Foothills of the Eastern Himalayas Holiday

Duration:
15 days / 14 nights
Destinations:
Kolkata, Darjeeling, Pelling, Gangtok, Lachung, Gangtok, Kalimpong,
Price Guide:

Price guide for this 15 day Eastern Himalayas Holiday is £2795 per person based on two people travelling.

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Overview

Discover the giant heights of the spectacular Eastern Himalayas, marvel at the natural beauty of lush valleys and Darjeeling's tea growing slopes, explore the magic of Sikkim's rich culture and discover historic monuments and temples on this exhilarating Himalayas Tour.

Highlights of The Eastern Himalayas Holiday Includes:

  • Full day sightseeing tour of Kolkata including entrance fees and English speaking guide
  • Boat ride on the Hooghly River
  • Ride on the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway known as the 'toy train'
  • Early morning sightseeing trip to Tiger Hills to see the sunrise over the mighty Himalayan peaks of Mt Kanchenjunga and weather permitting Mt Everest
  • Tour of the Puttabong Tea Estate
  • Visit to the 130 ft Buddha at Buddha park
  • Tours of various noteworthy monasteries including entrance fees
  • An excursion to Yumthang Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers
  • A trip to the Orchidarium in Kalimpong
  • Airport meet and greet service. Chauffeur driven air-contioned car throughout the tour
  • 4 and 5 star heritage style accommodation

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this Eastern Himalayas Tour is just an example to help inspire you.

This tour can be combined with a range of options such as additional destinations in North India, a South India Tour or a beach extension.

Eastern Himalayas - Darjeeling & Sikkim - 15 Days / 14 Nights

Discover the giant heights of the spectacular Eastern Himalayas, marvel at the natural beauty of lush valleys and Darjeeling's tea growing slopes and explore the magic of Sikkim's rich culture on this exhilarating Himalayas Tour.

The tour also includes a sightseeing tour to explore the vibrant city of Kolkata, visits to historic monuments and ancient Tibetan monasteries as well as a trip on the famous Darjeeling toy train. Accommodation throughout is in boutique and heritage hotels which offer excellent facilities and embrace their natural environment.

 

 

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Day 1: Arrive Kolkata

Upon arrival at Kolkata International Airport, you will be welcomed by your Authentic India Tours representatives who will transfer you to your hotel for a 2 night stay.

The rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy the wonderful facilities of your luxury hotel or explore the local area. Just a short walk away is the new Kolkata market.

Accommodation: The Oberoi Grand
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 2: Kolkata

Today is an opportunity to discover this charming metropolis with a full days sightseeing tour. It’s an early start to visit the colourful flower market, followed by a boat ride on the Hooghly River.

The afternoon’s sightseeing includes the Victoria Memorial, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Indian Museum, one the largest museums in India.

Accommodation: The Oberoi Grand
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 3: Kolkata - Bagdogra - Darjeeling

This morning you will be transferred to Kolkata airport for your flight to Bagdogra. On arrival at the airport you will be meet and taken the 3 -4 hour journey to Darjeeling.

Nestled among the rolling mountains with the glistening Mt Kanchenjunga towering over the azure sky, Darjeeling is fondly known as the "Queen of the Hills". It provides a perfect gateway for those seeking to be in harmony with nature. This is the land of the musky sweet flavoured Darjeeling tea sometimes referred to as the ‘champagne of teas’.  It is also home to the world heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway where the century old miniature steam engine still chugs uphill vying for space with more modern modes of transport.

Approximate travel time: 5 hours 15 mins

Accommodation: The Elgin Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 4: Darjeeling

It’s an early morning start for an excursion to Tiger Hills to see the sunrise over the mighty Himalayan peaks of Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Everest (subject to weather and visibility conditions).

After breakfast, its time for a ride on the toy train pulled along by the century old steam engine to the town of Ghoom. Here you can visit the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Museum and the old Tibetan Buddhist Ghoom monastery before returning to Darjeeling.

Later in the day, you can also discover the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Zoological Park and Tibetan Refugee Centre.

