Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Golden Foothills tour

Golden Foothills

Encounters Travel
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 1,889 $ 189 / day
Checking price

Overview

Short Description

This 10-day north India tour combines the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar and Buddhist Mcleodgjanj with spectacular Himalayan scenery, the famous 'toy train' to Shimla, and the little-visited heritage villages of Pragpur and Garli

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City N/A
End City N/A

Travel Theme

Cultural

Destinations

India

Cities & Attractions

Delhi

Activities

N/A

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • All accommodation in mid range hotels and heritage properties
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Transport and transfers in AC vehicles
  • Himalayan Queen toy train to Shimla
  • Fast train from Chandigarh to Delhi (2nd class AC)
  • Sightseeing tours and activities as per the itinerary
  • Services of a local tour leader and specialist local guides
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

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Itinerary

Day 1, Welcome to Amritsar - airport to hotel transfer included
After your flight to Amritsar, one of our staff members will be there to meet and greet you, before transferring you to your hotel for the day. Once you’ve settled in, we’ll brief you on what lies ahead, before arranging a time to collect you in the morning.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amritsar hotel
| EXTRAS:
Single Room Supplement

Day 2, A visit to Amritsar’s Golden Temple
Our first full day of our India tour starts at the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion the Golden Temple. If you look up, you’ll notice that the entire top of the temple is made of gold and its interior is laden with jewels and gold leaf. We’ll then spend some time in the temple’s free community kitchen, which sustains over 100,000 people every day. We’ll have a meal here before partaking in a Langar Seva - where we either help to serve or prepare good, or clear up and wash up. This afternoon, we’ll make our way to rural Punjab, exploring its farmlands before experiencing the colourful Wagah Border Ceremony which occurs every day at sunset. This daily event sees the security forces of India and Pakistan join to participate in unique, rapid dancing, which signifies the brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations. We’ll travel back to Amritsar and you have the option to head back to your hotel, have dinner at a local restaurant or travel back to the Golden Temple to witness the Palki Sahib Ceremony - which sees the Holy Book, the Guru Granth Saab carried from the main shrine in Hari Mandir to the sanctum, where it rests for a few hours until the opening ceremony the following morning. We have also have the chance to explore the interior of the Golden Temple, which may have been busy with pilgrims earlier in the day.
| OVERNIGHT:
Amritsar hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3, A free day in McLeod Ganj
We’ll make our way to the edge of the towering Himalayas to to Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj, where we have the day free to do as we please. Mcleod Ganj is famous for its places for its Buddhist monasteries, temples, waterfalls and lakes. It's also the home of the Tibetan government in exile and the residency of the Dalai Lama. Feel free to explore, taking in the beautiful scenery and explore its bustling craft and produce markets.
| OVERNIGHT:
McLeod Ganj hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 4, Exploring the Dalai Lama Monastery
After a free day in Mcleod Ganj, we’ll start things with a visit to the Dalai Lama Monastery, taking part in a prayer session known as a puja, which includes chanting mantras, bowing and making offerings. As a show of respect, we’ll offer lamps and religious cloth, made of silk and is worn around our neck. We’ll also make our way to the Bhagsunag Waterfall and Shiva Temple, which is surrounded by towering cliffs, which provides us with spectacular views. A freshwater spring runs below the temple, which is thought to have healing powers. In fact, its water is collected in large tanks, and the devotees bathe in them to cleanse their ailments. Our day ends with a trip to the Naddi View Point, which provides breathtaking views of the Dhauladhar mountain ranges and the pristine Dal Lake below.
| OVERNIGHT:
McLeod Ganj hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 5, Exploring the Heritage Villages of Pragpur & Garli
Today we’ll visit the Norbulingka Institute, built to commemorate the Tibetan culture’s literary and art forms. We’ll then make our way to the Pragpur Heritage Village, which was founded in the 16th century. Pragpur is notable for its cobbled paths, mud-plastered walls and slate-roofed houses. If we have time before lunch, we’ll make our way to the Dada Siba Temple, well-known for its miniature wall paintings before exploring another heritage village - Garli in the Kangra Valley. A local guide will take us on a walking tour of the village, as we gain insight about its history before checking in at our accommodation for the evening.
| OVERNIGHT:
Garli hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6, A Toy Train Ride to Shimla
We start our day with a drive to Dharampur Himanchal and hop on the ‘toy train’ to Shimla, situated on the edge of the towering Himalayas. Shimla used to be the summer capital of British India and is still one of the stops of the Kalka-Shimla Railway built in 1903. Its narrow gauge railway is one of the most famous train rides on the planet and has since become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll board the Himalayan Queen service, missing the lowest section from Kalka, which shortens the journey considerably but shows you the most scenery. We’ll stop along the way for snacks, before arriving in Shimla in the afternoon, which is known for its unique craft shops, bazaars and markets.
| OVERNIGHT:
Shimla hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 7, Exploring Shimla
We have some leisure time this morning to explore Shimla independently or you can choose to hike to the Tara Devi Temple, which offers spectacular views of the Himalayas which surround it. We’ll continue to explore Shimla this afternoon, this time on foot, as we explore its popular sites such as the Vice Regal Lodge, the Christ Church, the Gaeity Theatre and we’ll also take a cable car ride to Jakhu Temple which is dedicated to the monkey god Hanuman. The temple is perched on Shimla’s highest peak at a towering height of 2455 metres.
| OVERNIGHT:
Shimla hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 8, A train ride to Delhi. Transfer to hotel
We have some free time this morning to explore Shimla, but we’ll say our final goodbyes at midday, driving over the hills of Kalka, as we board an evening train to Delhi. Once we arrive, we will transport you to your hotel for the evening.
| OVERNIGHT:
Delhi hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Day 9, Exploring Old and New Delhi
Our day starts with a morning tour of India's capital, New Delhi. Built on the banks of the Yamuna river, New Delhi is a beautiful blend of a historical past and a vibrant present. We start at India Gate in the centre of New Delhi, a 42-metre high "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway, a war memorial built to commemorate the 82,000 soldiers who partook in the undivided Indian Army. We’ll drive past various government buildings such as the President's Palace and the Parliament of India, before passing Humayun's Tomb - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Bangla Sahab Gurudwara Sikh Temple. We'll stop at Connaught Place Station and join the locals on the metro to Old Delhi where we'll walk through one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk, before exploring the narrow streets of Chawri Bazar which specialises in selling brass, copper and paper products. Throughout the afternoon our guide will also introduce you to the wide range of street food snacks and delicacies so you can get a final taste of the delicious and varied Indian cuisine. Our walking tour will also take in a rickshaw ride and the Jama Masjid mosque, one of the largest in India.
| OVERNIGHT:
Delhi hotel
| MEALS:
Breakfast Day 10, Bon Voyage! Airport transfer included
After breakfast, you’ll say your final goodbyes before we transfer you to the airport, where you’ll board your flight back home. If you'd like to see more of India, then extensions are available to visit the Holy City of Varanasi, head to the beaches of Goa, or go on safari looking for tigers at Ranthambore National Park. Our North Indian Highlights tour also extends this trip to the Golden Triangle centres of Jaipur and Agra.
| OVERNIGHT:
N/A
| MEALS:
Breakfast

