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India holidays

Holidays in India

Palatial architecture and tropical backwaters

India is a culture-filled destination where bustling metropolises rub shoulders with ancient history and tropical paradises. For a breathtaking cultural experience, you need to set off on a holiday to India. With bustling cities, beaches and iconic landmarks to immerse yourself in, the energy and spirit of this country is like nothing you’ve experienced before - so it’s no surprise that this was the birthplace of yoga. With so much to see and do, a holiday to India really is the trip of a lifetime.

Hotels in India

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Essential information for India

Local time
+ 5hrs
Currently
Language
Flag of India
Hindi and English
Currency
Indian Rupee
Official currency of India
Flight information
Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM)
9h
Direct flight
Flight schedule
Virgin Atlantic fly daily to Delhi and also to Mumbai from London Heathrow
Our main partner airline

Best time to visit India

The peak season for tourism is Nov-Mar when daytime temperatures are warm and nights can be cool. Spring months between Apr-Jun can become very hot as well as summer with high temperatures and rains from Jul-Sep/Oct. The tiger reserves are closed during this time too (Apr-Sep). 

Do I need a Visa?

All foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa from an Indian Mission/Post or eVisa.

Find out more about Travel Visas here »

Experience colours and spice: Highlights of India

From the private beach resorts of Goa to the bustling, culture-rich cities of Rajasthan, spotting magnificent wildlife on safari to exploring the ancient, fairytale-like ruins of Hampi... India is one of those countries that not only lives up to, but far surpasses, every expectation. It’s as intoxicatingly colourful, vibrant and culturally rich as you’ve heard.

This unforgettable country has something to offer every kind of holidayer, so let’s get you started with some of our India holiday highlights:

  • Rajasthan boasts architectural and cultural must-sees. In Jaipur, discover the Amber Fort and the vibrant buildings known as the ‘Pink City’. Wander the busy streets, dip in and out of the various market stalls and shops for some of the best artsy souvenirs the country has to offer, and travel local-style with a trip in a rickshaw. Be sure to haggle for the best price! While in Rajasthan, be sure to travel on the Deccan Odyssey to the state’s villages, where you’ll meet the local tribes.
  • Head to the sacred city of Varanasi, on the banks of the mighty Ganges, to experience its spectacular and fascinating culture. Hindu pilgrims come to this holy city, one of the oldest cities in the world, to bathe in the sacred waters and cremate their loved ones. There’s nowhere on Earth quite like Varanasi – India holidays would be incomplete without a stop here.
  • In almost total contrast, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hampi, is an otherworldly oasis of green palm trees, paddies and plantations contrasted with rusty hued ruins and boulders. Hampi Bazaar is the perfect chillout spot after you’ve finished exploring the beautiful area, boasting lantern-lit rooftop restaurants aplenty.
  • Not all temples, busy streets and colourful culture, India holidays are great for nature lovers and adventurous types, too. For safari, nothing quite beats spotting the Royal Bengal Tiger and the elusive leopard at the Ranthambore National Park. Truly one of the best places on Earth to see these incredible animals, why not take a tour as an extra to our India holiday packages?
  • The ideal way to relax while also taking in some of India’s most famous sights, take a houseboat tour of Kerala’s backwaters. It’s hard to beat cruising through the breathtaking palm-studded lagoons. If trains are more your thing, a ride on the Kalka-Shimla toy train, which twists and turns past some of the most beautiful scenery northern India has to offer, is a must.
  • Take a trip to the temples of Galtaji, an ancient hindu pilgrimage site just outside of Jaipur, Rajasthan. One of the temples is known as “Monkey Temple”, and is an animal lover’s dream. Buy some peanuts at the bottom and you’ll be a (monkey) crowd pleaser.

With all the smells, colours and cultural traditions, where better to sample exciting and exotic foods than on holiday in India?

  • Take to the beaches of Goa for spicy seafood dishes that British curries don’t even nearly match up to, as well as Portuguese-influenced cuisine. From laidback restaurants to ocean-side shacks, the Goan dining experience is like no other, no matter your tastes.Aboard the Deccan Odyssey, luxuriate with fine dining and five-star service from waiters dressed in traditional Maharashtrian attire – you’ll feel like you’re in a Wes Anderson movie. The food is truly exquisite, and the views from the train will take your breath away.
  • Mumbai is known for its deliciously distinctive street foods, or chaat. Head to Juhu beach for the best offerings – look out for pav bhaji, a tomato and vegetable-based curry dish served with soft, garlic-y bread, vada pav, a spiced potato burger, and pani puri, crunchy, crispy spheres filled with chickpeas, tamarind chutney and other tasty things. Better yet, you can feed two people – and we mean feed – for a couple of pounds max.
  • For India holidays spent in Kerala, sample the tropical state’s southern delights in the form of thali (small servings) with a side of vegetable stuffed paratha (flatbread) for good measure.

Of course, this rich and vibrant country is known for its equally colourful festivals, and it’s certainly worth planning holidays to India around one if you can! Most of note…

  • October/November: India celebrates Diwali, the Festival of Lights. Provided you stay in an area with a Hindu culture, the festivities, alight with lanterns and candles, will be all around.
  • Spring: an explosion of colour marks the celebration of Holi, where old age traditions meet modern parties filled with music and food. This is a famous festival for a reason – don’t miss it.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the  Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9646.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 31 December 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected by email. 

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know as least 21 days before travel.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking you can call our team on 0344 472 9646 or chat to us on SMS/Whatspp via Manage my booking.

For the latest information on Covid-19 you can check our FAQs here.

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're holiday is going ahead as planned


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. You can call our team on 0344 472 9499 who can look at options for you.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

I am currently on holiday and I need to speak to someone


The easiest way to contact us while you are away is via WhatsApp. To get the conversation started, click the link and type "hello” .

or you can get in touch with our in-resort team during local opening hours

Find contact details for your location

Outside of local resort office hours you can call us in the UK +44 (0) 344 472 9626 (option 2) or email us duty.office@virginholidays.com

If you are in the USA or Canada please email: USAreps@virginholidays.com.

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