Where Should I Travel in May?

May is a great time to head to Europe as temperatures are warm and dry, and days are usually full of sunshine. In Italy, nature is reawakening in March, as rivers flow and alpine meadows are colourful. The waters of the Amalfi Coast sparkle – enjoy it without the crowds that come later in the summer months! Israel is also ideal in May. Temperatures average around 26° Celsius and visitor numbers are relatively low, so it is a good opportunity to visit the must-sees in Israel including the Dead Sea, Jerusalem’s Temple, and the Makhtesh Ramon Canyon.

Havana, Cuba

Cuba

Where to stay – Havana

May is a great time to visit Cuba – even though it’s technically the start of the wet and hot season. As it’s the start of the low season though, temperatures are warm and comfortable, at around 86 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a nice temperature for sightseeing and exploring – whether that’s wandering Old Havana on foot, or by vintage car. There is plenty of things to do on this Caribbean Island including salsa dancing lessons, horse riding through Vinales, mojito-making in Trinidad, or simply relaxing on the palm-frringed beaches and resorts on the Varadero peninsula. Cuba is a destination for everyone – families, honeymooners, solo travelers, and couples alike. Although the rain usually picks up in June and July, be prepared and bring a lightweight waterproof raincoat in May to avoid any sporadic downpours.

Machu Picchu Peru

Peru

Where to stay – Machu Picchu, Lima

The best time to visit Peru is the dry period between May and September. May is the first month of this dry season so it’s often regarded a bit of a hidden month as you can enjoy the sights and wonders of Peru without the excessive crowds that you get from June/July onwards. Of course, the most iconic place to visit in Peru is Machu Picchu. This ancient site is absolutely a must-do when it comes to your visit to South America. With dry and comfortable weather in May, it’s a great time to hike the Inca Trail. Even though May is outside the busiest, traditional vacation time, we would still advise booking the Inca Trail well in advance to avoid disappointment. Lima, Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and the Peruvian Amazon are also worth visiting during your trip to Peru.

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Riad El Fenn, Marrakech, Morocco

Morocco

Where to stay – Angsana Riads, Dar Seffarine, La Sultana

May is the start of the summer months in Morocco so the temperatures begin to rise as Spring comes to an end. Although the later Summer months are unbearably hot (June, July, and August in particular), the temperatures in May are relatively comfortable across the country. The capital, Marrakesh, hovers around the low 80s (degrees Fahrenheit), which is an enjoyable temperature to wander through the souks and local markets. May is also a great time to head into the Atlas Mountain range. The valleys are vibrantly green after the winter rains, and the days are often clear with an abundance of sunshine. We’d recommend spending a few days in Marrakesh before heading over to the Atlas Mountains to spend a few days hiking. There are many hiking routes so we can advise the best trails for you, depending on your fitness and experience.

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Auckland, NZ

New Zealand

Where to stay – North Island

As New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere, May is the start of their Autumnal season. Although temperatures are still pretty fresh (around 57°F in Auckland), it is warmer than Queenstown (45°F). This is a good time to visit to avoid the crowds, and prices that come with peak season. One of the most iconic things to do in New Zealand is to hire a camper van and explore the islands by road. Driving conditions in May are good, and there is plenty of geothermal activity happening around the Rotorua and Lake Taupo area. You can drive between hot-spring complexes and wind-and-free thermal pools. What better way to spend your time in New Zealand?

Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey

Where to stay – Cappadocia, Istanbul

May is the spring period in Turkey, and with warm temperatures, clear days and an abundance of sunshine, it is one of the most pleasant times of year to explore this European/ Asian gem. Temperatures average around 77°F and rainfall is relatively low, so it’s a great time to explore Turkey’s destinations. The ‘fairy chimneys’ in Cappadocia start to warm up so we’d definitely recommend including this in an itinerary. These soft rocks have been carved into beautiful ravines, and intricate cave tunnels. You can easily spend a couple of days exploring the cave systems and hiking along the steep-sided valleys here. Because of its topography, winters get really cold in Cappadocia (November – March) and summers can get really hot (June – September), so May is a comfortable month to travel. We’d recommend combining Turkey’s capital Istanbul, as well as other destinations like Pamukkale and Bodrum.

