A small group journey for women


Departing March 2025

Holi India 2025

India is a land of remarkable diversity – from ancient traditions and artistic heritage to magnificent landscapes and culinary creations – India will ignite your curiosity, shake your senses and warm your soul. It is a land of fortified cities, royal families in astounding palaces and humble villages where women in blindingly bright saris go about their daily routine.  India is brimming with life, colourful and chaotic …

Our 2025 journey commences in the capital Delhi before we delve straight into visiting one of the most iconic monuments in the world – the Taj Mahal.  After this ‘big tick’ on any journey to India we take in the impressive Pink City of Jaipur, Blue City of Jodhpur and Lake City of Udaipur, interspersed with a stop in Pushkar on the edge of the Thar Desert and the quaint village of Narlai.  We will ride tuk tuks like locals, visit ancient forts and palaces, take serene boat rides on holy lakes and rise at dawn to the sound of the muezzin’s call to experience ‘real’ India as the cities wake.

A true highlight of our journey will be the Hindu Spring Festival of Holi, which we will celebrate in Jaipur. Across India, the streets will explode with colour in a dazzling celebration of life, love and joy. We will be swept up in the mesmerising displays of dance and music on this hugely significant, joyous and unmissable day!

Throughout the itinerary we will stay in a collection of exquisite hotels ranging from royal hunting lodges to beautifully styled historic havelis and the dining experience will be sublime – expect ancient family recipes, modern fine dining and breathtaking settings. There will be plenty of opportunity for retail therapy (the shopping here is next level!) and of course, you will enjoy the companionship of a small group of like-minded female travellers.

Join us on this magical journey through all of the captivating contradictions, curiosities and colours of India!

You will love

  • Holi Celebration in Jaipur
  • Spectacular forts & monuments
  • Taj Mahal – greatest monument to love
  • Pushkar & the Thar Desert
  • Cruise on Udaipur’s Lake Pichola
  • Rural Rajasthan tranquility
  • Leopard safari in the Aravalli Hiils
  • Retail therapy at its absolute finest
  • Fabulous accommodation
  • All in the company of a small group of fabulous women!


DAY 1 | SAT 08 MARCH | DELHI | The Imperial Hotel - 3 nights

Arrive in the colourful and chaotic capital of Delhi this evening, where we will be met and privately transferred to our hotel in New Delhi.

Most flights land late in the afternoon or early evening so we will simply relax in our hotel after our long flight in preparation for the exciting fortnight ahead!

DAY 2 | SUN 09 MARCH | DELHI | New Delhi Touring

Today is a gentle day of acclimatisation.  We will visit Ghandi’s Memorial and wander the beautiful gardens surrounding his tombstone before visiting the largest Sikh Temple in all of Delhi – the Gurdwara Banghla Sahib.  Hundreds of worshippers attend this Gurdwara every day, and lunch is available to all, at no cost.  We will enter the kitchen to watch the preparation of thousands of chapatis and vast vats of dahl, as well as circumambulate the pool where ardent worshippers bathe before entering the temple itself.  The afternoon is at leisure with the opportunity to enjoy a swim or, for those who are keen, a walk & a shop in Khan Market.

A Welcome Dinner will be hosted in our hotel this evening.

DAY 3 | MON 10 MARCH | DELHI | Old Delhi Touring

We’ll commence with a visit to the great Jama Masjid this morning ‐ India’s largest mosque with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees and stunning architecture in red sandstone and white marble.

Climbing aboard rickshaws we will ride through the streets of Chandni Chowk, winding through lanes selling everything from saris to spices and turbans to trinkets. Lunch will be hosted in stunning Haveli Dharampura in the old city before we have time to visit the silversmiths and jewellers, and wander at leisure.

Return to our hotel for an evening at leisure.

DAY 4 | TUE 11 MARCH | DELHI to AGRA | Taj View Hotel - 1 night

Depart Delhi by road this morning bound for Agra. Depart by road for Agra and on arrival tour Agra Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site originally built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar as a military structure and later transformed into a magnificent palace by his grandson, Shah Jahan. This red sandstone fort played a crucial role in the Mughal Empire, serving as its main residence and seat of power for several generations.  After checking in to our hotel we will travel to Mehtab Bagh – the Moonlit Garden – to watch the sunset on the Taj Mahal from across the Yamuna River.  Return to our hotel for an evening at leisure and an early night in preparation for our early start tomorrow morning.

