After a long, cold winter, the prospect of a tropical vacation to escape from the winter blues is all we are looking forward to right now. A luxurious beach resort where slurping a cocktail underneath the palm trees is the biggest exercise of the day, or a lazy stroll through a South-Italian town, sampling the finest cappuccino and pizza the country has to offer? Your choice!
The perfect time to plan your long-deserved spring holiday is now. We picked the top 20 destinations for May to guarantee you pleasant average temperatures, relaxing activities and the finest food – whether you are on a budget or planning to splurge, this guide will help you find your dream holiday.
- La Digue, Seychelles, 27°C
No airport, no pollution, no stress. The Seychelles embody tropical island-life like nowhere else. Think of flawless white beaches, turquoise water and fresh coconuts and be assured that the Seychelles will exceed your wildest expectations – if you can afford it.
Located on the African east coast, visitors will need to take a flight to the main island, Mahé, before continuing towards their destination island on a ferry. As flights are sparse and routed through the Arabian Emirates, getting there will cost more than your usual trip. But once you’re there, all expenses will soon be forgotten – especially since local restaurants are very affordable and amazingly tasty.
The Seychelles’ reputation of being a resort for celebrities and the super-rich is slowly starting to fade. Budget-friendly guesthouses are popping up around the islands and, aside the high season, which last from November to February, you might even be able to catch a real steal.
- Crema, Italy, 24°C
No film says “wanderlust” like Oscar-winner “Call Me by Your Name”, which was filmed in the beautiful little town of Crema, Italy. Get on a rental-bike and explore this romantic, sleepy town in true film-fashion, stopping for an Italian macchiato on the way and relaxing by the fountain to soak in the sun.
In the unlikely event that you get bored of Crema’s historic charm, head out to Lake Garda, which is only a one-and-a-half-hour drive east, to cool yourself with a quick swim and Italian wine by the lakeside. It won’t get more romantic than this North-Italian paradise.
- Malta, 20°C
Cheap to get to as it’s conveniently located just off the Italian coast, Malta is a holiday-classic. However, May will be the perfect time to enjoy a mild summer breeze whilst skipping the annual crowds.
From historic sights and beautiful Baroque architecture to sleepy harbours and crystal-clear water, Malta combines everything you could want in a spring getaway. Choose to rent an apartment in the heart of the city to make the most of your night by checking out the local nightlife or opt for an off-beat villa along the coastline and rent a car for a picturesque road trip to one of the many hidden lagoons.
- Algarve, Portugal, 18°C
Portugal is becoming a popular tourist destination for a reason. Mediterranean beaches surrounded by red cliffs, plus charming olive trees, invite for a quick dip in the ocean before you head off to a fishing village for grilled sardines and chilled wine. Then you fall into bed – and do it all again!
Less crowded than Italy or Southern France, Algarve’s nature seems untouched. You will be able to find authentic guesthouses in whitewashed villages along the coast that offer a beautiful breakfast at inexpensive prices.
- Madagascar, 19°C
Madagascar has become a house-brand for luxurious resorts and rich wildlife. White beaches meet colourful reefs and lush rainforests to create a unique and diverse travel-paradise.
One of the island’s highlights are the massive, up to 98 feet-tall Baobab trees that are native to Madagascar. Every outdoor-enthusiast will be happy to take full advantage of the island’s many incredible attractions, including desert-exploring, lemur-spotting and river-rafting. The higher your budget, the wider your options so consider saving up before your trip. Or else you will miss most of Madagascar’s wonders, as booking guided tours is mandatory in many cases.
- Martinique, 30°C
As a former colony, Martinique is officially part of France but located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea, making it a little more interesting than your usual France trip. Wide sand beaches encircle the island whilst the inland charms with lush green mountains and picturesque rain-forests.
If you can’t decide between going on an adventurous hike or sunbathing on the beach – this is the place for you. Spend a few days in the rainforest, exploring the truly breath-taking nature with the help of one of the friendly, experienced local guides or maybe even rope down a canyon waterfall? Get your rush of adrenaline before taking some time off at the beach to make the most of your day.
