Best for: Adventure & Off-the-beaten track, Cultural & Immersive, Trekking & Walking, Repeat Visitors
In recent years, there have been some wonderful developments in luxury tourism to Sikkim; the chance to get completely off-the-beaten track in relative style and exclusivity. Combined with a stay at the amazing Glenburn Tea Estate, you can have have a wonderfully immersive experience. Not too long along the classic route was to see Darjeeling, head up to Pelling, across to Gangtok and down to Kalimpong – the hotels were decidedly poor and taking Gangtok for instance, you visited fairly dull towns. Sikkim is all about getting into the countryside, seeing the amazing views and seeing the vibrant local culture in action. Forget the norm, here is our way of doing Sikkim.
Begin in Calcutta, a city that is definitely worth two or three nights given how much there is to see and do. Fly to Bagdogra and work your way up to Darjeeling. In terms of former British hill-stations, Darjeeling is probably the most interesting, with such amazing markets and winding streets. Take a walking tour uncovering it all, before heading north into the Sikkim, once an independent kingdom totally separate from India. You’ll stay in village houses that have been lovingly refurbished, making some of the rooms more like a boutique hotel experience with extraordinarily comfortable beds and en-suite bathrooms. You get led through the area by a team of guides, porters and cooks, making your way from one village house to another on foot. Serendipity is ever-present; as you get invited into local homes, meeting the chief monks and generally being welcomed at every point of your journey. The houses are only taken exclusively, so you simply don’t see other tourists, and they only allow a handful of guests to do this each year, so the local communities love welcoming their visitors. Stop at amazing locations for a picnic lunch, and each night your cook rustles up the most amazing local cuisine. Move back south and stay in Glenburn Tea Estate for some well-deserved R&R. Live it up like a planter of old, sitting back on your veranda with Himalayan snow-capped peaks rising up above you, over the verdant green tea fields of the estate. Fly back to Calcutta to end your tour of India.
- One the most immersive, authentic and amazing journeys you can do in India
- Get off-the-beaten track, walking through unspoilt villages right under snow-capped mountains
- Combine with a stay at Glenburn Tea Estate, one our favourite mountain retreats
- Have your own private guides, porters and cooks