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India & Nepal Tour

Unaccustomed as I am to writing glowing holiday reviews, I would like to inform all would-be intrepid adventurers about the amazing India and Nepal tour organised so adeptly by Riviera Travel.  I will resist the temptation of describing the multitude of incredible experiences we had so as not to spoil the anticipation and excitement for future travellers.  Suffice to say that Christine our efficient and conscientious tour guide ensured that all the terrific activities of this fabulous tour were arranged with meticulous care and attention to every detail.  She was ably assisted in India by Kunal who proudly gave us a colourful and realistic view of his native country.  In Nepal we were accompanied by a ‘fantabaloso’, ‘jolly hockey stick’ and ‘spiffing’ guide called Dipak who ensured that our trip in his stunningly beautiful country was ticketty-boo and ran like clockwork!  We endeavoured to add to his lengthy repertoire of idiomatic phrases with ‘by the skin of our teeth’ and ‘hanky-panky’ - among others!  Huge thanks to Riviera Travel for organising such a memorable and inspiring tour.  The packed schedule was gruelling at times - but without our three outstanding guides we would not have experienced so many unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Review by Jenny Miller on 9 April 2016

Just returned from the India and Nepal trip. Very impressed with the organisation as on our previous Riviera trip to Vietnam. The trip itself was excellent leaving my husband and I with memories we will treasure for ever. Nepal was wonderful. The people so friendly and hospitable. We had been concerned about the effect of the earth quake but we saw little of that and Nepal is certainly open for business!

Review by John and Maureen Gosling on 21 March 2016

This was third Riviera Tour we have done and lived up to our expectations. From the time we all met at Delhi Airport everything was well organised and the Tour was efficiently managed by our Tour Manager Gill.  It was a full on two weeks with many and varied activities. We visited Temples, Shrines, Mosques and Stupas. All hotels were comfortable with good eating options and most had nice pools to relax by in the limited free time.  Highlights were Ganges River boat trips, Taj Mahal, Everest flight and all activities in Chitwan National Park especially elephant safari. Our coach drivers were highly skilled on the chaotic roads and the local guides were enthused to share their countries culture with us. The sights and sounds of both countries were amazing, always interesting viewing from the coach. Well done again Riviera, we will certainly use you again!
Don’t be put off visiting Nepal due to the 2015 earthquake, it’s a lovely Country with lovely people and they need support from tourists

Review by Malcolm Domb, Cindy Whife on 19 March 2016

This was our 5th escorted tour with Riviera and was as excellent as ever. Our tour manager, was superb and went out of her way to help and advise in all matters. Both local guides in India and Nepal were excellent with maybe the Nepal one slightly ahead! The sights in both countries we will never forget with the Taj Mahal, Everest and the trip on the Ganges remaining forever in our minds and hearts. All hotels were of good quality and even the one in Chitwan, although basic, couldn’t be faulted. One lovely surprise was hot water bottles put in the bed when we were out enjoying the lovely atmosphere at night. We would not hesitate to recommend this tour and we eagerly await the new brochure to see what gems Riviera have lined up next.
Travelled on 04/03/2012

Review by Mr & Mrs Derry, Devon on 1 April 2012

We have just returned from India and Nepal. This was our 10th trip with Riviera, and the itinerary of this one is truly a jewel in Riviera’s crown! Every day had highlights, though a combination of the Taj Mahal, Mount Everest, the Ganges at sunrise, and an elephant safari at Chitwan were, for us, the best! The local guide in Nepal was outstanding, both in the information he passed on to us, and the care he took of our group.
Travelled on 08/03/2012

Review by John and Alison Pope, Sussex on 28 March 2012

Just returned from this amazing holiday, just don’t know how they do it for the money, real 5 star hotels especially the Kathmandu Hyatt, and everyday a stunning experience, from the Taj Mahal to river trips on the Ganges, flight round Everest, chasing wild Rhino on an Elephant in Chitwan, trip in a dugout canoe with huge crocodiles lining the banks, and the last day sunset over Annaperna then paragliding down the mountain! Ok the paragliding was extra but everything else was included. The rep Bernie helped make the holiday, very efficient, but also a very funny guy, who helped make getting up at 4.30 am a pleasure. I think everyone was worried about getting Delhi Belly, but no one was taken seriously ill, great compliment to the hotels selected and the restaurants we were recommended to eat at. Mosquitoes also were no problem. I have to say the holiday is quite strenuous with early starts every day, and a lot of walking, but we had disabled people on the trip and they although found some things difficult they took full advantage of all of the places we went to, in one case even the paragliding!

