Still a few months ahead of the peak UK holiday season, May is a great time to catch your first few rays of summer sun with lots of European destinations starting to warm up and great offers on holidays all across the globe. Whether you’re heading away for a week of relaxation or off for a longer trip, you’re bound to be looking for somewhere with plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures in May. We’ve put together some suggestions for hot May holidays to get you started.
1. Cote d’Azur
French Riviera is an idyllic destination in May as the sun is intense, but not uncomfortable. Coastal waters have warmed up by then, so swimming is possible, and all the resorts have come alive after a winter slumber but aren’t yet overrun. The flowers and herbs in the countryside are at their peak, and driving conditions are ideal. This time slot would also allow you to be in the Riviera during some exciting events such as the International Film Festival in Cannes, and the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. For a more down-to-earth experience, drop in on the Corn Festival (Fete des Mais) that takes place every Sunday throughout the month at the Arenes de Cimiez in Nice.
With temperatures in May averaging 24 – 25 degrees Celsius in the South, it’s perfect time to explore Greek Islands without the crowds. Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos and Paros in the Cyclades are at their cleanest white and brightest blue and the hotels are at their beginning-of-the-season freshest. Greek island classics like Corfu and Rhodes are also bathed in pre-crowd-cheap-rate sunshine. And you don’t need to travel too long either. Flight time from the UK is just 4 hours. Just bear in mind that in May, despite a really hot weather in a day time, nights can get a little chilly so pack some long-sleeve jackets or tops.
According to many, the absolute best month to visit Sardinia is May, because during that month there are flowers in bloom and the trees and grasses are at their greenest and most beautiful. Also, the weather during May is not too hot and not too cold, reaching 30C/85F and is sometimes warm enough to take a dip in the sea. Due to its size, ancient heritage and startlingly beautiful scenery, Sardinia is more than just a mass tourist destination. Therefore all is not lost if you are looking for a break away from more northern climes at times other than summer. A distinction is to be made between areas which have no identity beyond being tourist resorts, such as Porto Cervo and the Costa Smeralda, and those which are more authentic towns and villages which operate according to their own rhythms all the year round, such as Alghero.
4. Costa del Sol
The month of May is actually the start of the very hot summer in Costa del Sol and it’s also full of numerous events taking place. On the 15h of May you can experience San Isidro Fair - San Isidro is the patron saint of farmers. The locals of Romeria normally pass through the fields and the fair includes agricultural exhibitions. One of the greatest fairs takes place in Nerja where in the procession leaves the town and parades all the way through the Nerja caves for a very famous fair that started with fireworks on the evening of May 14. Another great event in May is Patio Contests held on May 4 to 16, wherein homeowners vie for the prize given to magnificently decorated patio. The town Tourism Office gives a map that will inform you of the competing courtyard that is accessible to the public on that day. So, if you are fascinated with gardens and flower, you should not miss this event. Finally, there is also Wine Fair of San Lucar Manzanilla, an active feast devoted to the Manzanilla, an extraordinary dried sherry wine made in the area of San Lucar de Barrameda. This prevailing festival which is carefully planned by the town’s council and is supported by local wine makers takes place on the third week of May and lasted for several days.
5. Puglia, Italy
They’ve been calling Puglia the next Tuscany. Well, no need to wait until the rest of the world catches on. Puglia is another side of Italy to be enjoyed. There’s a beach across the street, world class golf, a thalassotherapy spa and a different style of Italian cooking that brings in the flavours of the sea and the farms. Puglia is a region of holiday makers that kicks into gear in late July and August. For us foreigners from northern climes, it is perfect in early months when soft fruits such as cherries, mulberries and fiorone (early figs) are in abundance, markets are full of spring vegetables and the fields are full of wild flowers. And if you like white sandy beaches and clean, warm and shallow waters than you should definetely consider going to Puglia, which has kilometres and kilometres of white sandy beaches. The green Ionian sea by Gallipoli (Carribean style) is among the cleanest waters in the Mediterranean.
Fancy more holiday inspirations for hot places in Europe? Have a look at our top destinations for April- they’re even hotter in May! If you don’t mind going long haul for your beach holiday, you might want to consider our beach bucket list as well.