- Maldives, 28°C
Among the most famous beaches in the world, the Maldives offer one-of-a-kind coral reefs, white sand and opulent palm trees like nowhere else. Many five-star resorts and luxurious boutique hotels make the island a popular getaway for the wealthy. But you don’t need to spend a small fortune to see why the rich and famous like to spend their free time here.
As the Maldives gained popularity, many smaller hotels have popped up around the island, giving the budget traveller a chance to experience a tropical retreat of the extra class. For under $50 a day for a comfortable but simple inn, you will be able to take full advantage of the flawless beaches and pleasant sea. If you feel like something a little fancier, splash out $40,000 per night on a private island, including your own personal chef and unlimited massages. The Maldives have it all!
- San Diego, USA, 20°C
Located within the limits of one of the biggest cities in the US, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in San Diego is an amazing short break. You can enjoy miles of unspoiled beaches and peaceful hikes all to yourself, as the resort is so big. It is also unlikely you will have to share your spot with anyone.
- Costa Rica, 30°C
The Irazú Volcano National Park is an absolute must-see for any passionate traveller. Whilst every volcano is different, there is certainly no doubt that Irazú in Costa Rica is one of the most stunning ones in the world, bearing a green crater lake in its middle. The contrast of the black stone and the vibrant turquoise lake is spectacular, just as the surrounding forests that inhabit wild armadillos, hummingbirds and rabbits.
May is the best month to visit Irazú, as crowds have thinned out and prices are sinking. Marking the transition from the dry season to the rainy season, you will be able to escape heavy rainfall and enjoy the last days of sunshine at a discounted rate.
- Okinawa, Japan, 26°C
Japan has become a popular travel destination within the last few years, attracting tourists from all around the world with its unique culture, beautiful scenery and delicious cuisine. Whilst most people visit Tokyo, Kyoto or Hiroshima, Japan’s most southern island, Okinawa, is still a well-kept holiday secret to most foreigners.
Consisting of more than 300 small islands, Okinawa is famous for its healthy local dishes, American influences and white beaches that can easily compete with the Caribbean. Especially Miyakojima, located 300 km south of the main islands, is a snorkelling and diving paradise worth a visit. Give yourself a break from the business of Tokyo’s shopping streets and relax.
- Corsica, France, 17°C
Corsica is the most stylish option when it comes to Mediterranean islands. A cosmopolitan crowd is showing off their designer beachwear and sipping cocktails in the early afternoon before heading off to a trendy restaurant for fresh oysters.
Unlike Majorca, Corsica is not overrun by party animals looking to spend as little for as many beers as possible. Corsica is cultivated and charming; you will find prehistoric ruins instead if tacky tattoo parlours, so bring a chic outfit for the night to show off at the lively, beaming harbour festival.
- Bermuda, 23°C
Only a few hundred miles off the Hawaiian coast, Bermuda is an autonomous British territory, famous for its dangerous sea. The so-called “Bermuda Triangle” has become a popular paranormal legend, where ships and planes are said to vanish miraculously. However, many of those stories seem to be false and were later dismissed.
Besides its mysterious reputation, the Bermuda is an amazing snorkel destination as the shallow waters are crystal-clear and home to many beautiful sea creatures. Swimming with dolphins or exploring the island’s unique caves are just two of the many exciting and family-friendly activities Bermuda is so popular for.
- Bali, Indonesia, 28°C
Bali has become an absolute it-destination for travel-bloggers. There is a reason this Indonesian island has become so popular with the young and hip. Known for its yoga and meditation retreats, Bali offers a one-of-a-kind spiritual experience without compromising comfort.
You won’t have a hard time looking for the perfect Instagram-shot here; start the day with a workout session on the beach, grab a colourful fruit-salad for lunch and enjoy it relaxing in the infinity pool.
