A firm favourite among our guests
This year marks our ten-year anniversary since our story began in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Over the past ten years we have grown and are delighted now to work with 26 village enterprises across India, Nepal and Ethiopia.
The villages of Binsar remain a firm favourite among our guests, with beautiful forest walks, mountain vistas and abundant wildlife, all brought together through fine hospitality and a warm welcome in the village guesthouses.
Hills, valleys and mountain tops
There are five villages in the Wildlife Sanctuary, you will stay in four of them. Each has great individual charm, whether tucked in the valley or on a ridge top with extensive views of the Himalayan peaks. Discover the local farming methods and help with the harvest if you wish. Enjoy delicious locally-sourced food and pick up some local cooking tips, join in with a game of cricket or relax on the terrace and watch as village life unfolds.
Accessible walking, warm hospitality
The guides in Binsar take great pride in showing you their villages and delighting you with local tales. You are warmly greeted everywhere you go, often being invited into people's homes for a cup of chai and you come away feeling part of the community. Walking is along well-used paths through pine and oak forests and across terraced fields, with glimpses of the Himalayan peaks beyond.
Wonderful wildlife and abundant birds
This is a wonderful place to discover wildlife. The valleys are alive with birdsong and as you walk you hear the tinkle of goat bells or the cry of the barking deer, alerting to a leopard. Your guide helps you to spot deer, langur monkeys and a variety of birdlife, as well as looking for signs of wild boar, porcupine, pine martens and the elusive leopard.
Welcome at Delhi airport, transfer to Delhi guesthouse for overnight stay.
An early morning transfer from your guesthouse takes you to Old Delhi station to catch the day train into the foothills, to Kathgodam station. A road journey takes you from Kathgodam into the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary to Khali Estate, a delightful hotel where you stay in a double room garden bungalow.
In the Binsar Sanctuary
Day 3 - Day 8
After breakfast meet your guide to discuss the journey ahead. You visit and stay in four of the Binsar villages, with two nights in two villages. Enjoy gentle walks between the villages, spot abundant wildlife, get to know the local communities and enjoy the tranquil pace of life in the foothill villages.
Return to Khali Estate to relax and enjoy another night's stay.
Return by road to Kathgodam to catch the overnight train to Delhi.
Transfer from station to Delhi airport for homeward flight.
We ask our guests to make their own arrangements for international travel to India. For Village Ways holidays in the foothills, the nearest airport is Delhi. Travel information for India can be found here.
We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.
We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Delhi airport. Your holiday includes transfers and rail journeys to the hills, accommodation in the village guesthouses and hotels, with all meals provided during your stay in the villages, with picnic lunches taken when walking, and your own guide through the hills.
Stay in Delhi
Delhi is a fascinating and vibrant city. It epitomises the huge leaps forward that India is currently undergowing whilst reflecting the country's great history. A new metro is being built but much is still moved around on overladen cycles and bullock carts. The shopping opportunities are excellent, particularly for textiles. Why not add a night's stay in the city to your holiday?
Guest-house accommodation We work with some very comfortable and hospitable guest-houses in the heart of Delhi. We can arrange overnight stays for you, or a day-room to freshen up after a night flight. We can also arrange an upgrade from a guesthouse to a hotel if you prefer.
Driver & car One of the best ways to get around and across Delhi is by car. We offer carefully selected drivers to look after you for the day. On call for you, they will be able to take from shops to India Gate to the Red Fort and out to dinner - or wherever you choose.
From Delhi to the hills
Included in your holiday to and from the hills is a journey on the overnight Ranikhet Express from Delhi to Kathgodam. Included accommodation is in 2nd class, air-conditioned carriages - 2 tier, open plan with curtains around groups of berths. Trains open for reservation 3 months before departure. As soon as reservations open we will be able to confirm your rail journey to you.
Upgrade to 1st class You can upgrade to 1st class where the berths are in air-conditioned compartments of four or two. There is only one 1st class carriage which can be get booked very early on.
From Delhi to the hills by car You can also choose to travel up from Delhi (or return at the end of you holiday) by private car.
Extra nights during your holiday
Extra nights at Khali Estate
All holidays to Binsar include at least one night at Khali Estate, a marvelous place to relax and unwind. Many guests have added an extra night here at the beginning or end of their stay in the hills. If your journey here has been by night flight followed by overnight train it could be good idea to catch you breath with a quiet day here.
Extra nights in the Village Guest-houses
You may wish to prolong your exploration of the wonderful hill villages in Binsar. There is so much to learn and appreciate about village life and the host communities would love to keep you for a day longer.
For many guests, a visit to India would not be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, regarded by many as one of the wonders of the world. Whether you wish to make a day trip by train, enjoy an overnight stay with time to explore more of Agra, or whether you wish to be transferred by car, we can arrange a visit to suit you.
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, hosting some incredible architecture and seeped in history. Not to be missed are the Jantar Mantar observatory and the renowned Amber Fort. Add a visit here to complete the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.