The Maharajas' Express & Palaces Of India
This is the ultimate luxury holiday. You’ll stay in former royal palaces and you'll follow in the footsteps of Sir Trevor McDonald and take a journey on the opulent Maharajas' Express. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Quite simply, this is the trip of a lifetime. Follow in the footsteps of Indian royalty as you stay in some of the finest heritage hotels in all of India, exploring treasures including the Taj Mahal, the 'Pink City' of Jaipur, and the bustling cities of Delhi and Mumbai. To get an authentic flavour of this amazing country, you'll take to the train – but not just any train. Your adventure includes three nights on board the world-famous Maharajas' Express, where luxury comes as standard. Truly, this tour – which we're offering for the first time this year – will give you a taste of life as a Maharajah or Maharani.
On this trip of a lifetime you'll follow in the footsteps of Indian royalty as you stay in former palaces and enjoy pure luxury aboard the world-famous Maharajas' Express.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Just You Tour Manager as your host
Return flights from Heathrow
Use of an airport lounge in the UK
6 nights in 5-star luxury hotels and palaces and 3 nights on the world-famous Maharajas' Express
Free VIP door-to-door private transfers
14 meals: 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 3 dinners
Overseas transfers & other transportation
Dedicated Just You representative to greet you at all UK airports
All meals, soft beverages, a selection of Indian wines, beer and spirits on board the Maharajas' Express
Butler service on the Maharajas' Express
Porterage at stations
- Orientation tour of New Delhi
- 3 nights on the world-famous Maharajas' Express, including a traditional Indian 'grand welcoming' on board
- Taj Mahal visit followed by a Champagne breakfast
- Game drive at Ranthambore National Park
- Sightseeing in Udaipur, the 'Pearl of Rajasthan'
- Cruise on Lake Pichola to visit Jag Mandir Palace
- Visit the Ranakpur Jain temple
- Visit the Mehrangarh Fort & Jaswant Thada mausoleum in the 'blue city' of Jodhpur
- Tuk tuk ride around the bazaars of Jodhpur's Old City
- Sightseeing in Mumbai
- Day 1 UK to Delhi
- Today you'll depart on your flight to Delhi, India's largest city.
- Day 2 Delhi
- Our welcome ambassador will meet you on arrival at Delhi, where you'll be escorted to the Leela Palace hotel for an overnight stay. Located at the very heart of the capital's prestigious diplomatic enclave, the hotel exemplifies the magnificent architecture, grace and elegance of architect Edwin Lutyens' Delhi. It also features a rooftop pool with panoramic views of the capital and a spa by ESPA London.
- Day 3 Maharajas' Express Train from Delhi to Agra
- Nothing quite compares to exploring India by train. Today, you'll board the palatial Maharajas' Express at Safdarjung Railway Station in Delhi. You'll receive a traditional Indian welcome, complete with flower garlands as you step on board. You'll then find yourself surrounded by the sort of opulence and luxury that immediately evokes the era of the Maharajas. Spacious, superbly-appointed cabins await you, and you can enjoy an onboard breakfast with your travelling companions.
In the train's two ornate restaurants, you'll dine on gold-edged plates and drink wine from hand-cut Swarovski crystal glasses. There's also a lounge with well-stocked bar, an onboard library and a souvenir shop. After you've explored the train, settle down amongst the luxury and relax as the Maharaja Express takes you to your next destination, Agra. And if there's anything you need in the meantime – just summon your butler!
Agra is one of India's prime tourist destinations. When we arrive in the afternoon, our first experience of this delightful city will be the Agra Fort that lies on the Yamuna River. Created by several rulers of the Mughal Dynasty, the fort was transformed into a glittering palace by the Emperor Shah Jahan. Many years later, it became a gilded cell, where the he was imprisoned for eight years when his son Aurangzeb overthrew him in 1658.Back on the train, we'll enjoy a delicious banquet in one of the train's two thematically-designed restaurants. Mayur Mahal is named after the peacock, India's graceful national bird, and Rang Mahal is also known as 'The Palace of Colours'. After dinner, there's an optional excursion to watch the enthralling Mohabbat-e-Taj show that tells the story of Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife, Mumtaz Mahal through expressive dance and drama.