Accommodation: The Elgin Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 5: Darjeeling

This morning’s visit to the Puttabong Tea Estate, formerly known as Tuvkar Tea Estate, is an opportunity to appreciate one of the oldest and largest tea estates in the area. The beautiful tea garden located in the northern most district of the Darjeeling hills produces some of the best quality Darjeeling tea. It is situated in a prime location with the river Rangeet flowing through the land and contributing to the rich diversity to the estate.

In the afternoon we continue with a trip to the Observatory Hill. As the name suggests, this vantage point is one of the best spots in Darjeeling to observe the panoramic views of the mountains and is also home to the Mahakal Temple.

Accommodation: The Elgin Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 6: Darjeeling - Pelling

Today we drive to Pelling which is a scenic 4 hours journey. Along the route you will be accompanied by spectacular views of the magical Himalayas and the beautiful valleys.

After lunch you will discover the Sanga Choeling Monastery which enjoys a privileged position, situated on a ridge above Pelling and overlooking the famous Pemayangtse Monastery. Built in 1697 AD, it is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the Sikkim. It does take a 45 minute steep uphill walk to reach the monastery but the effort is well rewarded with great views of Pelling and surrounding hills including Mount Kanchenjunga.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 75 kms

Accommodation: Norbu Ghang Retreat & Spa
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 7: Pelling

After breakfast your tour continues with a visit to the Pemayangtse Monastery and the ruins of Rabdentse.

Pemayangtse literally means perfect sublime lotus.  Founded in 1705, this is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Sikkim and belongs to the Nyingma-pa sect. The 3 story building houses a good collection of wall paintings and sculptures as well as a painted wooden model of the abode of Guru Rinpoche. In January to February every year, a religious dance called 'Cham' is performed in Pemayangtse.

The ruins of Rabdentse is just a walk away from the Monastery through forestry. This was the second capital of Sikkim until year 1814. The capital city was destroyed by the invading Gurkha army and is a must see place for history enthusiasts who want to delve into the state’s history.

The afternoon is free to explore Pelling.

Accommodation: Norbu Ghang Retreat & Spa
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 8: Pelling - Gangtok

Today’s adventure is a drive to Gangtok which normally takes about 5 -6 hours. Apart from amazing views there is plenty to see today with a visit to Namchi Bazaar and the mesmerising sight of the 130 ft high golden statue of Budda at Buddha Park, Ravangla.

The rest of the day is free to explore Gangtok which is the capital city of the Himalayan state of Sikkim, known for its flowers and its preservation of the Tibetan culture mainly due to the many refugees who have settled there. For those who enjoy heights there may also be time to enjoy a ride on the Gangtok cable car offering stunning views of the city and local terrain.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hrs 20 mins, 130 kms

Accommodation: The Elgin Nor-khill Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
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Day 9: Gangtok

This morning’s visit to the Rumtek Monastery, is a chance to discover one of the most impressive and noteworthy monasteries in Gangtok. The monastery follows the school of Tibetan Buddhism and is renowned globally for its Kagyu teachings. A visit will reveal the history of the sect and knowledge of the fundamentals of Buddhism. The architecture of the place built in the classical Tibetan gompa style is also a major attraction.

This is followed by a visit to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology which promotes research on the people of the Tibetan culture area. You will also see the Chorten (stupa), a memorial for the dead and later, pass by the Tashiling Secretariat Building, the Tsuk La Khang Palace Monastery and Royal Chapel.

The evening is free to explore Gangtok's night market and pedestrianised high street.

Accommodation: The Elgin Nor-khill Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 10: Gangtok - Lachung

After breakfast, the picturesque drive to the mountain village of Lachung will take about 5 hours. At a height of 8610 ft, Lachung is embraced by snow-capped mountain peaks, breath-taking waterfalls, sparkling streams and apple orchards.

Later this afternoon it’s a visit to the Lachung Gompa just across the river from the town centre. Built around 1880, the small but colourful monastery is situated amidst apple orchards

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hrs 20 mins, 116 kms

Accommodation: Yarlam Resort
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 11: Lachung

The excursion to Yumthang Valley, also known as the Valley of Flowers is a real treat for anyone who loves breathtaking and magical scenery.  The opportunity to satisfy your adventurous soul is waiting, with a trek through the Yumthang Valley, one of the standout activities of a visit to Lachung and Sikkim

This nature sanctuary is one of the most picturesque destination, offering spectacular snow-capped mountains views, an abundance of flowers, hot springs and grazing yaks as well as a beautiful serene tributary of the Teesta River winding its way through the lush meadows. 

