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Where to go in May for sun

9 March 2023 | Updated 3 May 20248 min read

Beach, water and trees in Majorca

Majorca The Balearic Islands are an easy pleaser for May sunshine.

May weather in the UK can be a bit hit-and-miss. And if you’re ready to start summer, stat, there are lots of enticing places that are perfect for a sun-filled holiday.

Even better? Milder temperatures than those in the peak summer months mean you’ll have ample opportunity to get out and explore beyond the pool – if you want to.

Whether you’re after early summer warmth in Europe or fancy far-flung heat elsewhere, here are ten of the best places to go in May for some sunshine.

1. The Canary Islands, Spain

Average May temperature: 22C

Average daily sunshine hours: 8.5

Gran Canaria? Tenerife? Or would you prefer Fuerteventura? With seven great islands to visit in the Canary Islands, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

The great thing about the Canaries is its year-round sunshine, thanks to its location off the North African coast. Temperatures in May peak in the high-20s, so shorts and t-shirts are definitely on the packing list.

There’s plenty to do on the islands, too. If you’re feeling energetic, the Ironman Festival takes place in Lanzarote in May, or you could visit Teide National Park* in Tenerife and hike up Spain’s highest peak.

Prefer to relax? There are plenty of beaches to flop on by day and numerous excellent restaurants to be wined and dined in by night.

Don’t miss: A day trip to La Graciosa. This peaceful isle is just a 25-minute ferry ride from Lanzarote and is wonderfully unspoiled.

Best Tenerife

  • Playa De Las Américas, Tenerife, Spain
  • 12 May 2025
  • Half board
  • From Gatwick

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£507

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2. The Balearic Islands, Spain

Average May temperature: 20C

Average daily sunshine hours: 9.9

Similar to the Canary Islands, the Balearics have lovely temperatures all year round thanks to its balmy Mediterranean climate. May is a great time to visit for early summer sun and for avoiding the peak-season crowds.

Majorca is the largest of the islands and is best for sandy beaches and buzzing coastal towns. Its capital, Palma, is jam-packed with interesting architecture and picturesque streets lined with cafes and restaurants, while there are secluded lagoons and coastal trails to explore further north in Alcudia.

If you’re after nightlife, the party season picks up in Ibiza this month. Or for quieter, laidback beach breaks, Menorca and Formentera are great options for families and couples alike.

Don’t miss: Visiting Ses Illetes in Formentera. The white-sand peninsula is regularly named one of the beaches in Europe.

Globales Palmanova Palace

  • Palma Nova, Majorca, Spain
  • 31 May 2024
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Belfast Intl

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£556

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3. Malta

Average May temperature: 20C

Average daily sunshine hours: 10

With pleasant temperatures and very little rainfall, May is perfect for getting stuck into Malta’s outdoor activities without the sweltering sunshine of summer.

Lace up your hiking boots and go in search of hidden coves, rent a kayak to discover ancient sea caves, or take a boat tour* to the smaller islands of Comino and Gozo for highlights including the famous Blue Lagoon and postcard-worthy Ramla Bay.

For a slice of city life, head to capital Valletta to wander intricate and beautiful alleyways, explore gardens and churches, and pick up souvenirs from the cheerful markets.

Don’t miss: Trying some ​​pastizzi. This traditional savoury pastry, typically filled with ricotta cheese, is a staple snack in Malta.

Bayview Hotel & Apartments

  • Sliema, Malta
  • 7 May 2025
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Manchester

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Prices from

£552

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4. Crete, Greece

Average May temperature: 24C

Average daily sunshine hours: 8

Classed as a summer month by locals, May is a lovely time of year to visit Crete. In fact, it generally stays hotter longer than any Greek island (from April all the way through to November).

In May, expect sunshine and temperatures hovering pleasantly in the mid-20s. It’s ideal for exploring the sights of Crete – think the spectacular Samaria Gorge and the ancient Minoan cities of Knossos and Phaestos – while still being hot enough to relax on the beach and take a dip in the sea.

Popular seaside resort towns include Chania and Elounda, while Malia is the top pick for sunbathing by day and partying at night. Seeking peace and quiet? Consider basing yourself in Paleochora.

Don’t miss: Exploring Rethymnon Old Town. Renaissance buildings, cobblestone streets and traditional tavernas are just some of the town’s charms.

Amazones Villas Apartments

  • Stalis, Crete, Greece
  • 30 May 2024
  • Self-catering
  • From Birmingham

Prices and availability shown can change. Always check pricing with partner before booking.

Prices from

£303

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5. Turquoise Coast, Turkey

Average May temperature: 21C

Average daily sunshine hours: 8

There’s a lot to love on Turkey’s glorious Turquoise Coast. Touch down in Antalya, the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, for springtime temperatures reaching the 20s, resorts offering cheap package deals and an ancient city that’s made for exploring.

Go further to discover Marmaris, where sweeping beaches and picturesque scenery make it an idyllic place to soak up the May sunshine.

