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TELEPHONE 0800 781 4893

ABTA and ATOL Protected

Escorted Tours

A Passage Through India including

Marari Beach Stay


Route:
  • UK
  • Amritsar
  • Shimla
  • Delhi
  • Agra
  • Jaipur
  • Varanasi
  • Kolkata
  • Darjeeling
  • Mumbai
  • Cochin
  • Alleppey
  • Thekkady
  • Cochin
  • Marari Beach
  • UK

3 NIGHTS from £299pp

Tour Highlights
  • 3 nights of paradise with untouched sandy beaches
  • Admire the Holy city of Amristar
  • Ride on the UNESCO recognised 'Toy Train'
  • City tours of Delhi, Agra, the pink city of Jaipur, Varanasi, Kolkata and Mumbai
  • Delight in the magnificent Taj Mahal
  • Explore fascinating Kerala and enjoy an overnight stay on a houseboat.

Extension from £299pp

Tour + Extension from £2948pp

To book call us on 0800 781 4893

Marari Beach Stay

Nestled beside the quaint fishing village of Mararikulam, discover the untouched sandy beaches of Marari on your three-night extension within a truly tropical retreat. Whether lounging by the beach soaking up the year-round sunshine, swimming within the Arabian Sea's glistening waters or enjoying a traditional Ayurvedic massage at your hotel, the Marari extension is the ideal way to conclude your tour.

Tour Itinerary

1
UK to Mumbai

Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Mumbai via Dubai.

2
Mumbai

On arrival you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. After checking in at your hotel the rest of the day is at leisure to start exploring this multi-faceted city.

  • Dinner
3
Mumbai

An early morning start to commence your full day tour of Mumbai awaits you. Your first stop is the iconic stone arch landmark known as the Gateway of India, Next, board a motorboat to Elephanta Island and explore the ancient caves dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva which are UNESCO-listed (Please note there are 120 steps with a steep climb to access the ancient caves on Elephanta Island). Back in Mumbai you will delight in admiring such sites as the grand Jain Temple before meandering through the picturesque Hanging Gardens which offer beautiful views of the city and sea before arriving at the beach at Chowpatty. Continue to the museum of Mani Bhavan where Mahatama Gandhi stayed during his visits to Mumbai between 1917-1943.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Mumbai to Amritsar

Fly from Mumbai to Amritsar. On arrival you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the Sikh's holy city and its network of historic bazaars.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Amritsar

Following breakfast, you'll enjoy a visit to the Golden Temple, one of the most awe-inspiring and memorable sights in India. Sikhism's holiest shrine, the spectacular golden temple blends Hindu and Islamic architecture, which is set off by its stunning location at the centre of a shimmering pool, known as the Pool of Nectar. After lunch, the afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace, alternatively you can take an optional excursion to the Wagah Border. Famousfor its fascinating flag-lowering ceremony, Indian and Pakistani guards decked in full uniform lower their respective flags and close the border gates with as much pomp and fervour as they can muster.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Amritsar to Shimla

This morning you'll board the train to Chandigarh before taking a winding, scenic drive through lush pine forests to the former summer capital of British India. Beautifully situated on a hilltop in the snow-capped Shivalik Ranges and offering stunning views of the Himalayan mountains, the British Raj would annually transfer here to avoid the heat of Calcutta.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Shimla

After breakfast this morning you'll depart Shimla for the neighbouring hill station of Kufri. Set in the foothills of the Himalayas, this charming town is surrounded by dense forest and snow-capped mountains, offering staggering viewpoints of the surrounding countryside and the vast mountains beyond. After admiring Kufri's natural wonders, tour the impressive Rashtrapati Niwas, former residence of the British Viceroy. Built in Jacobethan style, this fascinating glimpse into British colonial history allows you to explore the maze of corridors, grand teak-panelled rooms and sprawling lawns.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Shimla to Delhi

Today, you'll travel in style with a ride on the UNESCO recognised 'Toy Train' - built for the British Viceroy and his delegates, the train is hauled along by a tiny diesel locomotive which rattles at a leisurely pace through breath-taking scenery to its final destination of Dharampur Station where you will disembark for lunch. Following lunch, transfer by car to Kalka Station for your connecting train to Delhi where you will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Delhi

