This fascinating journey visits major highlights such as Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur but it also includes some off the beaten track places which gives you the chance to see how life continues in India's villages. Your nights are spent at a number of exquisite heritage hotels which vary from elegant Maharajas' palaces and lavish tented camps to more simple but equally atmospheric old buildings.
Day 1 - Delhi
Arrive in Delhi where you are met and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 - Barli
Early morning express train to Ajmer. Continue by road to the small village of Barli where you stay in a beautifully renovated old fort. Fort Barli is an intimate heritage hotel with a small number of beautiful rooms and suites where you can relive the days of the Maharajas.
Day 3 - Barli
The small and picturesque village of Barli offers a good opportunity to enjoy peaceful rural life. Here you see genuine smiles from people who are happy to welcome you in their village. You take a ride by bullock cart through the village.
Day 4 - Bundi
Today you drive from Barli to Bundi. Bundi is situated in a beautiful narrow valley, dominated by the awesome 14th century Taragarh Fort, one of the most spectacular monuments of Rajasthan. The climb up to the Fort through the colourful and friendly bazaar offers spectacular views over the town and surrounding countryside.
Day 5 - Chittaurgarh
Drive to the colossal hilltop fort of Chittaurgarh where you stay in a delightful family run homestay which occupies an old haveli within the walls of Chittaurgarh Fort. Bicycles are available to explore the village and the Fort.
Day 6 - Udaipur
Continue to the enchanting `White City' of Udaipur, surely Rajasthan's most picturesque city with its white marble palaces, placid blue lakes, attractive gardens and green hills.
Day 7 - Udaipur
In the morning you enjoy a tour of Udaipur which includes a visit to the huge City Palace. You round off your tour with a boat trip on Lake Pichola. The afternoon is free to wander through the maze of alleys and interesting bazaars.
Day 8 - Deogarh
Nearby is the pleasant and little-frequented town of Deogarh. The narrow bazaar road, filled with textiles and silver jewellery shops, winds its way up to the top of the hill where you find the beautifully renovated 17th century Deogarh Mahal Palace. In the afternoon you take an excursion to the surrounding countryside in one of the vintage trucks owned by the family.
Day 9 - Narlai
Drive via the formidable Kumbhalgarh fort to Narlai, a small town overlooking a giant 90m single rock of granite, dotted with caves and temples.
Day 10 - Jodhpur
Morning optional walk to historic temples in and around Narlai, followed by a visit to the superb Jain temples of Ranakpur. Afternoon drive to the `Blue City' of Jodhpur.
Day 11 - Jodhpur
Perched on a hilltop dominating the city, Meherangarh Fort is the most visually spectacular in Rajasthan. An excellent audio tour is included in the entrance fee, and this leads you through the museum within the Fort. Afterwards it is well worth exploring the ramparts of the fort, with their superb views.
Day 12 - Chandelao
Drive to the small heritage hotel of Chandelao Garh. Here, with no other tourists around, you can interact with the local community and learn about the art, culture and heritage of Rajasthan. Afternoon jeep safari to the surrounding villages.
Day 13 - Osian
Travel to Osian, an ancient town in the Thar desert. You spend the night in a beautiful tented camp in the sand dunes. Evening camel ride in the desert.
Day 14 - Bikaner
Drive via Nagaur and the unique Karni Mata Temple at Deshnok to Bikaner. The old city of Bikaner retains a medieval air with its maze of narrow lanes and some beautifully carved havelis in red sandstone, while outside the walls, many palaces and mansions survive.
Day 15 - Bikaner
Today enjoy a guided morning tour of Junagadh Fort. Founded in the 16th century, but expanded by subsequent rulers, the huge Junagarh Fort is one of Rajasthan's best preserved and most impressive. It contains many stone carved palace buildings filled with memorabilia offering an insight into Rajput palace life.
Day 16 - Mandawa
Continue to the Shekhavati area of Rajasthan, famous for its havelis with colourful frescoes and murals. You follow a guided afternoon walk of Mandawa to enjoy the painted havelis.
Day 17 - Jaipur
Drive to the `Pink City' of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. On Jaipur's streets, camel carts, scooters, cycle rickshaws, modern cars and bullock carts all jostle for space - a total riot of colour. There are incredible palaces, fascinating observatories, parks and bazaars. Jaipur never fails to thrill.
Day 18 - Jaipur
In the morning you visit the magnificent Amber Fort, a magnificent complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples built over a period of 125 years by successive rulers. In the afternoon you tour the stunning `Pink City' of Jaipur and have time to browse in the colourful bazaars.
Day 19 - Agra
Drive via the deserted Moghul city of Fatehpur Sikri to Agra, city of the incomparable Taj Mahal.
Day 20 - Delhi
Visit the Agra Fort and the magnificent Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. In the afternoon you return to Delhi.
Day 21 - Delhi
Tour ends after breakfast. Transfer to Delhi airport to connect with your onward travel.