18-day Ultimate India Tour
Dive into the rich, vibrant and diverse culture of India with our 18-day adventure tour.
Covering both the north and the west of the country, this adventure has it all. Explore India’s iconic major landmarks, World Heritage ancient ruins, glorious Goan beaches and abundance of delicious food. From bustling cities to rural villages, our Adventure Leaders take you off-the-beaten-track as you explore all that India has to offer.
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Day 1 – Delhi:
On the first day of your 18-day India tour, you will meet your guide at 7pm at the hostel for a pre-departure briefing, to drop your things off and to get to know your travel companions for the next couple of weeks.
Then, you will enjoy your first, delicious, Indian meal at the hostel before heading out to the majestic and very impressive Sri Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, a famous Sikh Temple. You will explore it in all its glory, at night.
Day 2 – Delhi & Varanasi:
In the morning, you will check out of your accommodation and make your way to the airport, where you’ll catch a flight to your next destination, Varanasi!
Varanasi is a busy city in northern India, regarded as the spiritual capital of the country. Varanasi possesses over 2,000 temples, including the ‘Golden Temple’ which is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. The city also attracts Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites.
You will arrive in Varanasi and meet your new Adventure Leader, so that you can make your way to the hostel and drop your bags off. This will be followed by a walk around the city’s old town where you will pay a visit to the Blue Lassi store.
In the evening, you will watch a spectacular Ganga Aarti ceremony from the riverbanks. Then you will have the option to take a boat ride down the River Ganges as you tour Varanasi’s ancient Ghats, or you can have dinner on the banks of the river at the Dolphin Restaurant.
Then, we’d recommend getting a good night’s sleep as you will be waking up early in the morning to see the sunrise over the Ganges.
Day 3 – Varanasi:
The best way to enjoy River Ganges is to go on a boat ride. Today, you’ll wake up early to witness a colourful sky and vibrant sunrise during a Ghat boat tour.
After this, you will have the option to explore the excavated ruins and deer park at the Sarnath Buddhist and Hindu archaeological site. You will learn about the history of Sarnath and visit the museum that has 6,832 sculptures and artefacts.
Later, you will transfer to the train station as you board an overnight train to Agra – home to the iconic Taj Mahal!
Optional activities in Varanasi:
– Evening Boat Tour (400 INR / 11 GBP – price may change dependent on group size)
– Sarnath Buddhist and Hindu Archaeological Site (600 INR / 6.8 GBP – price may change dependent on group size)
Day 4 – Agra:
You have the day free to do as you like!
When you arrive in Agra, you will make your way to your accommodation, where you can check in and get settled. We recommend visiting the Agra Fort for some history and culture, or you can rejuvenate by a rooftop pool – your Adventure Leader can recommend some!
In the evening, you have the option to enjoy dinner and drinks at the luxurious Hotel Taj Resort. India has some of the most luxurious hotels in the world and the Hotel Taj was built in a Maharaja’s palace. This evening, you can enjoy dinner, drinks and pretend you are royalty within the hotel’s grounds.
Day 5 – Agra:
This morning, you will experience a spectacular sunrise over the Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of world and a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and India’s most recognised landmark made out of white marble. The mausoleum was built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 for the Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim culture and art and a universally admired masterpiece in the world. Take time to enjoy this opportunity, wander around and take in the surroundings.
In the afternoon, you will transfer to your next destination, Jaipur.
Optional activities in Agra:
– Agra Fort (1050 INR / 12 GBP)
– Rooftop Swimming Pool (300 INR / 3.3 GBP)
Day 6 – Jaipur:
Arrive in Jaipur and check-in to your hostel. Jaipur is the capital of India’s Rajasthan state and is now more commonly called the Old City, or ‘Pink City’ for its trademark building color.
You have the option to visit a viewpoint for panoramic views of the city and Nahargarh Fort. Then, you will pay a visit to Galtaji, locally known as the Monkey Temple.
Later, you will also have the option to head to Amber Fort, treat your taste buds to the local delicacies in a food court tour or enjoy a night out in Jaipur.
Day 7 – Jaipur:
You have a free day!
You have the option to take in the spectacular views of the city at sunrise with a hot air balloon safari – this is truly an unforgettable experience!
You will also have the option to enjoy a private guided tour of the Pink City, including the City Palace and its grounds – with gardens, courtyards and museums and part of the Palace is still a royal residence.
For the artists amongst you, you will have the option to join an art class at the Creatis Studio. In the evening, you will board the 11.45pm overnight train to Jaisalmer.
Optional activities in Jaipur:
– Nahagarth Fort- viewpoint (200 INR / 2.3 GBP)
– Art Class (1000 INR / 11 GBP)
– Amber Fort (1550 INR / 17.6 GBP)
– Food Court Tour (at least 200 INR / 2.2 GBP – tripper dependent)
– City Palace Entrance Fee at the Pink City (700 INR / 7.9 GBP)
– Art Class (1000 INR / 11 GBP)
– Balloon Safari (190-280 USD) – Balloon Safari is available only between September 1st – April 30th. The cheaper option $190 is nonrefundable in case of cancellations due to the weather – it can only be re-scheduled. The other option $280 is fully refundable if the flight is canceled due to the weather conditions.