Accommodation: Yarlam Resort
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
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Day 12: Lachung - Gangtok

After a leisurely breakfast we take a late morning drive back to Gangtok. Here, you can explore the destination from your centrally located hotel or possibly relax in an indulgent treatment offered by the hotel spa.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hrs 20 mins, 115 kms

Accommodation: The Elgin Nor-khill Hotel
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 13: Gangtok - Kalimpong

Your tour today takes you to the bustling bazaar town of Kalimpong (3 hours). The town sprawls along a saddle-shaped mountain ridge overlooking the roaring Teesta River and is lorded over by the summit of Kangchenjunga. Smaller and more laid-back than Darjeeling, Kalimpong boasts Himalayan views, Buddhist monasteries, colonial-era architecture and a fascinating nursery industry, all linked by some fabulous walks.

This afternoon’s activities include a trip to the Orchidarium and a chance to learn more about orchid growing in India, as well as a visit the Zang Dhok Palri Phodang and Tharpa Choling Monasteries.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hrs 30 mins, 75 kms

Accommodation: The Elgin Silver Oaks
Meals included: Breakfast, Half Board
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Day 14: Kalimpong - Bagdogra - Kolkata

This morning you will be taken to Bagdogra Airport for your flight back to Kolkata.

You will be met on arrival at Kolkata Airport and transferred to your beautiful hotel. The Oberoi Grand.

Approximate travel time: 3 hrs 50 mins

Accommodation: The Oberoi Grand
Meals included: Breakfast
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Day 15: Transfer to Kolkata Airport

In plenty of time you will be taken to Kolkata Airport to board your return flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata

The 5-star Oberoi Grand is fondly referred to as the 'Grand Dame of Chowringhee' and has been an icon on Kolkata's landscape for more than a century. The hotel combines traditional features with modern amenities and has lovely open spaces for guests to enjoy fresh air and sunsets. 

The international cuisine and specialist Thai dishes will tingle your tastebuds, and there is a multitude of delicious beverages to choose from in the bar. The Oberoi spa with its antique lamps and teak floors awaits you for an indulgent treatment.

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The Elgin Hotel, Darjeeling

Built in 1887, The Elgin was once the summer residence of the Maharaja (King) of Cooch, Behar. It is now a luxury heritage hotel which embraces the elegance of the colonial era, ideally located in the heart of Darjeeling.

This spa hotel offers a lovely mix of Victorian décor and traditional touches like the Timber Bar and Gazebo in the Garden, combined with all the modern facilities and amenities expected by today’s discerning traveller.

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Norbu Ghang Retreat & Spa, Pelling

The Norbu Ghang Retreat & Spa is a relatively new hotel which benefits from elements of traditional Sikkimese architecture allowing visitors to embrace the ambiance of Sikkimese culture. What makes this hotel truly special however are the magnificent views of Mt Kanchenjunga.

This superior hotel has a delightfully landscaped garden from which to enjoy the gorgeous views, a haute cuisine restaurant and bar, a spa and luxurious furnishings offering a high level of comfort.

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The Elgin Nor-Khill, Gangtok

Built by the King of Sikkim in 1932 around a beautiful garden, the Nor-Khill served as his royal guesthouse for receiving heads of states and dignitaries.  Today it is an elegant hotel offering a serene atmosphere and wonderful levels of service in the heart of Gangtok.

Each of the 25 deluxe rooms are beautifully furnished with most offering magnificent views of the Himalayas. Guests can also enjoy the spa, various dining options serving delicious local, Indian and continental cuisine, high tea in the lounge or a cosy drink in the Sikkimese style Dragon Bar

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Yarlam Resort, Lachung

The Yarlam resort is known for providing excellent hospitality in the magical area of Lachung. With stunning views and a wide range of facilities for adults ad children to enjoy, it offers a comfortable, stylish base to return to after an exhilarating day exploring the area.

Each of the spacious 37 bedrooms is well equipped with views of the beautiful valley, the Guras restaurant offers mouth-watering dishes while the well-stocked hotel bar is a great place to enjoy an evening nightcap.