- Day 4 Agra to Jaipur
- The excitement builds every day of this magical tour. We'll realise many a dream today when we make a pilgrimage to the iconic Taj Mahal, a must-see sight in a league of its own. Commissioned by Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaz, it is an architectural masterpiece of exquisite craftsmanship and perfect proportions.
After our invigorating experience at this magnificent symbol of love, we'll follow our visit with a sumptuous Champagne breakfast atop Taj Khema, which offers wonderful views of the Taj Mahal.
Next, we'll retreat to the train for a luxurious lunch that draws inspiration from a variety of cultures. We'll then spend the afternoon on safari in Rathambore National Park. We'll enjoy a breathtaking game drive, where we'll cross our fingers in the hope of seeing an elusive Bengal tiger up close amongst the sprawling greenery.Our day ends with a feast aboard the Maharaja Express as the train takes us in comfort to our next enchanting destination, Jaipur.
- Day 5 Jaipur
- Today, we'll wake up in the gorgeous, terracotta-pink walled city of Jaipur. We'll enjoy a delicious breakfast together, before we set out to explore this particularly enchanting jewel in India's crown. Our first stop will be the sprawling Amber Fort, which sits on a hilltop overlooking the desert. Dating back to the 11th century and featuring 16th century sandstone, this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts an exquisite exterior that encompasses marble palaces built around beautiful courtyards and gardens. You'll return to the comforts of the train for a superb lunch on board. This afternoon, optional excursions include an exciting visit to the City Palace and Observatory, known locally as Jantar Mantar.
- Day 6 Udaipur
- Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast on board before you bid farewell to the Maharajas' Express. We will then transfer to Delhi airport for our flight to Udaipur, a city known for its lavish royal residences – and we will be staying at one of them!
The Taj Lake Palace hotel is a historic royal residence, built in 1746. It is located in the middle of Lake Pichola, one of the lakes that has helped earn Udaipur the nicknames 'Pearl of Rajasthan' and 'City of Lakes'. Featuring a range of restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool and a fitness centre, the Taj Lake Palace offers everything you'd expect from a luxury hotel, as well as a unique and unforgettable experience for its guests – a cruise aboard the Royal Gangaur that includes cocktails and dinner while on board. There's also the chance to visit the Jiva Spa Boat – a floating spa in an anchored boat.
- Day 7 Udaipur
- We'll get our day off to a sparkling start with a visit to Udaipur's Crystal Gallery, spread across the ostentatious Durbar Hall. Housing the largest single private collection of crystal in the world, this fascinating museum features an enormous rare collection of Osler's crystal.
Ordered from England by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1877, he died before it arrived. The glittering crystal then lay forgotten in boxes for 110 years. The bewildering collection of intricate crystal finery includes dinner sets, perfume bottles, chairs and even the only crystal bed in the world.We'll visit the beautiful garden of Saheliyo Ki Badi, famous for its lush lawns, marble and fountains before enjoying an evening cruise on Lake Pichola. Tonight, we'll return to the luxury of our hotel.
- Day 8 Jodhpur
- After breakfast, we'll depart for Jodhpur. An unmissable treat awaits us en route as we visit the incredible Ranakpur Jain temple, one of the major pilgrimage sites for followers of the Jain religion. This stunning building dates back to the 15th century, and is a gorgeous, three-storey, white-marble wonder, with ornate carvings on every surface, inside and out.
On arrival at Jodhpur, your luxury five-star hotel is the Umaid Bhawan Palace. A magnificent piece of Rajasthan's heritage, this building was home to the erstwhile Jodhpur royal family and has one thing in common with the iconic Taj Mahal at Agra – the palm court marble used in its construction.
Perched on Chittar Hill, the highest point in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhawan Palace affords exotic views of this historical 'Blue City', with its blue buildings and rooftops – plus you'll see vast sand dunes and the intimidating Mehrangarh Fort from here. The property also houses a family museum, and is set amidst 26 acres of lush gardens, featuring peacocks and a subterranean zodiac pool. Rooms are finished in stunning Art Deco style, while the hotel's restaurants offer everything from authentic Rajasthani cuisine to an array of European and Mediterranean delicacies. While you're here, perhaps you'll take the chance to pamper yourself with rejuvenating treatments and therapies at the Jiva Grande Spa, or soothe your mind and body with yoga and meditation.