Would just like to thank Riviera for giving me the experiences I will always remember! I recommend this holiday to anyone!

Review by Clive Hickman on 28 February 2013

Just a line to say how much my wife and I enjoyed our holiday to India and Nepal.
We are quite amazed at how much you managed to include in twi weeks in countries where logistics are not easy.
Tony, our guide was exemplary and he made us keep to schedule with a nice easy style.  His knowledge of all areas visited was excellent.
We would not hesitate to use Riviera Travel again and to recommend your company to other people.

Review by Stuart Sykes on 11 March 2013

We have just returned from a great trip to India and Nepal. The organisation by Riviera and our guide, Gill, was outstanding. Its a fairly manic itinerary with new exciting experiences every day. Rising before dawn became second nature because the activities were so worthwhile. I loved it from the start when we hit the ground running in Delhi! However the highlights were celebrating our anniversary at the Taj Mahal, experiencing the magic peculiar to the Ganges, seeing the rhino from elephant back, and the wonderful flight to Mt Everest! Our local guide in India, Bhanu, will remain in our hearts. He was intelligent, funny, caring and often philosophical. He added to our enjoyment tenfold! Due to changes in Air India flights we stayed only one night at Varanasi and travelled to Kathmandu a day early. We did not miss any of the activities at the Ganges and the bonus was to come in Nepal. Riviera put on an extra trip to the mountains and to Bhaktapur. What a great day. The scenery was outstanding, lunch in the well located restaurant was lovely and we felt we saw more of Nepal than originally planned. I hope Riviera keeps this change as a feature so that others can enjoy the day. Last, but not least, the company on this trip was great. Everyone mixed well and we had many a laugh, often focused on the state of our digestive systems!! Thanks to all. If you are considering this trip, do not hesitate. Brilliant!

Review by Aline and Alistair Paterson on 22 April 2013

I’m currently suffering culture shock - Devon is too quiet and mundane! After all the excitement of our 2 week adventure to India and Nepal, it’s proving hard to settle back into normal life. My mind keeps wandering back to the myriad of wonderful memories that will live with me forever - the sheer madness on the streets of India - the colour and tooting of horns and the energy of the city folk as I had a privileged view from the comfort of our air-conditioned bus, and of course the unforgettable view of cows and water buffalo calmly chewing the cud in the middle of the road!
In India, we got up close and personal as our wonderful tour manager Jill and our local guide Bhanu, escorted us safely through and provided fascinating insights and all the right information, right when we needed it - from finding the best places & times to visit (the Taj at sunrise was a dream preceded by an amazing rickshaw ride through the darkened streets and watching the city wake up!); to ensuring that clean, western style loos were there as and when needed. They made sightseeing a real joy - I can’t overemphasise how professional and friendly they were throughout the trip and dealt with all the tricky bits like dealing with hawkers and street sellers; tipping and booking super places for meals and travel stops.
All our hotels were excellent - the Hyatt in Kathmandu was especially wonderful and our extra night there was extremely welcome. Food was lovely - always great variety, and western foods if you had enough of local curries!
In Nepal, we travelled more on the bus, and this allowed us to see even more of the country and the wonderful people. Sunrise over the Annapurna range; our flight over Everest; the temples and local culture, the village in Chitwan and of course my absolute favorite riding our elephant called Happy Choli (or something like that) who took us into the jungle to see a rhinocerous and other fabulous wildlife - what an amazing privilege!
It was a full on itinerary, with lots of early mornings, but well worth getting up for! Everyday was a joy and incredible value for money. The change to have an extra night in Khatmandu was very good and I’d recommend that Riviera keep this. We will definitely travel with Riviera again - they tick every box! Thank you

Review by Sylvia and Andy Dell on 22 April 2013

My husband and I have recently returned from a fantastic tour of India and Nepal.  The itinerary looked most interesting and did not disappoint as it was action packed from the moment we arrived in Delhi.  The tour was exhausting with many early morning starts but it was worth it to experience sunrise at the magnificent sights.  Our tour manager Matt was superb with great organisational skills, caring for everyone’s needs, friendly and above all had a great sense of humour. He is a great asset to Riviera Travel.  The local guides in both India and Nepal were very knowledgeable, friendly and together with Matt ensured all went very smoothly.

