May 2017: The latest trips from Insight Guides

Get cultural before the summer heat hits. Tour the cities of Italy, sample the wine in Bordeaux or visit the temples of Sri Lanka on Insight Guides' latest trips.
A statue of reclining Buddha in the ancient Buddhist cave temple at Dambulla, Sri Lanka.
A statue of reclining Buddha in the ancient Buddhist cave temple at Dambulla, Sri Lanka.

A statue of reclining Buddha in the ancient Buddhist cave temple at Dambulla, Sri Lanka. Photo: Shutterstock


1. France

What? Food and wine in Bordeaux and Paris 

Which trip? The Romance, Food and Wine or Bordeaux

Spend a night in Paris on arrival before being whisked off on a first-class train journey to the city of Bordeaux. An afternoon walking tour will acquaint you with the wine-growing region, admiring the gothic architecture and gardens which are dotted around. Venture out to the surrounding hills for a vineyard tour and wine tasting. Take in the fresh air and greenery while sipping on some of Frances' best wines. 

A day of eating will help you rejuvenate after the wine tour, starting with a cookery lesson with an authentic French chef. Taste your creation before heading to a romantic castle for the evening where you will feast on some French classics. 

Make one last stop in Paris before heading home and enjoy a bistro dinner in one of the city's oldest brassieres.

2. Oman

What? Relaxation and adventure in Muscat 

Which trip? Oman Beach Holiday 

Stay beachside in Muscat, the capital of Oman, to enjoy a relaxing holiday laying by the pool or on the soft white sand, listening to the crashing waves of the ocean. 

Alternatively, choose to add some culture and adventure to your stay with a city tour, visiting museums, souks and the Sultans Palace. Spend a day dune bashing in Wahiba Sands, encounter the nomads that call the desert their home, ride a camel over the dunes and see the small villages in Wadi Bani Khalid. Visit the ancient capital of Nizwa, see the souqs and fort before driving up Jebel Shams and stopping at Birkat al Mauz, the clay village that now lies abandoned. Spend your final day snorkelling discovering the delights of the underwater world. 

This trip can be as active or relaxing as you want – perfect for those who like a combination.

3. Sri Lanka

What? The temples of southern Sri Lanka

Which trip? The Temples and Sacred Sites of Sri Lanka 

This tour of southern Sri Lanka takes in some of the best temples which you will be guided around. Begin the cultural discovery in Sigiriya on a tour of the Dambulla cave temple which houses gold Buddha statues and ancient cave paintings.

Explore the Matale Aluvihare Buddhist Monastery on the way to Kandy where you will visit the temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in the Royal Palace complex. Visit three temples in the region including Lankatilaka Temple which is dedicated to both Buddhism and Hinduism.

Next head to Nuwara Eliya to visit the site of the Hindu epic Ramayana where Seetha Amman Temple now stands. Continue your journey to Tissamaharama touring the temples along the way and taking in the rustic countryside which surround them; the cultivated paddy fields and the rivers which flow. Finish the trip in Galle with a trip to Rumassala to observe the Japanese Peace Pagoda.

View of famous Canal Grande in Venice, Italy. Photo: ShutterstockView of famous Canal Grande in Venice, Italy. Photo: Shutterstock

4. Italy

What? Touring the major cities of Italy, taking in the history and Italian culture 

Which trip? Italian cities of the Renaissance 

Arrive in Rome and embark on a full on day of exploration taking in the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountain before your guided tour of the Colosseum and ancient Roman Forum where you can learn about the history, culture and values of the great Romans. Spend the evening touring the grand piazzas, sipping espresso while absorbing the atmosphere.

Travel by train to Florence where you will spend three days discovering the quaint city and the surrounding Tuscan hills. Walk over the Arno river along the Ponte Vecchio and taste the cool gelato. Spend a full day being guided around the churches of Florence, the Duomo, Santa Trinita and Orsanmichele then on to the Uffizi Gallery.

On your final day in Florence, enjoy a tour of the Tuscan countryside, visiting some of the medieval villages perched on the hills and stopping at a villa for an Italian lunch paired with wine tasting.

Venice is your final stop. Enjoy an afternoon of leisurely strolling, over bridges and through the narrow streets before a day of guided trips which includes the Doge's Palace and a boat ride through the canals.


Insight Guides covers numerous destinations worldwide so if the latest holidays outlined above don't fit your requirements, there's plenty more to choose from: browse available itineraries online now or talk to a local expert to plan your perfect holiday from scratch