Day 8 – Jaisalmer:
Jaisalmer is a city filled with history and culture. From being a medieval trading center and also being located in the heart of the Thar Desert, Jaisalmer is known as the ‘Golden City’. Its unique thanks to its yellow sandstone architecture and Jaisalmer Fort.
When you arrive in Jaisalmer, you will transfer to the Adventure Safari company house and shower, rest and have lunch nearby.
In the afternoon, the desert adventure starts by driving by jeep into the desert. This is where you’ll begin your Camel Safari with a short ride to the campsite. You will enjoy a cooked vegetarian dinner around the campfire. Relax, take in your surroundings and stargaze to your heart’s delight.
Day 9 – Jaisalmer:
You will wake up for a beautiful sunrise over the sand dunes and embark on a longer camel trek to a desert village for a tour.
After, you’ll head back into the city to freshen up at the company house and you will have the option to pay a visit to the famous Jaisalmer Fort – a hilltop citadel with the ornate Maharaja’s Palace and intricately carved Jain temples. You will also have the option to visit the Gadsisar Sagar Lake and the nearby viewpoint.
In the afternoon you will get picked up from the hostel and will take a private transfer to Jodhpur. You will arrive at your new accommodation around 9pm.
Optional activities in Jaisalmer:
– Jaisalmer Fort (600 INR / 6.6 GBP)
– Gadsisar Lake and Viewpoint (Lake is free, viewpoint 100 INR / 1.1 GBP)
Day 10 – Jodhpur:
Jodhpur is a city in the Thar Desert, also known as the ‘Blue Heaven’ due to its iconic shade of blue. In the morning, you will embark on a guided walking tour of the Blue City.
Then, you will have the option to visit the Toorji Step Well where you can have a drink at the café. You will also have the option to test your bravery on a flying fox zipline over the landmark of the Mehrangarh Fort.
In the evening, you will have the option to join a Krishna cooking workshop and learn to cook ten traditional dishes – yummy!
Optional activities in Jodhpur:
– Flying Fox (1999 INR / 22 GBP)
– Cooking Class (1500 INR / 16.6 GBP – plus transportation approx 400 INR per vehicle)
Day 11 – Udaipur :
In the morning, you will transfer to Udaipur – recognized for its lakes and royal residences. You will arrive at your hostel in the afternoon.
This will be followed by a walk through the Old City and later, you will catch the sunset as you take a boat cruise on Lake Pichola. From here, you’ll get the best views of the palace and old town.
In the evening, you will have the option to watch a Dharohar Folk Dance Show or you can enjoy a group dinner at the lakeshore restaurant.
Day 12 – Udaipur:
This morning, you will have the option to volunteer for a few hours at a local animal rescue association, Animal Aid. You will also have the option to get creative at one of the local workshops, including art, henna, sitar or Indian drums, or yoga.
In the evening, you will hop on the 9.30pm overnight train to Mumbai.
Optional activities in Udaipur:
– Dharohar Folk Dance Show (150 INR / 1.7 GBP)
– Prajapati Musical Instrument Class (900 INR / 10 GBP)
– Miniature Painting Art Class (250 INR / 2.7 GBP)
– Getting a Henna Tattoo (300 INR / 3.3 GBP)
– Yoga Class (500 INR / 5.5 GBP)
Day 13 – Mumbai:
Wake up and watch the landscapes change as you continue your train journey to Mumbai. By approximately 2pm, you’ll arrive in the bustling city, where you’ll head straight to the hostel.
In the late afternoon, head to the rooftop of your hostel to take in the view of the city before heading out to a group dinner. Want to explore this bustling city at night? Why not immerse yourself in Indian night life and end the day with a pub crawl.
Day 14 – Mumbai:
Today you can experience the city of Mumbai as you tour around all its famous heritage sites. Visit the city’s most iconic structure, the Gate of Mumbai, which looks out over the Arabian Sea. The gate was built during the British Raj to welcome the arrival of King George and Queen Mary in 1911.
Just next door, you can gaze in awe at the amazing Taj Mahal Palace hotel, which boasts a guest list from The Beatles to Barack Obama! It is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world and one that you should definitely check out.
If you fancy an after-lunch activity, you should pay a visit to the Dhobi Ghat laundromat. It is the world’s largest open-air laundry and a hive of activity! Here you can watch the hundreds men clean clothes coming from all over the city.
Want to learn more about life in India? Finish off your day with a tour of Dharavi, where you can learn about the incredible industries in action within the community, including textiles, leather and recycling. This tour is guaranteed to shatter your expectations of the Indian slum lifestyle!
