The Vale of Kashmir
10 days from £2480 per person
The enchanting Kashmir valley is the perfect summer retreat. Soft mountain air, pine forest, serene lakes and spectacular Himalayan mountain scenery offer a direct contrast to the sapping heat of the north Indian plains. Dividing the visit into two parts, this itinerary begins with three nights aboard a traditional Nagin Lake houseboat before concluding with three further nights on dry land closer to the city of Srinagar. Ample time will be spent experiencing the lakes and visits will also be made to some of the fabulous Mughal gardens. The best time to visit Kashmir is from April to early October.
Delhi, India’s capital city, offers impressive, monumental civic buildings in New Delhi, whilst Old Delhi contains the substantial Red Fort and many teeming markets.
Cool, blue lakes, gardens, waterfronts and houseboats are the attractions of Srinagar, all complemented with a magnificent backdrop of high mountain peaks.
Visit the stunning Mughal gardens of Nishat Bagh and Shalimar Bagh as well as the vibrant floating fruit and vegetable markets on Dal Lake.
Day 1 Depart the UK
Today depart the UK on the Virgin Atlantic flight to Delhi. (N)
Day 2 Arrive Delhi
Arrive into Delhi and stay for two nights at Le Meridien New Delhi. Alternatively upgrade to the Claridges Hotel. Delhi is India's capital and a city of two halves. Old Delhi – the heart of Muslim India between the 17th and 19th centuries – is an historic district of grand mosques, majestic forts and crumbling monuments. In contrast New Delhi, with its large government buildings, wide tree-lined avenues and pretty white-washed bungalows was purpose-built in the 1930s by the British as a colonial capital and remains the epicentre of Indian political power. (N)
Day 3 Delhi to Srinagar – by air
Srinagar to Nagin Lake
This morning transfer to Delhi Airport and fly to Srinagar. Once in Srinagar continue to the shores of Nagin Lake and board a premium Houseboat, your base for the next three nights. There is no better way to experience the enchanting beauty of Kashmir. The houseboats are comfortable, with traditional Kashmiri furnishings and a spacious veranda with wonderful views of the lake and snow-capped mountains. Later cruise in a shikara through the floating gardens that link Nagin and Dal Lakes. (B/D)
Day 4 Nagin Lake
After breakfast visit some of the superbly maintained Mughal gardens for which this area is rightly famed. Highlights include the Nishat Bagh, which is also known as the Garden of Gladness, and the Shalimar Bagh which was built by the Emperor Jahangir for his wife. In the afternoon drive north of Srinagar to the Jhelum Valley and picturesque Manasbal Lake. Remainder of the day at your leisure relaxing and watching life go by on Nagin Lake. (B/L/D)
Day 5 Nagin Lake
Before sunrise leave the houseboat and travel by shikara to the colourful floating vegetable market that takes place each morning. Later return to the houseboat and spend the reminder of the day at leisure watching life on the lake pass by. (B/L/D)
Day 6 Nagin Lake to Srinagar
This morning transfer by car to either the Vivanta by Taj – Dal View Hotel or the Lalit Grand Palace Srinagar Hotel. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and languid lakes, Srinagar’s Himalayan setting is dramatic and beautiful. The old city is a warren of narrow alleyways, temples, mosques and markets and much of the unique Kashmiri wooden architecture still remains. Srinagar is also home to some of the finest ornamental gardens not just in India, but also in the wider subcontinent. This afternoon explore Srinagar with your local guide starting at the northern edge of the old city to visit the Sufi shrine of Makhdoom Sahib which is located close to the Hari Parbat Fort. There are good views over Nagin Lake from this vibrant place of worship. Later return to the heart of the historic quarter and visit the unique Jama Masjid, the city’s largest mosque, the Shah Hamadan Mosque and Budshah Tomb. There will also be plenty of opportunity to wander through the many colourful bustling bazaars. (B)
Day 7 Srinagar
This morning take a shikara down the River Jhelum cruising under the seven bridges of Srinagar to Chatabal, stopping along the river to visit some interesting Hindu temples and mosques. From Chatabal return by car to your hotel passing through another interesting part of the city to visit the 14th Century Ali Masjid Mosque at Eidgah. Later this afternoon visit Shankaracheria Hill for an excellent sunset view of Dal Lake on one side and the River Jhelum together with the city of Srinagar on the other side. (B)
Day 8 Srinagar to Delhi – by air
This morning leave the hotel and transfer back to Srinagar Airport in good time to catch the flight to Delhi where you will stay for two nights at Le Meridien New Delhi. Alternatively upgrade to the Claridges Hotel. (B)
Day 9 Delhi
After breakfast commence a morning tour of Old Delhi with your guide to explore the area's dense network of bustling alleyways, homes, bazaars and mosques visiting famous Chandni Chowk market, the beautiful Jama Masjid, the Red Fort and Rajghat. In the afternoon continue to New Delhi which was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and is today home to Rashtrapati Bhawan, the official residence of the Indian President, Rajpath and the imposing India Gate. (B)
Day 10 Delhi to the UK
Today transfer back to Delhi Airport to catch the Virgin Atlantic flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
- International flights from the UK
- Domestic flights
- Private car with English speaking driver
- Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
- Hotel accommodation and taxes
What's not included
- Cost of visas
- Travel Insurance
- Expenses of a personal nature
Guide to Price
The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request
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