North India: Taj, tigers & palatial beauty
Encounter India’s wild tigers, sip tea with locals in view of the Taj Mahal and dine by the light of the stars in the Thar Desert
North India: Taj, tigers & palatial beauty
About your trip
This 13-day journey won’t forsake those iconic moments – think the Taj Mahal at sunrise and Udaipur’s intricate lake-side palaces. Yet, as always with Flash Pack, it’ll be the unexpected twists and turns that leave you speechless.
Take Jaipur, where you won’t just visit the city’s famed Amber Fort, but receive a special Hindu blessing within its walls. Or Old Delhi, where you’ll try street food from generations-old stalls led by a born-and-bred local. Then there’s Kachhpura Village, a little-known community sat in the shadow of the Taj Mahal, where you’ll enjoy rooftop tea and pakoras whilst absorbing an unseen view of India’s most famous icon. And beyond the sensorial cities? You’ll seek out tigers in Ranthambore National Park and dine by the light of the stars on the rolling dunes of the Thar Desert.
Expect boutique accommodation to welcome you each night, and India’s famed hospitality to leave you feeling humbled, all whilst new friendships blossom against a frenetic – yet endlessly addictive – backdrop.
- Accommodation in twin rooms
- Max 14 travelers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 9 dinners
- Stay in handpicked 3-5 star hotels
- Tips for your Pack Leader & driver
- Arrival airport transfer
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers are required to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination 30 days before departure OR proof of a negative test within 72 hours of their adventure starting. Flashpackers must also provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
Day 01 Welcome to India
Prepare for sensory overload as you step off the plane in Delhi, where your exclusive Flash Pack transfer will take you right to the heart of the action. Cruising through the multi-lane streets of this buzzing metropolis, you’ll feel exhilarated by its sheer size and volume. This is a city which has seen the rise and fall of many emperors, with grand monuments, palaces and forts standing testament to centuries of mighty leaders. You’ll have time to relax at your boutique hotel before meeting your group and Pack Leader. Then you’ll dive straight into the vibrant streets on an orientation tour of the city. On your first night, you’ll enjoy a welcome dinner at a downtown restaurant, getting to know your fellow travelers over a feast of delicious spice-laden dishes.
Day 02 Old Delhi Immersion
This morning is all about embracing the chaos of Old Delhi. This 17th-century walled area is the beating heart of the city, full of energy and bursting with life – as you’ll experience as you weave through the narrow alleys, navigating past rickshaws and spice stalls, craft workers and haggling merchants. You’ll have the chance to meet local residents and find out what living here is like, before enjoying a home-cooked lunch in a traditional haveli (a Rajput-style townhouse with exquisite architecture and courtyards). Later, you’ll continue onwards to Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, a beautiful Sikh temple providing a free lunch for anyone who enters its doors, regardless of wealth or status. The rest of the day is all yours, whether you choose to spend it by the hotel pool or in Delhi’s ancient bazaars, where you can buy anything from rich textiles and silver jewellery to elephant dung paper.
Day 03 Agra Fort & Rooftop views
Leaving the lights of Delhi behind as you travel south to Agra, prepare yourself for an unpredictable drive, with everything from sacred cows to goats-on-mopeds causing congestion on the roads. Upon arrival, you’ll visit the mighty Agra Fort – one of the finest Mughal palaces in India. Walking through the chambers and courtyards of this red-sandstone and marble city, your amazement grows as the stories of past rulers are brought to life by your guide. This afternoon, you’ll experience a very different side to the city – one that few visitors get to see. Crossing the Yamuna River, you’ll explore an authentic Mughal village where many people still live without electricity or plumbing. You’ll share tea and pakoras on a rooftop overlooking the Taj Mahal and discover what ordinary life is like in the shadow of the world-famous monument.
Day 04 Taj Mahal at Sunrise
Today’s highlight? Undoubtedly the sight of the Taj Mahal aglow with morning sunrise. Watching the beautiful domes and towering minarets change slowly from pale pink to sparkling white as the light washes over them is a moment of pure magic. Built as a mausoleum for his wife by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, it’s the ultimate monument to love and one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Breakfast will be waiting for you back at the hotel, then it’s time to continue your journey south to Ranthambore National Park. Once a maharajas’ hunting ground, this vast area of jungle scrub is now one of the best places in India to spot wild tigers. As you check into your hotel for dinner, your majestic feline neighbours will be just waking up from their afternoon slumber.
Day 05 Tiger-spotting at dawn & dusk
You’ll be up early today for your dawn safari, hoping to spot a tiger from your open-top Jeep. This is a fantastic time to spot these majestic predators in their natural habitat, prowling through long grasses or ambling along dusty tracks. Even if the tigers are feeling shy, there’s plenty of other wildlife to look out for; the park is also home to leopards, sloth bears and hyenas, all roaming through the diverse ecosystem. At the centre of Ranthambore are the ruins of a 10th-century fort, as well as ancient temples and mosques, hunting pavilions and crocodile-filled lakes, entwining history with the landscape – a fascinating visit in themselves. Back at the resort, the rest of the day is yours to spend as you please. Then, late afternoon, you’ll head out into the jungle again for a dusk safari, just as the tigers are stirring for their nightly hunt.
