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CALL OUR EXPERTS 0800 781 4893

ABTA and ATOL Protected

Escorted Tours

Darjeeling, Sikkim and the Himalayas including

Mystical Bhutan


Route:
  • London
  • Kathmandu
  • Patan
  • Bandipur
  • Pokhara
  • Chitwan National Park
  • Kathmandu
  • Thimpu
  • Paro
  • Kathmandu
  • London

4 NIGHTS from £999pp

Tour Highlights
  • Explore the capital Thimphu
  • See the Tiger's Nest Monastery
  • Embark on a fascinating city tour of Kolkata
  • Meander through narrow, mountainous tracks on the UNESCO world heritage Toy Train in Darjeeling
  • Breath-taking sunrise panoramas of the Himalayas from Tiger Hill
  • Visit the peaceful hillside sanctuary of Enchey Monastery
  • Observe the golden dome of Do-Drul Chorten which can be seen from various vantage points in Gangtok
  • Explore the distinctive pink temple complex of Mangal Dham
  • Hike through Lamahatta Park, a biodiverse haven

Extension from £999pp

Tour + Extension from £2398pp

or call us on 0800 781 4893

Mystical Bhutan

Become one of the privileged few to say they have experienced this beautiful kingdom in this relatively untouched corner of the Himalayas.

Tour Itinerary

1
London to Kolkata

Depart London on your overnight flight to Kolkata

2
Kolkata

Upon arrival into the 'City of Joy', transfer to tonight's hotel and uncover the magnificent sights of this city of contrasts on an enlightening afternoon orientation tour. Be transported back in time with a visit to one of South Asia's finest surviving Colonial centres, Dalhousie Square, a bustling plaza in the heart of modern Kolkata. Fringed by a spectacular array of historical and architectural wonders catch a glimpse of the high roofed white dome of Kolkata's General Post Office and the impressive St Paul's Cathedral. A remarkable example of Gothic Revival architecture, three intricately embellished stained-glass windows dominate the cathedral's majestic facade and flood its ornate interior with a spectacular kaleidoscopic showcase.

  • Dinner
3
Kolkata to Darjeeling

After breakfast, embark on a short flight to Bagdogra before twisting through the fluctuating landscapes of Darjeeling, an area often referred to as the Queen of Hills. With a tranquil ambience, Darjeeling serves as India's core tea growing district, affording breath-taking views of rolling hills and emerald green tea plantations which stretch along the horizon. Framed by some of the world's highest pinnacles, the imposing peaks of the Himalayas establish an unforgettable backdrop.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
4
Darjeeling

Early this morning, ascend 8,300ft into the dizzying heights of Tiger Hills to see the first peek of sunlight emerge over the tips of Mount Kanchenjunga and Everest from the highest point in the Darjeeling Hills. A picturesque descent leads you back to the hotel for breakfast. Later this morning, the charming Toy Train zigzags along narrow, mountainous tracks through small villages and lush green vegetation to reach the iconic Batasia Loop, an encircling segment of railway track, constructed to ease the mountain's steep gradient. A popular observation point, disembark to wander twisting pathways and blossoming gardens and discover the centralised poignant war memorial, dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in various wars after Indian Independence.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
5
Darjeeling to Gangtok

This morning, transfer to the largest town and capital of Sikkim, Gangtok; an area of supreme beauty, this tiered district one of the most beautiful areas in the state. En-route to the heart of Gangtok, stop at the small hillside retreat of Lamahatta, a peaceful village nestled amongst towering pine trees, and embark on a short hike within Lamahatta Park, where nature lovers will relish in this biodiverse haven, laden with an extensive variety of flora and fauna. Continue onwards to experience the charged energy emanating from one of Gangtok's oldest streets, the Lal Bazaar - a swarming market square where local vendors congregate to sell an abundance of produce, traditional clothing and electrical goods, to name just a few. A visual delight, feast your eyes on the market's vibrant showcase of fresh vegetables, before a leisurely stroll leads you to Gangtok's principle shopping boulevard - MG Marg, whose teeming shops, cafes and restaurants generates a dynamic ambience.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
6
Gangtok

A full day city tour of Gangtok commences at the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloo,, a fascinating museum brimming with a varied collection of local arts and crafts. Next, venture to the Research Institute of Tibetology to examine a splendid exhibition of unique Tibetan artefacts, including statues, paintings and Thangkas; exemplifying traditional Sikkimese architecture, this distinctive establishment's foundation stone was laid by the 14th Dalai Lama in 1957. En-route to Tashiview Point, stop at the Do-Drul Chorten, which, crowned by a gilded dome, can be spotted from numerous vantage points across Gangtok. Later, discover a the 1,001 golden Buddha statues concealed behind the flamboyant walls of Rumtek Monastery, and conclude today's tour at Enchey Monastery, whose literal meaning translates as the 'solitary temple', a fitting name for this peaceful hillside sanctuary.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
7
Gangtok to Kalimpong

Departing Gangtok this morning, transfer to the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, visiting the quiet town of Kalimpong. A serene ambience dominates this religiously symbolic district which is intensified by copious monasteries and churches which pepper the landscape. At your own pace, spend the day at leisure to enjoy views of the Himalayas and explore the town's local architecture, where remnants of the British era continue to be seen.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
8
Kalimpong

