Classic Kashmir

Suggested Itinerary

9 Days From £3,250

Overview

Kashmir – that centuries old holiday idyll that was the playground of both the Moghuls and the British – offers some of the most pristine and wonderful countryside anywhere on the subcontinent. Oft quoted as being “an earthly paradise” Srinagar and its environs provide the perfect backdrop to this itinerary which sees you exploring beyond the city limits and heading out into the hills and waterways of the Vale.

From the floating paradise of your houseboat to the ...

Read More

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Escape the crowds and stay in a beautiful, tented camp in the heart of the Himalayan foothills
  • Navigate your way around Old Srinagar to see the beauty of the old city's mosques, with their atmospheric prayer halls, stunning carved woodwork and beautiful calligraphy
  • Experience the very best of Kashmiri luxury and hospitality as you stay on an exclusive houseboat and enjoy the splendour of the Karan Mahal estate, home of the royal family
  • Enjoy rewarding walks and remote picnics as you soak up the spectacular scenery of the Aru Valley and meet a local nomadic family
  • Board your shikara and catch a glimpse of a unique sunrise market held on Dal Lake, where locals haggle and barter for their daily supplies of fruit, vegetables and colourful flowers
  • Discover Srinagar’s traditional Kashmiri handicrafts and meet with the master artisans who have created these works of art over the years

Suggested Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE SRINAGAR

DAY 1: ARRIVE SRINAGAR

On arrival in Srinagar you will be met and transferred to your luxury houseboat. Late afternoon you can enjoy your beautiful surroundings with a Shikara ride on Dal Lake. From the open lake, where uninterrupted views stretch away beyond the wooden houseboats and forested foothills to the snow-capped peaks beyond, you’ll drift silently into the narrow waterways. This is the world of the Kashmiris, where you will pass floating gardens, where women in colourful salwar kameez and traditional headscarves tend their vegetables. On this one-hour shikara ride, you’ll float by small wooden homes, bakeries, shops, rose gardens and honey sellers. You’ll weave your way through narrow avenues of willows, passing locals in plain wooden shikaras, bringing vegetables back from the market. 

Sukoon Houseboat
Dinner

DAY 2: SRINAGAR: EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN

DAY 2: SRINAGAR: EXPLORE THE OLD TOWN

Wake up with the sun and soak up spectacular sunrise views from the deck of your houseboat as you enjoy a fresh breakfast. You will then set off on a guided heritage walk through Old Srinagar, a fascinating place where various rulers have left their mark. Walk through the narrow streets, stopping off at forts, mosques, temples and tombs in the company of an expert guide who will give you a detailed insight into the city’s culture and history. Then spend time wandering around the local bazaar, home to spices and souvenirs, copper craftsmen and carpet workshops, where you can meet with locals and soak up daily life. After enjoying a traditional Kashmiri lunch at a local restaurant, climb up to Shankaracharya temple for some breathtaking views across the valley, before returning to the houseboat for an afternoon at leisure. 

Sukoon Houseboat
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3: SRINAGAR: FLOATING MARKET & MUGHAL GARDENS

DAY 3: SRINAGAR: FLOATING MARKET & MUGHAL GARDENS

After enjoying an early morning cup of hot chai, board a shikara boat and set off for the floating vegetable and flower market. Here you can paddle around and watch the locals at work as they buy and sell their goods, a beautiful and colourful sight on the lake. Be sure to pick up some snacks, especially the macaroons which are very tasty! Return to your houseboat for breakfast and a leisurely morning, before heading out this afternoon to explore the Moghul gardens. First you will visit the Shalimar Gardens, the most famous of all Kashmir’s Moghul Gardens, where you can enjoy a walk among the fountains, flower beds and mighty chinar trees, to the black marble pavilion. From here, continue around the lake to the Nishat Gardens and visit the garden at Chashma Shahi, meaning royal spring, before finishing the tour at the impressive Pari Mahal, or Palace of Fairies. This is one of the most impressive sites in Srinagar, where you can soak up stunning views of the lakes from this unique eight-tired stone-arched construction.

