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India Tours

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As with all of our holidays, our tours of India operate at a relaxed and leisurely pace, allowing you to fully explore this fantastic country with ease.

There are several tours of India to choose from, and they all include The Golden Triangle, meaning whichever you choose, you can tick off the three iconic cities of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Plus, all of our India tours include a stay in the heart of Ranthambore National Park which was once the private hunting ground of the Maharaja. It’s now home to many species of wildlife, including the park’s most famous resident, the tiger. What’s more, you’ll get to explore what is arguably the most beautiful building in the world: the Taj Mahal.

New for the 2020 / 2021 season, our tours to India all include a two night stay in the sacred city of Amritsar, home to the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion, the Golden Temple.

By taking the 15-day Highlights of India tour you’ll experience all of this with the help of one of our experienced Distant Journeys Tour Managers. However, if you’d like to delve deeper in to this mesmerising country, you can choose one of our longer tours, 19-day A Journey Through India or for the ultimate Indian experience, the 26-day Very Best of India.

These longer tours both include stays in Varanasi, on the banks of the Ganges River, and the bustling city of Mumbai, considered the gateway to India.  The Very Best of India tour has the addition of Kerala, whose tranquil backwaters and cool highlands provide a welcome respite from the heat of Northern India.

For any of the tours to India travelling from September 2020 onwards, we also have an exciting new optional extension to the beginning of the tour itinerary; a three night stay in Shimla.  Formerly the summer capital during British rule in India, when the colonial government retreated from the heat of the Indian summer they found this tiny hamlet with an ideal climate in the foothills of the Himalayas.

SPECIAL LAUNCH OFFER: To celebrate the launch of our new 2020/ 2021 season, any guests booking a tour of India (departing from September 2020) will be entitled to a two night homebound stopover in Dubai for the incredible price of only £29pp (£58 for single occupancy) or flights with BA for a supplement of only £29 (normally £125). Please see the offers tab for more details.

Experience and expertise

Our Directors have over 60 years’ combined experience in the travel industry, plus they’re genuine India experts who not only love this unique country but they also know all there is to know about creating the best tours of India from the UK. As a Distant Journeys customer then, you can be sure our tours are of the highest standard and include the very best that India has to offer.

Plus, all of our Indian touring packages are fully-bonded by the Civil Aviation Authority (ATOL no. 10913), so you can be 100% certain that your money is secure when you book.

India holiday highlights

There is so much India has to offer, and depending on which tour you choose, here are just some of the highlights you might experience:

  • Delhi Explore the bustle of Old Delhi and the tree-lined boulevards of New Delhi.
  • Jaipur No tour of the ‘Pink City’ would be complete without a trip to the Amber Fort
  • Ranthambore National Park Spend two nights among the ruined fortresses and exotic animal inhabitants of this heritage site.
  • The Taj Mahal Arguably the most beautiful building in the world.
  • Amritsar’s Golden Temple – Sikhism’s holiest shrine and one of India’s most breath-taking sights
  • Varanasi The spiritual home of India, on the banks of the River Ganges
  • Kerala’s backwaters including a cruise and visit Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Providing exceptional value while maintaining the highest standards is at the heart of everything we do.

Excellent Hotels

We understand that good accommodation plays a big part in your holiday, which is why we generally use hotels in India with at least a four-star rating. Not only that, but our carefully selected collection of hotels are all situated in the best locations for you to explore – or simply enjoy your surroundings.

So many experiences included

When you choose an India tour with Distant Journeys, you’ll enjoy so many incredible experiences that come at no extra cost. From a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi and two canter safaris in Ranthambore National Park, to visiting the Taj Mahal and Amritsar’s Golden Temple  – they’re all included in the price of your holiday.

Our India tours include

  • Return economy class flights with Emirates / Virgin Atlantic
  • A choice of UK departure airports at no additional cost
  • Airport transfers overseas
  • Superior hotels, with great locations
  • Daily breakfast included
  • Extra meals as highlighted in your choice of itinerary
  • Experienced local tour managers and drivers
  • Incredible excursions
  • All pre-payable airport taxes
  • All hotel porterage
  • ATOL protection for your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Here at Distant Journeys, we think we’ve found the perfect balance of freedom and flexibility that your escorted tour of India needs.

Where would you like to fly from?

Well, that’s entirely up to you! On A Journey Through India  the Highlights of India and The Very Best of India tours, our flights with Emirates depart from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester, Birmingham or Glasgow. Alternatively, you can opt to fly with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow at a supplement of £125 per person on selected itineraries.

What would you like to do?

On an escorted tour, we think it’s important to still have the flexibility to enjoy experiences that really interest you. We build in Freedom Days, allowing you to do just that. Whether you’d like to visit the Lotus Temple, have dinner with members of the Rajput royal family in their home or visit an organic farm, it’s all about what you’d like to do.

Would you like to stay a little longer?

Who wouldn’t? If you’d like to extend your stay in India after your holiday, simply let us know. Arranging alternative flights home is all part of our service.

Book your place on a Highlights of India, Journey Through India or Very Best of India escorted tour before 30th November 2019 and you can take advantage of one of two special launch offers.

