Air India has launched direct, non-stop flights to multiple major travel destinations in India from London Gatwick. India has so much to offer through its rich culture, unique architecture, flavoursome cuisine, mesmerising landscapes, colourful festivals, as well as spirituality and wellness retreats. On top of this, everything can be done as part of a budget-friendly trip. Upon arrival you can expect to be treated with warm hospitality, as India’s locals are renowned for their friendly nature towards tourists.
The destinations that Air India will be flying to from London Gatwick are Goa, Ahmedabad, Amritsar and Kochi (also known as Cochin) and each route will be operated three times weekly. The airline will be using its Boeing 787 Dreamliners for these flights, which offer Economy and Business class.
Goa may be India’s smallest state by size, but has plenty to offer. Located in West India, it is a coastal paradise, with stunning beaches, mouthwatering seafood, energetic nightlife and fantastic water sports for that adrenaline kick. Goa can fulfil all holiday needs, which is why it has become such a popular choice for a family holiday, vacation with friends, an adventure filled trip or even the ideal location for a honeymoon.
South Goa is peaceful and relaxing, ideal for those chilled beach retreats, with many luxurious resorts around. There are many beautiful beaches within the southern region, such as Butterfly beach, Colva beach and Palolem beach. Whilst in the area, a trip to Dudhsagar Waterfalls is a must, where you will see some unforgettable sights, one of many sightseeing spots in Goa.
North Goa offers a much livelier atmosphere than the South, so if that’s what you’re looking for, be sure to check out Calangute beach, Baga beach, and Candolim beach, which are filled with vibrant shacks. The area also has great tourist attractions, including Fort Aguada, Church of Mae De Deus, Boghdeshwara Temple, Chorao and Divar Island, which all make for great day trips. If you’re an adrenaline seeker, throughout the state there are spots for scuba diving and sea rafting, as well as paragliding and bungee jumping. Throughout the year Goa has many festivals and carnivals, which is an immersive experience embracing the Goan culture that’ll stay with you forever.
Kochi, also referred to as Cochin, is a port city situated in the state of Kerala and is known as ‘Queen of the Arabian Sea’. Stunning beaches can be found at many points along the city coast, some are peaceful and secluded, whilst others are thriving tourist hot-spots, whichever suits your fancy. High-end shopping centres and bustling street markets fill the city, so if you’re looking for some retail therapy on holiday, Kochi is your best pick.
The state of Kerala is the origin of many spices, and Kochi’s regional cuisine, which mixes a variety of flavourful spices with traditional cooking methods, is extremely delicious. If you’re passionate about history, Kochi is a great place to visit, with Greek, Portuguese, Arabic, Roman and Jewish settlements having had an impact on the city’s long and varied history. There are multiple cultural attractions in Kochi, such as the Kathakali Centre, which allows you to experience the culture of Kochi through dance and other performances, as well as the Kerala Folklore Theatre and Museum, which presents the legacy of Kochi and Kerala through tribal objects and cultural exhibits. Religious sites are also another popular reason to visit Kochi, as it homes many temples, mosques and ancient churches.
Ahmedabad is the state capital of Gujarat in West India, and is the first city in India to be classified as a UNESCO World Heritage City. The city centre of Ahmedabad has great historical significance, and is known as the ‘Walled City’ or ‘Old City’, which holds centuries old havelis (mansions), pols (narrow lanes) and landmarks, which simulate the city’s powerful history and architecture, a valuable visit. If you’re a history and architecture enthusiast, other notable mentions to visit are the Sabarmati Ashram, the Jama Masjid and the sophisticated Sidi Saiyyed Mosque. Several art galleries and museums are located around the city, portraying the diverse culture and traditions that make up this gem of a city.
The city is also renowned for its festivals and celebrations throughout the year, where you can see traditional garba and dandiya raas dances, which will bring you pure joy. Ahmedabad is a major textile and handicraft hub, where you can find a variety of textiles, crafts and traditional artefacts in many of the bustling markets. If you’re looking for some action on your holiday, take a trip to the Kankaria Lake, which has multiple recreational activities on offer, such as zorbing, jet skiing and speed boat rides, plus many more activities on land too. The city is quickly developing, with lots of modern infrastructure, meaning you’re sure to have a comfortable stay, with some world-class shopping opportunities at a selection of malls.
Amritsar is the largest city in the state of Punjab, in the north of India and is a major cultural centre for the country. The Sikhs’ main place of worship, the Golden Temple or Harmandir Sahib, is located in the heart of Amritsar and is well worth visiting for spirituality. Alongside the Golden Temple, the city has many spiritual and historical locations, such as the Partition Museum, Wagah Border and the Shri Durgiana Mandir, which can all be explored. The Punjabi culture is unique and beautiful, and by visiting the Sadda Pind, which is a Punjabi Culture Living Museum, you have the opportunity to authentically witness the culture through folk dances, cultural performances, local handicrafts, songs, stories and the cuisine; it is an amazing experience for both the young and old, which can be experienced as a single day visit or a stay visit.
Many festivals take place each year in Amritsar, and we highly recommend experiencing, as they’re filled with feasting, traditional music, dancing and fairs, producing a memory that’ll last a lifetime. Punjabi cuisine is recognised and enjoyed all around the world, with some of the best being found around Amritsar, where you can even try some of the city's own specialities.
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