One way to do more than simply scratch the surface of your holiday destination is to use a specialist tour operator such as Andante Travels. Run by professional archaeologists, it says the combined knowledge of its specialist guides "spans two million years of human development" but there is also a cheery emphasis on the quality of the local ingredients chosen for each day's picnic lunch.
Annabel Lawson, the company's founder, says: "A proper picnic in a lovely place can create magical memories. I have made picnics in olive groves, on temple steps, on the ramparts of a hill fort, in woods and on the seashore." One of the best-known sites Andante visits is Pompeii, the first-century town buried by an eruption of Vesuvius. Its eight-day tour would fit neatly into a May half-term. The price of pound;1,095 includes return flights, accommodation in a family-run hotel in a village set among wooded hills, meals with wine and water, guides, local travel and entrance fees. Details: 01722 713800; www.andantetravels.co.uk.