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Travelling from Delhi to Agra, this 3 night extension takes you on a tour through India's capital as well as the magnificent Taj Mahal.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Delhi.
On arrival into Delhi you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the dramatic Red Fort, a Mughal stronghold famed for grand sandstone monuments. Pass vibrant spice bazaars en route to British-built New Delhi, admire the distinct Islamic architecture of Humayun's Tomb amongst landscaped gardens and the domineering pastel shikharas of Birla Mandir.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bagdogra, from here continue to the town of Darjeeling where you will spend the next three nights. Spaced across a mountainous ridge overlooking emerald tea plantations, this town proudly displays colonial architecture alongside Buddhist monasteries with a dramatic Himalayan backdrop.
Today enjoy a trip along the UNESCO recognised Himalayan Railway line. This dramatic alpine course boasts unfolding panoramic scenery dominated by the world's third highest mountain, Kangchenjunga. En route visit the Tibetan Refugee Centre to observe mesmerising woollen work spun before your eyes, then continue to the Mountaineering Museum for a fascinating insight into the first perilous British expeditions of Everest. Discover Himalayan bears, red pandas, Tibetan wolves and a growing population of endangered snow leopards at the Himalayan Zoological Park - considered one of India's best zoos.
From your vantage point of Tiger Hill, witness the breath-taking spectacle of daybreak illuminating the snow-coated Himalayan horizon. Following this unforgettable scene, enjoy a tour through the aromatic Happy Valley Tea Estate to observe the withering, rolling, fermenting and drying process of tea leaves. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon in Darjeeling relaxing or taking in a unique shopping experience along Mall Road.
This morning, fly to the charming town of Paro in Bhutan and onto the capital city of Thimphu. Sprawled along Thimphu Valley, the city's recent construction boom has created a juxtaposition of commercial zest alongside Buddhist monuments peppered with crimson-robed monks. Check-in to your hotel for the next three nights and enjoy an evening at leisure.
After breakfast, a full day city tour of Thumphu awaits. Witness visitors whirling large prayer wheels at the National Memorial Chorte in memory of Bhutan's third king, proceeded by a stroll through flurrying pilgrims and along changangkha temple's kora to admire views of the surrounding mountainscape. Later today inspect the intricate crafting process of traditional artistic pieces within 'the painting school', before gazing at one of the largest Buddhist statues in the world - the ginormous 50 metre Buddha Dordenma sat upon a three-story throne.
Today visit the charming town of Paro to experience one of Bhutan's highlights, a horseback ride up to the famed Tiger's Nest Monastery which clings to a granite peak 3,000 metres above sea level. Local lore alleges that it is here that Guru Padmasambaya arrived on the back of a tigress in the 8th century and then proceeded to meditate for three months. Return to Thumphu for your final night in Bhutan.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu, from here travel to the hilltop settlement of Bandipur - a network of winding lanes, traditional Newari architecture and a welcoming community of farmers and traders. Spend your afternoon on a guided tour exploring the town's charming bazaar flanked by pagoda-style temples.
Enjoy a much needed rest this morning, before embarking on a leisurely hike around Bandipur, exploring secret caves along the hill trails and quaint villages untouched by modern civilisation.
Depart Bandipur this morning and head to Bhaktapur in Nepal. Having settled in, enjoy an afternoon tour of this UNESCO recognised city to spot Durbar Square's distinct Golden Gate, a portal boasting exquisite gilding of the Garuda fending off mythological serpents. Climb a stairway guarded by legendary stone guardians to peer at Nepal's tallest temple before returning to Bhaktapur for your evening meal.
Following breakfast head to Kathmandu, a metropolis of people-packed alleys, vibrant Newari craft markets and an ancient rhythm of worship enduring within the city's striking medieval temple.
A full day tour of Kathmandu commences after breakfast where you will visit the iconic Boudhanath to admire Asia's largest stupa beneath a canopy of coloured prayer flags. Continue to the UNESCO recognised Swayambhunath, an ancient complex displaying a fascinating jumble of Hindu and Buddhist iconography amongst an intoxicating aroma of incense. Take some time to explore Pashupatinath, Nepal's most important Hindu temple used to bless pilgrims and kings alike.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your scheduled flight back to the UK.
Transfer to Kathmandu airport for your flight to Delhi. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Agra where a network of rickshaws, jalebis vendors filling the air with sweet aromas and ancient Mandir temples alluding to the Mughal Empire's past grandeur await. The remainder of your day is at leisure.
Begin today at a tour highlight and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World - the Taj Mahal. Wander along ornamental gardens to witness the breath-taking spectacle of its minarets and iconic bronze dome reflecting the illumination of daybreak. Following breakfast travel back to the Indian capital of Delhi. En route visit the UNESCO recognised Agra Fort - an enormous sandstone city of pavilions, palaces and splendid courtyards behind 20 metre-high walls.
Enjoy a tour of New Delhi's sights including the minimalistic Mahatma Gandhi Memorial adorned in floral tributes and the Qutab Minar complex, a city awash with ancient ruins sculpted by the country's finest craftsmen.
Following breakfast proceed to the airport for your flight back 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.
Your flight is to Nepal and India is with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size, in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
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 a good 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. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The tour also includes a full day hike to the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Paro, Bhutan. Whilst a horse ride to the top is included, they can only take you so far and towards the end of the trek, to get to the very top of the Monastery, there are around 800 steps that must be walked on foot. You will also need to descend the entire way from the monastery as horses cannot take passengers down as the path is steep and uneven. It is important that you make us aware of any health issues before you travel. Please note that it may not be recommended for you to participate in the Tiger's Nest Monastery excursion if you are not in good physical health.
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 ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee or NPR, divided into 100 paisa. US dollars and UK sterling are both also often accepted should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. 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 and GBP 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|
|15 Mar 2018||31 Mar 2018||€557pp||€2822pp||€3379pp|
|19 Apr 2018||05 May 2018||€491pp||€2932pp||€3423pp|
|07 Jun 2018||23 Jun 2018||€517pp||€2727pp||€3244pp|
|04 Oct 2018||20 Oct 2018||€557pp||€2881pp||€3438pp|
|01 Nov 2018||17 Nov 2018||€557pp||€2932pp||€3489pp|
We have secured a few places on this tour for single travellers with no single supplements. Once these are all sold, if you are a single traveller, you will need to pay a small supplement. However, if 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. Alternatively, please ask about our single supplement prices in order to book your own twin room
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then 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.
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