India March 2023 – Overview


Click here to register your EOI (Expression of Interest) for future India tours.

India – Textiles & Handcrafts tour
12-28 March 2023

Join our small group of like-minded textile and handcraft enthusiasts for the experience of a lifetime!

A nation of contrasts, India is at once raw and exotic, confronting and alluring, distinctly earthy and riotously colourful, delicate and brutal, decadent and survivalist.  The incredible sights and experiences, wonderful people, superb handcrafts and textiles, fascinating traditions and architecture you’ll encounter on this journey will touch, inspire and leave you in awe!

This 17 day/16 night small group, women’s textile tour is hosted by retreat|recreate and is fully escorted by a local Indian English-speaking guide.   Our adventure begins with a few nights in Delhi and continues on to Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Kota and Ranthambore before returning to Delhi. Our accommodation will be in carefully selected boutique and heritage properties – one of the many highlights of this trip.

We’re privileged to participate in SIX!! hands-on handcraft workshops: Zari Zardosi (metallic thread embroidery), wood-block printing (mud-resist and ink), bandhani (tie/resist dyeing), miniature painting, embroidery with a women’s social enterprise and patchwork with traditional quilt-makers.

We’ll visit specialist textile museums, artisan villages and workshops, women’s handcraft co-operatives, colourful bazaars and fabulous tourist sites including mosques, palaces, temples, forts and stepwells along the way. In addition, we’ll visit the workshops and villages of dhurrie weavers, carpet makers, Kota Doria silk weavers, marble inlay artists, mojari (traditional leather shoes) makers, potters, embroiderers and felt makers with opportunities to briefly try your hand (if you wish) at handcraft techniques such as carpet weaving, felt making, mojari making and silk weaving. Plus much, much more!

Engage with talented artisans, be inspired by incredible design and craftsmanship, marvel at stunning landscapes and architecture and experience fabulous traditional Indian culture, cuisine and hospitality. We do hope you’ll join us!

Click here to register your EOI (Expression of Interest) for future India tours.

Here’s what our India travellers had to say:

The trip of a lifetime! I have travelled all over the world and I can unequivocally say that this retreat|recreate creative trip led by the inimitable Susan Keeble to India was up there in the top three travel experiences I have ever had. There are many reasons why, I believe —the meticulous planning and preparation to ensure a smooth easy experience; the choice of hotels, the choice and variety of activities; the excellent standard of expertise and presentation skills of the workshop leaders and hands-on crafting opportunities; the charming and highly informative local guides; the timing schedule allowing for a packed value for money – yet never rushed program; the lovely group of fellow-travellers — but,  the main reason is probably that this is a ‘Total Immersion of India’ trip. Everyday is spent with people —in their homes and in their work places, working and learning shoulder to shoulder with the beautiful people of India. And THAT is not an experience you will get anywhere else. THAT is what makes this retreat|recreate trip incomparable. Definitely DO NOT MISS IT! Wilna – India Handcrafts, March 2023

I can’t recommend the India textiles trip highly enough! Every day was an amazing experience with artisans and hands on learning in the villages and homes of the people that give this country such vibrancy and amazing art. The tour was well planned and thought through and Susan and Dev were exceptional guides and mentors. So many great laughs, memories and purchases! Angela – India Handcrafts, March 2023

What a fabulous tour! I had high expectations but every day our experiences just surpassed the day before. Our tour was well organised and our needs were always anticipated. Our group was made up of like minded women who had different life experiences but continuously shared wonderful memories, looked out for each other and laughed lots. With wonderful engaging experiences with local artisans and villagers, this tour never disappointed! Thank you Susan K for all your efforts! Robyn – India Handcrafts, March 2023

The retreat|recreate tour India Textiles and Crafts was an unforgettable experience for me. Because of preconceived ideas about the country I would never have attempted the journey if this trip had not come up. The areas we visited and mostly Rajasthan were breathtaking, fascinating and enriching. The vibrant colours, the sights and sounds and charming hospitality was overwhelming. I would recommend touring with retreat|recreate anywhere. Ingrid – India, March 2023

What a fabulous introduction to India! The itinerary was a fantastic mix of craft, culture, and colour, blended with festivals, food and fun led by our wonderful tour leader Susan who clearly had spent many, many hours researching to make our tour a great success. Our Indian guide, Dev gave us thoughtful tips and insights into his home country. I particularly loved visiting families and villages off the common tourist trail, this made our holiday extra special. Lorrae – India, March 2023

