June 16, 2014 |
From new mobile tented camps and restored houseboats in Kashmir to wine-tasting trails and antique hunting, Asian Explorations has been specialising in experiential holidays across India for over 15 years. Here are just some of the options available in India:
New silver service mobile tented camps in Kashmir
With a myriad of watercourses in some of the most breath-taking and remote mountain country, Kashmir is undoubtedly one of the best areas for trout fishing in India. From small fast-flowing rivers to the high glacial lakes of Gangabal, the best way to immerse oneself in this wilderness – be it to fish or enjoy the many hiking trails – is to stay in mobile tented camps. Hosted by expert guides, the dome-shaped tents feature comfortable mattresses with adjoining long-drop loos and hot showers, and delicious cuisine is served with silver-service porcelain and proper cutlery. The camps make an ideal base for couples, families and small groups and they can be assembled in some of the region’s most unspoilt, and often pretty inaccessible, locations. A 13-night itinerary costs from £3,729 pp (two sharing) including domestic flights, all camping equipment, full-board accommodation in Kashmir and five-star luxury hotel with breakfast on arrival and departure in Delhi, plus all trekking arrangements. International flights extra.
Antique hunting in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu
Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu is a treasure trove for antique hunters. The countless shops are crammed with Ravi Verma oil paintings, enamel jars from Sweden, Belgian glass, English and Japanese hand-painted tiles, Austrian oil lamps, original Tanjore paintings and priceless Burmese teak furniture. Many of the items have come from the Chettinad bungalows that are still owned by the Chettiars – a community that made its fortune as money lenders and merchants – although most Chettiars have since migrated to other parts of Asia. Visit with an experienced local antiques dealer (The Explorations Company has access to several specialists) who will lead the way around the maze of streets, stopping at shops and their tucked-away storage units that showcase some of the wares purloined from local art deco mansions. It is also possible to visit some of the enormous Chettinad bungalows with their many courtyards, beautifully-decorated ceilings, intricately carved doors and Italian marble. A 13-night itinerary costs from £3,290 pp (two sharing) including B&B accommodation, transfers in a private vehicle and domestic flights. International flights extra.
Explore Andaman Islands’ remote underwater world
Known for its world-class diving, legendary beaches and emerald waters full of marine life, this exclusive liveaboard option in India’s Andaman Islands is suitable for all levels. Incredible dive sites include Dixon’s Pinnacle with its giant groupers, manta rays and green turtles and Johnny’s Gorge, two colourful coral reefs with ancient sponges and high numbers of whitetip reef sharks. Experienced divers can enjoy wreck diving, coral wall diving and night diving at Neil Island, Duncan Island and Sir Hugh Rose Island amongst others. In November, a five-night itinerary costs from £960 pp including all diving, meals and on-board air-conditioned accommodation. Diving itineraries can dovetail into longer bespoke trips to India. International flights extra.
Newly-restored Kashmiri houseboats
Situated in an exclusive spot on Lake Nagin, stay in a newly-restored traditional houseboat. Owned by an expert fly fisherman who knows all the trout waters in Kashmir, trekking and fishing expeditions can be arranged from the comfort of the boat. Based on a blissfully quiet stretch of lake, free from the bustle of shikaras and floating shops, this houseboat is a traditional gem. Delicious traditional food and drink is served by the on-board staff including Wazwan dishes of spicy kebabs and fragrant rice, Kahwa (green tea), freshly-baked bread and locally-produced honey. A five-night itinerary costs from £2,095 pp (two sharing) including half-board accommodation in Kashmir, houseboat on exclusive basis, domestic flights, private transfers and city, fishing and trekking guides. International flights extra.
India’s Napa Valley
Think of a wine-tasting holiday and one’s thoughts will no doubt turn to Europe, or to the New World wine destinations of California, New Zealand, Australia and South America. But what about western India? Lying on the main pass through the hills of the Western Ghats, Nasik is often referred to as India’s Napa Valley, with ideal conditions for producing some of the finest wines. The wineries produce a few reserves and sparkling wines as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Shiraz and Merlot. Experience the best of western India’s vineyards first-hand, followed by visits to the wonderful historical treasures in Aurangabad and Goa’s stunning beaches. An 11-night itinerary costs from £2,700 pp (two sharing), including international/domestic flights, B&B accommodation, private transfers and activities.
ENDS/ 11 June 2014
Notes to editors
Founded by Nicola Shepherd in 1989, The Explorations Company specialises in delivering excellence and exclusivity for its clients, ensuring that each tailor-made holiday becomes a real experience – an unforgettable journey of a lifetime. World-class guiding, wildlife encounters and exceptional culinary experiences underpin many of the holidays and the company’s unique ‘little black book’ of contacts means it is also possible to involve, for example, celebrated authors, military historians, chefs and astronomers to make a holiday extra special.
Travel PR represents Asian Explorations and South American Explorations:
Asian Explorations covers Bhutan, Borneo, Burma, India, The Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
South American Explorations covers Antarctica, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.