- Luxury North India
Stay in handpicked five-star hotels that have become a byword for luxury and service as you delve deep into the heart of the country's opulent past. Visit iconic landmarks, including the spectacular Taj Mahal and megalithic Agra Fort. Our range of exclusive experiences offers a true insight into authentic daily life, showcasing a vibrant and magical land of gastronomical delights, fascinating cultural symbolism and captivating landscapes.
Depart London Heathrow on your scheduled overnight flight to Delhi.
On arrival into Delhi, meet your local guide and transfer to your 5-star hotel, Le Meridien, before an afternoon orientation tour offering a taste of New Delhi's imperial glory. See the monumental India Gate, a poignant sandstone arch dedicated to the 90,000 soldiers of the Indian army who lost their lives during World War One, and marvel at the grandiose President's House, which stands adjacent to the striking Parliament Building. Get acquainted with your group this evening over a welcome meal.
A full day of sightseeing commences at one of India's most significant mosques, the ornate Jama Masjid in Old Delhi. Capable of accommodating up to 25,000 devotees in its extensive courtyard, this lavish 17th century mosque is situated just a short distance away from the oldest Market in India, the Chandni Chowk - a bustling square teeming with stalls selling colourful saris and delicate trinkets. Weaving through a labyrinth of narrow avenues on a rickshaw ride, inhale the perfumed scents from the many food stalls. Next, pause to observe the Raj Ghat, a modest black marble memorial commemorating the final resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, before continuing to New Delhi to explore Humayun's 16th century Tomb, one of India's earliest examples of traditional Mughal era architecture. Conclude today's tour at the distinctive UNESCO-listed 73-metre minaret - Qutub Minar. This evening's exclusive experience gives you the chance to witness the heartfelt generosity and resilient community spirit at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, Delhi's most prominent Sikh house of worship. Observe the evening Langar, where the principle of equality is upheld, as every visitor sits together to enjoy a free meal, hand-prepared by a congregation of hospitable volunteers.
This morning, depart Delhi and check into the prestigious 5-star Trident Agra Hotel before exploring the former capital of the Mughal dynasty era, whose rich heritage is evident in the form of its copious forts and opulent buildings. Exuding strength and power, wander through a maze of palatial courtyards and grand pavilions, sheltered behind the imposing 20 metre-high red sandstone walls of Agra Fort. In another exclusive experience, this evening, you will be welcomed into an Indian home. Like millions of other Indian homes, this one is set around a central courtyard, shared by many members of the extended family. Enjoy tea & light snacks with the family and interact with them to know more about the Indian culture & lifestyle.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Behold the majestic Taj Mahal bathed in an early morning glow, as today starts with a visit to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Taking an astonishing 17 years and 20,000 men to build, Mughal Emperor Shahjehan dedicated this remarkable monument to his beloved wife following her death, in a wild exhibition of extravagance. Following this, embark on a scenic train journey from Bharatpur to the quaint city of Sawai Madhopur, absorbing sweeping vistas through colourful rural landscapes, and upon arrival, transfer to the luxurious Sawai Vilas Hotel.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Sprawling over 1,344 square kilometres, Ranthambore National Park's blend of lustrous scenery, and incredible conservation projects contribute to its prestigious reputation as one of the largest and most picturesque national parks in India, housing a thriving population of varied wildlife. Embark upon early morning and late afternoon Canter safaris, listening to the mighty roar of the wilderness whilst keeping an eye out for roaming leopards, striped Hyenas and the elusive Bengal Tiger - the park's most popular inhabitant. Our exclusive activity follows, where you can re-charge with refreshing drinks and snacks, as knowledgeable wildlife experts interactively illustrate Ranthambore's conservation schemes, providing opportunity to ask questions and gain a well-rounded insight into the success of this stunning park.
This morning, travel to Jaipur - the Pink City of India, and upon arrival to the esteemed 5-star Trident Hotel of Jaipur. Later arrive at a Heritage hotel to be received, receive a in a royal reception by retainers of the erstwhile royalty for a day of exclusive experiences. Experience the opportunity to adopt authentic Indian attire, as your guides advise the men how to tie a Turban and the women, a decorative Sari. From the terrace of the heritage hotel, learn the art of Indian kite flying, known locally as Patang-Bazi, a popular pastime and prevalent symbol of celebration. Relax with a refreshing high tea.
After breakfast, admire the resplendent former royal palace, the Hawa Mahal, often referred to as the 'Palace of Winds', whose distinctive facade unveils an astounding 952 windows. Continue to the vast 16th century Amber Fort, embarking on a Jeep ride to the entrance of the fort, to then walk through its elaborately bejewelled interior and the extraordinarily embellished Palace of Mirrors. Enjoy dinner at the incredible 1135 AD restaurant, located in the historic Amber Fort in Jaipur. Taking its name from the founding year of the Kachwaha Rajput dynasty, it is an opportunity to relive and enjoy the royal lifestyle of the bygone era.. The restaurant serves delectable Rajasthani cuisine.
With a morning at leisure, why not test your bargaining skills at a local bazaar, sample unique street food, or wander a network of narrow avenues before returning to Delhi.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight or chosen extension.
A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £114 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30-day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Flights are operated with Emirates, departing London Heathrow via Dubai. Each passenger is entitled to 30KG of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding (Max 10kg - 55cm/38cm/ 20cm) in size. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check- in. Check-In should be at least 3 hours before departure. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your e-ticket and final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras on 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. There are restrictions on taking Indian rupees into India. Visitors, including tourists, are not permitted to take any amount of Indian currency into the country. You can take cash or travellers' cheques (in pounds sterling or another foreign currency) and/or a bank card with you and exchange or withdraw rupees once in India.