DAY 5 | WED 12 MARCH | AGRA TO JAIPUR | Samode Haveli - 3 nights

Arriving at the Taj Mahal at dawn this morning allows us to witness the stunning marble mausoleum bathed in the soft, golden light of the sunrise, creating a magical and serene atmosphere. Touring the Tajearly in the morning also offers a quieter experience, with fewer crowds, allowing for a more intimate appreciation of its intricate architecture and reflecting pools.  After our obligatory ‘posed shots’ in front of the Taj and walk through the mausoleum we will return to our hotel for breakfast.  On checkout, we will visit ‘the marble‐restorers’ tasked with keeping the Taj intact,  and will stop at Sheroes Hangout, a little cafe run entirely by female acid attack survivors that we proudly sponsor.   Here we can grab a snack before hitting the road bound for Jaipur.

On arrival in Jaipur we will enjoy a sunset drink on the roof of our Haveli before an evening at leisure.

DAY 6 | THU 13 MARCH | JAIPUR Touring

We will spend the entire morning exploring the historic sights of Jaipur from the famous facade of Hawa Mahal to the imposing Amber Fort.

Jaipur is famous for gemstones so we will be sure to intersperse our sightseeing with an opportunity to secure our own gemstone. We will also visit a fabulous enclave of décor and clothing stores where we can enjoy lunch in a tranquil garden. You may wish to shop for treasures in the nearby markets and return to the Haveli by tuk-tuk. Alternatively, return to the Haveli for the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. We will enjoy a hosted dinner this evening.

DAY 7 | FRI 14 MARCH | JAIPUR - Happy Holi!

After breakfast this morning, kitted out in our white kurtas (gifted to you in Jaipur), we will walk to a nearby temple to kick off our Holi celebration. There is no better way to start the day than chanting with several hundred Hindus! Later we will depart for the highlight of the journey ‐ the Celebration of Holi with a local family and their friends.

The festival of Holi is a hugely important date on the Hindu calendar and people celebrate joyously right across the country. It is the most boisterous of all Hindu festivals, symbolising the victory of good over evil, heralding the end of winter and the beginning of spring, rebirth and new life. Celebrated by young and old, crowds of people gather together to sing and dance and throw coloured powder (and often water) at each other in a huge, infectious outpouring of joy.

The occasion is enormous fun and your level of participation is completely up to you ‐ you can stay on the periphery and watch the merrymakers, or thoroughly immerse yourself in the festivities. A transfer vehicle is on standby to return you to our Haveli whenever you wish. The remainder of your afternoon/evening is at leisure so depending on the time you return you may wish to indulge in the spa, relax by the pool, dine in the restaurant or in your room. HAPPY HOLI!

DAY 8 | SAT 15 MARCH | PUSHKAR | Pushkar Palace - 2 nights

Today we head to Pushkar by road via Bagra where we will stop and learn about the famous Indian craft of block printing. We will watch artisans create precise patterned fabrics before selecting a carved wooden block to create our very own block-printed masterpiece!

After stopping for lunch we continue to Pushkar and check in to the Pushkar Palace hotel, dramatically perched over the shimmering Pushkar Lake.

Pushkar is a small but religiously significant town, believed to have been created by Brahma, the Hindu god of creation himself.  Pilgrims come to pay their respects by the sacred lake, said to have been formed by a lotus thrown by Brahma, and visit the Brahma temple – surprisingly the only one in India.

Pushkar is a lively town and the stores stay open late into the evening.  After a browse (if you wish) we will gather in a restaurant close to our hotel for a hosted dinner.


A Brahmin priest will bless us on the ghats of Pushkar Lake this morning as he explains the significance of the nearby Temple and the rituals performed in and around the lake itself.  Meandering back to our hotel will, no doubt,  take considerable time as the road is teeming with stores selling everything from incense to leather shoes and handpainted homewares from Kashmir.  Small storefronts are often gateways to cavernous Aladdins Caves of textiles.

Take your time as it is virtually impossible to get lost and we will rendezvous this afternoon for a camel safari.  Pushkar is historically known as a camel trading post,  and this afternoon we head into the desert to ride camels as the sun sets.

DAY 10 | MON 17 MARCH | JODHPUR | RAAS Jodhpur - 3 nights

Today we are bound for the ‘Blue City’ of Jodhpur arriving at our stunning design hotel with plenty of time to settle into our rooms beneath the majestic Mehrangarh Fort. Early evening we will visit the ancient stepwell close to our hotel and enjoy a hosted dinner with magnificent views of the Fort.

