Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Udaipur - Mumbai - Kochi - Munnar - Kumarakom - Mararikulam 18 days/17 nights
Journey through 5,000 years of spectacular history and a colourful kaleidoscope of cultures, religions and landscapes with this luxury private tour, taking in regal Rajasthan then Kerala, which hugs the Malabar Coast of South India, with palm-fringed beaches and emerald-green tea plantations. Start in India’s cosmopolitan capital Delhi before heading to Agra, with the breath-taking Taj Mahal. Continue to the bejewelled ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur with its splendid architecture, followed by the fairy-tale city of Udaipur and sparkling Lake Pichola. Then fly to the dazzling coastal metropolisMumbaibefore taking to the skies once more for Kerala. Begin your tour of the south in the old colonial trading post of Fort Cochin then head into the hill country to Munnar, surrounded by tea estates. Return to the coast for a cruise on the Backwaters before ending your luxury tour, hitting the beach in Mararikulam. This is purely a sample itinerary and can be fine tuned to suit your interests. It is possible to do Rajasthan and Kerela or just one or the other on its own.
Your luxury private tour of India begins on arrival in Delhi, where you will be met by a member of our team at the airport and chauffeured to The Leela Palace New Delhi, a truly grand hotel, which will wow even the most jaded jetsetter. A charasmatic blend of British Victorian style architecture and located in the diplomatic enclave this hotel is the pinnacle of luxury where every guest will be spoiled and indulged infinitely. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, going for a stroll through verdant Lodi Gardens or exploring the enticing boutiques of Khan Market, a haven of fashion, beauty and homeware.
Start the day with a guided walking tour through the bustling alleyways of Chandni Chowk’s souk-like bazaars, including Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice market and Kinari bazaar famous for wedding outfits. Spend the day discovering the myriad of sights in Old and New Delhi including the 17th- century Jama Masjid, Qutb Minar and Humayun’s Tomb which is thought to have inspired the Taj Mahal. Other highlights include India Gate, Connaught Place and the Lotus Temple. Evening to relax or dine at Bukhara, one of Delhi's finest restaurants for tandoori specialities and North Indian cuisine.
Leave Delhi in good time this morning to be chauffeured to Agra, where you’ll check into Trident, Agra. Built-in local red stone, the hotel features 135 elegant rooms and suites with lush landscaped gardens. In the afternoon, visit the iconic Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, which was built as a monument to eternal love by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife who dies giving birth to their 14th child. Marvel at the interiors which have several different colored stones crushed and inlaid in the floral details on the spandrels of the arches and the pietra dura flowers made from at least 60 crushed semi precious stones. The Taj Mahal is known for reflecting pastel colored hues with the play of sunlight on its surfaces throughout the day. The afternoon visit is special as it radiates, an orangey pink as the sun goes down.
Please note: you can start this journey on any day however the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
Travel to Jaipur by road, stopping on route at the magnificent ancient city, Fatehpur Sikri, the former capital of the Mughal empire. In the afternoon, arrive in Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan. Choose between two luxury hotels: Rambagh Palace, one of India’s great palace hotels, and Samode Haveli, the elegant 300-year-old mansion of the Samode royal family. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure – both have lovely swimming pools.
Today, you’ll be discovering the best of Jaipur. In the early morning, make your way on elephant back to the splendid 17th-century Amber Fort with your guide. Led by a local expert enjoy a walking tour of the Jaipur's bazaars. Thereafter, a photo-stop at the stunning Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) and a visit to the Jantar Mantar observatory. After a lazy lunch continue exploring the City Palace and its private rooms. Spend the evening strolling through the bazaars looking at blue pottery, block printes textiles and silver jewellery or for an evening with elephants at Dera Amer. There is a great social scene at Bar Palladio, also the setting for theBest Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Travel by road to the fairy-tale city of Udaipur. Upon arrival, check into Amet Haveli, a characterful property, perched on Lake Pichola, with 20 elegant rooms and suites, many with pretty balconies. The Ambrai Restaurant, with a romantic lakeside setting, is a city favourite, serving local Rajasthani dishes. In the afternoon, travel by boat to Jagmandir Island, which features a beautiful palace, once used as a summer retreat by the royal family.
Known as the ‘Venice of the East’, Udaipur is one of Rajasthan’s most romantic cities. Spend the morning with a local guide, exploring the magnificent City Palace, an impressive complex on the banks of Lake Pichola. In the afternoon, continue your private luxury tour through the narrow streets of the old city to the ancient bazaar, which buzzes with shops selling colorful clothing, silver jewelry, vibrant art, and leather-bound journals. Visit the Crystal Gallery and Saheliyon ki Badi gardens. Finish your afternoon with a boat ride to Jag Mandir Gardens a small summer palace across the Lake.
