When it comes to going on holiday, most Americans prefer to stay within the USA, with around only a third travelling outside of America itself.

But, if you’re thinking of doing something completely different this year, an India vacation should really be at the top of your list. Filled with history and beauty, a walking tour of India is the ideal unique holiday – here are a few things you can do there.

The Western Ghats

Often considered the emerald jewel of India, The Western Ghats can be found along the west coast of the Indian peninsula.

A hiker’s paradise, this should be your first stop on a walking tour of India. In fact, you could easily spend your whole time here as you explore its natural parks, wetlands and peaks that are stunning all-year-round. However, the monsoon season, between June and September is when the area truly blossoms.

Covering around 160,000 square kilometres, the area is UNESCO recognised for its biodiversity. Particular highlights include looking out for King Cobra, best spotted in the town of Agumbe, cycling Kodaikanal and Munnar’s winding roads and watching out for elephants in Wayanad.

Munnar, Kerala

Munnar, Kerala. Photo: Midhun Subhash via Wikimedia Commons

Himalayan Foothills

If you want something truly spectacular, then the Himalayan Foothills are just what you’ve been looking for. Taking approximately 13 days to conquer, you’ll be spellbound by the stunning sights that surround you at all times when exploring.

With rolling foothills and deep, lush evergreen forest to bask in alongside misty peaks for as far as the eye can see, this is a trip into nature that’s unlike any adventure you’ve ever experienced in your life.

Allowing you to truly jump into an ‘off the beaten path’ style trip, those that love nothing more than walking and being at one with the outdoors will love this area that borders both Nepal and China. Some highlights for you to enjoy include tiger spotting at the Corbett National Park and village walks in Kumaon Himalaya.

Bengal Tiger, Corbett, Uttarakhand. Photo: Soumyajit Nandy via Wikimedia Commons

Bengal Tiger, Corbett, Uttarakhand. Photo: Soumyajit Nandy via Wikimedia Commons

Kalimpong’s villages

Sitting at the foothills of the Himalayas, this is another adventure completely different from the one above.

These villages are unlike anything you’ll have experienced before as you get to learn local traditions and cultures as you interact with villagers and really get to know their way of life. While you’ll be adventuring by foot, this is the kind of place that’ll really open up your mind.

While the authentic Nepali food will nourish you and give you some new flavours to experience back home, once you’ve got to know those around you, the walking opportunities are truly remarkable. Take long strolls through wonderfully green forests filled with pines and unique fauna and flora as you lose yourself and forget about the troubles back home. A particular highlight of this area, aside from the natural beauty, is the Damsang Fort. Built in the 1600s by the Lepcha dynasty, it’s a fantastic way to experience a world since forgotten.

So, if you’re looking to try something a little different on your next India vacation – the country is filled with history, culture and sights you simply won’t believe exist until you get the chance to see them.

Also Read: 

5 Purrfect National Parks for Tiger Spotting in India

Ghosts, ghouls and graveyards: Stories from 6 feet under in India