- Sicily, Italy, 18°C
Although slightly more difficult to get to, Sicily offers a complete new side to your typical Italy-holiday. Located just off the very tip of the shoe, the island charms with even better weather and prettier fisher villages.
Check out the Province of Trapani at the west-end of the island for historic fortresses or visit Selinunte, an ancient Greek city in the South. Either way, the antique ruins are absolutely stunning and make for a rewarding road trip along the coastline.
Whilst May typically won’t be hot enough to go for a swim in the ocean, you can profit from a much less crowded sightseeing experience and cheaper prices for hotels and flights.
- Saranda, Albania, 20°C
Not many people think of Albania as a holiday destination – yet. Similar to its European neighbours, Greece or Italy, Albania offers endless beach promenades, archaeological remains and Mediterranean cuisine to keep you busy for weeks (if you have that much time at hand).
Saranda is a great place for getting a literal taste of the country; freshly caught seafood, grilled vegetable with local lamb and the most delicious olives you’ve ever had will keep you craving Albanian food for long after your trip. The good thing is, that restaurants will be very cheap and tourist-friendly, so go ahead and sample every local dish until you need to go for a nap on the beach.
- Koh Lanta, Thailand, 29°C
The days where Phuket is regarded as one of the most beautiful beach destinations are long gone. Photos are all that is left of its beauty, before large scale mainstream tourism started to cover the coasts in rubbish and replace local culture with Western restaurants.
Koh Lanta on the other hand, a smaller island south of Krabi, is a much nicer alternative if you want to experience the laid-back, local life. Most hotels will organise pick-up from Krabi airport, making it easy to get to. Although those pick-ups are likely going to cost you around $80 each way, actual hotel prices are so affordable that you won’t mind the extra penny to get there.
- Cyprus, 20°C
The third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus offers just as much entertainment and natural beauty as its neighbours Sicily and Sardinia. What sets it apart though, is its unique culture, which is deeply influenced by both Turkey and Greece.
Visit one of the many local museums, art galleries and exhibitions to find out more about Cyprus’ history and extraordinary antique wonders. The Folkloric Museum in Nicosia or the Archaeological Museum in Lefkosia are just two examples of how you can experience Cyprus’ past, before you head off to a bar for wine and tapas to experience the present.
- Machu Pichu, Peru, 18°C
Probably the most famous icon of the ancient Inca civilization, the citadel of Machu Picchu is a wonderful reminder of a long-lost culture of incomparable stonework architecture and mythical beauty.
Caves with ritual stones are found in the temples throughout the upper part of the ancient town with its more than 200 buildings. Seeing the Temple of the Sun or the Room of the Three Windows, which served as temples to the sun god Inti, is an indescribable experience; looking at the view from the mountain top, surrounded by the ruins of Machu Picchu, truly makes you feel the magic of this place.
- Tulum, Mexico, 28°C
If starting the morning with an ocean-view yoga session followed by vegan lunch at the beach sounds like your perfect vacation, Tulum is for you. Probably one of the most stylish destinations in Mexico, you can clearly feel the American influence in these eco-friendly resorts and fancy breakfast places.
Supposing you are not travelling on a budget, Tulum will satisfy all your Millennial-dreams with avocado smoothies and beach parties. If you have enough of sunbathing on flawlessly white sand (although unlikely), go for a visit to the preserved Mayan ruins or try reef diving in the world-famous cenotes.
- Symi, Greece, 21°C
Whilst everyone seems to have posted an Instagram picture of their trip to Santorini by now, other Greek islands get shamefully overlooked – which you can use to your advantage!
Symi is just as picturesque, with its colourful neoclassical mansions framing the hills around the harbour, only much, much less crowded. Enjoying the weather and ocean breeze with a glass of wine and fresh seafood!
Can’t decide on just one? What about doing a little round-trip those Mediterranean or Caribbean islands? The more you see, the better! And if you can’t make it this year, there will always be another May for exploring, adventuring, relaxing and making amazing memories to last a lifetime.