March 9, 2023
May weather in the UK can be a bit hit-and-miss. However, there are lots of enticing places to head to if you’re looking for a sun-filled holiday but prefer milder temperatures to those in the peak summer months.
Whether you’re after a dose of early summer warmth in Europe or fancy far-flung heat elsewhere, here’s ten of the best places to go in May for some sunshine.
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. It's warm in May too, with temperatures peaking 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.
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.
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.
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.
With mild temperatures reaching the 20s and fewer crowds, May is a delightful time to experience Turkey’s glorious Turquoise Coast.
There are plenty of holiday hotpots to choose from along the coast. Antalya is known as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera and has a range of resorts frequently offering cheap package deals. With an ancient city, golden sands and plenty of family-friendly activities, there’s something for everyone here.
Marmaris is another popular choice, its sweeping beaches and picturesque scenery making 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.
Las Vegas’ desert location means that peak July temperatures can rise to a sweltering 41C. May’s temperatures, on the other hand, hover around the mid-20s, making it a much more comfortable time to hit up the city’s iconic sights.
Whether you fancy checking out world-famous hotels, are tempted by a gondola ride on the ‘mini Venice’ canals, or simply wish to soak up 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.
And if you do start to feel too hot, Sin City’s famous casinos are the ultimate indulgent respite.
On the southern coast of Portugal, the Algarve is a beautiful holiday destination and May is a great time to visit. With warm sunny days and occasional highs of 25C, relaxing on a sandy hidden cove is a must.
Albufeira is the main holiday spot in the Algarve with lively bars, clubs and restaurants – it’s a go-to choice for cheap package holiday deals. Alternatively, Olhos d’Agua is more traditional and laidback than its partying sister town.
If you’re after old town charm alongside your beach break, head to the Algarve’s east. In Faro, you can spend mornings exploring museums and art galleries and afternoons lazing on picture-perfect Blue Flag beaches. For secluded beach bays and sea caves, head west along the Algarve coast to Lagos.
The Spanish costas enjoy typical Mediterranean climates – think 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. However, bear in mind that the evenings can be a little cooler due to its mountainous location, so pack a light jacket just in case.
Dubai is absolutely sizzling in the summer, with high temperatures pushing the 40C mark. And while May still comfortably reaches the 30s, 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.
If long-haul heat is what you’re craving, Florida is worth considering. 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 when the heat becomes too intense.
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, you might want to head to Florida Keys to enjoy snorkelling and diving or simply relaxing on the beach.
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