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India Escorted ToursIf India is on your travel wish list, read on for some tips from Travelsphere Destination Specialist Josh Cliffe. He was interviewed on The Wireless, Age UK’s radio station, and these edited highlights will help you choose the perfect tour.
Q: India is such a diverse country. If it’s your first visit and you want to see as much as possible, which Travelsphere tour would you recommend?A: A great holiday is our ‘Grand Tour of India’, which will take you through the Golden Triangle – that’s Agra, Delhi and Jaipur – as well as to Ranthambore National Park and down to the Southern tip of India, through the coffee-growing regions and some amazing scenery. You finally end up on the coast in Kovalam. This translates as ‘coconut grove’ and here you’ll find wonderful beaches lined with coconut palms.
Q: Does the Taj Mahal feature on this tour?A: Yes, you’ll see the Taj Mahal on this tour. We visit at dawn, for the best photography opportunities and when there are fewer visitors. Actually, this iconic building features on most of our tours to India because it’s such an amazing sight. Its beautiful white-marble walls are decorated with semi-precious stones and it’s truly breathtaking.
Q: Food must feature really highly on a tour like this – what can visitors expect?A:In terms of food in India, it varies depending on where you are in the country. For example, down in Kerala you’ve got lush palms and it feels really tropical, and on our ‘Kerala – Flavours of Southern India’ tour guests have the opportunity to have a private cooking lesson from a local celebrity chef in the area.
Q: What else can you tell us about the Kerala tour?A: One of my favourite experiences on this holiday is a two-night stay on a house boat, which is absolutely magnifi cent. In contrast to the hustle of Delhi, this area is just commuted via waterways so you have complete silence at times with just boats fl oating down the river. You sleep on the boat too, and they’re a really nice place to stay.
Q: Is there the chance to leave the boat and visit the villages?A:Yes, you fl oat down the waterways and canals and you can stop and jump off and have a look. Each boat has its own crew so they can pull up to the side and you can have a look round the area before returning to your boat.
Q: If someone wanted to focus on just one region of India, which tour would you recommend?A: I would recommend central northern India, so our ‘Beyond the Golden Triangle’ tour, which takes you to the Taj Mahal, Ranthambore National Park and Jaipur, would be ideal. This tour helps you to focus on key points, but if you’re only going to go to India once, I would recommend our ‘Grand Tour of India’.
Q: Are there any other highlights of India you would like to tell us about?A: Yes, I would just like to go into a bit more detail about Ranthambore National Park, which we visit on a multitude of tours, including ‘Beyond the Golden Triangle’ and ‘Grand Tour of India’. The visits to this park are just sensational. This used to be the hunting ground of the Maharajas but is now a privately-owned park with fantastic wildlife and an opportunity to see animals which are synonymous with India, such as the tiger. We offer so many options to people who want to visit India. We have been operating here for a long time and we really know the destination well.
Travelsphere has partnered with The Wireless, Age UK’s radio station, to launch a brand new, weekly Holiday show, broadcast online at www.thewirelessradio.com and on DAB Digital Radio every Saturday at 10am. Missed one? Catch up here