After breakfast, enjoy a city tour of the sleepy town of Kalimpong, beginning at the extravagant Mangal Dham, a distinctive pink temple complex set amongst an excellently preserved garden which booms with a wealth of vibrant flowers, extending over 2 acres of land. Built in memory of the guru ShirMangaldasju who dedicated his life to serving the town's most deprived residents, this unique shrine one of the most significant religious centres in Kalimpong. Next, soar 1,704 metres above sea level upon DeoloHill, catching sight of spellbinding views overlooking the region, and gain an alternative perspective from the neighbouring Durpin Dara Hills. Finally, exhibited at Pine View Nursery, admire a dazzling showcase of more than 1,500 species of Cacti from around the globe, the largest singular collection in Asia, before enjoying an evening at leisure.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
9
Kalimpong - Bagdogra - Kolkata

This morning, journey to Bagdogra Airport and board your scheduled flight to Kolkata, spending the evening at leisure.

10
Kolkata to UK

Depart Kolkata on your return flight to the UK or your chosen extension.

11
Kolkata to Paro

Depart Kolkata in the morning for your flight to Paro in Bhutan, offering incredible views across the entire Himalayan region. Your guide will meet you on arrival and accompany you to Thimphu, stopping en-route to admire the joining of the Thimphu and Paro Rivers at Chuzom before arriving at your hotel with some time to relax. In the afternoon visit the impressive fortress of Trashichoedzong, then 'Buddha Point' where locals chant prayers to the largest Buddha statue in Bhutan. In the evening explore Thimphu's main market area and browse through paintings, hand-woven textiles and jewellery.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
12
Thimpu to Paro

Explore the Thimphu valley with a trip to the National Library and the King's Memorial Chorten - a monument constructed to represent world peace and prosperity. Taking the scenic highway back to Paro appreciate the dramatic river valleys before arriving at your hotel late morning. Next visit Ta Dzong, originally built as a watchtower during the 1864 Duar War and now home to the National Museum focussing on royal memorabilia and Bhuddist art.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
13
Paro

Visit the breath-taking Taktshang Monastery perched on the side of a cliff, a place of worship recognised as one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries. In the afternoon drive to the ruins of Drukgyel built back in 1649 as a control point along the route to Tibet.

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
14
Paro to Kolkata

Depart Paro after breakfast for your return flight to Kolkata, with the rest of the day at leisure.

  • Breakfast
15
Kolkata to the UK

Transfer to Kolkata airport for your flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

India: 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 120 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 60 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. Please inform them that you will be visiting Sikkim and if you plan to take one of our India Extensions as you will be required to have a multi entry visa. Alternatively you can visit The Indian Visa Application Centre in London: 142-148 Goswell Road, London, EC1B 7DU. British passport holders do not need to obtain a visa for Nepal prior to departure.
We strongly recommend that you bring a photocopy of the following documents, together with the original. Namely 06 copies of your photograph, 6 photocopies of your passport, and 6 copies of your valid Indian Visa.
NB The ILP (Inner Line Permit) cannot be given to certain foreign nationals on arrival at the checkpoints and must be arranged before travel. These are: Chinese from mainland China, Hongkong, Macau, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh & Burma (Mayanmar).

Insurance

You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Direct is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:

Age in YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
Up to 17 days cover£39£75£129
For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. 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 Direct 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

Your flight is to Nepal is with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size, in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. 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.

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 a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches. 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 a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee or NPR, divided into 100 paisa. US dollars and UK sterling are both also often accepted should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. The currency in Bhutan is Bhutanese Ngultrum and is officially pegged to the Indian Rupee. Also Indian Rupee is acceptable all over Bhutan. There are ATMs in Bhutan but currently they only operate with their respective Bhutanese banks. Since these ATMs currently do not function with outside banks, so ATM facility can't be used by visitors. Traveller's checks / cash are the best option so please ensure you have enough currency with you when you travel.

Personal Expenses

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal PriceBook Now
17 Feb 202001 Mar 2020£999£1399£2398Book Now
02 Mar 202015 Mar 2020£1099£1499£2598Book Now
11 May 202024 May 2020£1099£1699£2798Book Now
22 Jun 202005 Jul 2020£999£1799£2798Book Now
07 Sep 202020 Sep 2020£1099£1899£2998Book Now
21 Sep 202004 Oct 2020£1099£1899£2998Book Now
05 Oct 202018 Oct 2020£1099£1849£2948Book Now
09 Nov 202022 Nov 2020£1099£1849£2948Book Now
23 Nov 202006 Dec 2020£999£1799£2798Book 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
Travelling alone?

We have secured a few places on this tour for single travellers with no single supplements. Once these are all sold, if you are a single traveller, you will need to pay a small supplement. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner. Alternatively, please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room

Private Tours:

If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.

What to expect

Fact File
What to pack
  • Insect repellent and sun cream
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Waterproof lightweight jacket
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Ruck sack
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and charger
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Long sleeve shirt and long trousers
  • Swimwear
  • Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser
  • Personal toiletries and first aid kit
  • An electric plug converter - The voltage in India is 220 volts with plugs and sockets having either grounded 3 pin connections or ungrounded 2 pin connections. It is advisable to bring a multi-adaptor
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Here to help
  • 0800 781 4893 (free)

  • 0333 321 3144 (mobile friendly)

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