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The Elgin Silver Oaks, Kalimpong

The Elgin Silver Oaks, was originally built in the 1930s and was the home of a famous Jute magnate. It has now been converted into a luxury boutique heritage resort providing the best in style and comfort by integrating modern amenities tastefully with heritage décor and period charm.

Each of the elegant rooms have views across the valley to the Himalayas, the stylish dining room offers a wide choice of cuisines, the beautifully landscaped gardens are a wonderful place to relax while the traditional Oak bar is the ideal place to round off a busy day sightseeing.

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Destinations

Kolkata

Kolkata is a thriving city famous for its culture, cuisine and historical monuments. Often referred to as the City of Joy, it is also known for its unique ‘adda’, a freestyle exchange of socio-political ideas and intellectual debate that is enthusiastically engaged in, in public spaces over a cup of steaming chai.

The charming metropolis is bursting with sights to see, including the colourful flower market, the stunning Victoria Memorial, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Indian Museum – one of the largest museums in India.

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Darjeeling

Located in India's West Bengal state, in the Himalayan foothills, Darjeeling occupies a privileged position on a ridge some 2,100 meters above sea level. Once a summer resort for the British Raj elite, it provides a refreshing location with clear blue skies for much of the year. It's famed for its green hillsides and lush tea plantations that dot the surrounding slopes. While to the north the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s 3rd highest peak, glistens beautifully in the background.

Darjeeling remains the terminus of the narrow gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, or ‘toy train’, which was completed in 1881 and still offers visitors a memorable journey with breath taking views.

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Pelling

Pelling’s serene environment and picturesque setting is perfect for nice nature walks and small treks with a backdrop of stunning scenery. Although still relatively small the popularity of the town is growing, due to the breathtaking view it offers of Mt Khangchendzonga and surrounding ranges, plus the easy access it provides to major historic sites in the area.

Pemayangste monastery is less than a kilometre away, while a 40 minute walk on the hill opposite the monastery takes you to Sanga Choling monastery built in 1697, one of the first in the state. 

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Gangtok

Views of the mountains are the endearing feature of the town of Gangtok, which is the capital of Sikkim and a perfect base to explore the area. The cosmopolitan town has become a busy hub offering a wide range of amenities with various restaurants and shopping options to choose from. In the heart of the town is MG Marg, the main pedestrianised street which is a great place to relax.

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Lachung

Located in the north eastern part of Sikkim, Lachung is a picturesque mountain village close to the Tibetan border at a height of 2,900 m. Meaning small pass, Lachung is home to Lachung Chu a river which slices through the village. The village and surrounding area is embraced by snow capped mountain peaks, breathtaking waterfalls, sparkling streams and apple orchards making it the perfect holiday destination for nature lovers.

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Kalimpong

Kalimpong is an east Indian hill town in the Himalayan foothills of West Bengal, perched in a beautiful location on a ridge above the Teesta River.  This sleepy town offers a refreshing climate and an air of calm, which is embraced by the presence of monasteries and churches across the town. Other attractions include the bustling markets and traditional handicrafts as well as the numerous nurseries and orchard growing.

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Pricing and Inclusions

Price guide for this 15 day Eastern Himalayas Holiday is:

  •  £2795 in high season (Valid from September 2020 to March 2021; Except Peak Dates)

The prices do not include flights.

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.

This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements. Prices will vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more. Some hotels operate an additional peak pricing rate during busy times which is normally from mid December to mid January. 

Please get in touch with your dates and we will be pleased to provide you with your personal itinerary and accurate quote.

Included with this tour are the following:

  • Authentic India Tours meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using air-conditioned car with private chauffeur
  • Accommodation for 14 nights on twin sharing basis.
  • English speaking guide for sightseeing tour
  • Entrances at all national parks, museums and monuments as per the itinerary
  • Economy class return flight tickets for Kolkata to Bagdogra (Please be aware the luggage allowance on all domestic flights is only 15 kg per person. You have the option to buy an extra 5 kg or 10 kg as required).
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal Plan: Kolkata on bed & breakfast, Lachung on full board and half board at all other locations.
  • Mineral water on all days of travel

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance and visa
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera and video fees at national parks, museums & monuments

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call Authentic India Tours on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com