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Best India tours for 2018

Uncover more than the expected with our favourite tours and tour companies throughout India.

Sensory overload awaits in India. There is so much to see that travellers are tempted to pack in as much as possible.

To kickstart the planning for your trip, we've shortlisted our favourite tour companies and tours. This will ensure you can see and do everything you desire in India based on all-important decision-makers such as budget, travel style, itinerary length, tour activities and more.

5 of our favourite India tour companies

1. TourRadar

A trusted name in the adventure travel space, Intrepid is for anyone looking for a balance between inclusions and free time as well as a mix of classic highlights with local secrets.

  • Best for: Backpackers, flexible itineraries
  • Cost: Budget
  • Our favourite itinerary: North India Revealed has you seeing a wide array of India’s best sites, ranging from the beauty of the Taj Mahal to camel safaris in the desert.

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2. Contiki

With a focus on #noregrets travelling for 18- to 35-year-olds, Contiki will have you seeing as much as possible at each destination with plenty of opportunities for adventure along the way.

  • Best for: Youths and adventure seekers
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: Southern Spice takes you to where the spices grow and the palm trees slope with a slew of temples and even a tiger reserve.

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3. G Adventures

An adventure and small-group tour specialist, G Adventures is all about creating an authentic and unforgettable experience to help you see the most of India.

  • Best for: Solo travellers and active tours
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: North to South India on a Shoestring takes you from the hectic streets of northern Delhi to the relaxed beaches of Goa in this epic journey of the subcontinent’s highlights.

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4. Swastik India Journeys

Specialising in India tours, this tour company offers a wide variety of personalised tours giving you the opportunity to experience the must-sees throughout India.

  • Best for: In-depth cultural tours, families and groups
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: Golden Triangle Tour is the classic route with a twist. Experience the history of massive forts as well as the bustle and buzz of markets and bazaars along with a wildlife safari.

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5. On The Go Tours

Specialising in travel for those who want to have fun and a cultural experience, On The Go Tours also has a strong focus on a sustainable approach to travel.

  • Best for: Eco-tourists, families and seniors
  • Cost: Mid-range
  • Our favourite itinerary: Highway to Himalayas combines an intoxicating mix of culture, wildlife and unsurpassed scenery from Delhi all the way to Kathmandu.

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Other tour companies that offer tours in India


India tours by style

Top 3 tour companies for India motorcycle tours

  1. Eccentric Travels: Spend up to two weeks exploring the hills, forests and lakes of the more remote parts of India, where you can really get to know the people and tiny towns other tours might pass by.
  2. Nevermind Adventure: Get away from the boring roads and smooth highways as you step outside of your comfort zone in the perfect place to get down and dirty on a bike.
  3. Blazing Trails: Hop aboard a Royal Enfield Bullet as you explore far-flung destinations like Spiti Valley, the Himalayas and Manali.

Top 3 companies for India train tours

  1. Intrepid: With dozens of trips to choose from, most of which include rail travel, Intrepid really helps you travel like a local.
  2. On The Go Tours: Take your pick of tours that include a taste of train life or choose their 15-day Railways of the Raj adventure which includes six separate rail journeys.
  3. G Adventures: Enjoy specialised rail tours including an epic six-week trip that circles India via train.

Top 3 companies for budget India tours

  1. G Adventures: Regular tour prices are already within the budget sphere and sales of up to 35% off can save you even more.
  2. Intrepid: These are some of the best value tours you can find covering all the hotspots around India.
  3. Geckos Adventures: These tours are geared towards the young adventurer to help them explore the world on a budget.

Top 3 companies for India wildlife spotting tours

  1. Swastik India Journeys: Visit Ranthambore for the chance to see hyenas, cheetahs, jungle cats, panthers and even a tiger if you are lucky.
  2. Exodus Travels: Enjoy a day in the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the largest parks in India and home to wild elephants and birds.
  3. Intrepid: Embark on a safari in search of tigers, leopards, elephants, sloth bears, sambars and spotted deer in Masinagudi.

Popular India tour routes

Golden triangle

This world-renowned route gives you a taste of India by visiting three very different cities: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It's great for those who only have a short amount of time and want a variety of experiences.

