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Why not continue your trip in India and head south with a mini tour of the beautiful Indian state of Kerala.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Delhi International Airport.
On arrival in Delhi, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, a short tour of the beautifully planned city of New Delhi will follow. Offering you a taste of its imperial glory, you'll drive past the India Gate, President's House, Parliament Building and visit the Birla Temple, made purely out of 2,000 tons of Rajasthani white marble.
A full day tour of Delhi commences after breakfast, beginning with the historic Old Delhi in the morning. Lying side by side, Old Delhi dates back to the Mughal period, whilst New Delhi was built just over a hundred years ago. Travelling through the narrow and crowded streets on a rickshaw will transport you back in time, passing vibrant food markets of Old Delhi where bread makers bake delicious scented naan from the tandoor ovens and chai wallahs brew their sweet tea. A visit to the regal Red Fort gives you a sense of the lavish life once led by the former rulers before stopping for lunch in a local restaurant. Your tour will continue on to New Delhi to see the Mahatma Gandhi memorial and the 12th century Qutab Minar. Built on the foundations of Jain and Hindu temples, the complex was built in 1193 after the defeat of Delhi's last Hindu kingdom and displays fine examples of Indo-Islamic architecture as well as the tallest stone tower in India.
After breakfast you will be driven to Agra arriving at your hotel in time for lunch. Despite being a small city, Agra was once the capital of the mighty Mughal dynasty whose strength manifested itself in the huge forts and buildings built to maintain its power. During the afternoon, you will visit the vast red sandstone Agra Fort. The colossal walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built by the Mughals in 1573 and boasts gigantic pavilions, grand palaces and spectacular courtyards.
This magical day starts after breakfast with a tour of one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Words do not do this remarkable palace justice; it really must be seen to appreciate its stupendous beauty. Taking 17 years and 20,000 men to build, the heartbroken Mughal Emperor Shahjahan dedicated this stunning white marble monument of love to his deceased wife to enshrine her mortal remains. Following this, you will begin your journey to Ranthambore National Park where you will spend the night.
Spread over 1,344 square kilometers, Ranthambore National Park is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in Northern India. Once a famous hunting ground for the gallant rulers of Jaipur, today it is home to a variety of species including tigers, leopards, striped hyenas, jackals, jungle cats and many more. Depart your hotel for an early morning jungle safari where you may even be able to spot the elusive tiger. You will return to your hotel for breakfast and lunch with some leisure time where you can take advantage of the hotel's outdoor swimming pool. A second safari trip will follow in the afternoon to visit further areas of the park.
Today you will journey to the Pink City of Jaipur, which got its name from the distinctive earthy red coloured buildings, painted to emulate the red sandstone architecture of the ancient Mughal cities. Lunch and dinner will be served at your hotel with the rest of the day as free time to relax or explore the largest city in Rajasthan.
Begin your first day in Jaipur with a visit to the spectacular Amber Fort, the ancient capital of the royal family until 1728, located just 11km from Jaipur. Spanning over four huge courtyards, you will travel to the centre of the fort by either elephant or jeep, passing snake charmers, harems of the Maharajah and the Palace of Mirrors along the way which all make for a truly unforgettable morning. An afternoon city tour of Jaipur takes in the major sights including the home of the royal family of Jaipur - The City Palace and the Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory. Lastly, marvel at the hundreds of tiny windows on the facade of the Hawa Mahal, known to many as the Palace of Winds, where it is said that the women of the royal family could once watch the streets below without being seen.
The morning is left free so that after breakfast you can visit some of the local bazaars and stalls for some last minute shopping. Try the M1 Road and Chaemeliwala market for jewellery, handicrafts, textile and more, or wander the streets and sample the delicious and unique Rajasthani street food that Jaipur has to offer. You will then commence your return journey to Delhi, stopping for lunch on the way. A final farewell dinner in Delhi will bring your tour to a close, celebrated by a cultural dance show to round
Depart Delhi in the morning for your flight to Cochin in India's beautiful southern state of Kerala, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Today you will board a traditional houseboat which will be both your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals whilst enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding villages.
Disembarking your houseboat after breakfast, your tour continues with a drive through the spectacular countryside. Journey on to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market await you.
A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you can view various species of wildlife and enjoy picturesque scenery. Proceed to Cochin for a city tour to see the impressive Chinese fishing nets, before taking a ride through the village roads in a tuk-tuk. You will see the Mattanchery Duch Palace and St. Francis, the oldest European church in India.
Depart after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.
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 £72 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 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.
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 Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£39||£75||£129|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp 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.
All flights are operated by Jet Airways from London Heathrow to Delhi International Airport. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change.
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, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
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.
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. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in India is the Rupee or Rs. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of India. US Dollars are also widely accepted in India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
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!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Extension Price||Tour Price||Total Price|
|06 Feb 2018||19 Feb 2018||£519pp||£1499pp||£2018pp|
|10 Apr 2018||23 Apr 2018||£489pp||£1299pp||£1788pp|
|01 May 2018||14 May 2018||£489pp||£1299pp||£1788pp|
|08 May 2018||21 May 2018||£489pp||£1299pp||£1788pp|
|22 May 2018||04 Jun 2018||£489pp||£1099pp||£1588pp|
|12 Jun 2018||25 Jun 2018||£489pp||£1199pp||£1688pp|
|19 Jun 2018||02 Jul 2018||£489pp||£1299pp||£1788pp|
|04 Sep 2018||17 Sep 2018||£489pp||£1299pp||£1788pp|
|11 Sep 2018||24 Sep 2018||£489pp||£1399pp||£1888pp|
|18 Sep 2018||01 Oct 2018||£489pp||£1449pp||£1938pp|
|25 Sep 2018||08 Oct 2018||£519pp||£1499pp||£2018pp|
|02 Oct 2018||15 Oct 2018||£519pp||£1499pp||£2018pp|
|16 Oct 2018||29 Oct 2018||£519pp||£1499pp||£2018pp|
|30 Oct 2018||12 Nov 2018||£519pp||£1499pp||£2018pp|
|06 Nov 2018||19 Nov 2018||£519pp||£1659pp||£2178pp|
|07 Nov 2018||20 Nov 2018||£519pp||£1659pp||£2178pp|
|20 Nov 2018||03 Dec 2018||£519pp||£1499pp||£2018pp|
We have a limited number of rooms available on every tour date for single use where no single supplement will need to be paid. But hurry, these spaces are limited and subject to availability. If however once all the places are sold out and 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.
If the group tour departure dates and not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience than you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
Extend your tour with a relaxing beach stay in the Indian State of Kerala. Relax in the popular resort of Kovalam, known locally as the paradise of the south, amongst the coconut groves for which the town is famous.
Extend your trip in with a 4 night stay on the beautiful beaches of Goa, India's most popular and laid back resort destination.
This add-on tour must be taken at the end of the main tour.
Journey through tropical lowland rainforests, rolling tea plantation-covered mountains and discover pristine white-sand beaches in the east of the island.
Our 9 day, 7 night tour allows you to experience the beautiful interior of Sri Lanka, exploring the delights of Dambulla, Sigiriya Rock and the colonial cities of Kandy and Galle.
Characterised by winding emerald rivers, exotic wildlife, spice plantations and lush landscapes, the south Indian state of Kerala exudes tranquillity and beauty.