I celebrated my birthday in Chitwan and in the morning it was organised for an elephant to greet me.  It was the largest birthday card I had ever received and a great honour.

Our fellow travelers were perfect company and we had some great laughs.  We all felt that we had experienced a most wonderful journey together.  We would certainly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to have a taster of these two most fascinating countries.

Review by Mr & Mrs Wilkinson on 24 April 2013

This was our second visit to India and Nepal. We visited between 16th and 30th March 2013. We were well prepared for the culture shock, and were not disappointed. The tour itinerary gives plenty of information so I’m not going to expand on that. The hotels are all of a very good standard, with Indian or western style food, albeit considerably more expensive than out on the street. The less adventurous may stay with confidence and not venture out if they don’t feel they can cope with Indian street life. In fact, the schedule is so busy that most people prefer to relax in the hotel and unwind after a busy day rather that venture too far.
Transport consists of comfortable air conditioned buses - not with toilets - but by taking sensible precautions, Delhi Belly can be avoided. It was present, but plenty of rest stops were made.
Heat can be a problem. Delhi temperatures in March were in the mid 20’s, rising into the 30’s in Agra and Varanasi and back down to the mid 20’s in Nepal. Free water is provided on the bus, and it’s essential to keep well hydrated. However, visits last never more than a couple of hours so you’re able to get back on the bus and cool down. Lunches can be a problem on the road, and the usual practice is to be prepared and start the day off with a few items you’ve either bought beforehand or liberated from the hotel breakfast buffet.
As with all these type of trips, good timing is essential. Early starts are the norm, on a couple of occasions the wakeup call was before 5am, but we were fortunate that everyone was a good timekeeper and no one let us down.
This is an extremely busy tour, but very well thought out and well organised. It’s our second holiday with Riviera, and won’t be the last. They manage to pack so much into two weeks, with something slightly different to the larger companies, and at a price that compares very well.
Special thanks are due to our tour Manager Steve, and to our local guides, Prem in India and Deepak in Nepal.

Review by Don Hill on 9 June 2013

Like many, both my husband and I were sceptical about joining a tour.  My concern was erased as soon as we landed and met Matt, our tour manager. Every day was an adventure and Matt made it very easy for us to have our own space whilst enjoying all the highlights and sights of both India and Nepal. This is not a holiday for those who wish to relax and chill out, it is full on and each day was an adventure and made the most of the time we had at each location. However the big surprise was how refreshed and energised I was when I returned to the UK. I have a very demanding job (hence this late posting) and needed a break, this holiday definitely helps you’re base your values and beliefs, it was a tonic. Thanks Riveria and big thanks to Matt, who probably thought I wouldn’t post this as I have never done it before, ever! I would definitely recommend Riveria if you are contemplating this type of holiday/tour. Karen

Review by Karen on 8 September 2013

This tour was amazing! Don’t expect to come back relaxed and refreshed though - it was certainly busy, with many early mornings. However the earlies were all worth it and I shall never forget seeing the sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range in Nepal.
Our tour manager, Christine Walker, looked after us very well and did a magnificent feat of reorganisation in order that we could experience a flight to see Mt. Everest, after our two previous attempts had to be aborted because of no visibility.
I especially enjoyed the time we spent at Chitwan and the elephant ride through the jungle. What wonderful creatures these are - I totally fell in love with them!
This is an amazing holiday (I use that term loosely - rather a cultural experience) and would recommend it to anyone.Thank you Christine and to our local guides in India and Nepal who were wonderfully knowlegeable about every aspect of life in their respective countries.
It was the first time I had been on a Riviera Tour but would certainly choose them again.