Golden Triangle from Geckos Adventures

Golden Triangle from Geckos Adventures from G Adventures

Enjoy the classic golden triangle route and spend some time in a colourful rural village.

  • Tour company: Geckos Adventures
  • Best for: Short trips
  • Length of tour: 8 days

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Rajasthan circuit

India is too big to cover all in one go, and if it’s your first time, you’d be wise to stick to the north. The land of colourful palaces, deserts and mountains has plenty to offer. You can take in the sights at Jaipur and Jodhpur as well as experience the searing heat of the Thar Desert.

Royal Rajasthan with Taj Mahal Tour

Royal Rajasthan with Taj Mahal Tour from TourRadar

This is the ideal introduction for those who want to experience Indian culture with stops at eight top destinations.

  • Tour company: Swastik India Journeys
  • Best for: First-time visitors
  • Length of tour: 12 days

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Trivandrum to Goa

Southern India has some special surprises for the adventurous traveller with a little bit more time. You can enjoy India’s white sand beaches and ancient temples as well as explore the Kerala backwaters by boat.

South India Revealed with Intrepid

South India Revealed with Intrepid from TourRadar

Explore the exotic bazaars, vast landscapes and quaint fishing villages of the south with some relaxing beach time to top it off.

  • Tour company: Intrepid
  • Best for: Historical and cultural insights
  • Length of tour: 16 days

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New Delhi to Kathmandu

Be inspired by the remains of the Mughal dynasty, the snow-capped Himalayas, the bazaars of Delhi and the sacred Ganges River. This trip will take you from the heights of the region to the heart of the jungle.

Highway to Himalayas with On The Go Tours

Highway to Himalayas with On The Go Tours from TourRadar

Incorporating the classic Golden Triangle and the Taj Mahal, this trip goes one step further and shows you the holy city of Varanasi before flying to the Himalayas.

  • Tour company: On The Go Tours
  • Best for: The adventurous traveller
  • Length of tour: 16 days

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How long do I need in India?

The sheer size of the country and variety of places to visit in India make it difficult to explore much without at least one week on hand.

With less time, you could focus on just one city with day trips to nearby historical sights. New Delhi and Mumbai are ideal options with enough to see for a shorter trip.

Two to three weeks will allow you the flexibility to visit more of the country and give you an idea of the contrast you can find between each city and town.

Top 8-day India tour

Taj Express

Taj Express from TourRadar

Take in the main sites of the Golden Triangle with lots of time for local interaction as well as for exploring colourful markets and ancient temples.

  • Tour company: On The Go Tours
  • Best for: Independent travellers with limited time
  • Places visited: Delhi, Taj Mahal, Karauli, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur

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Top 11-day India tour

Southern Spice

Southern Spice from Contiki

See where the spices grow as well as set sail in a bamboo houseboat through the backwaters of Kerala. Temples, a tiger reserve and tea plantations are on the itinerary for this journey across Southern India.

  • Tour company:Contiki
  • Best for: Youth travellers
  • Places visited: Chennai, Pondicherry, Kumbakonam, Madurai, Periyar, Kumarakom, Kerala, Cochin

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Top 15-day India tour

Rajasthan Experience

Rajasthan Experience from TourRadar

Rajasthan is a great choice if you have two weeks to explore the country. With colourful and chaotic cities within a stone’s throw from each other, you can experience desert life, travel to beautiful palaces and wander through forts with fascinating histories.

  • Tour company: Intrepid
  • Best for: Historical and cultural insights
  • Places visited: Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Thar Desert, Jodhpur, Ranakpur, Udaipur

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Top 21-day India tour

Delhi to Kochi by Rail

Delhi to Kochi by Rail from G Adventures

With a full three weeks, you can take in India from north to south. Take the train through some of the best destinations that the country has to offer with overnight journeys to maximise time.

  • Tour company: G Adventures
  • Best for: Active travellers
  • Places visited: Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bundi, Mumbai, Ga, Hampi, Mysore, Madikeri, Kochi

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Latest deals for India tours, flights and more

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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