Trip reference number: 133487

Trip Operator: Wexas Travel

India's Hill Stations & Tea Plantations

From: £3530.00

Holiday overview

This tour begins in Kolkata, the former capital of the British Raj, before a flight and transfer bring you to Kalimpong, the first hill station on your trip. Enjoy its beautiful mountain flora, clement weather and fascinating monasteries. Next up is Gangtok village, with its awe-inspiring Rumtak Monastery, and Pelling, a serene mountain village that commands a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. Finally, head to Darjeeling, where you’ll check in to the Glenburn Tea Estate where you can observe how tea is produced. Enjoy superb views of Mount Everest on a morning trip to Tiger Hill, and tea tours and tastings at the hotel's own plantation.

Holiday itinerary

Day 1: Depart UK

Enjoy included UK airport lounge access before your overnight flight, arriving refreshed in Kolkata on day two.

Day 2: Arrive India

Arrive at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (Kolkata), where a representative will meet you and escort you to your hotel.

Days 3-4: Kolkata

Arrive in Kolkata where an included transfer will bring you to your luxury city-centre hotel. Then, after breakfast on day three, you'll join your guide for a tour of the city, taking in the Flower Market, Howrah Bridge and Belur Math, the international headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission, which represents a church, mosque and temple when viewed from different angles. In the afternoon, your tour continues with a visit to the Dakshineswar Kali Temple. It's enormous, and has 12 spires, an expansive courtyard, and is surrounded by 12 other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva – a world famous pilgrimage site. Next up is the College Street Book Market, most famous for its bookstores, and finally a relaxed visit to the Indian Coffee House, a space for chatting and socialising.

Day 5: Kolkata – Bagdogra – Kalimpong

Check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport to board your flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival, meet a representative who will drive you to Kalimpong. At an altitude of 1,250m, Kalimpong is ideally located for a pleasant, relaxed getaway. Its clement weather supports bountiful orchids and gladiola; the Kalimpong breeds are now famous. Until the early 1700s, the Kalimpong region was part of the Sikkim raja’s domain, but in the early 18th century, the Bhutan king took it over. Today, the town is a quiet hill resort and haven for the retired.

Day 6: Kalimpong – Gangtok

In the morning, you’ll take a city tour of Kalimpong. First up is a visit to the beautiful Flower Nurseries, which export exotic flowers like amaryllis lilies, roses gerberas, dahlias and orchids. Next up, head to the Zang Dog Palri Fo-Brang Monastery, a fairly new monastery located in Durpin Dara, where you will get a panoramic view of the town and surroundings. Afterwards, visit another monastery, the Tharpa Choling Monastery at Tirpai hill and the Bhutanese Thongsa Gompa monastery, the oldest in Kalimpong. Afterwards, take an afternoon drive to Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim that occupies the west side of the ridge flanking the Ranipul River. The scenery is spectacular and it offers excellent views of the entire Kanchenjunga range. It became the capital in the 1800s, and has undergone modernisation in recent years.

Stay: Mayfair Resort and Spa (Superior)

Day 7: Gangtok

Today, enjoy a full day’s city tour of Gangtok. Start with the awe-inspiring Rumtek Monastery, the seat of the Gyalwa Karmapa, the head of the Kagyupa order of Tibetan Buddhism. Move on to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology, which is built in the traditional style, and promotes research in Mahyana Buddhism and the language and tradition of Tibet. Adjacent to it are two exquisite stupas, the Do Drul Chorten and the Jhang Chub Chorten. Later on, you'll visit the Directorate of Handloom and Handicrafts, set up to promote traditional Sikkimese art and handicrafts.

Stay: Mayfair Resort and Spa (Superior)

Day 8: Gangtok – Pelling

After breakfast at your hotel, check out and drive to Pelling. Pelling is 120 km from Gangtok, and is a serene mountain village that lies in the western districts of Sikkim. The village is situated at an altitude of 2,000 metres and commands a spectacular view of Mt. Kanchenjunga. On arrival, check in to your hotel. In the afternoon, take a visit to Pemayangste Monastery, which is 2.5km from Pelling. Built during the late 17th century, it’s one of the oldest and most important monasteries of the Nyingmapa order of Buddhism in Sikkim. The main attraction of the monastery is the wooden replica of Zangdof Palri, the celestial abode of Guru Padmasambhava built in 1971. You’ll then travel to Sikkim’s second and ancient capital, the ruins of Rabdentse. Get there by travelling on a winding track through the forest. Farther afield are the Changay Falls.

Day 9: Pelling – Darjeeling

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive to Darjeeling. Check in to the Glenburn Tea Estate. Glenburn is a plantation retreat that stands on a hillock above the banks of the River Rungeet, high in the Himalayas, overlooked by the mighty Kanchenjunga mountain range. It was started by a Scottish tea company in 1859, and was then passed on to one of India’s most pioneering tea plantation families, the Prakashes. The vineyards of Europe and other parts of the world, where visitors observe the winemaking process and taste the produce, inspired the tea estate.

Day 10: Darjeeling

Start your day with an early morning visit to Tiger Hill, where you can experience a beautiful sunrise view of the mountains. Tiger Hill is about 11 km from Darjeeling, and is the highest point in the area at 2,590 metres. The hill is famous for its magnificent dawn views over the mountain to the snowy peak of Kanchanjunga and down to the swollen rivers in the valley. On a clear day, Mount Everest is visible. On your return journey, visit Ghoom Monastery and enjoy a toy train ride. Return to your hote...

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