Availability

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Price From $ 1,889
Price Per Day: $ 189 per day
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5 Encounters Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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5.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 5
Great 0
Average 0
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Terrible 0
Value
5.0
Guide
5.0
Activities
5.0
Lodging
5.0
Transportation
5.0
Meals
5.0

Golden Foothills

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Knowledgeable and entertaining

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just got back from the Discover Egypt tour and I don't have enough good things to say. Our guide, Mohamed El Zawahry is an Egyptologist and is incredibly knowledgeable and entertaining. I took my 2 kids, ages 12 and 16, and he did such an amazing job with them (and everyone else). Honestly as a blond haired, green eyed westerner I was a bit nervous about safety issues, but couldn't have felt better than I did (and I'm not a novice traveler). We saw so many things, learned so much, I only wish I would have added the Jordan trip on the front end of this tour! I had a medical complication in the middle of the trip and Mohammad and Walid went out of their way to help accommodate me. They made this trip so much more than it could have been! I highly recommend all of the 'extra' tours- Abu Simble, hot air balloon, Philae Temple- all incredible. Thanks for everything! My kids are still in awe!
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Amazing bespoke trip round North India.

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just came home from an amazing bespoke trip round North India.
Encounters Travel were amazing. Hotels were beautiful, our driver and local guides I couldn’t praise more. The trip was well planned and ran like clockwork.
I saw some amazing places, learned about the history, architecture and people. I would recommend anyone to go to India and to go with Encounters
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Amazing trip to Egypt!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I just got back from my amazing trip to Egypt!
My tour was Discover Egypt from January 13 to January 21, 2018... What can I say?! I grew up with a fascination for Egypt and I feel so blessed I was able to go, with so many dates as an option, once I saw the date of my birthday, that was it! What better way to spend my birthday than in a country that has always been on the top of my bucket list !
I was lucky to meet an amazing group of people that shared my desire to see this amazing place and every single person involved in this tour was absolutely amazing! My tour guy Big Mo was the best! I felt very safe and well taken care of from the moment I landed in Egypt to the day I left. I really appreciated the birthday celebration as well!
I miss every single moment I lived during those days.
I went with a fascination and left loving Egypt, it’s culture and it’s beautiful people.
I will treasure this experience forever.
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Well organized

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My husband and I booked the Discover Egypt trip in February 2017 and traveled in may 2017 and it was even more than we could have asked or dreamed it would be. Our group was led by Magz and we learned so much about Egyptian history and current culture. The trip was well organized and communication before during and after the trip was incredible. I have recommended this company to anyone who asks and can't wait to take another trip with them in the future. For any additional questions feel free to message me - I'm happy to provide more feedback. Thank you encounters for the trip of a lifetime!
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Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Encounters Travel Discover Egypt is the most comprehensive tour I've ever been on.They met us at the airport getting off the plane and took us back to the airport and saw that we got through security and everything in between. It is very safe in Egypt. You can walk the streets and when telling people that ask that we were from America we were met with smiles and positive comments. Because of the low number of tourists in the country right now Encounters Travel has negotiated with the hotels to stay in 5 star hotels. The pyramids are spectacular but it's only a small part of what you will see. Right now there are no crowds. An example My Wife and I took an optional tour to some pyramids southwest of Cairo. We went inside the Red Pyramid to the burial chambers. Two people passed us going in and two people passed us going out. That's 4 other people in the pyramid with us. All of the people with Encounters Travel are there to see to it that you have an enjoyable time and are extremely helpful.Our tour guide Big Mo is very knowledgeable and friendly.The Encounters agent in Hurghada, Mohamed,( I think everyone in Egypt is that name,HaHa) Was extremely pleasant and fun to be with. When Anass,the Encounters manager found out that my wife couldn't walk far he arraigned for a wheel chair to tour the Egyptian museum so she could see it all. This was my second time going on the Discover Egypt tour. I went last year with my son and when my wife heard all of our stories she wanted to see it. Someone asked her on the way home what her favorite part was and she replied "All of it" If you ever thought of going to Egypt now is the time.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Trip ID#:

Encounterstraveltourcms-INSGGF

Trip Excludes

  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Entrance fees (budget USD 40, payable in Amritsar)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Encounters Travel
Operated by :

Encounters Travel

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