The symbol of old and new India, Delhi is simultaneously a buzzing, international metropolis and a city rich in history. Today you'll discover it in all its glory on a full day tour, traversing through Old Delhi's narrow, spice-scented streets by rickshaw, yoo'll feel like you've travelled back in time while taking in sights such as the Mughal Empire's imposing Red Fort and the UNESCO listed Humanyun's Tomb, whose Persian-style elegance and landscaped garden setting makes it one of Delhi's finest historic sites. Crossing to the intricately planned colonial centre of New Delhi, you'll visit the minimalistic Mahatma Gandhi Memorial adorned in floral tributes, before exploring the ruins of Quatub Minar complex. Before falling to ruin, this red-sandstone city was built in the 13th Century by the Delhi Sultanate and housed a number of mosques and tombs, as well the intricate tower centrepiece from which the complex gets its name.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
10
Delhi to Jaipur

After Breakfast, drive to Jaipur (known as the Pink city) by coach. After Check in at your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
11
Jaipur

Begin your day with a visit to the impressive Amber Fort, built from pink sandstone and white marble this magnificent fort is largely made up of a royal palace, home to the royal family until 1728. Spread over four vast courtyards, you'll ascend to the fort either by Jeep and experience the grandeur of a Maharaja. The tour will continue to the famous open-air observatory of Jantar Mantar with a fascinating collection of archaic astronomical instruments including the world's largest stone sun dial. Finally you'll marvel at the numerous windows of the stunning Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Winds.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
12
Jaipur

Today is at leisure to explore this beautiful city at your own pace. Explore the colourful bazaars, temples and museums the city has to offer or simply admire this flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture. You may book an optional excursion (payable locally) to The Elephant Village. Have the opportunity to see, touch and feed the elephants the village was set up by the local Rajasthan Government in 2010.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13
Jaipur to Agra

Depart Jaipur this morning by coach for the wondrous city of Agra the former capital of the mighty Mughal dynasty, whose legacy can be seen in the colossal forts and opulent buildings. Your afternoon will be at leisure to explore the fascinating mausoleums and bustling marketplaces of this charming city.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
14
Agra

This unforgettable day begins with a sunrise tour of the truly magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and widely considered to be the most beautiful building on the planet. Built on the orders of heartbroken Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan upon the death of his wife, this stunning white marble mausoleum took over 20,000 people and around 20 years to build and words simply don't do it justice. You'll return to your hotel for breakfast and a well-deserved rest before visiting the impressive, red sandstone Agra Fort. One of the finest Mughal forts in India, this colossal giant began construction in 1565 as a military structure, but was later transformed into an opulent palace for the emperor.For any further enquiries or for more information

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
15
Agra to Lucknow

Today's coach ride takes you from Agra to Lucknow, India's former artistic and cultural hub. On arrival, check into your hotel, you are then free to relax or explore your new surroundings.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
16
Lucknow

After breakfast, a full-day city tour of Lucknow visits the city's most impressive highlights. Wander through the recently restored Hazratganj Market and visit the 1857 Memorial Museum, where the collection of old photographs, documents and objects on display offers insight into the major historical events that have shaped Lucknow. Continue on to the historic the gilded dome and intricate inlays of Chota Imambara. Pass through the imposing 18th century gateway of Rumi Darwaza, travelling past the stark red walls of Taluqdar Hall, the towering peak of Husainabad Clock Tower. Return to your hotel after this comprehensive day of sightseeing.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
17
Lucknow to Varanasi

Following breakfast, you'll board a coach to Varanasi where you'll be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. One of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world; the great Hindu city of Varanasi stretches along the River Ganges, its waterfront lined with temples and pavilions, interspersed with vast stone steps or ghats used daily by thousand of pilgrims in their daily ritual ablutions. This evening you'll tour the ghats and witness a Ganga Aarti ceremony where a small lamp containing a candle and flowers representing an offering of fire is floated down the river.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
18
Varanasi

