Lift your spirits in the sacred Varanasi.

Explore holy Varanasi on an insightful Short Break Adventure – an atmospheric blend of temples, river ghats and bustling bazaars. Cruise along the Ganges at dawn for a magical experience as the sun rises over groups of pilgrims absolving sins in the river. Explore the city and nearby Sarnath and wander independently through the bright bustle of the backstreets of the city. Visiting Shiva's city is a must on any visit to India, and this four-day adventure is a perfect addition to your Indian exploration.


Start
Varanasi, India
Finish
Varanasi, India
Destination
India
Style
Original
Theme
Short Breaks
Code
HHAV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Embrace the local rituals and customs at our homestay in Varanasi. Upon arrival, be treated to a home-cooked meal, sharing food and interacting with your warm and welcoming hosts.

  • Spend sunrise cruising along the Ganges, watching Varanasi emerge into a new day, passing the many ghats and temples along the river banks while pilgrims wash themselves in the holy waters.

  • Head out of town to Sarnath and visit the place where Gautama Buddha first began his teachings of the sacred Dharma.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities. As this is not a group itinerary you may be travelling or accommodated on your own, without other Intrepid travellers. If you would prefer the experience of travelling with others, please consider the North India Highlights adventure – search trip code HHKH on the Intrepid website for more information.

Itinerary

Namaste! The ultimate destination for all Hindu pilgrims, Varanasi is full of temples, shrines and devotees. Varanasi is one of the world's oldest continually inhabited cities and is certainly one of the world's most amazing. Full of devout worshippers, religious icons and riverside congregations, you know you’re in spiritual territory now. Check in at your homestay is anytime after midday (12 pm), and it’s recommended you arrive soon after to take part with your host family going about their local customs, preparing food and eating a delicious home-cooked meal. Varanasi’s charmed hospitality extends to your homestay, so be sure to soak it all up.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Set off by cycle rickshaw to visit some of the oldest parts of the city this morning, bustling with tourists and priests. Wander through the Old City with its maze of narrow alleyways packed full of small shops and stalls. See pilgrims bathing in the sacred Ganges River and performing rituals and ceremonies unchanged for hundreds of years. You’ll hear bell towers from temples chime and smell hints of incense all around the city. Spend the evening soaking up the magical atmosphere of a candle flower ceremony – small dishes floating on the river at sunset, creating a shimmering glow to finish off a fascinating day.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Ganges boat flower ceremony
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, set off on another guided city tour in which you will get a chance to visit a centre famous for weaving Benares silk in pit looms. Varanasi is known throughout India as the finest producer of silk and the renowned Banarasi sari. These intricate saris are generally reserved for weddings. Later on, take an excursion to Sarnath – located approximately 12 kilometres from Varanasi and near the intersection of the Ganges and Gomati rivers. Visit the park where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Sarnath - Temple & Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early with a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges River. Drift gently along the river and as the sun rises, float past the many ghats and temples along the banks. Watching pilgrims bathing, and this ancient city waking up and greeting the day is one the unmissable sights of this remarkable country. After the boat ride, transfer back to the hotel where your Short Break will conclude, however that doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend more time in Varanasi, we’ll be happy to book additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Included Activities
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Check out time is midday (12 pm). If you have later onward travel connections, you can arrange for your luggage to be stored for today with your host.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Cycle rickshaw, Boat

Accommodation

Homestay (3 Nights)

Included activities

  • Varanasi - Old City tour
  • Varanasi - Ganges boat flower ceremony
  • Sarnath - Temple & Museum
  • Varanasi - Sunrise boat trip

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Varanasi Homestay Extension trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1.This trip finishes in Varanasi after the sunrise boat trip on Day 4. Please do not book any flights before 12 noon.
2. This is a join-in trip, so if other travellers have booked on the same date you will share included activities. As this is not a group itinerary you may be travelling or accommodated on your own, without other Intrepid travellers.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

Reviews