Jerusalem, Israel

Israel

Where to stay – Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Galilee

The Middle East gets really hot in the summer months (June to August) so May is a great time to visit for a warmer and more pleasant experience. The days are pleasantly warm, with temperatures around 78°F and, depending on where you are in Israel, there is often a welcoming breeze too. May is also a good time to avoid large crowds. In April, Israel, especially Jerusalem, is incredibly busy because of Easter celebrations. Celebrations are enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike, and accommodation tends to get booked up pretty quickly. A Biblical harvest festival named Shavuot often falls in May, which sees local people and volunteers getting into the spirit with harvesting, planting, and dancing. Depending on how long you have in Israel, we’d recommend combining multiple destinations like Tel Aviv, Jerusalem – the Holy Land, and the Sea of Galilee. Get in touch with our Middle East specialists today!

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Venice, italy

Italy

Where to stay – Venice, Florence, Rome

With the summer months on the horizon, May is the unofficial start to the high season in Italy, and a wonderful time to visit this European gem. Temperatures are a delight, around 75°F, with plenty of sunshine and an inviting breeze felt on the coast of Italy. There are so many incredible places to visit in Italy, but we’d recommend heading to some of the more iconic destinations, like Rome, Venice and the Amalfi Coast, before they start to get much busier with crowds arriving from June onwards. In the high summer, the small and quaint roads around the Amalfi Coast come to a standstill, with a greater number of cars on the road. May is quieter but still expect crowds around the main attractions. Our Italy travel specialists really are specialists – Mario and Pietro are from Rome and Sicily respectively, and know everything there is to know about this beautiful country.

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Prague, Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Where to stay – Prague

Although temperatures are warm and pleasant, May is regarded a shoulder season when it comes to travel in the Czech Republic. The peak months are June, July and August, and these months bring the most tourists, the longest lines, and the highest accommodation rates (availability is also challenging). However, May offers fewer tourists but still an abundance of bright sunshine and warm weather. The second half of May is also one of the liveliest times of the year as it is the Czech Beer Festival. This is the perfect time to sample some of the best brews, beers, and local food in Czech Republic. Over 150 brews are showcased in a huge tent in Prague’s Letna Park. This can accommodate up to 10,000 people, all enjoying the local drink, food, and ambiance of the festival. What better way to experience the local culture?

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Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland

Where to stay – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Skye

May is in the middle of spring in Scotland, so temperatures are warming up and days are offering longer amounts of sunlight. There is an abundance of destinations and weather conditions in Scotland – from Edinburgh in the east, Aberdeen in the north-east, and Inverness in the north. Each destination has its own microclimate – with coastal destinations usually experiencing an intense wind and coastal breeze. May is a lovely time to visit Skye – one of the more remote isles in the west. The bluebells come to live and carpet the woods and forests with a vibrant blue tone. It is also lambing season, so you’ll often see plenty of lambs graze and play as you hike through the countryside. Midges can be a real nuisance when it comes to traveling around Scotland and unfortunately, they can certainly be felt between May and September, so remember to layer up in the evenings, and pack good bug spray.

Santorini, Greece

Greece

Where to stay – Athens, Santorini, Mykonos

May is a fantastic time to visit Greece. Whether it’s mainland Greece or the picturesque Greek islands, May brings warm temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and far fewer tourists than the peak summer months (July to September). Although it is regarded a ‘shoulder season’, most attractions will be open, such as UNESO World Heritage sites, ferry services and flights readily available. If you’re looking for some time to relax and let your hair down, then Mykonos is a great option. The island is home to luxury retreats, with infinity pools overlooking the glistening ocean, and lively beaches in your horizon. For those who want to get stuck into history, there are 18 UNESCO Heritage Sites in Greece, including Acropolis and Athens, which are not to be missed! We offer tailor-made trips to Greece, as well as luxury small ship cruises across the islands. To find out more, contact our Greece specialists.

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