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Darjeeling and Sikkim

 

Darjeeling and Sikkim

India Holidays - Tea picker, Darjeeling

CalcuttaOberoi Grand
2 nights
DarjeelingThe Elgin
3 nights
PellingMount Pandim
1 night
Gangtok Nor-Khill Hotel
2 nights
Kalimpong
Silver Oaks 1 night
CalcuttaOberoi Grand
1 night

Click on the name of the hotel for details

 

11 days from £1285

International flights NOT included - see below

 

A superb journey incorporating Calcutta (Kolkata), the former capital of British India, tea country, spectacular Himalayan mountainscapes, Sikkim, Kanchenjunga and memories of the Raj

 

INDIA HOLIDAYS FACTFILE

 

DAY 1 - Arrive Calcutta (Kolkata).

On arrival in Calcutta you will be met by a representative of World Discovery outside immigration and customs. You will then be taken by private car direct to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free.  Recommended flight from London: Emirates from London Heathrow via Dubai (see below). If you are travelling from a country other than the UK we would be happy to give you guidance on your flight options.

DAY 2 - Calcutta.

The locals still call their city Calcutta.  This once great Imperial capital is often bypassed by tourists, but we believe that it's a place of character, culture and history that's well worth a visit of 2 or 3 days.  Your World Discovery India holiday begins this morning when your guide meets you at your hotel and takes you on a unique full day tour, including lunch at a private home and a private boat trip on the River Hoogly, that will give you real insight into this warm and friendly metropolis.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch.

EXTEND YOUR STAY IN CALCUTTAIndia Holidays - Calcutta - Victoria Memorial

We are happy to book a longer stay in Calcutta for those who wish.  Our expert ground agents can organise anything from high tea at Flury's, a visit to the tomb and former modest dwelling of Mother Theresa, to an afternoon in a private box at Calcutta Races.  Extend your stay in Calcutta

.

DAY 3 – Fly to Bagdogra. Continue to Darjeeling.

In the morning take the short flight to Bagdogra, a sub-tropical town that is the gateway to the mountains.  Here you will be met and driven into the foothills of the Himalaya to reach the small hill station of Kurseong, located at an altitude of 1,458m/4,864ft.  Enjoy lunch at the quaint Cochrane Place, dating from British colonial days, before continuing to up to Darjeeling (2,096m/6,982ft).
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

 

India Holidays - Himalayan peaks from DarjeelingDAY 4 - Darjeeling.

Darjeeling - 'Queen of the Hills' - was one of the most famous summer retreats of the British, a place to escape the fierce heat of the plains. It has recently been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.  Weather-permitting, one of the glories of a stay in Darjeeling is a view of the sunrise on Kanchenjunga (third highest mountain in the world at 8,586m/28,169ft) and the surrounding peaks.  Most visitors get up in the dark and travel for more than hour to join the tourist crowds at Tiger Hill to view the sunrise (often to be disappointed by the unpredictable conditions) but we feel that you can see the mountains just as well from the ridge in Darjeeling itself (just 10 minutes' walk from your hotel), and that's what we recommend.  You can stay in bed if it's overcast!  After breakfast this morning we have included a morning tour of Darjeeling that will give you a good introduction to this atmospheric mountain retreat.  The rest of the day is free.  One of the pleasures of Darjeeling is to walk around the central market areas and the Mall, full of interesting shops and tea rooms.  Darjeeling tea is recognised all over the world for its high quality and is known as the 'Champagne of teas'.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

 

India Holidays - Darjeeling - The 'Toy Train' stops at the Batasia LoopDAY 5 - Darjeeling.

A day at leisure in Darjeeling.  One activity that you may wish to enjoy is a short ride on the famous narrow-gauge (just 2 feet!) Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, affectionately known as the 'Toy Train'.  You can combine this with a visit to Ghum Monastery.  Ghum is the highest station on the railway, and this last section between Ghum and Darjeeling is the only one currently guaranteed to use steam engines (diesel locomotives are used for the most part of the journey).  The train stops at the 'Batasia Loop' (pictured) on this stage of the journey, when you can disembark and take pictures.
Meals included: Breakfast, dinner.

SIKKIM

DAY 6 - Drive to Pelling (Sikkim).  Pemayangtse.

