With real-life adventures and discovery not on the cards currently, we’re turning to books to offer some much-needed escape during lockdown 3.0. Who doesn’t like a good novel?

We’ve teamed up with youth travel provider, Topdeck Travel, to satisfy our wanderlust at home by rounding up the best-selling novels that are bound to provide lots of travel adventure inspiration.

Whether you’re dreaming of travelling alone, heading to a new city or getting lost in nature, there’s something for every bookworm hoping to embark on their next escapade soon.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Big Apple and the City of Dreams, Elizabeth Gilbert’s much-loved novel takes us on a journey of the lives of younger and older women in the 1940s, all set in the bustling city of iconic New York. With themes of hedonism and excess explored throughout the novel, it captures the city’s life and vigour so well that it has us all dreaming of travelling across the pond to the US capital as soon as we can get the chance. From the intimate jazz bars to the dazzling lights of the Theatre District, you’ll swoon for the city after giving this extraordinary novel a read.

Fancy experiencing the city that never sleeps? Get the experience with Topdeck’s USA & Canada Adventure trip – hitting the road across the summer.

Travellers will be spoilt for choice with so many amazing sights and activities to try on this 12-day adventure. Starting in New York City, you’ll visit Boston, Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Detroit and Chicago, as well as checking out the mighty Niagra Falls. Travellers will uncover the culturally rich neighbourhoods at the heart-and-soul of these incredible cities and get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to embrace it all.

Travel NovelA Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson

Polly Sampson’s spellbinding novel surrounds a group of bohemians, including Leonard Cohen, on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in the 60s. It explores what it is to be an artist’s muse while harbouring one’s own unrealised creative impulses and ambition.

A Theatre for Dreamers is an intoxicating story of utopian dreams and lost innocence seen through the eyes of grieving teenager Erica, who promised her dying mother she would find adventure. Polly Sampson’s rich descriptions of free-spirited Hydra makes us long for a week of island hopping, gorgeous blue seas and ancient culture.

Explore the best of Greek paradise on the Topdeck Greek Island Hopper – departures across the summer.

Topdeck’s expert guides will show travellers the best of Greece, one ‘opa!’ at a time. Endless beaches, jewel-blue seas and permanent sunshine are a given, but this trip coves much more. Visiting Athens, Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini, travellers will uncover Greece’s ancient wonders, timeless beauty and uber-friendly locals with trips to Little Venice, Syntagma Square and Parikia.

Tuk-Tuk for Two by Adam Fletcher

Based on a true story of two strangers on an incredible road trip through India in a tuk-tuk called Winnie, Adam Fletcher’s novel is the perfect armchair escapism. Evocative and immersive, we loved riding along with Adam and Evelyn on their captivating journey as they encounter the people, places and history of south-west India – and who doesn’t love a will-they-won’t-they romance?

Tuk-Tuk for Two reads like a charming and witty friend sharing the story of a life-changing journey; it’ll make you want to get up off your sofa and board the first flight to Delhi.

Delve into Delhi’s incredible culture on the Topdeck Namaste India trip – Exploring the awe-inspiring throughout the summer.

On the trip, travellers will be given the opportunity to not just see this incredible city, but to really experience it. As India’s capital can be quite overwhelming, Topdeck’s experienced trip leaders will help guide travellers through the city to taste some of the city’s delectable culinary treats and weave through the craziness of cars, rickshaws, scooters, and people.

The trip will visit not only Delhi, but many of India’s amazing destinations and sights. Those attending the trip will be treated to watching the sunrise at the Taj Mahal, travel by local train from Jaipur to Jodhpur, head on a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola and visit the striking Ranakpur Temple.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing is one of the most read novels to come out of lockdown. Set in North Carolina, the story follows ‘Marsh Girl’, Kya Clarke’s profound journey. The book is a beautiful and evocative read about a life spent in isolation. However, although the story plot is quite harrowing, the setting of the story certainly is not.

Located in a quiet town on the North Carolina coast, the writer, Delia Owens, poetically describes the setting’s stunning scenery and landscapes. With the area’s wildlife becoming Kya’s closest companions in the story, the book makes us yearn to be back in nature.

Fancy seeing North Carolina’s stunning landscapes for yourself? Get the experience with Topdeck’s Road Trip USA – hitting the road across the summer.

Travellers will get to chance to check out North Carolina’s Charlotte City whilst also travelling to the iconic all-American destinations of Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Miami, Austin and New Orleans. Uncover the hidden gems of the South and lose yourself in the otherworldly landscapes of the West with plenty of inclusions thrown into the mix.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

With the second season of the TV adaptation released during lockdown last year, it gave us an excuse to go back for a re-read of Elena Ferrante’s immersive and captivating novel. My Brilliant Friend is the gorgeous, richly-told story of the friendship – and the rivalry – between Elena and Lila, set against the backdrop of poor but vibrant post-war Naples. As the young girls grow into adulthood, they learn to stick together in order to conquer their tough Neopolitan neighbourhood.

Through the tale of a beautiful friendship, Elena Ferrante paints a vivid and personal picture of a country in the midst of momentous change. My Brilliant Friend conjures up the image of colourful, chaotic Italy that you’ll be desperate to explore.

Discover the delights of Italy as well as Central Europe’s cultural melting pot on Topdeck’s Venetian Trail trip – setting off throughout the summer.

Just like the Venetian Empire – this trip is a force to be reckoned with. Travellers will take in the majesty of Rome, grand canals of Venice, spire-filled skies of Prague and Slovenia’s ultra-cool and alternative capital. Leave the everyday behind and uncover the extraordinary!

The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

Published last summer, The Paris Library became an instant New York Times bestseller and for good reason. The book is inspired by the true story of the librarians at the American Library who risked their lives during the Nazis’ war on words.

Set in Occupied Paris, the novel provides poetic details of the striking City of Lights. As the backdrop to this powerful account of friendship, romance and family, Paris dazzles as a destination of hope, resilience, and beauty.

Get ready to explore the French capital like a local with the Essential Europe tour from Topdeck – soaking in the sights with tours throughout the summer.

Not only will travellers get to see the quaint cafes, libraries and patisseries that make up Paris, but they’ll also be able to visit the iconic Louvre museum, the Champs Elysees and the Montparnasse observation tower – where they’ll be able to view the streets from above and see why they call the stunning destination ‘The City of Lights’!

For more information on Topdeck and to book any of the trips listed above, visit: https://www.topdeck.travel

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