Day 1: Australia – – Delhi
Head to the airport as needed to catch your Singapore Airlines flights to Delhi, the buzzing capital of India. You arrive in the city and a transfer awaits to take you to the hotel for check in. The remainder of the day can be spent at your leisure, no matter if you prefer to rest up in your room or get out into the city to start exploring the local neighbourhood.
Day 2: Delhi (B)
You are immediately immersed in the energetic pace of Delhi as you set out on a guided sightseeing tour around parts of New Delhi. This trip sees you taken to some of New Delhi’s most remarkable landmarks. Ponder reasons why Qutab Minar was constructed in 1206 (to this day, nobody knows why!), and learn about the legacy of the namesake Mughal emperor at Humayun’s Tomb. Admire the contemporary architecture of Lotus Temple, and drive by the towering archway of India Gate, which was built to commemorate the Indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting in the British Army during World War I. You have this evening as leisure.
Day 3: Delhi (B)
Your focus turns from New Delhi to Old Delhi today as another outing takes you to sights around the old part of the city. Start at Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India, and challenge yourself to climb to the top of the southern tower. Be in awe of the maze of stalls, laneways and alleys of Chandni Chowk, one of Old Delhi’s busiest markets. Hop into a pedal-powered rickshaw for a ride through this labyrinthine attraction. Follow the heady fragrances to the spice market section of Chandni Chowk, and then take in the imposing structure that is Red Fort. Finally, take a bus back into New Delhi to see Swaminarayan Askshardham. This site is devoted to Hindu worship and was officially opened in 2005. Take a moment to appreciate its sprawling and vast design, and be sure to take note of the intricate carvings that adorn its walls.
Day 4: Delhi – Agra (B)
Have breakfast at the hotel and then travel to Agra. You arrive in the city and head to Agra Fort. This impressive site is a powerful representation of the might of the former Mughal rulers. You’ll also catch your first glimpse of Agra’s other famous landmark, the Taj Mahal, while you tour the Fort’s palaces, courtyards and gardens.
Day 5: Agra – -Abhaneri – Jaipur (B)
It is an early start to the day as you wake up in time to make it to the Taj Mahal to see the sun rise over this iconic mausoleum. The Taj Mahal is truly emblematic of India, and the story behind its construction is just as memorable as the building itself. Walk around the immaculate gardens, fill your camera or smartphone with as many photographs as you can capture, and commit as much of this marble-clad wonder to memory as possible. Afterwards, return to the hotel for breakfast and then depart for the drive to Jaipur. There is a pitstop along the way in the village of Abhaneri to see the Chand Baori stepwell and ruins of Harshat Mata Temple located here. Continue to Jaipur, check in upon arrival and then have free time for the rest of the day.
Day 6: Jaipur (B, D)
A guided sightseeing tour takes you around Jaipur, commonly called the ‘Pink City’. Make a photo stop outside Albert Hall Museum in the Ram Niwas garden, and also have time to appreciate the spectacular honeycombed façade of Hawa Mahal. This latter sight is famous for its latticed balconies that were originally built so women of the royal court could peer out into the city below without being seen. Head slightly out of the city towards Amer Fort, another of Jaipur’s most popular to-sees. Take a Jeep or elephant ride up to the central courtyard of this majestic fortress and explore its wealth of halls, gardens and ornately-decorated rooms. Seek out Man Sagar Lake to see Jal Mahal Palace sitting on an island in the middle of the water, and return to Jaipur’s Old City to learn about the architecture of City Palace and the rich collection of treasures and artefacts housed inside. The final stop of the day is Jantar Mantar, an observatory where you can see a number of astronomical instruments plus the world’s largest stone sundial. Take a break from sightseeing by enjoying lunch at a local eatery, and then continue to a block printing workshop for a quick visit. You have the rest of the afternoon as free time until this evening’s farewell dinner.
Day 7: Jaipur – – Mumbai (B)
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and take the transfer to the airport so you can board a short flight to Mumbai. You will be met upon your arrival and transferred to the hotel for check-in. The rest of the day is yours to do whatever you fancy.
Day 8: Mumbai (B)
Fuel up at breakfast in anticipation of this morning’s guided city tour. Be shown some of Mumbai’s most visited monuments such as Gateway of India, the monument commemorating King George V and Queen Mary’s trip to India in 1911; the buzzing Crawford Market in South Mumbai; Siddhivinayak Temple, one of the city’s most sacred sites and devoted to Ganesha; Dhobi Ghat, a site often called the ‘World’s Largest Outdoor Laundry’; Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road and Marine Drive, a long-stretching waterfront promenade; and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the grand train station that is one of Mumbai’s most recognisable UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This evening is free time.
Day 9: Mumbai – Goa (B)
A transfer collects you after breakfast and takes you to the airport in time for your flight to Goa. You are met upon arrival and whisked to your hotel, ready to begin your relaxing end-of-trip beach break.
The western state of Goa is one of India’s favourite beach destinations. It is beloved for its laid-back atmosphere, stretches of golden-sand beaches, tropical spice plantations and Portuguese colonial heritage. There is a great nightlife scene, plus vibrant local bazaars, delicious cuisine, and inland treasures to discover. Your time in Goa for the next three nights is at your leisure, and there is no set itinerary. Some of the most popular things to do include seeing Dudhsagar Falls, visiting Basilica of Bom Jesus and Se Cathedral, learning about the aromatics grown at Sahakari Spice Farm, and shopping at Anjuna Flea Market.
Day 10: Goa (B)
Devote an entire day to exploring the beaches that have made Goa so famous. There are stretches of sand to suit any kind of beach day, no matter if you’re seeking shores dotted with bars and snack shacks, frequented by nesting sea turtles, or ones promising a quieter and more serene experience. Some of the top beaches in Goa include Morjim, Sinquerim and Baga in the north, or Arossim, Palolem and Mobor in the south.
Day 11: Goa (B)
Perhaps indulge your appetite for local flavours today. Goan cuisine has been strongly influenced by Portuguese fare, and dishes are often rich with spices and aromatics. One of the most popular foods to try is Goan fish curry, also called xitti kodi, which comes loaded with coconut and raw mango. Other dishes that take cues from Portugal are chicken xacuti, a curry of meat, potatoes, onions and Kashmiri chillies, and feijoada, a hearty stew of red beans, masala and salted pork. Some traditional plates to look out for include samarachi kodi (a dry prawn curry), bebinca (a cake made from layers of coconut milk) and Goan khatkhate (vegetable stew).
Day 12: Goa – – Mumbai (B)
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and wait for the transfer to take you to the airport for your flight back to Mumbai. You have the rest of the day in Mumbai as leisure time. This will be your final full day in India so is an ideal opportunity to tick off any last-minute sightseeing, savour one more serving of your favourite curry, or track down market bric-a-brac for souvenirs.
Day 13: Mumbai – – Australia (B)
A transfer collects you from the hotel at the necessary time and takes you to the airport where you catch your return flight back to Australia.
Day 14: Australia
Arrive back in Australia today.