• The Himalayas

Mountains and Monasteries

Begin your tour in the former capital of British India then head for the mountains for majestic Himalayan vistas, charming hill stations, lush tea plantations and Buddhist monasteries. A highlight of the tour is a ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway - a UNESCO World Heritage site and a taste of a wonderful bygone era.

Duration
11 days
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
The Taj Mahal

Trip highlights

  • The former capital of British India.
  • Majestic Himalayan vistas.

Transfer to your hotel and overnight at the hotel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Park Hotel Kolkata

Today brings the start of the sightseeing. Embark on a full day tour of Kolkata and visit the iconic monuments such as the Victoria Memorial and Mother Teresa's house as well as the grand architecture that forms St. Paul's Cathedral. Stop for lunch at one of the local restaurants and spend the evening relaxing in the hotel or take an dusk light stroll around the city.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Park Hotel Kolkata

Transfer to the airport to board your lunchtime flight from Kolkata to Bagdogra and once you arrive meet your driver on to transfer to Darjeeling . This is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Eastern India with an indelible imprint of the British in its lifestyle, garden tea-estates, and hotels.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Mayfair Hotel Darjeeling

Early in the morning, visit Tiger Hill, just a short drive from Darjeeling, to see the sunrise and Kanchandzonga and on a clear day, Mount Everest. Follow this dramatic sight with a visit to the Ghoom Monastery, set against the snow-topped mountains of the himalayas. Then embark on a iconic toy train ride from Darjeeling formed by small 4-wheel locomotives, some of which are over 100 years old.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Mayfair Hotel Darjeeling

This morning visit the tea plantations near Darjeeling. Teas grown on these misty heights are famous the world over for their exquisite taste. The premium Darjeeling tea's are mild in character and have distinctive natural fruity flavours. Visit a working tea factory where you can see the different stages of tea processing. If the plucking season is on you can also see the ladies picking the tea leaves, and maybe give it a go yourself. This afternoon is free to relax in Darjeeling or explore the local market at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Mayfair Hotel Darjeeling

Set off this morning for the serene mountain village of Pelling, situated at an altitude of over 2000 metres. Tour the local area and visit the sites as you work your way round the winding forest tracks.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Elgin Mount Pandim Hotel

This morning travel by road to Gangtok, the capital of the state of Sikkim. At an altitude of 1,700 metres, this beautiful laidback city is nestled within the higher peaks of the Himalayas and enjoys a year-round mild temperate climate. It is also a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with several monasteries and religious institutions. After checking in to your hotel, spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Mayfair Hotel, Gangtok

Visit Namgyal Institute of Tibetology which promotes research on the people of the Tibetan culture area (including Sikkim). See the Chorten (stupa), a memorial for the dead and, in season, walk around the Orchid Sanctuary, famous for its rare and extensive collection. Later, pass the Tashiling Secretariat Building and the Tsuk-La-Khang Palace Monastery and Royal Chapel.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Mayfair Hotel Gangtok

Travel by road to Kalimpong, this mountain village is enshrined with monasteries and temples and has a colourful history - it was once ruled by Bhutan and a was a trading centre with Tibet until the 1950s. An afternoon tour includes the beautiful Zang Dog Palri Fo-Brang monastery, consecrated by the Dalai Lama in 1976, and the Thongsa Gompa Bhutanese monastery, with its panoramic views. Discover colourful nurseries, the lively market, and the local Tibetan colony.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Silver Oaks, Kalimpong

Travel to Bagdogra for your early afternoon flight to Kolkata. On arrival, check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Park Hotel, Kolkata

Spend the day at leisure before your transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Included

  • Domestic flights as detailed - Please be aware that the domestic flight luggage allowance may be less than your international flight allowance. Maximum allowance on a domestic flight is 15 Kilos of hold luggage and a maximum of 7 Kilos for cabin baggage.
  • Accommodation as detailed in double or twin room with private facilities (alternative but similar hotels may be used at certain times of the year)
  • Air-conditioned transportation (non-air-conditioned jeep in the hills)
  • Services of an English speaking local driver/guide
  • All entrance fees during sightseeing as detailed
  • Ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (subject to weather and operation of train)
  • Meals included as stated. Please note: Breakfast is usually a Western style buffet in your hotel. Most other meals are taken at local restaurants.

Not included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Visa fees
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Beverages during meals
  • Tips for the driver/guide
  • Optional excursions