Awake early this morning for a sunrise boat trip on the Ganges where you can gain a different perspective of this colourful waterfront city and the spiritual importance of the river in the Hindu religion. Returning to your hotel for breakfast and a rest you'll then spend the afternoon exploring the ancient temples of Sarnath, a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site on which the Buddha gave his first sermon after achieving enlightenment around 530BC. After exploring the many ruins you'll return to Varanasi where your evening is at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
19
Varanasi to Kolkata

Today is free for you to relax in the hotel or explore Varanasi's temples and forts, before your evening flight to Kolkata.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
20
Kolkata

The showpiece capital of the British Raj, Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) was considered as the greatest colonial city of the Orient. You'll begin today's tour with a trip back to these times by visiting the grand imperial buildings around Dalhousie Square such as the majestic, white-domed General Post Office. Following lunch, enjoy a fascinating boat trip on the Hooghly river offering you a panoramic view of the city whilst sailing through the two spectacular Howrah and Vidyasagar bridges.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
21
Kolkata to Cochin

Following breakfast, you will fly to Kerala and arrive in Cochin known as the'Queen of the Arabian Sea'. On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
22
Cochin to Alleppey

Today you will board a traditional House Boat at Alleppey for your tranquil journey through the scenic winding backwaters absorbing the stunning rural scenery and admiring the local villages. After an authentic meal served on board by your private chef spend the night on board, a once in a lifetime experience.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
23
Alleppey to Thekkady

Today you will disembark from the houseboat and enjoy a drive through the spectacular countryside to arrive at the hill station of Thekkady which conjures up images of rolling lush hills and spice scented plantations. The Periyar forests of Thekkady are one of the finest wildlife reserves in India, and spread across the entire district are picturesque plantations and hill towns. In the afternoon, you can choose to relax at the hotel or visit spice market. This evening you will enjoy a traditional Kathakali and Kalaripayattu show.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
24
Thekkady

A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Enjoy a morning boat ride at Periyar Lake where you will have the chance to spot some elephants, or one of the park's 25 Bengal tigers amongst other birds, reptiles and mammals. This aftrernoon relax at the hotel with a complimentary Ayurvedic massage of 45 minutes per person. Later enjoy dinner at your hotel with two bottles of Indian Beer and overnight at the hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
25
Thekkady to Munnar

The tour will depart in the morning and travel by coach to Munnar. En route visit the spice plantation at spice garden and later proceed to Munnar, South India's largest tea growing region known for its expanse of tea plantations, rolling valleys and mountains . Today you will have a tour of Munnar, a nature lover's paradise. Listen to your own echo bouncing around the surrounding hills at Echo Point and Learn about the origins of your morning cuppa at one of the tea plantations owned by the mighty Tata corporation.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
26
Munnar to Cochin

After breakfast, enjoy the last few highlights of Munnar before proceeding to Cochin. Arriving late evening at Cochin you will check in to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
27
Cochin

Following breakfast, you will embark on a tour of the city. Marvel at Mattancherry Dutch palace, St. Francis church, the oldest European church in India and the impressive promenade lined with distinct Chinese fishing nets.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
28
Cochin to the UK or extension

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to UK (Via Dubai) or continue on to your chosen extension.

  • Breakfast
29
Cochin to Marari

Transfer to Mararikulam and your hotel by the untouched sandy Marari beach where you will spend the three nights of your extension.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
30
Marari

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax at your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
31
Marari

Enjoy a day at leisure to relax at your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
32
Marari to the UK

Depart your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

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.

Insurance

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.

Payment

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.

Flight Information

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.

Health and Vaccinations

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, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

Physical Accessibility

This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves moderate days of walking on uneven paths and small hills, and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

Group Size

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

Tour Guide

This is an escorted tour, meaning the you will have the services of an English speaking guide during each excursion ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times. Also, local monument guides will be provided subject to the monuments rules.