The trip to India was beyond all expectations. Truly amazing to see so many famous sights and incredible museums but it was meeting the craftspeople and visiting the villages that were the real highlights of the tour. Whether you’re a lone traveller or travelling with a friend you’ll soon have a group of new friends with common interests. Looking forward to becoming a repeat traveller with you. Gail – India 2020 (and Morocco 2022)

I have always wanted to travel to India and I couldn’t have gone with a better company or been in more capable hands. I met so many interesting people and saw so many amazing sights. The textiles and crafts were fabulous and meeting the people who made them was a highlight of the trip. I can’t wait to sign up for the next one. Carol – India 2020 (and Morocco 2022)

I thought I knew quite a lot about India, having travelled for business in Rajasthan some years ago, but I was so wrong. This trip through Rajasthan and Gujurat was one of the most interesting, stimulating and fun things I have ever done. The planning and organisation was excellent, all the tour guides were extremely knowledgeable, very caring and great company too; they really added a great deal to the whole experience. We spent 18 days discovering the heart of two great states famous for their textile heritage and the amazingly talented craftsmen and women living there who are still creating beautiful pieces of art, preserving their traditions and their way of life. Embroidery, dyeing, printing, weaving, pottery, wood turning, metalwork. We saw it all. And it was a joy to be able to spend time learning about their skills and trying my hand at them, skillfully guided by such talented people. The tour took us to places most tourists don’t get to experience, and every day became a new adventure. The two Susans who are retreat|recreate have forged wonderful relationships with the people we visited and everywhere we went we were genuinely welcomed with smiles, great courtesy and of course cups of chai! So, if you want something more than a tour that just whisks you around the usual tourist spots and you enjoy travel that is ‘up close and personal’ then this is the tour for you. It delivers in the most unexpected and delightful ways.   Anita – India 2020 (and Japan 2022)

This was my second time as a solo traveller travelling with retreat|recreate. The tour organisers, tour guides, fellow travellers, accommodation, itinerary, food, workshops and experiences were even better than I could ever have hoped for. If you’re thinking about traveling through India you will not be disappointed with retreat|recreate. Looking forward to trip number 3!  Marianne – India 2020 (and Bali 2019, Tasmania 2022 and soon, Thailand and Laos 2023)

A wonderful trip! I just completed the India tour. The itinerary was a mix of must-see points of interest – like the Great Rann desert and the Rani ki Vav stepwell – and delights for textile artists including museums, demonstrations, and workshops.  My best memories though are the personal interactions within our group and with the people we met. The artist’s relationships with Susan and our local guides made us welcome guests, sometimes even in their homes. Thank you Susan and Anant for keeping us organized, safe, and happy and for your warm caring nature.  Susan – India 2020

India is a country with a rich and ancient textile tradition. It was wonderful to be able to experience many of these crafts first hand with local artisans in small villages. retreat|recreate leads an amazing tour which delves deep into textiles but also includes key cultural sites. As a designer I have admired and referenced the beautiful fabrics of India for decades but this trip has taught me the origins of these handcrafts. I look forward to exploring another part of the world with retreat|recreate.  Katherine – India 2020

Things to note

  • The itinerary is designed to ensure value for money, however some free periods are built in.
  • Transport is by mostly by private coach, with one train trip (2nd class air-con), a sunset boat ride (on a lake), plus short trips by jeep, auto-rickshaw and rickshaw;
  • Cultural, environmental and economically sustainable travel is important to us. To this end, we: engage local guides; patronise local women’s co-ops, social enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and associations where possible;
  • Accommodation – we stay in a range of accommodation to provide you with a sense of India’s history and traditions. Most of our accommodation venues fall within the range of 3-4 stars. The opportunity exists to extend your trip by extra nights at our hotel in Delhi before and/or after the tour.
  • The retreat|recreate host for this trip will be Susan Keeble.
  • Is this trip right for you? Please consider your mobility/fitness levels to determine if this trip is right for you. To ensure that you’re able to make the most of this trip, you should be prepared to explore the sights and highlights on foot – often on uneven ground, manage your own luggage for short distances, use bath over shower facilities (as walk in showers are not always available), manage stairs without assistance etc. Please refer to the Trip Notes for further details;
  • Our group size is approximately 12 women;
  • retreat|recreate’s tour groups comprise women from all over the globe and embrace all ages, ethnicities and personalities. Flexibility and a sense of humour are encouraged when travelling as part of a group.