DAY 11 | TUE 18 MARCH | JODHPUR | Jodhpur Touring

We’ll start the day with a privately guided tour of the impressive Meherangarh Fort and nearby Cenotaph before burrowing into the Old City’s labyrinth of gates and alleyways, passing vibrant blue buildings that are a photographer’s delight.

Later, we’ll take a guided walking tour through the Sardar market surrounding the landmark Clock Tower before shopping our way through some of India’s most fabulous boutique stores. We are within walking distance of our hotel so you can return at leisure.

DAY 12 | WED 19 MARCH | Bishnoi Village Tour

Climbing into 4WDs we will take a trip to visit a Bishnoi village outside of Jodhpur today where we will be offered a unique glimpse into the traditional lifestyle and eco-friendly practices of the Bishnoi community, known for their deep reverence for nature and wildlife. As we journey through the picturesque Thar Desert, we’ll be welcomed into a village where we can observe their daily activities such as pottery making, weaving, and traditional farming methods.

Interacting with the villagers provides insights into their spiritual beliefs and customs, particularly their commitment to environmental conservation and wildlife protection, including the famous Blackbuck antelope. This enriching cultural experience is enhanced by the warm hospitality of the Bishnoi people. We return to our hotel for dinner this evening.

DAY 13 | THU 20 MARCH | NARLAI | Rawla Narlai - 2n

Take your time to enjoy a tranquil Fort view breakfast before we hit the road for a scenic drive delving deeper into rural Rajasthan.

Our accommodation is in the charming Rawla Narlai Heritage Lodge. Still owned by members of the Jodhpur Royal family, Rawla Narlai is a former hunting lodge located in the sleepy village of Narlai in the heart of the Aravalli Hills. In the late afternoon we’ll set out on a safari in search of leopards. Sightings are frequent and hopefully we’ll be lucky! This evening enjoy a hosted dinner.


If you are feeling energetic, rise early to join a guided walk up Narlai Hill (700+ steps) to ‘Elephant Rock’ to watch the sunrise – the view is magnificent & well worth the climb!

After breakfast join an escorted meander through the village venturing into houses, meeting the locals and gaining a delightful insight into the close-knit Narlai community.  The stunning Jain Temple in the centre of the village is a must-see with the entrance flanked by two lifesize marble elephants and the interiors a dazzle of marble and inlaid tiles.  The remainder of afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the pool, spa and beautiful gardens.

An incredible culinary experience awaits this evening in an utterly unique location – just wait and see!

DAY 15 | SAT 22 MARCH | UDAIPUR | Amet Haveli - 2 nights

Another relatively short drive today delivers us to the Lake City of Udaipur.  We’ll check in to Amet Haveli for the next two nights, a stunning heritage hotel, built in the 1700s, that sits right on the edge of water with fabulous views of the City Palace and possibly one of India’s most famous hotels – The Taj Lake Palace , renowned for featuring in the movie Octopussy.

This afternoon we will embark on a leisurely boat cruise around Lake Pichola, passing the stunning marble structure that is the Lake Palace Hotel and beautiful Jagmandir Island with its large elephant statues.

We return to Amet Haveli for a hosted dinner.

DAY 16 | SUN 23 MARCH | UDAIPUR touring

Enjoy panoramic views of Udaipur over breakfast before embarking on a walking tour of the City Palace for a glimpse into Udaipur’s regal past. The largest palace complex in Rajasthan impresses with its sheer size and spectacular views out over Pichola Lake. Alongside the Palace are a number of fabulous boutiques so we will spend time at leisure wandering around before enjoying lunch in a cafe within the Palace grounds

The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Avid shoppers may like to keep wandering in the market, take a tuk tuk to any one of the many fabulous local boutiques or you may simply wish to return to Amet Haveli to relax by the pool or in any one of the comfortable chairs with views over the lake.

A Farewell Dinner will be hosted in a rooftop restaurant close to our hotel this evening.  This may be our final night all together so we will raise a toast to all the fabulous experiences we have shared and to new found friends!

DAY 17 | MON 24 MAR | DELHI | Pullman Aerocity - 1 night

A leisurely morning in Udaipur before returning to Delhi by plane.  On arrival it may be possible to connect with a flight home to Australia – pending the airline you elect to fly with.  Alternatively, we will spend the evening close to the airport for flight departures throughout the day tomorrow.  Khan Market and its eclectic stores remain open until late should you need some final retail therapy!

DAY 18 | TUE 25 MAR | TOUR ENDS - or extend to Varanasi

Departure transfers are included to the airport today to coincide with the check-in time of your flight home.

If you want more of India you may wish to join our OPTIONAL EXTENSION TO VARANASI!