Day 06 PALACES & BOLLYWOOD
After breakfast, you’ll set off on the road to Rajasthan’s colorful capital: Jaipur. You’ll be met with a rich array of sights and sounds in this dynamic city, with its famously pink historical architecture, decadent palaces and beautifully preserved courtyards. Take a couple of hours to relax by your hotel pool before getting ready for some serious fun – Bollywood style. On the roof of an old haveli, your group will enjoy a private dance workshop, where you’ll learn to shimmy, shake and groove along to the movie hits – it’s the ultimate feel-good exercise. After working up an appetite, you’ll have the option to join a cooking class in a local family home to cook up an authentic Indian feast.
Day 07 CYCLE THROUGH A PINK CITY
This morning, you’ll take a sunrise bike ride through the oldest part of the city. Meandering through narrow alleys, you’ll visit the vegetable and flower markets, taste traditional breakfast snacks and join the locals at a temple as they offer their morning prayers. Jaipur’s star attraction – the formidable Amber Fort – is a few kilometres out of town, and you’ll be heading here next. This hilltop honey-hewed palace is a masterpiece of Rajput architecture. Within this incredible setting, your group will take part in a special Hindu ceremony to receive a blessing from the gods. You’ll spend the rest of the day exploring Jaipur’s other sights: the City Palace (home to the former royal family), the royal observatory of Jantar Mantar, and the ornate five-storey facade of Hawa Mahal – poetically known as the Palace of the Winds. End your action-packed day with a relaxing rickshaw ride through the city’s spice and flower markets.
Day 08 Camel safari & desert tales
The Thar Desert is calling and you’ll soon be swapping city life for golden sand dunes as you travel west to Jodhpur. This 500-year-old trading settlement is dominated by the Mehrangarh Fort, looming larger-than-life over the jumble of Brahmin-blue houses that cluster around its base. Together with your group, you’ll take a tuk-tuk ride into the city to explore the bustling medieval bazaars. Spreading out from the clock tower, you’ll discover a tangle of ancient incense-scented alleys where traders barter, vendors haggle and tiny shops overflow with exotic wares. As the sun starts to sink, you’ll head out to the desert proper to experience a sunset camel safari. Here you’ll sit under a star-filled sky to enjoy dinner with your group and folk dancing amongst the dunes.
Day 09 TRIBAL VISIT & SKYLINE VIEWS
Surrounding Jodhpur are a number of small rural villages, inhabited by the Bishnoi, an ancient desert tribe known for their simple and compassionate lifestyle. You’ll be welcomed into the community to learn about the 29 sacred principles that the villages abide by and how everyone from potters and yarn weavers to shepherds and farmers cares for the environment, their animals and each other to live in harmony with nature. After a picnic lunch, you’ll return to Jodhpur to witness the mighty Mehrangarh Fort from within its towering walls. Standing in splendour 120 metres above the city skyline, the imposing, invincible structure is even more impressive up-close; the strange haunting beauty of its dramatic architecture matched by its epic views.
Day 10 MAHARAJA LIVING
A new day, another city; and today you’re headed for Deogarh. This ancient town on the banks of the Betwa River is famed for its stunning hilltop Mahal – a 17th-century maharaja’s palace replete with domes, turrets and battlements. The rambling historic building is now a heritage hotel – and you’ll be bowled over to realise that this is where you’ll be staying. After checking in, your group will set off with a picnic to explore the surrounding countryside. You’ll travel in style in a vintage 4×4 truck, passing small villages and witnessing rural life play out: farmers tending cattle, children playing by the road and women in brightly colored saris going about their day. The lakes around Deogarh offer wonderful birdwatching opportunities, as well as a scenic spot to end the tour with tea, coffee and snacks.
Day 11 VINTAGE TRAIN ride
A new form of travel awaits you this morning: a 1930s meter gauge train. You’ll enjoy a scenic safari through the Aravalli Hills crossing multiple bridges and tunnels. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys living alongside the rails. Back in your private minibus, your next stop? Udaipur. On the shores of placid Lake Pichola with a backdrop of craggy green hills, it’s arguably the most romantic setting of any Rajasthani town. En route, you’ll stop off to visit the intricately carved Ranakpur temples – an incredible feat of Jain devotion – and for a luxurious lunch at the Mountbatten Lodge. Then, after checking into your final hotel, the rest of the day is yours to relax and enjoy. Explore the city at your leisure or sip mango lassi by the pool, feeling like you’ve slipped into a regal vision of 18th-century India.