Review by Mragaret Trimm on 22 October 2013

We have just returned from a fantastic holiday in India and Nepal. It is the first holiday with Riviera but it won’t be our last.  We had a wonderful time the places we visited were wonderful and thanks to our tour manager Matt even the early mornings were fun. Our guides Prem in India and Deepak in Nepal were very interesting and both looked after us well. I would thoroughly recommend this holiday to everyone and also Riviera and many thanks to Matt for all that he did to make our holiday special.

Review by Julia bunyard on 28 October 2013

What a fabulous experience, my partner did not want to go to India but enjoyed it so much he has not stopped talking about it, our tour guide Matt went the extra mile all the time, and our Indian guide Prem made it all so interesting, despite the early mornings we saw the most amazing sights the Taj Mahal at sunrise the funeral pyres on the Ganges, and our amazing flight over Everest very memorable, then onto beautiful Nepal just stunning and our guide Dipak was also excellent. Thank you Riviera we will be travelling with you again !!!!

Review by Sue Foot on 4 November 2013

We have just returned from a wonderful holiday in India and Nepal and wish to thank you all for putting together such an interesting itinerary.

Our tour representative Matt Purse was outstanding and such an asset to your company. He is good fun and very professional. When our flights had to be re-arranged due to the group missing a flight to Delhi he pulled out all stops to get 28 of us back in the UK.

A good number of our travel companions have holidayed with your company before and all had good things to say. We will certainly be booking another holiday with yourselves in the future.
Keep up the good work.

Review by Elaine and John Miller on 7 November 2013

We are so pleased we chose to go with Riviera to India and Nepal. From first meeting our tour Manager, Matt Purse at Heathrow to the very end of the holiday, he looked after our every need. He could not have done more. There were 28 in our group and they all became friends.
Both Countries were very interesting and the scenery stunning.The Hotels were all excellent.
Again our local guides, Prem Shukla in India and Dipak Bastola in Nepal were very informative and sometimes highly amusing.
We have already recommend Riviera Travel to our friends and look forward to our next holiday with you.
Thank you so much.

Review by Sue and Ian Chandler on 7 November 2013

What a wonderful experience! This tour was certainly a holiday to remember for all the right reasons. The organisation was excellent and we felt really spoilt by not having to worry about all the details. Our tour guide, Helen, was just wonderful. She was so very competent and sensitive to everyone’s needs as well as having a great sense of fun. This holiday is a whirlwind of activity with quite a few early starts and a lot of travelling (not for the faint-hearted), but without those we would not have seen such wonderful sights. There were so many highlights that it was impossible to narrow it down to just one or two. The local guides were very informative and each brought their own personality to the experience. We were lucky to visit during Diwali which added an extra dimension to our holiday. Some of our group had travelled with Riviera before and could recommend their other tours. I would not hesitate to recommend this one to people with a sense of adventure and lots of stamina!

Review by Margaret Hall on 12 November 2013

We have just returned from the most amazing adventure to India & Nepal (24/10-7/11). Thank you Riviera for putting together this itinerary. From the moment we arrived at Heathrow until we landed again 2 weeks later, everything ran smoothly. We cannot praise Helen, our Tour Leader, highly enough. As well as the local guides. Sanjay, in India & Vivek, in Nepal. We hope to book another tour very soon.
Thank you Riviera

Review by Ann & Mario Negrello on 14 November 2013

What an amazing trip!  Wonderful itinerary with great hotels. Can’t praise our tour leader Bernie enough. He inspired us with his air of calmness and confidence and he ensured that everything went off without a hitch. Great and knowledgeable guides (Banu in India and Vivek in Nepal) ensured we were given information about every place we visited. Thanks Vivek and Bernie for taking us to the lovely Moondance restaurant in Pokhara where we had such a good time we all went back again the next evening! People keep asking me “what was the highlight of the trip” - well I can’t single out one thing because we did so many amazing things - the Taj Mahal, Varanasi, the elephants at Chitwan, the flight to see Everest, watching the sun come up to touch the mountains of the Annapurna range were some of them. Great value for money and wouldn’t hesitate to use Riviera again

Review by Patricia Lewis on 18 November 2013

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