Audley have launched a new Indian Subcontinent brochure covering India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Nepal and Bhutan.
Rural Rajasthan - Audley have placed emphasis on rural Rajasthan, getting away from the cities to experience a more traditional way of life. They have included a number of smaller villages including Samode, Bundi and Rohet and are using characterful boutique hotels as well as a choice of tented properties. They suggest a number of itineraries that combine the more traditional sites and cities with time in these rural areas to give a complete experience of the region. For example they offer an Ultimate Rajasthan 21 day itinerary that combines the wilderness of the deserts, magnificent forts and palaces and sleepy rural villages and costs from £2,688 per person.
Adventurous Himalaya - Audley have included a new itinerary that includes rafting on the Ganges, an elephant safari and game drives in Corbett National Park and trekking in the remote Kumaon region staying in village houses. This 12 day itinerary costs from £2,865 per person.
Rail Travel - Audley have put more focus on the number of different rail routes on offer throughout India, both on local trains and luxury trains. They have introduced a ‘Train Travel and Backwaters’ itinerary. This combines a week on a luxury train - travelling between Mumbai and Delhi and seeing the classic attractions of Rajasthan - with five nights in Kerala, including two days on a converted rice barge, for a complete change from the frenetic pace of rail travel. This 15 day itinerary costs from £5,245 per person.
Homestays - Audley are offering more homestays throughout India - a great way to really get a feel for the country and its people. Their favourite options include Tranquil Hideaway, set on a coffee estate in Wayanad with some wonderful walking routes and Ayesha Manzil in Tellicherry where you will enjoy some of the finest food on offer in the region and can also have a cookery lesson. A 10 day itinerary using homestay accommodation costs from £1,545 per person.
Wildlife in India and Sri Lanka - Audley now have two dedicated Indian wildlife specialists and are using some of the lesser known National Parks such as Satpura and Tadopa as well as the more established ones including Ranthambhore and Corbett. They suggest ‘India’s Widlife Treasures’ itinerary combining the national parks of Pench, Kanha, Badhavgarh and Satupura in Central India to give a good contrast in scenery, activities and game. This 13 day itinerary costs from £2,995 per person.
Wildlife is also a focus in Sri Lanka where Audley suggest an itinerary called ‘On the Leopard’s Trail’ which combines some of the key sites with the top National Parks and the chance to see the spectacular variety of birds and flora as well as looking for leopard and sloth bear and taking a whale and dolphin watching trip. This 16 day itinerary costs from £3,422 per person.
Everest and Annurpurna Trekking Combined - the opening of some new luxury lodges on the Everest Trail means it is now possible to combine trekking in the Annapurnas and Everest in comfort. Audley also suggest using a variety of accommodation, staying at simple local tea houses as well as the lodges to really immerse yourself in the region and with all money going straight into the local community. They have included ‘The Sherpa’s Trail’ itinerary which combines both Annurpurna and Everest trekking, suggesting a mix of accommodation to suit each client’s requirements. This 16 day itinerary starts from £2,650 per person.
Bhutan - Audley suggest timing your visit to coincide with a tsechu or festival that is being held in one of the villages. They are a fundamental part of Bhutanese life and a great way for visitors to really get a feel for the country, particularly at one of the smaller events where you get a more intimate experience. Audley also suggest including a farm visit as part of any trip - a chance to enjoy a typical Bhutanese meal and the local rituals.