Sikkim has long been regarded as one of the last 'Shangri-las' because of its remoteness, spectacular mountain terrain, varied flora and fauna, and its wealth of ancient Buddhist monasteries. This former British Protectorate has only been part of India since 1975 and a permit is required to enter its territory. Your World Discovery representative will organise this for you during your stay in Darjeeling. A 4 hour scenic drive this morning will bring you to Pelling, where your hotel is located.  In the afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of the impressive monastery of Pemayangtse and other nearby places of interest.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 7 - Drive to Gangtok, capital of Sikkim.

After breakfast leave Pelling for the journey to Gangtok.  The scenery on this 5 hour drive is commanding: lush green forests, rice terraces, lofty snow-capped peaks, tumbling streams, villages tucked on hilly slopes, and monasteries that appear to balance precariously on mountain crests.  We reach Gangtok in the early afternoon. Sikkim's capital is set on a ridge above the Ranipul River at 1,547m/5,075ft.  Your stay is at the colonial-style Nor-Khill Hotel.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Sikkim Holidays - Gangtok - Rumtek Monastery by Roy DaviesDAY 8 - Gangtok.

A full day of sightseeing in Gangtok, including the marvellous Rumtek Monastery (pictured left) and the unique Research Institute of Tibetology.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

RETURN TO WEST BENGAL

DAY 9 - Drive to Kalimpong.

Today you will bid farewell to Sikkim and enjoy a 3 hour drive to the quiet former British hill station of Kalimpong.  In the afternoon, after taking a look at the Bhutanese monastery of Thongsa Gompa, you will visit one of Kalimpong's excellent flower nurseries; the climate here is perfect for growing orchids, gladioli and dahlias, as well as cacti, palms and ferns.
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

DAY 10 - Return to Calcutta.

Drive out of the hills to Bagdogra for the early afternoon flight to Calcutta.  The rest of the day is free.
Meals included: Breakfast.

DAY 11 – At leisure.  Depart.

At leisure until your afternoon transfer to the airport for your international flight home.
Meals included: Breakfast.

DELHI OPTION

There are direct flights from Delhi to Bagdogra (and v.v.) so if you prefer we could arrange for this itinerary to begin and end in Delhi instead of Calcutta.

 

 

International Flights.

There are currently no direct flights from London to Kolkata (Calcutta).  We recommend the services of Emirates from London Heathrow via Dubai. Current timings (subject to possible change) are as follows:
Heathrow/Dubai.  Depart at 13.35; arrive Dubai at 00.35 (next day)
Dubai/Kolkata. Depart at 02.00; arrive Kolkata at 07.40
Kolkata/Dubai.  Depart at 20.30; arrive Delhi at 00.30 (next day)
Dubai/Heathrow. Depart at 03.10; arrive Heathrow at 07.10

You can book the flights yourself on the easy-to-use Emirates website.  Emirates also have flights from Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.  Alternatively World Discovery can book the flights for you (we levy a service charge of £25 per person for this service).



India Holidays: Darjeeling and Sikkim (Reference: WDIN019)
2018 Departures
Price per person based on a minimum of two persons travelling together:

Daily departures

Price

Jan to Apr
£1420
May
£1285
Oct to Dec*
£1445

* Supplements will be charged during the Christmas and New Year period.

Single Room Supplements on request.

We do not recommend travel to this region in the summer months (June to September) because of the weather conditions.

The price includes:

  • Scheduled domestic flights from Calcutta to Bagdogra (and v.v.), including airport taxes.
  • Hotel accommodation as listed above in twin-bedded rooms with private facilities.
  • 10 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners as shown in the itinerary.
  • Private transportation throughout.
  • All sightseeing as shown (unless indicated as ‘optional’), including entrance fees.
  • The services of private English-speaking drivers throughout.
  • The services of private guides for the included sightseeing.
  • Your permit for visiting Sikkim (you will need to bring a photocopy of your passport and two passport-sized photos).

Not included in the price:

  • International flights (see our recommendation above). We are happy to discuss the flights with you and give you further guidance.
  • International airport taxes.
  • Optional sightseeing.
  • Tipping. We will give you guidance in this often sensitive matter.
  • An Indian Visa. This should be obtained before departure from the United Kingdom. Applications should be made online through VFS Global, the official representatives of the High Commission in London - http://in.vfsglobal.co.uk/.

A deposit of £250 per person is required at the time of booking, plus the cost of the international airfare and service charge if World Discovery is booking the flights on your behalf.  The balance of the price for your India holiday must be paid at least 8 weeks before your departure date.

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