Option 1

To help break up your journey (and give you an opportunity to experience a fantastic city),as you enjoy a two night stopover in Dubai on the homeward journey for the very special price of just £29 per person, based on two sharing. Your offer includes two nights bed and breakfast accommodation in the deluxe Marriott al Jaddaf Hotel, and return airport – hotel transfers. Single travellers will pay £58 for this offer.

Option 2

Fly direct to and from India, with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow, for only £29 per person. The usual supplement is £125 per person. NB Option 2 is not available on The Very Best of India tour, as flights must be with Emirates.

Please note: These offers only apply to tours departing from September 2020.

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What is an escorted tour?

Escorted tours are becoming an increasingly popular way to travel, especially for those who are keen to visit a destination but don’t enjoy planning the logistics. But what exactly does an escorted tour involve? As escorted tour specialists, we’ll explain how this immersive way of travelling works, and also dispel some of the myths about escorted tours which simply aren’t true.

 

The main selling point of an escorted tour is that your entire trip is arranged for you, perfect for those who don’t want to spend hours booking flights, hotels and activities. From your departure from the UK to your return, every aspect of your holiday is taken care of, so all you need to do is pack your bags and show up at the airport.

Each escorted tour often covers an entire country, with the itinerary including time for travelling between various cities and destinations. Escorted tours are therefore perfect for large countries such as Australia, China, India and New Zealand, where the country’s highlights and top destinations can be spread out hundreds of miles apart. You may spend multiple days in the same destination, with some days planned out for you with activities included in the price, and other days (which we call ‘Freedom Days’) free to spend as you wish. Hotels, breakfasts and often evening meals are also planned out for you as part of the package.

Another plus of choosing an escorted tour is that all of the items in your holiday itinerary will have been tried, tested and approved by experts. Rather than spending hours finding the perfect hotel or excursion and trawling through TripAdvisor reviews, you can simply choose an escorted tour for the country or countries you’d like to visit, safe in the knowledge it’s been put together by someone who knows the entire experience inside out.

This reassurance also extends to the tour itself, as you’ll be accompanied by a tour manager throughout your trip. Tour managers have had years of training and experience of the country you’re in, and are there to ensure that every aspect of your holiday runs smoothly, as well as to share their wealth of knowledge on what to do and where to eat and drink in the local area.

The first reason why you may wish to take an escorted tour is one we’ve touched upon already: they minimise the hassle of travelling. With all of the best bits of a country picked out for you and compiled into one special itinerary, all you need to do is choose your tour, pack your bags and get to the airport! With a tour manager on hand, you can relax during your tour too, meaning you don’t need to get stressed about travelling between your various destinations.

Escorted tours also help to relieve any anxieties travellers may have about visiting foreign countries, especially those where they don’t speak the local language. It’s not just the language that can make things difficult – navigating the public transport systems in other countries can also be a worry. Fortunately on an escorted tour, a tour manager is always on hand to make sure you get where you need to be, and may also be able to help you overcome any language barriers.

For more intrepid travellers, escorted tours can also be a great way to experience the road less travelled. Many tour operators now offer escorted tours in lesser-visited countries and destinations – a great way to see somewhere totally different (and perhaps not safe to travel in alone/as a couple) while still remaining in safe hands.

Finally, escorted tours may be a great option for single travellers. They can not only travel more safely as part of a group, but also meet new friends to share their travels with. Some escorted tours accommodate for single travellers at no extra cost, while others may add a small extra charge.

Escorted tours are just one long coach trip – while some UK and Western Europe tours may be carried out by coach, escorted tours with longer distances between destinations often include quicker, and more scenic, methods of travel. Coaches may be used for places just a couple of hours apart, but domestic flights are also included to get you from place to place quicker. Scenic railways may also form part of your tour, such as the TranzAlpine in New Zealand, and for travelling from the south to the north of Australia, there’s no more spectacular way than on the incredible Ghan railway.

Escorted tours are expensive – because everything is included all in one package, people often dismiss escorted tours as incredibly expensive. However, part of the reason for this is that you are paying for the vast majority of your holiday upfront, whereas on a regular holiday you may not pay for eating out and activities until you arrive. As escorted tour operators often regularly arrange holidays for large groups, they are also often able to arrange hotels, transport and entry to attractions at a cheaper rate.

There isn’t enough time to explore – many escorted tours last two, three or even four weeks at a time purely because they like to give you plenty of time in each of the destinations you’ll be visiting, so you can really soak up everything about the country you’re visiting and explore at a leisurely pace. You’ll often spend two, three or four nights in each town or city, depending on how much there is to see and do in the local area.

Escorted tours have no flexibility – flexibility and the ability to customise your experience are both things that are becoming more and more common in escorted tours. This starts with getting to and from your destination; these days you often have a choice of UK airports you can fly from, rather just the one, and if you are flying long-haul, a choice of cities for a stopover. While the travelling between each destination and the time you spend there are normally fairly fixed, what you do while you’re there isn’t. Some experiences are included in the price of your tour, while others are completely optional, meaning if you don’t wish to do them you can spend the day how you please.

We hope you agree that an escorted tour sounds like a brilliant way to discover some of the world’s most fascinating countries! If you’re intrigued to find out more about where you can go on an escorted tour, take a look at our choice of escorted tours across Asia, Africa and Australasia – there is bound to be a perfect tour for you.


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