For those leaving today – Namaste and safe travels!



This morning bid farewell to your fellow Holi adventurers who are not travelling to Varanasi and board your flight to one of the holiest cities in all of India.

On arrival we will transfer to our hotel – The Tree of Life  – and enjoy lunch before setting out on foot to explore the surrounding villages.  A lovely, gentle introduction to this rural part of India.

DAY 19  | WED 26 MAR | Varanasi touring

We begin and end our day on the Ganges River. Our dawn boat cruise showcases the morning ‘puja’ (prayers) practiced by the many people who line the ghats (steps) that lead to the holy river. They bathe, place offerings, and do their laundry in this sacred place. We will alight from our boat and enjoy a walking tour through the old city, enjoying chai and snacks and marvelling at the many hidden temples.

Returning to our hotel for brunch we will relax in the middle of the day before returning to the ghats in the late afternoon. We will board our boat and cruise upriver this evening to view the ‘burning ghat’ before mooring offshore to witness the evening Aarti Ceremony complete with flames, bells, and the blowing of conch shells.  A spectacular event.

DAY 20 | THU 27 MAR | 2 NIGHTS

A leisurely departure after breakfast leads us to Sarnath – the site where Buddha taught his first sermon after attaining enlightenment. After lunch in a local restaurant we will return to the Tree of Life for an afternoon at leisure to pack and prepare for our journey home tomorrow.   A final dinner will be hosted this evening.


Depart the Tree of Life bound for the airport and our return flight to Delhi.  On arrival connect with your onward international flight home.  Inflight overnight to Australia, arriving Saturday 29 March.  Safe travels!


A selection of the finest accommodation

The Imperial Hotel – New Delhi

Arriving at The Imperial Hotel with its 24 towering signature palms and turbaned sentries at the door will immediately transport you back to the glamour of India’s Raj. The restored 1930's Victorian style building is a perfect meeting of old and new. Grand and luxurious, the hotel makes the perfect start or end to your stay in India. Read More

Tajview Hotel – Agra, Northern India

Set amidst six acres of landscaped gardens, the Tajview Hotel in Agra offers superior rooms designed with a mix of contemporary and Mughal design, all with magnificent views of the Taj Mahal. Tajview - a fantastic setting in between exploring all of Agra's treasures right on the doorstep. Read More

Samode Haveli – Jaipur, India

Unexpected and charming, Samode Haveli is a 200‐year old intimate townhouse, belonging to the royal family of Samode, hidden deep in the folds of the busy streets of old Jaipur. With its mix of history, simple style and interesting features, Samode Haveli is the reigning hip heritage hotel in Jaipur. Read More

Pushkar Palace Hotel

Dramatically perched over the shimmering Pushkar Lake, Hotel Pushkar Palace is a unique heritage retreat. There is no better place to sit and enjoy breathtaking views than on the terrace here, listening to the bells and chants of the nearby temples and ghats carried gently on the breeze.Read More

RAAS Jodhpur – Jodhpur, Rajasthan

In the north-east quarter of Jodhpur’s old walled city lies Raas, a boutique luxury hotel with spectacular views of the fort. It is a combination of old and new, the only luxury boutique hotel within the walled-city and embodies the region‘s heritage with class and understated elegance. Read More

Rawla Narlai – Narlai Village, Rajasthan

Located between Udaipur and Jodhpur in the heart of the Aravalli Hills, Narlai is the ideal spot to break your journey and enjoy rural Rajasthan. This 17th century property was once a favourite hunting lodge of the Jodhpur royal family. Today, a real highlight at Rawla Narlai is the ‘Stepwell Dinner’, dining by candlelight. Read More

Amet Haveli – Udaipur, Rajasthan

Nestled on the shores of Udaipur's picturesque Lake Pichola the Amet Haveli boasts spectacular views of the Jagdish Temple, Lake Palace & Jag Mandir. Originally a 17th-century mansion this Haveli has been affectionately and attentively restored into an exclusive beauty that celebrates its centuries-old heritage Read More

Pullman Aerocity – New Delhi, Northern India

The Pullman New Delhi Aerocity Hotel is an upscale hotel located adjacent to both the international & domestic airport terminals. It is well connected through the Airport Express Line, which is just 5 minutes away, ensuring a relaxed stop over for travellers passing through Delhi, with or without the time to stop and explore. Read More

The Tree of Life Resort – Varanasi, Northern India

The Tree of Life Resort & Spa encompasses all that Varanasi is, – an oasis of peace and calm after the often over-whelming experience of the crowds, the noise and traffic of the city. Situated in rural surroundings the Tree of Life Resort is conveniently located equidistant from Varanasi airport, the city centre (Ghats) and Sarnath. Read More