Optional activities in Mumbai:
– Dharavi Slum Tour (500 INR / 5.5 GBP)
Day 15 – Mumbai & Goa:
Start the day at your own ease with a free morning to relax.
At 11am, you’ll transfer to Mumbai airport where you will catch an afternoon flight to Goa. If you’re lucky enough to grab the window seat, you can enjoy the views of the beautiful west Indian coastline from the air!
In the evening, you’ll arrive at your hostel, where you can spend the rest of the day as you please. Ask your guide for the best bars and restaurants nearby or take a sunset stroll along the beach. Only a short walk from the hostel you can find the charming Vagator beach, which boasts some of the best sunset views in Goa.
Day 16 – Goa:
Today you have a free day!
Treat yourself to a day of ultimate relaxation with a visit to Goa’s beautiful beaches. Close to the hostel you can find both the Ozran and Chapora beaches. Both are quaint and sandy, with Chapora fort ruins located high on the cliff just beside the beach!
If you don’t mind travelling to your beach destination, why not embark on the 30-minute journey to the beautiful, long stretch of sand at Mandrem beach. This is one of the under-explored beaches of Goa, so a perfect spot for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation.
Need more adventure in your day? Take a taxi to the Old Town to explore the streets lined with old Portuguese colonial buildings. Learn about Old Goa’s history as the capital of Portuguese India from the 16th century, until its abandonment in the 18th century.
End the day with a night on the town in India’s party state! Your guide can take you to a nearby bar where your fun will begin.
Day 17 – Goa:
Enjoy some more free time and make the most of your last full day in Goa by hitting up the beaches left on your list or doing some last-minute visits to the abundance of heritage sites.
Fancy some more adventure? Head out for a morning of adventure and go kayaking through Goa’s rivers and backwaters, where you can appreciate up close the scenic jungles and mangroves as you paddle by!
Day 18 – Goa:
Congratulations on finishing your epic journey through India! Your trip has now come to an end, say goodbye to your fellow travelers!
Optional activities in Goa:
– Kayaking (2833 INR / 31.5 GBP)
We wish you safe travels!
Our India tour package price includes the following features:
• Bilingual Adventure Leaders
• Transport within India
• Accommodation (including hostels & 1 night camping)
Please note: Accommodation is in dorm rooms as a standard on our India tours.
Upgrade options (to single, twin, or double rooms) are available, please contact us for more information.
If you’d like to upgrade to a private room this will cost you £450 per room. Just email us before your final payment is due to let us know you’d like to upgrade. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person- i.e. if you are a couple upgrading, then you split this price between the two of you. Room upgrades include single, double and twin rooms.
Check out our included activities below:
- Dinner at Himalayan Hostel (Delhi)
- Visit Sri Bangla Sahib Gurdwara (Delhi)
- Dinner at temple (Delhi)
- Walk through Varanasi Old town and the Blue Lassi Store (Varanasi)
- Ghat tour, including Ganga Aarti Ceremony (Varanasi)
- Sunrise Boat Tour (Varanasi)
- Monkey Temple (Jaipur)
- Desert Camel Trek and village visit (Jaisalmer)
- Blue city tour (Jodhpur)
- Lake Picola Sunset Boat Tour (Udaipur)
- Volunteering at Animal Aid (Udaipur)
- Mumbai Orientation Walk (Mumbai)
A deposit is required to make a reservation on our India tours, with the balance due 70 days prior to departure (unless booking with one of our promotions, for which specific balance due dates may apply). The deposit is £100 GBP / $150 USD / €150 EUR / $200 AUD. If you book on to our India tours less than 70 days prior to departure, the full balance will be due within 3 days of booking.
No bookings can be accepted within 40 days of a trip departure date.
Looking for assistance booking pre/post trip accommodation? Just let us know what you need! We’re happy to help you extend your stay in India!
For customers making payment from the UK: please note that when you are making a payment into our US dollar account you must request your bank to send the money directly to our US dollar account at HSBC UK. Otherwise they may use an intermediary bank resulting in an added wiring fee charged to you of $25.00.
Upgrades & Extras
If you’d like to upgrade to a private room this will cost you £395 per room. Just email us before your final payment is due to let us know you’d like to upgrade. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person- i.e. if you are a couple upgrading, then you split this price between the two of you. Room upgrades include single, double and twin rooms.
The group will be in sex-segregated hotel rooms (unless you book with friends of different sexes, in which case you can be together).
If you’d like to upgrade to a private room this will cost you £450. Just email us before your final payment is due to let us know you’d like to upgrade. The upgrade fee is for the room, not per person- i.e. if you are a couple upgrading, then you split this price between the two of you. Room upgrades include single, double and twin rooms.
The use of Drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is prohibited during activities organized by The Dragon Trip. If you are in possession of a drone when entering the country it is your responsibility to be informed of and follow all local laws. This may include registering your drone with authorities. If you violate this policy or operate a drone illegally you are subject to removal from the tour as per our terms & conditions.
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