Elsewhere, the Blue Lagoon at Olu Deniz is one of Dalaman’s most famous attractions, or head to Dalyan for a dip in its mud baths.

Don’t miss: Turtle spotting. The beaches of Iztuzu and Patara are popular nesting grounds for Loggerhead sea turtles, who typically come ashore to lay their eggs from May.

Elysee Beach Hotel

  • Alanya, Antalya Area, Turkey
  • 29 May 2024
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Gatwick

Prices and availability shown can change. Always check pricing with partner before booking.

Prices from

£537

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6. Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Average May temperature: 25C

Average daily sunshine hours: 12

Las Vegas’ desert location means that peak July temperatures can rise to a sweltering 41C. May is much more comfortable, with 25C days that are perfect for hitting up the city’s iconic sights.

Whether you fancy checking out world-famous hotels, want to meander along the ‘mini Venice’ canals on a gondola ride, or are just there for the glow of the neon lights, a patrol along the Strip is a must. Beyond the city, there are stunning landscapes to explore – day trips to the nearby Grand Canyon* and Death Valley* are highly recommended.

If you do start to feel too hot, Sin City’s famous casinos are the ultimate indulgent respite.

Don’t miss: Spending time downtown. Here you’ll find plenty more shops, restaurants, museums and galleries, plus cheaper accommodation than on the Strip.

7. Algarve, Portugal

Average May temperature: 18C

Average daily sunshine hours: 10

Better-than-Britain weather has us going back to the Algarve all year round. But it’s the promise of 25C highs that make a May holiday here even more appealing.

If you get beach weather, the golden sands and secluded bays near Lagos are hard to beat. Otherwise, nab a cheap package holiday deal to Albufeira – it’s the go-to choice for lively bars, clubs and restaurants.

Looking for low-key? Olhos d’Agua is more traditional and laidback than its partying sister town or head to the Algarve’s east to see a different side to the region. In Faro, you can spend mornings exploring museums and art galleries, and afternoons lazing on picture-perfect Blue Flag beaches.

Don’t miss: A kayak tour* of Ponta da Piedade – it’s one of the best ways to admire the Algarve’s iconic sea cliffs.

Luna Hotel da Oura

  • Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal
  • 30 May 2024
  • Self-catering
  • From Glasgow

Prices and availability shown can change. Always check pricing with partner before booking.

Prices from

£590

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8. Spanish costas

Average May temperature: 19C

Average daily sunshine hours: 8

The Spanish costas enjoy typical Mediterranean climates with sweltering summers and cool winters. But spring is actually a great time to visit – especially if you’re keen on perennially popular places such as the Costa del Sol. Days in May are sunny and warm, with rainfall highly unlikely.

Similarly, the Costa Brava is warming up at this time of year, and with its beautiful and rugged coastline to explore, it’s well worth considering a break here. Bear in mind that evenings can be a little cooler due to its mountainous location. Pack a light jacket just in case.

Don’t miss: Seeing the Alhambra palace. The historic fortress in Granada is one of Spain’s most famous landmarks.

Mediterraneo Real

  • Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol, Spain
  • 29 May 2024
  • Self-catering
  • From Luton

Prices and availability shown can change. Always check pricing with partner before booking.

Prices from

£579

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9. Dubai, UAE

Average May temperature: 31C

Average daily sunshine hours: 11

Dubai is absolutely sizzling in the summer with high temperatures pushing 40C. May still comfortably reaches the 30s but it’s considerably cooler than July and August – and you’re practically guaranteed sunshine.

It’s a great time to try outdoor activities such as camel rides and dune bashing in the desert* or hit the streets in the city’s surprisingly authentic old town.

When you are ready to cool off, Dubai has a long coastline of gorgeous beaches (Jumeirah is one of the best), plus splash-worthy waterparks including the gigantic Wild Wadi Waterpark.

Don’t miss: Panoramic views from the world’s tallest building. Book tickets for the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck to see Dubai’s skyline at its most impressive.

10. Florida, USA

Average May temperature: 25C

Average daily sunshine hours: 10

If long-haul heat is what you’re craving, Florida is the one.

Temperatures are on the up in May, sitting in the mid-20s, but it’s not too hot for walking around the theme parks. Although tropical storms can occur, these rarely last longer than a few minutes and can often be a welcome relief from the heat.

Head to Orlando to enjoy the rides at Walt Disney’s Magical Kingdom and Universal Studios or take a trip to Miami to see the Art Deco district of the city. Alternatively, try Florida Keys to enjoy snorkelling, diving and simply relaxing on the beach.

Don’t miss: Meeting manatees. Take a trip to Crystal River to swim, paddleboard or kayak alongside these surprisingly elegant sea cows.

Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas, I-Drive/Orlando

  • Orlando, Florida, United States
  • 5 May 2025
  • Room only
  • From Heathrow

Prices and availability shown can change. Always check pricing with partner before booking.

Prices from

£596

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