Into the Himalayas: mountain villages and high tea

Into the Himalayas: mountain villages and high tea

Treks and tastings with Shakti Village Walks

Take the literal high road on this unique trip, where you’ll fly from Delhi to the uppermost corners of the Himalayas. Stay in rustic lodges as you trek into the mountains.

Even in North India's remote mountainous regions, Smith are working their magic; this lofty adventure can be fully customised.

This 10-night trip is £3,162 a person (approximately 5,175 AUD), based on two guests sharing.* 

To kick off your trip, contact the Smith24 team around the clock on:
+44 (0)330 100 3180 from the UK,
+1 800 464 2040 from the US.

 

Submit an enquiry

Highlights

Highlights

  • Stay in the best Mr & Mrs Smith luxury and boutique hotels
  • A tale of two cities exploring Old and New Delhi
  • Mountaintop village stays in Sandyang Lee, Hee-Gyathang and Radhu Khandu
  • Trek along one of the Himalayas’ oldest trade routes
  • Tours of the tea factory and plantations at Glenburn
Need to know

Need to know

When to go
Spring is the balmiest season for long treks, as it’s sunny but not too hot (the temperatures drop the higher you climb). By March, warm spells will have thawed out icy mountain routes and greenery begins to grow from between the foothills’ rocks. 

Getting there
Most international carriers fly direct to Delhi’s main hub, Indira Gandhi Airport. Our Smith24 team can help with your travel arrangements on request. During your trip, you’ll either be getting from A to B on foot, or by a private, air-conditioned, chauffeur-driven minivan. Neither international nor internal flights are included in the package rates. 

Packing tips

  • Heavy-duty hiking boots
  • A water bottle, backpack, cap and sunglasses
  • Waterproofs and warm layers for high-altitude treks

Day 1–3: Delhi

As soon as you touch down in Delhi, you’ll be met by your private, English-speaking chauffeur and whisked to The Lodhi hotel: a mod-Mughal sanctuary with minimalist, high-finish interiors and three hectares of bloom-packed gardens. 

Your hotel…

Your hotel…

Your Deluxe Room at The Lodhi is sleek and modern in shades of cream and sea blue. The hotel's shell is clean-lined and modern, with some delicate jaali-style screens to nod to the locality, but inside every comfort is considered. 

Smith Extra A jet lag or foot massage each for two guests on arrival

Day 1: Once you clear immigration and customs, you're whisked to your hotel where you'll spend the rest of the day as you wish. Venture out to Connaught Place and the Lodhi Gardens, or stay in your sleek hideaway and splash about in the pool.

Day 2: Zip through the centuries in double-quick time with a personal tour of Old and New Delhi, led by a local guide. Prepare for a winding maze of narrow lanes and thronged bazaars in the Old Town, which takes in the Red Fort and the minaret-studded Jama Masjid mosque. New Delhi is an exercise in formal splendour, wide boulevards and grand, Lutyens-designed architecture. You’ll see the Parliament Building; presidential home, Rashtrapati Bhawan; the 13th-century Qutab Minar; and Humayun’s Tomb – the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. You’ll top your tour with a trip to the Gurdwara, a Sikh Temple where visitors and locals alike roll their sleeves up in the community kitchen.

Day 3: Say 'alvida' (goodbye) to the Lodhi; today you'll fly this luxurious nest and start to soar into the mountains…

Day 3–7: Shakti Sikkim Village Walk

Your Shakti Sikkim Village Walk is an expedition through the Himalayas' undiscovered bits. Go up and up to Rinchenpong, a Himalayan town nestled in the mountains at 64,000 feet. Here, you’ll begin your village-hopping adventure in the hands of a knowledgeable Shakti guide, who’ll escort you on daily treks, each ending at a cosy village lodge for a welcoming supper (courtesy of your private chef) and a good night’s sleep.

Your hotel…

Your hotel…

Shakti Sikkim Village Walk's lodgings don't have the burnished bells and whistles of the Lodhi, but they're charming nonetheless. These rustic homesteads are decorated using natural materials, pops of colour and local textiles. Interiors may be low-key, but the mountain views are all-in.

