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Ten unmissable trips to book in May

Planning your next trip? Here are ten of our recommended adventures to book right now, from walking among the mighty sand dunes of Namibia's Sossusvlei to navigating the peaceful backwaters of Kerala in a traditional houseboat. Why wait?
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1. Inside Vietnam

Hoi An’s sleepy streets and ancient Chinese buildings are beautiful in the day time, but it’s at night that this atmospheric town really comes alive. As the sun dips beyond the Thu Bon River, thousands of brightly coloured lanterns flicker into life, illuminating the pastel-washed buildings and the hubbub of activity in the bustling streets below.
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2. Kerala Backwaters

Discover the miles and miles of water channels that make up the fascinating backwaters of Kerala on board a traditional houseboat. As well as spending a night on the boat this trip also includes two nights in a homestay. This is an opportunity to share in the everyday life of locals, with the option of cookery classes and village walks.
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3. Photographing Ethiopia’s Highlights with Renato Granieri

Photograph curious gelada monkeys in the rugged Simien Mountains alongside expert photographer Renato Granieri. This is an Explore trip with a twist – we’ll explore the best of fascinating Ethiopia, but with a focus (pun intended) on photography. We’ve tweaked this best-selling trip to visit key sites at the best times of the day, and to allow for plenty of time to capture great images you’ll treasure for years to come.
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4. Namibia Lodge Safari

Arrive into Sossusvlei through the Tsauchab Valley in time to watch the sun cast its shadow across the red dunes. This enormous clay pan is towered over by some of the words largest and most spectacular sand dunes, up to 300 metres high. This wild and other-wordly spot is a photographer’s delight.
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5. Family Rainforest Adventure in Costa Rica

Explore Tortuguero’s fascinating network of jungle waterways by boat. The complex canal system and narrow lagoons of this ‘mini Amazon’ support an abundance of birds, such as heron, stork and kingfisher. Cast your eyes up into the canopy to spot sloths, howler and capuchin monkeys and look out for the elusive tapir.
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6. Spice Trails of Petra

After a night spent under the stars, learning about the Bedouin lifestyle around the campfire, we walk across a wild plateau to arrive at the cliff tops above Petra. Here we are welcomed with a superb panorama over the mountains and we have our first magical glimpse of the Monastery as we enter the site on foot, in the opposite direction of the crowds.
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7. Adventures in Patagonia

The sheer power and majesty of the Perito Moreno glacier is mindblowing. One of the world’s largest glaciers, this mighty ice mass regularly casts huge chunks of ice off into the water, causing enormous ripples around the lake and a huge cheer from anyone lucky enough to be watching!
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8. Highlights of the Amalfi Coast and Puglia

Explore the cobbled lanes, rock-carved churches and the network of caves built into the side of a gorge in Matera. This treasured historic city is the European Capital of Culture for 2019 and has remained so unchanged over the centuries that it is frequently used as a film set for biblical scenes. You’ll also spend a night in Matera’s unique sassi ‘cave dwelling’ quarter.
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9. Self-Guided Walking in the Azores

Explore the varied hiking trails that zigzagging across the dramatic landscapes and magnificent coastlines of Faial and Pico. Here, waterfalls and hot springs are plentiful while tourists are not! Enjoy the peace and quiet of the small towns and their charm; little churches and squares and small roads without any crowds, traffic or mass tourism.
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10. Cycle South Africa’s Cape

Feel the warmth of the locals’ broad smiles as you cycle on the Garden Route’s surprisingly good roads (wide, well maintained and with little traffic). We’ll get much closer to nature and the great outdoors on two wheels; look out for monkeys, antelope and colourful birds. Cycle through the winelands of Stellenbosch and feel the wind in your hair as we free-wheel down from the Swartberg Pass.
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