From AUD 9,990 per person, twin share - 18 days : 08-25 March 2025

From AUD 9,990 per person, twin share - 18 days : 08-25 March 2025

START: Delhi     |     Finish: Delhi


  • Escorted by Sarah Hoyland, Director of The Classic Safari Company & Founder of Journeys for Women
  • 18 nights* in stunning hotels as specified (or similar)
  • Holi Celebrations in Jaipur including lunch
  • Dawn boat cruise on the Holy Ganges River in Varanasi*
  • Economy class domestic flight Udaipur / Delhi / Varanasi* / Delhi
  • Breakfast daily + 11 lunches^ + 10 dinners^
  • Bottled water whilst touring
  • Airport arrival and departure transfers
  • Land transportation in an air-conditioned deluxe vehicle throughout the itinerary
  • All touring as specified with qualified, English-speaking guides & all entrance fees
  • Walking tours of Old Delhi, Jaipur, Pushkar, Jodhpur, Narlai, Udaipur & Varanasi*
  • Boat cruise on Lake Pichola
  • Leopard Safari in rural Rajasthan
  • Rickshaw ride through Chandni Chowk
  • Sunset Camel Safari in Pushkar
  • Exceptional retail therapy opportunities
  • All gratuities for porters, rickshaw & tuk tuk drivers & group restaurant meals whilst on tour
  • Once in a lifetime, experiences throughout the journey
  • Small group of like-minded ladies

^meals in India are often a grand affair so 3 meals per day is often unnecessary.  Where lunch is included, dinner may not, but there will be plenty of snacks available.

*all arrangements between 25-28 March are only included when participating in the Delhi + Varanasi post tour extension


  • International air arrangements plus all applicable pre-paid departure taxes
  • Travel Insurance and individual health requirements
  • Additional meals & snacks + all drinks
  • Room or flight upgrades
  • Transfers to any flight other than specified airports in the itinerary
  • Laundry, camera fees (minimal) and personal purchases
  • India Tourist Visa
  • Discretionary tip for Indian Guide (budget $350)
  • Items of a personal nature & any item not specified

Minimum – 10 travellers

Maximum – 15 (plus host)

Please call to discuss your individual flight requirements.

Recommended Routings to Delhi : Singapore Airlines via Singapore | Qantas via Melbourne & Bangalore | Air India DIRECT to Delhi [Domestic add on flights available]

Terms and conditions apply – please click here for full details.
Tour cost is AUD 11,970 per person, twin share for 21 days : 08-28 March 2025 including Varanasi
This tour departs with a minimum of 10 people and a maximum of 15 people (plus host).
A single-room supplement of AUD 5,790 applies if you wish to secure your own room, plus an additional AUD 1,030 if you extend to Varanasi and wish to have your own room (total single supplement for 21 days is AUD 6,820)
If you are ‘willing to share’ we will do all possible to pair you with another participant. If unsuccessful the single supplement will apply.
The price is subject to change due to currency fluctuation and unforeseen changes beyond our control.
We reserve the right, due to situations beyond our control, to substitute any hotel or boat with another of comparable quality – this would be advised as soon as possible.
Any and all quoted airfares & taxes are subject to change at any time prior to, or at the time of, ticketing.
Australian & New Zealand passport holders require a visa for India for a stay of up to 30 days.  A visa must be obtained online prior to arrival.  If you do not travel on an Australian or New Zealand passport please be sure to let us know.
By making any payment for this tour, and/or joining this tour, you acknowledge you have read & understood the booking Terms and conditions.

Hosted by...

Sarah Hoyland

Sarah is the Founder of our Journeys for Women collection and co-Director of The Classic Safari Company. Over the years she's travelled to all seven continents, visited over 63 countries, forged global lifelong friendships and honed her haggling skills to perfection! In her own words 'I am happiest when I am lost in a souk, on safari in Africa, travelling with my daughters or when I have the privilege of viewing wild and wonderful places afresh through the eyes of the ladies I host on our womens-only soirees!'.

My daughter and I had a fabulous trip to Egypt. Loved every minute and might have to do it again in 2023!


A big thank you & a tick for the bucket list to Sarah for bringing together 17 women and taking us on a trip of a lifetime - friends for life!


Egypt delivered on every level. So did The Classic Safari Company's Journeys for Women. Love my fellow travellers and especially Sarah!


Loved my journey - what a fab adventure with great women!


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