Day 12 SUNSET LAKE CRUISE
You’ll start your final day with a visit to the City Palace, crowned with ornate turrets, cupolas and balconies, towering over the lake. At almost 250 metres in length, it’s the largest royal complex in Rajasthan, comprising 11 different mahals (palaces) with a single breathtaking facade. Part of the palace is now a museum, where you can explore rooms extravagantly decorated with glittering mirrors, priceless artwork and curios of a bygone era. You’ll have the afternoon free to relax or for any last-minute shopping, then tonight your group will head down to the lake for a picturesque sunset boat cruise. Floating on the shimmering water as the sky turns pink, you’ll have unforgettable views of the city’s many islands and palaces. You’ll return to your hotel for a final farewell dinner, toasting your new-found friends who’ve been with you on this incredible adventure.
Day 13 KERALA CALLING
Feeling pampered and restored, it’s time to return to the mayhem of Delhi, where your adventure began. Enjoy a final breakfast at the hotel, before making your way to Delhi for your return flight home. Of course, there’s plenty more of India to be experienced, so why not double up with our beach adventure in Kerala?
Our Favorite Hotels
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Grand Imperial, Agra
A stately survivor of the royal past, this elegant heritage hotel will transport you back to the days of the Raj. Every room has a story to tell and with its rooftop bar, old-world restaurant and garden pool, it’s the perfect retreat after hours exploring the streets of Agra.
Narain Niwas Palace, Jaipur
The ornate facade and stained glass windows of this historic property provide a stunning backdrop for your stay at this grand family-run home. Think high ceilings with chandeliers, velvet sofas and peacocks wandering across the lawns.
Standing proudly on the top of a hill, this impressive 17th-century fortress is replete with domes, turrets and battlements looking out over the Aravalli Hills. Decor is reminiscent of the Mughal era and the glittering mirrored lounge is a sight to behold.
- Which airport do I need to fly into? Plus airport code
Fly into and out of New Delhi Airport (DEL).
- Which airport do I depart from? Plus airport code
The tour finishes in Udaipur and you will need to make your own way back to Delhi for your return flight home. The easiest way to do this is to book a connecting flight from Maharana Pratap Airport Udaipur (UDR) to New Delhi Airport (DEL), which you will need to organize yourselves.
- What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Before 2pm ideally. The welcome meeting and dinner will be from 7pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 60 minutes away from the airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. Udaipur’s airport is a 45-minute drive from the hotel, and it’s a 75- to 90-minute flight from Udaipur to Delhi. Your Pack Leader can help you book transfers to the airport if needed.
- Do you include airport transfers?
Yes. The arrival transfer is private to Flash Pack, and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived so you can make your own way to the first hotel if you wish.
A departure transfer is not included, but taxis to the airport are good value, especially if you split the cost with others in your group.
- Do I need a visa?
Yes, most visitors to India will need a visa.
US, EU and Australian passport holders can apply for a visa online. The usual turnaround time is about three days.
UK & Canadian passport holders must apply for a paper visa. We recommend that you start your visa application at least six weeks prior to departure. You must arrange an in-person appointment at your local embassy and leave your passport with them until your visa has been processed. It can take up to three weeks to process your visa, so bear this in mind if you have other international travel plans. Also note that you may not be given an appointment date straight away; the current lead time is two to three weeks.
- What are the current Covid entry requirements?
Fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to travel to India.
- What level of fitness do I need for this trip?
A moderate level of fitness is fine. There are no difficult hikes on this adventure.
- Will the itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll always do our best to ensure it has little impact on your experience. From time to time, we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
"Well organised trip, beautiful hotels, good tourist guides and varied activities."
"This was my second time using Flash Pack, and while not quite as slick as the first time they're still streets ahead when it comes to customer service."
"I would definitely recommend Flash Pack to anyone - they put together a great itinerary. The guides were great, and the group of people just fantastic."
" Flash Pack really give the personal touch from the advice I was given that made me book the trip in the first place to the emails after I’d been on the trip to find out how it went. It made me feel special and it really added to the whole experience."
As captured on Instagram
The latest from Flashpackers in India on #picsworthsharing
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission to create 1 million friendships so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends. Want to know more about your group? GET IN TOUCH
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
Our trips are made up of ‘can’t-do-by-yourself’ experiences – think staying on your own private island in the Arctic and glamping in Land Rovers on the Serengeti SEE TRIPS
We only work with trusted local guides who know their destinations better than anyone.
11 days in Sri Lanka
Inside Sri Lanka
10 days in India
South India: slow beauty in Kerala
9 days in Asia
14 days in Asia
Vietnam & Cambodia: ancient beauty & emerald isles
SIGN UP TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Hear about our new adventures before anyone else
Talk to an expert
Need help choosing your perfect adventure? Speak to one of our dedicated Travel Advisors now.Contact Us
WHAT TO EXPECT
Hear about our new adventures before anyone else.
Be the first to hear about exclusive Flash Pack offers.
Access exciting competitions.
Receive weekly inspiration and travel stories from solos just like you.