perhaps indulging in some treatments at the ayurvedic spa, relaxing with a yoga session or heading back in to the city to discover its modernist architecture.
Private transfer to Shimla
Accommodation in Shimla
- 87 rooms and suites
- Restaurant and bar
- Indoor swimming pool and open air whirlpool
- Tennis court
The former abode of Lord Kitchener, Wildflower Hall is one of the most spectacular colonial hill stations in India, sat overlooking the high Himalayas a short way out of Shimla. Wildflower Hall’s grand rooms and suites, lounge, library and bridge room exude historic charm, with fabulous views out to the surrounding pine forest and beyond. Perhaps the best vista can be enjoyed from the spa’s outdoor whirlpool, made even more magical by snow in the winter, but the indoor swimming pool’s chandeliers are also a grand setting. The restaurant is in a charming glass conservatory with an outdoor terrace and serves pan-Indian, Asian and Continental cuisine, while wood-panelled Cavalry Bar harks back to Raj era. Spend you time at the mountain retreat combining adventure with relaxation. You can mountain bike, raft and hike in the surrounding mountains, explore the heritage of Shimla, or follow nature trails around the property, meditate, or join yoga sessions.
A humble mountain village until the 19th century, British officers and officials who were taken by the region’s familiar climate began building ‘pucca’ houses here for use as a retreat from the hot Indian summers. It soon became the office summer capital of the British Raj and a centre of the European social scene, hosting high society balls and raucous parties. Grand houses, the Gothic Christ Church, a library, theatre and connecting dramatic railway were constructed (the railway itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and it was made capital of the undivided Punjab.
Today it is the capital of the mountainous Himachal Pradesh state, its largest city despite being home to just 170,000 people, and a centre for education and culture. Shimla’s climate is as appealing as ever and it remains a favourite for Indian’s escaping the heat of the south and as a jumping off point for explore the Himalayas further north. During the winter months, a blanket of snow makes it even more attractive.
Enjoy quiet moments with nature and experience the range of unique flora and fauna of the middle Himalayas as you walk along picturesque trails that wind through serene forests, traditional mountain villages and ancient temples. This full day 15-18km trek (9-11 miles) ends with a challenging 90 minute climb that is rewarded by its culmination in the midst of an apple-orchard nestled in a rolling meadow. From, you can opt to be driven back to Wildflower Hall or climb back to resort on foot.
Today you will explore Shimla with your private guide. Enjoy scenic train journey on the narrow gauge from Shimla to Kandaghat station, returning to town for a delicious lunch at the Oberoi Cecil. Later, savour the nostalgia of the Raj Era on a guided tour that exhibits Shimla’s glorious history and rich architectural heritage
Bike the trail that runs around the forests of the Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary. The Sanctuary, protecting an important watershed, is blanketed in pine, oak, cedar, rhododendron, maple, horse chestnut and wildflower meadows which home to barking deer, jackals, Himalayan eagle, leopards and a rich array of bird life. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the forest during your ride.
Private transfer to Chandigarh Airport
Flight from Chandigarh to Delhi
Get in Touch
Winter in the Indian Himalayas
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.