Sukoon Houseboat
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4: SRINAGAR: KARAN MAHAL FREE DAY

DAY 4: SRINAGAR: KARAN MAHAL FREE DAY

Enjoy a slow morning before transferring to the stunning Karan Mahal estate. First constructed in the 1920s, Karan Mahal was once the residence of the Crown Prince of Jammu and Kashmir – Dr. Karan Singh, the son of Maharaja Hari Singh. Due to Dr. Karan Singh’s subsequent appointment as Governor and Head of State, the estate has witnessed many significant political and social events. Recently restored by the royal family of Jammu and Kashmir, the property’s elegant interiors include handwoven Kashmiri carpets, handcrafted wooden ceilings, and an endless collection of stunning historical artefacts. These luxurious interiors are complimented by extensive gardens and orchards, framed by spectacular views of the nearby lakes and mountains. Soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era, as you taste age-old recipes, listen to Kashmiri folk songs, and enjoy the very best of Kashmiri hospitality.

Karan Mahal
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5: SRINAGAR: AVANTIPURA, PAHALGAM & ARU VALLEY WALK

DAY 5: SRINAGAR: AVANTIPURA, PAHALGAM & ARU VALLEY WALK

Today is dedicated to Kashmir’s sublime natural beauty as you set off for the Aru Valley – a lush valley nestled deep in the Himalayas next to the Lidder River. Soak up the scenery as you drive past paddy fields and fields of saffron, eventually reaching the hill station town of Pahalgam, leading on to Aru Valley itself. Here you embark on a stunning 3-hour hike through the valley and hills, stopping at a special viewpoint along the way to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. In the afternoon, return to Srinagar, stopping en route to visit the Hindu temple at Avantipur, where you can admire the impressive 8th century ruins. This is a long but very rewarding day, taking you away from the busier areas and deep into the peaceful Himalayan landscape.

Karan Mahal
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: SRINAGAR: FREE MORNING & MANISBAL LAKE

DAY 6: SRINAGAR: FREE MORNING & MANISBAL LAKE

Enjoy another leisurely morning on the estate, or do some exploring independently and go in search of those well-earned souvenirs. This afternoon your water adventures continue as you journey from Dal Lake to Manasbal Lake. Again boarding a shikara, you will float down the famous river Jhelum and enter Manasbal Lake, which is famous for its water lilies and lotus flowers.

Karan Mahal
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7: SRINAGAR – SONAMARG

DAY 7: SRINAGAR – SONAMARG

Set off today for the wonderful mountain village of Sonamarg, stopping en route to visit the 8th century Shiva temple complex of Naranag. Continue on to the camp, located in the foothills of the mighty Himalaya, where you can settle into your beautiful tent and enjoy a delicious lunch. The tents are well-equipped with proper beds and mattresses, Kashmiri carpets, basic en suite toilet and washing facilities, and wonderful large windows to allow you to take in your stunning surroundings. After relaxing at the camp this afternoon, you can then embark on a nature walk around the surrounding area. This evening you will then be served a delicious dinner as you sit around the fire and enjoy some spectacular star-gazing. 

Sonamarg Fixed Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8: SONAMARG - SRINAGAR

DAY 8: SONAMARG - SRINAGAR

With the whole morning at your disposal to enjoy the hills, you can take a picnic lunch and go for a gentle but rewarding walk around the surrounding area. Along the way there’ll be opportunities to meet with members of a local Gujjar (nomad) family and share a cup of salty tea with them. This afternoon you then return by road to Srinagar for your final night.

Karan Mahal
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9: DEPART SRINAGAR

DAY 9: DEPART SRINAGAR

You will be transferred from your houseboat to the airport today, in time to catch your onward flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

9 days from £3,250

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE

Flexible booking conditions regarding transfers and cancellations

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Book With Confidence

We understand that flexibility is now a key factor when booking a holiday, and we believe our Covid Promise and Covid Viable Test provide that.

We believe these terms and conditions for making a booking are amongst the most generous in the travel industry right now, and we hope they will give you the confidence, when you feel ready, to go ahead and book your next adventure.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

India rewards the traveller with its rich variety of unforgettable experiences, diversity of culture, stunning wealth of architecture, varied landscapes, delicious cuisines, fine textiles and crafts, colourful festivals, and wild places teeming with wildlife.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN INDIA