Spend the morning at leisure before being transferred to the airport for your flight to Mumbai. On arrival, you will be chauffeured to Taj Mahal Palace, one of the most iconic luxury hotels in India. With a prime location overlooking the Gateway to India, the Taj is a striking blend of elegance, rich history and modern facilities with Italian marble floors, Belgian chandeliers and 4,000 works of art plus ten of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants including Morimoto's, Wasabi and several other options including Chinese, Lebanese and Indian.
Today, you will be exploring the best of Mumbai with a private guide. Get up early for a dawn tour of the city. Then, after a feast of a breakfast, discover the city’s stunning colonial heritage and magnificent architecture, including Flora Fountain, Gateway of India and Elphinstone Circle. There’s plenty of great shopping to be enjoyed, too, as well as a fantastic food scene for which we can give recommendations.
Spend the morning at leisure before heading to the airport for a direct flight to Kochi also known as the 'Spice Island'. Upon arrival, you’ll be chauffeured to your luxury hotel. Choose between: Taj Cochin, perched at the tip of the Willingdon Island, overlooking the Kochi harbour combining oldworld elegance with modern day convenience, and Bruton Boatyard, a shipyard during British times, which has now been converted into a heritage style boutique hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure, soaking up the views over Lake Vembanad and indulging in the local seafood speciality cuisine. Both the properties are located on lake Vembanad which provides a scenic backdrop.
Spend the morning visiting the ancient spice emporium of Fort Cochin, taking in sights including the Dutch Palace with its murals of the Ramayana, the Jewish Synagogue, as well as the Church of St Francis - the oldest church in India. In the afternoon, enjoy a scenic private cruise exploring Kochi's harbour with its landmark Chinese fishing nets, before returning in time to attend a dance performance of the ancient art of Kathakali.
This morning, your chauffeur will drive you for a few scenic hours to Munnar. Surrounded by tea estates, this former colonial hill station has striking vistas and is an ideal base for some gentle trekking. Upon arrival, check into Windermere Estate which has 18 charmingly handcrafted rooms arranged around the original Planter’s Bungalow. Spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure before ambling your way to the vantage point for sunset.
Today, you will set off on foot to explore the tea gardens and observe tea pickers at work. The privately guided tour will provide an insight into the history and production of tea, as well as the opportunity to sample some of Munnar’s best-graded tea. On returning to your hotel, the remainder of the day will be at leisure to relax and enjoy the views or explore this beautiful region on foot.
This morning, in the capable hands of your chauffeur, make your way to Kumarakom, a sleepy little village on Vembanad Lake in Kerala. Check into Kumarakom Lake Resort. Set in the picturesque backwater canals and surrounded by an abundance tropical coconut groves, the resort is one of the most luxurious in this area. Spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Board a traditional houseboat this morning for a private cruise along Lake Vembanad then enter the enchanting Alleppey backwaters. Fed by a network of rivers, a cruise through Kerala’s Backwaters is a scenic treat and offers a superb opportunity to observe river life. After lunch, explore the exceptionally picturesque narrow sections of the waterways, before returning to Kumarakom Lake Resort in time for a delicious seafood dinner. In the evening enjoy a traditional ayurvedic massage or relax in the lush green resort.
This morning, head to the small fishing village of Mararikulam for a solid dose of R&R. Your luxury hotel for the next two nights will be the Carnoustie Resort. Set within landscaped gardens and opening on to the beach. CArnoustie Ayurveda and Wellness Resort treats its guests with ample comfort and charm as the villas blend traditional exterior with modern interiors. Enjoy the ayurvedic spa treatments and the fresh catch from the Kerela waters.
Today, your luxury private tour ends. Transfer to Kochi airport in time for your onward flight.
This tour is purely a suggested itinerary for what your trip to India could include. Treat our Rajasthan and Kerala tour as inspiration. Each trip designed by Rajasthan Tours is created uniquely for you, working to your budget and interests with an absolute commitment to quality.
The price shown includes hotels on double or twin sharing basis, breakfast, sightseeing, transfers, internal flights or trains, private guides, monument entrances, activities and excursions and chauffeur-driven car. On request, we can include international flights, too. In other words, we take the work off you to allow you to enjoy the most memorable holiday experience. The price is a guide and subject to change based on hotels, dates of travel and number of people travelling. During the low season (April to September), the costs are significantly less yet this season remains a great time to travel with smaller crowds and more affordable rates. During the high season, particularly over Christmas and New Year, prices are higher however there are lots of great festivals and the weather is excellent.