The 260 year-old travel company, Cox & Kings, has launched its 2018 programme for India & Beyond, featuring excellent value and high-quality small group tours and tailor-made ideas.

The expanded collection includes four new escorted tours, options for villa stays in Goa and Sri Lanka, and new experiences that really showcase the different destinations. IndiaThe 13-day/11-night Golden Triangle and Shimla escorted tour remains the region’s bestseller, with passenger numbers 44% per cent in 2017. This tour is priced from £2,075 per person for 2018.

“Our company’s history stretches back to 1758 and, as the original India experts, our team knows the country inside and out,”Cox & Kings’ CEO Peter Kerkar told Essential Journeys. “We have added in some really special new signature experiences, which we think will enhance the group tours: in rural Rajasthan dine in a 16th-century stepwell illuminated by hundreds of oil lamps; in Varanasi experience the magical Ganga aarti ceremony from a boat on the Ganges; and in Udaipur, watch the sunset over Lake Pichola while enjoying a traditional meal. Our programme of small group tours and tailor-made ideas combine the unmissable sights with lesser-known areas to appeal to both first-time visitors to India and those who return again and again.”

NEW: PASSAGE THROUGH RAJASTHAN: This tour travels through the heart of Rajasthan, exploring its magnificent forts and ornate palaces, as well as Ranthambore National Park and the Taj Mahal. Starting in Mumbai, the trip also includes Udaipur, the rural Aravalli hills, Jodhpur and Jaipur. A highlight of the tour is a dinner in a 16th-century baori (stepwell), illuminated by oil lamps. The 16-day/14-night tour is priced from £2,495 per person.


Church in the backwaters of Kerala, India | Sshutterstock

NEW: PASSAGE THROUGH KERALA: Taking in the beautiful sights and landscapes of Kerala and Karnataka, this tour includes Mysore, Nagarhole National Park, the scenic narrow gauge Blue Mountain train journey to Ooty and a cruise on the backwaters of Kochi. After a guided visit during the day to Mysore’s Maharajah’s Palace – the largest in India – the tour returns in the evening to see it spectacularly illuminated by over 1,000 lightbulbs. The 13-day/11-night tour is priced from £2,425 per person.

NEW: TAJ, TIGERS & TRAINS: Crossing the Ganges plain from Delhi to Kolkata, this new tour takes in the majestic Taj Mahal, the wildlife of Ranthambore, colonial Lucknow and Kolkata, and spiritual Varanasi. The trip ends with a trip on the Darjeeling toy train and a visit to a working tea plantation. Also included in the tour is a traditional home-cooked Awadhi dinner in Lucknow with a royal family. The 14-day/12-night tour is priced from £2,895 per person.

NEW: SRI LANKA EXPLORER: While the west and south of the country succumb to the monsoon rains from May to September, it is the right time to travel to the rest of the country. This new tour includes a scenic train journey through the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, sacred Buddhist sites in Kandy and Sigirya, and Minneriya, a sanctuary for elephants, deer and a variety of birdlife. There is time at the end of the tour to relax in Pasikudah, one of the longest shallow coastline beaches in the world. The 14-day/12-night tour is priced from £1,695 per person.


Temple, Thanjavur, India, shutterstock

NEW: SLOW TRAVEL. For those looking to explore at a slower pace, Cox & Kings has introduced some suggested itineraries that spend longer in each place, but seeing more whilst there. These itineraries focus on the quality of the experiences rather than quantity. Colours of Rajasthan is one of these easy-paced private tours and the 17-day/15-night luxury trip is from £4,465 per person. Where most tours only spend two nights in a city, this suggests three in each of Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaipur, as well as stays in Pali and Deogarh. Discovering the main attractions of India’s most colourful region and its lesser-known sights, there is a balance of exploring and time at leisure. Sri Lanka in Slow Motion is an 18-day/16-night trip priced from £3,995 per person, and combines the best of the country’s cultural sights, wildlife-rich national parks and beautiful golden beaches.

All quoted prices include international flights from London, transfers, excursions and accommodation with breakfast daily unless otherwise specified.

Visit for the full programme.

To see or order the brochure, visit

  • Main image | City Palace, Udaipur | Shutterstock