From fascinating Delhi and the Taj Mahal to Varanasi, one of the oldest cities in the world, you’ll visit holy temples and mosques, exquisite palaces, the mighty fortresses of the Moghul Empire and many powerful reminders of the past glories of the Raj. City of temples, palaces and ghats descending to holy waters, Varanasi has been a cultural and religious centre for thousands of years. Then it’s off to Nepal, rich in natural beauty.

You’ll take a once-in-a-lifetime flight to the Himalayas seeing the peaks of Mount Everest, visit the captivating medieval city of Kathmandu, seek out rhinos, bears and tigers on an elephant-back safari through the jungles of Chitwan National Park, and share the peace and tranquillity of Buddhist monks at prayer. A dazzling trip of unexpected delights.

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Scheduled return flights; 13 nights accommodation with daily breakfast and five meals; all transport as indicated; porterage of one bag per person; tour of New & Old Delhi, visit to Taj Mahal & Agra Fort; visit to Orchha Fort & Chhatris; tour of Khajuraho temples; evening & morning boat ride on Ganges, rickshaw ride & city tour of Varanasi; visit to Sarnath; Kathmandu city tour; Mt. Everest scenic flight; elephant-back safari at Chitwan; boat ride on lake at Pohkara & early-morning trip to see sunrise over the Annapurna range; services of an experienced Riviera Tour Manager.

NB: Whilst there are three opportunities to take the Everest flight during the tour, should weather conditions make flying unsafe (this is rare), the sterling equivalent of the fare will be refunded on your return to the UK.

Not included: India and Nepal visas

Day 1

Fly overnight to Dehli.

Day 2

After a rest you begin a guided tour of New Delhi, you see the imposing Rajpath, India Gate and the Parliament building and visit the 12th century Qutub Minaret – the tallest stone-built tower in India and Humayun’s tomb, upon which the Taj Mahal is modelled.

Day 3

A guided tour of Old Delhi takes you first to the memorial of the great Mahatma Gandhi, the Raj Ghat, followed by the Red Fort, then it’s one of Asia’s largest mosques, the Jama Masjid. In the afternoon we take a fascinating drive to Agra through rural India.

Day 4

We wake early to catch the sun rising over the Taj Mahal, an exquisite image that you’ll remember forever, later you visit the immense Agra Fort. This evening you can re-visit the Taj Mahal at sunset as an option.

Day 5

We head to Jhansi by train and coach, to discover the 14 Chhatris – or cenotaphs – built as memorials to its Bundela rulers and Marvel at the palaces of the Orchha Fort complex.

Day 6

Today we visit some of Khajuraho’s remarkable temples. You then take a 45 minute flight to Varanasi where we take an exciting rickshaw to the river then board a small boat, to explore this incredible waterfront.

Day 7

After a morning boat ride, you walk through Varanasi’s narrow lanes and enchanting shops. This afternoon we drive to Sarnath, where we visit the 1,700-year-old Dhamekh Stupa.

Day 8

After a free morning we fly to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, where we visit the famous 14th century Boudhanath Stupa, Tibetan in origin and one of the holiest of Buddhist sites.

Day 9

Today you take a flight to see majestic Mount Everest, the 45-minute flight offers you the chance to take a photograph of the world’s highest mountain from the cockpit  This afternoon you explore the fascinating sights of Kathmandu and the famous Durbar Square.

Day 10

You take the scenic drive to Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s most famous wildlife reserve. We visit a local village by ox cart to learn how local people live in harmony with their spectacularly beautiful surroundings.

Day 11

Rising early, as the sun breaks and accompanied by a unique ‘dawn chorus’, we cross the misty river into the reserve in the traditional manner – on elephant back. After lunch, we have the option of a trip by dugout canoe to a crocodile farm.

Day 12

We drive north towards the small town of Pokhara in central Nepal, this afternoon, we take a boat ride across Lake Phewa for unbeatable views of the Annapurna mountain range.

Day 13

Take a free day to enjoy a stroll around this charming lakeside town, perhaps enjoying some light shopping or a spot of lunch before our return flight back to Kathmandu.

Day 14

  Annapurna Mountains - Kathmandu

Day 15

Return home.