Smith Extra A book about the Himalayas

Day 3: After a short flight from Delhi to Bagdogra, you'll be drivn to Rinchenpong, an unspoilt Himalayan town, set a dizzying 6,400 feet above sea level. Shakti plots out a route with stops at petite mountainside villages. When the car pulls up at a house in Sandyang Lee, you’ll be warmly welcomed by its owners, a local politician and his family. They’ll host you for the night in simple, colourfully furnished rooms with unparalleled views of the Kanchenjunga massif.

Day 4: Wake up to an early start and hearty breakfast – you’ll need both to climb the 268 steps down to the Rinchenpong monastery, the town of Bhasmay and on to the Kaluk village. Walk for another 30 minutes along a mountain ridge to arrive at Jowbari in time for a picnic lunch. After a rest, re-tighten your laces and set off for Bermiok monastery, Dunga Dara and the village of Hee-Gyathang, where you’ll stay for one night.

Day 5: Walk uphill through the red panda wildlife sanctuary, then set out for a two-hour ramble along one of the oldest trade routes in the Himalayas, finally reaching Radhu Khandu – your home for the next two nights.

You’ll be welcomed to a traditional Sikkimese house with two bedrooms and alfresco bathrooms, plus panoramic views of the mountains. Here, you’ll have a chef-prepared lunch before trekking to the abandoned caves at Bhalukhop (a two-hour walk).

Day 6: The next day’s walk begins after breakfast, when the owners of the house will take you to Khandu, a 150-year-old monastery and on to the rhododendron ridge for a picnic lunch. That evening, you’ll have farewell drinks and dinner with your hosts.

Day 7: Your chef will prepare breakfast, then you'll take a 20-minute trek to a waiting driver and car, who'll then take you to top-drawer tea estate Glenburn.

Day 7–10: Glenburn Tea Estate

Boutique hotel Glenburn Tea Estate is perched on high, above the glittering River Rungeet. This Scottish-founded stay (now owned by an Indian family) is famous for its tea production, Glenburn’s collection of peach bungalows is surrounded on all sides by verdant plantations.

Your hotel…

Your hotel…

After a 20-minute morning walk, weary travellers will be picked up by car and taken on a five-hour journey to Glenburn Tea Estate is a vintage-style boutique hotel set high above the River Rungeet. You’ll stay in a luxurious, traditionally furnished suite with a pergola-shaded balcony, ideal for taking in the views above the clouds.

Smith Extra A packet of Glenburn’s house tea for each guest

Day 7–10: For the next few days, look out for birds and butterflies (there are more than a hundred species) as you fish in the Rungeet; take a guided tour of the tea factory; or try your hand at a cooking class – family recipes include tea-leaf pakoras and Burmese khow suey

Day 11: After three nights at Glenburn, you’ll be driven the three hours to Bagdogra to catch a flight back to Delhi. You’ll have one more night in the Lodhi before you’re driven to the airport to catch your plane, either home or to your next destination. 

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Terms and conditions

Once you've come back down to earth, why not start planning your next trip to India: if you need a little inspiration, take a look at our collection of luxury trips.

*This includes all accommodation in Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotels and transportation within India in an air-conditioned minivan with a driver; entry fees; the use of local guides; and all applicable taxes.

Not included in your package

  • International flights, visa fees, airport taxes or insurance.
  • Any items which are not mentioned as ‘included’ in the itinerary.
  • Any increase in government taxes.

General conditions

  • The price for this itinerary applies for each guest.
  • Glenburn Tea Estate's rates are higher for stays from 24–31 December.
  • All prices are subject to any revisions to taxes or tariffs.
  • From December to January, fog may delay flight departures in North India.
  • Domestic airfare charges will be finalised depending on the date of travel. Each passenger on the economy-class flight has a check luggage allowance of up to 15 kilogrammes, and a carry-on allowance of seven kilogrammes.
  • All flight and train timings are based on the current schedule and are subject to change.
  • Please note that foreign visitors to India require a visa in advance of arrival in the country.

 

  • Best-price guarantee

    Found your stay cheaper elsewhere? We’ll match the price and give you a $75 voucher.

  • Smith Extra on arrival

    Enjoy extras such as a picnic lunch, champagne or spa treatments, on the house