- Day 9 Jodhpur
- The magnificent and formidable Mehrangarh Fort dominates the skyline of Jodphur city. Built entirely of red sandstone, this 15th century hilltop fort – one of the largest in India – has palatial period rooms, extensive courtyards and alluring latticed windows.
Later, take a short walk from the fort to reach another prominent landmark of the city – Jaswant Thada. This shimmering white-marble mausoleum was built in the memory of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II.
Take a tuk tuk ride around the bazaars of the Old City and you'll feel as if you've travelled back in time, with the wholesale markets of cotton, grain, vegetables and spices operating much as they did in the 1500s. Visit craft stores selling silver jewellery, tie-dye fabrics and embroidered 'jutis' or slippers in suede, camel skin, velvet and leather.
We'll spend a further night in royal luxury at our hotel.
- Day 10 Mumbai
- Today we will fly to Mumbai, where on arrival, we'll enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour. In this melting-pot of new and old India we will discover the fascinating Dhobi Ghat. Each morning laundry from all over Mumbai is brought here to be soaped, soaked, boiled, beaten, and thrashed. The next day, after being aired, pressed, folded and wrapped, the bundles are returned from where they came. The secret that keeps the operation running so smoothly is the coded symbol that each dhobi-wallah places on every item.
Pay a visit to the Prince of Wales Museum, which not only houses many interesting artefacts, but is also a work of art in its own right. Designed by architect George Wittet, who also designed the Gateway of India, the museum is crowned by an impressive white dome. Carry on your tour with a visit to Mani Bhavan, the Gandhi Museum, a building which served as Mahatma Gandhi's Bombay base between 1917 and 1934, and is now a fitting memorial to his life. A series of tiny dioramas tell Gandhi's life story, photos covering the walls capture historic events, and personal artefacts offer insights into Gandhi's hopes and struggles.
End your tour on Marine Drive, dubbed the Queen's Necklace. It's Mumbai's most popular promenade and a favourite spot to watch the sun go down.
Overnight, you'll stay at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower, a hotel that has played an intrinsic part in the life of the city for over a century, hosting Maharajas, dignitaries and eminent personalities from across the globe. As well as offering an array of activities for guests – such as harbour cruises – the hotel boasts no less than 10 restaurants, serving both local and international culinary dishes. The signature Jiva Spa offers Indian rejuvenation therapies using exclusive natural products.
- Day 11 Mumbai to UK
- After breakfast, it's time to check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport for our journey back to the UK.
- The Leela Palace New Delhi
- Maharajas' Express
- Described as the most luxurious train in India, the Maharajas'' Express recreates the opulence of the personal carriages created for India''s maharajas. Elegant interiors and state-of-the-art facilities combine to create one of the finest ways to experience India and once on board you''ll be able to enjoy drinks in the Safari Bar and delicious Indian cuisine in the exquisite dining cars. Each well-appointed cabin offers private facilities and is decorated with rich tapestries, linen, upholstery and antiques.
- Taj Lake Palace
- This spectacular hotel is set on an island in the middle of Lake Pichola and offers breathtaking views over Udaipur''s City Palace and the Aravalli and Machla hills. It was used as a filming location for the James Bond film ''Octopussy'' and still oozes glamour, luxury and elegance. Facilities include three restaurants, a bar, swimming pool and spa. Guest rooms feature en suite facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, tea/coffee-making facilities, TV and hairdryer.
- Umaid Bhawan Palace
- This luxurious hotel is perched on a hill and offers incredible views over the city of Jodhpur. It is set within 26 acres of lush gardens and all of the rooms are decorated in breathtaking Art Deco style. Facilities include two restaurants, a bar, swimming pool and spa. Guest rooms feature en suite facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, TV and hairdryer.
- The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower
- This iconic hotel opened in 1903 and overlooks the famous Gateway of India and the Arabian Sea. It has played host to royalty and celebrites from all around the world and facilities include 10 restaurants and bars, a swimming pool and spa. Guest rooms feature en suite facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, TV and hairdryer.
- Mohabbat-e-Taj Show in Agra
- Jaipur's City Palace Observatory