Currency Information

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.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any meals where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, drinks and snacks. Approximately (GBP 50-100) per person/ per day should be sufficient for the duration of your tour. Please also bear in mind that there will be several shopping opportunities throughout your tour. Tipping is at your discretion; However we would recommend approximately £2 per day. Tips are accepted in the local currency, however it is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency that you only pay with notes, as coins cannot be exchanged.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
2020 DATES
Marari Beach
21 Jan 202020 Feb 2020£649£3189£3838SOLD OUT
04 Feb 202005 Mar 2020£629£3049£3678Please call to book
0800 781 4893
18 Feb 202019 Mar 2020£629£3129£3758Please call to book
0800 781 4893
31 Mar 202030 Apr 2020£619£3299£3918Book Now
28 Apr 202028 May 2020£489£2969£3458Book Now
26 May 202025 Jun 2020£459£2799£3258Book Now
02 Jun 202002 Jul 2020£459£2919£3378Book Now
01 Sep 202001 Oct 2020£489£2649£3138Book Now
08 Sep 202008 Oct 2020£619£2749£3368Book Now
29 Sep 202029 Oct 2020£629£2999£3628Book Now
13 Oct 202012 Nov 2020£629£3019£3648Book Now
03 Nov 202003 Dec 2020£629£3199£3828Book Now
17 Nov 202017 Dec 2020£629£3199£3828Book Now
Abad Turtle Beach Marari
21 Jan 202020 Feb 2020£379£3189£3568SOLD OUT
18 Feb 202019 Mar 2020£369£3129£3498Please call to book
0800 781 4893
31 Mar 202030 Apr 2020£299£3299£3598Book Now
28 Apr 202028 May 2020£299£2969£3268Book Now
26 May 202025 Jun 2020£299£2799£3098Book Now
02 Jun 202002 Jul 2020£299£2919£3218Book Now
01 Sep 202001 Oct 2020£369£2649£3018Book Now
08 Sep 202008 Oct 2020£369£2749£3118Book Now
29 Sep 202029 Oct 2020£379£2999£3378Book Now
13 Oct 202012 Nov 2020£379£3019£3398Book Now
03 Nov 202003 Dec 2020£379£3199£3578Book Now
17 Nov 202017 Dec 2020£379£3199£3578Book Now

Included in the Price

  • Fully Escorted Tour with local English Speaking Guides throughout
  • Scheduled Flights from the UK.
  • All internal travel including air-conditioned/heated transportation.
  • Accommodation, meals as specified and entry fees to all sights.
  • All airport taxes and security charges.

Additional Expenses

  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Tips
  • Any meals not specified in your itinerary
Alcoholic drinks

Please note that Kerala has strict laws regarding the governance of the sale of alcohol in public places including hotels and restaurants. The sale and consumption of alcohol is therefore often restricted in hotels, varying from one establishment to another. However, you may bring your own alcohol with you for private consumption in your room.

Please note

Shimla is not suitable for clients with walking difficulties, due to the nature of its mountainous location, there are many steep steps, inclines and declines around the town.

Please Note:

Please note there are 120 steps with a steep climb to access the ancient caves on Elephanta Island.

2019 departures:

Please note, for 2019 departures, within Kolkata you will be staying at 5* Taj Bengal Kolkata. Please refer to your final ticketing documentation for further details.

November Departures 2019

Please note, on 14th November you will stay at the 5-star Radisson Jass Hotel, in Shimla, and your hotel in Jaipur will be the 5-star Radisson Blu Hotel.

What to expect

Fact File
Min/Max temperature

11 °C / 41 °C

When to go

Please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Amritsar

Shimla

Delhi

Jaipur

Varanasi

Mumbai

Cochin

What to pack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat in summer
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Warm clothing and thermals in winter
  • Camera and charger/spare batteries
  • An electric plug converter
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
  • Mosquito Repellent
  • Personal First Aid Kit
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Long sleeve shirt and long trousers
  • Swimwear
Customer Rating:
10/10
Geoffrey Wallis
1st Nov 2019

4 and 5 star hotels were excellent, particularly Clarkes Hotel in Shimla.

3 star Turtle Beach was OK and good value, but had a few rough edges.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Michael Graves
2nd Nov 2018

No comments

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Sheila Lillico
11th Dec 2017

Lovely hotels in a variety of styles and places. Food very good and staff very polite and friendly

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
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