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Iconic India

Why decide between Indias north or south when you can do both on an unforgettable two-week introduction to this incredible country? Explore Rajasthans grand forts and palaces, discover a new level of relaxation on a houseboat in Keralas backwaters, and learn about traditional culture in the small village of Sawarda. Throw in the glorious Taj Mahal, the Pink City of Jaipur, and Kochi's fishing markets and you've got two weeks youll remember forever.


Duration: 14 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Light
Accommodation standard:   Moderate% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 155174
Starts: Delhi, India Finishes: Kochi, India
You will Visit
  • Delhi
  • Vypīn Island

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Delhi

There are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting, so check into to the hotel (check-in time is 12 noon) and enjoy the city.

Included Activities:
Women on Wheels Transfer
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

02

Day 2: Delhi/Āgra (1B)

Walk through the backstreets of Delhi with a young adult taking part in the G Adventures-supported New Delhi Streetkids Project. Later, explore Old Delhi with your CEO before an afternoon drive to Agra.

Included Activities:
Guided Walking Tour with New Delhi Streetkids Project
Old Delhi Guided Walk

Transport:
Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 200km)

03

Day 3: Āgra (1B)

Spend the day visiting the highlights of the walled city of Agra including the famed Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort.

Included Activities:
Taj Mahal Visit
Baby Taj Visit
Agra Fort Visit

04

Day 4: Āgra/Jaipur (1B)

Drive to Jaipur, visiting the deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri and the village of Abhaneri, which has one of India's deepest and largest stepwells (tank gardens).

Included Activities:
Fatehpur Sikri Visit
Abhaneri Stepwell Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00-6.00 hours, 240km)

05

Day 5: Jaipur (1B)

Consider treating yourself to a night at the cinema. Going to see a Bollywood film in India is much more than what we are accustomed to in the west. The atmosphere, energy, and pure fun (not to mention volume!) has to be experienced to be believed.

Included Activities:
Amber Fort Visit
City Palace Visit
Meet a Local Historian

06

Day 6: Jaipur/Sāwarda (1B, 1D)

The village is about 60km (37 mi) from Jaipur and has beautiful temples dedicated to different religions, including a unique sikh temple. The residents of the village are still involved in traditional commercial activities. You'll see pottery wheels, silversmiths, cobblers, traditional huts, old temples, and small stepwells.

Included Activities:
Local Village Immersion

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00 hour(s), 55km)

07

Day 7: Sāwarda/Delhi (1B)

Drive back to bustling Delhi. Opt to join the CEO for a group dinner.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 310km)

08

Day 8: Delhi/Kochi (1B)

Transfer to the airport and fly to Kochi. In the evening, there will be a welcome meeting for new travellers joining the group.


Additional Notes:
You may have one CEO for the North and one for the South. In this case you will be transferred to the airport in Delhi and fly unescorted to Kochi -- either on your own or with any other travellers who are continuing on for the south portion of the tour. Upon arrival to Kochi, there is free time to relax until the welcome meeting in the evening.

Transport:
Plane (3.00-3.50 hours)

09

Day 9: Kochi (1B)

After breakfast, explore the old part of Fort Cochin and Mattancherry. Visit the Dutch Palace, which was built by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin King in the 16th century, the St. Francis Church (the oldest European church in India), and Santa Cruz Basilica, built by Portuguese in the 16th century. Walk through the fish market and the famous Chinese fishing net, believed to have been brought by traders from Kubla Khan's court in China. In the evening, attend the popular classical dance-drama of Kerala called "Kathakali," which combines literature, music, painting, acting, and dance.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Meet with a Local Spice Expert
Kathakali Dance

10

Day 10: Kochi/Kumarakom (1B, 1D)

Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace then continue to Kumarakom on Vembanad Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the state of Kerala. Enjoy a canoe paddle along the narrow canals and take a walking tour through the paddy fields and Chempu village.

Included Activities:
Tripunithura Hill Palace Visit
Canoeing
Walking Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)

11

Day 11: Kumarakom/Kerala Backwaters (1B, 1L, 1D)

This morning we travel to Allepey, a golden streak of land surrounded by rivers, lakes, lagoons and canals, where we board our private houseboat. You can sunbathe on the deck and enjoy the scenery, watching daily life take place along the water. The trip goes through a wonderful area full of water birds, palm trees, rice fields and floating water plants.

Included Activities:
Kerala Backwaters Houseboat Excursion
Family Homestay and Culinary Experience

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.00-1.50 hours)

12

Day 12: Kerala Backwaters/Vypīn Island (1B)

This morning, meet with a representative of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). National Geographic has supported the work of numerous ATREE scientists over the past two decades. We will learn about ATREE's Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme, which is focused on working with local communities to conserve the lake and the surrounding wetlands. Continue by boat to a fish sanctuary established by traditional fishermen through the program. Meet with some of the fishermen and see firsthand how their traditional way of collecting and processing clams are models for the management of lake resources. After, continue to the beach to relax in paradise with free time to explore.

Included Activities:
Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme

Transport:
Private Vehicle (1.50-2.00 hours)

13

Day 13: Vypīn Island (1B)

Free time on Vypīn Island.

14

Day 14: Vypīn Island (1B)

Depart at any time. Hotel checkout is at 12:00pm. It is very easy to arange a transfer from the resort to the Cochin airport - your CEO will be happy to assist.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Arrival transfer included through the G Adventures-supported Women on Wheels project
    • Tour of Old Delhi
    • Walking tour and project visit in Delhi
    • Tour the Taj Mahal, the Baby Taj, and Agra Fort
    • Visit Fatehpur Sikri and Abhaneri step wells
    • Explore Jaipur
    • Talk with a local historian/scholar
    • Visit the village of Sawarda and overnight in a heritage home
    • Walking tour of old Kochi
    • Spice lecture with a local expert
    • Kathakali cultural show
    • Visit Tripunithura Hill Palace
    • Kumarakom canoe ride
    • Walking tour of the paddy fields and Chempu village
    • Houseboat day trip along the Kerala backwaters
    • Homestay with cooking demonstration and meal with a local family
    • Visit Vembanad Wetlands Conservation Programme and a clam sanctuary
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels (11 nts), heritage hotel (1 nt), homestay (1 nt)
    • 13 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners
    Transport
    • Private van/bus, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw, walking, plane, boat, canoe
    Group Leader
    • Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides
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Tour Highlights:
  • Walk the backstreets of Delhi with a local guide
  • Talk with a local historian and scholar of sociological studies
  • Meet a local family
  • Meet an expert and learn about the medicinal and culinary uses of local spices
  • Enjoy a cooking demonstration and meal with a Kerala family