With summer in sight and destinations across the globe heating up, there’s infinite choice in May. Not to mention it’s one of the most affordable times to travel before the peak season. With highs of 26°C just on your doorstep, slap on the factor 50 ready to soak up rays on Blue Flag beaches.
From putting greens in Albufeira to old-world relics in Antalya and Greek mythology in Crete – explore it all without the crowds. And with a low chance of rainfall, nothing will get in the way of your once-in-a-lifetime adventures.
1. Benidorm, Costa Blanca
For a quick jaunt somewhere hot, Benidorm is the answer. Costa Blanca in May can reach highs of 22°C with clear skies, which is prime sunbathing conditions. It will feel a little warmer in central Benidorm due to its towering skyscrapers locking in the heat and causing higher humidity. Over at the beach, the sea typically sits at 18°C at this time of year which is ideal for a refreshing dip.
In terms of showers, rain is spread across nine days of the month. If you want to avoid the drizzle, travel at the end of May. You’ll also experience over 14 hours of sunshine during the final weeks of the month.
Seeking non-stop entertainment? Then Benidorm should be on your must-visit list. It’s home to Costa Blanca’s three biggest and most impressive beaches whom boast fancy awards for their pristine conditions. Not to mention it’s graced our TV screens for over 10 years, thanks to ITV’s famous sit-com. For tasty chorizo bites, olives and crunchy fresh bread, head to the famous Tapas Alley where delectable aromas will tempt you in. Or if karaoke, cabaret and neon-lit clubs are more your scene, the Old Town is teeming with lively spots.
Families won’t be able to resist this holiday gem with its waterparks, rollercoasters, mini golf courses and go-karting tracks all waiting for you arrival.
La Cala Finestrat
Mal Pas Playa
Best things to do?
Sun fact: The clearest day of the month is May 31st with a 36% chance of overcast.
Flight time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Best for? Short haul, nightlife and families
Flamingo Beach Resort: This chillout hotel will allow you to disconnect from the world and its adults only status comes in handy too. There are 126 junior suites decorated with modern fixtures, upgrade to the wellness option and you’ll benefit from a bottle of champagne and two Thai massages – yes please! As the hotel is All Inclusive guests can make use of the three bars, a restaurant, a trio of pools featuring Balinise beds and waterpark.
Gran Hotel Bali: For a jaw-dropping experience, a stay in Europe’s tallest hotel should do the trick. This imposing skyscraper offers unparalleled views of Benidorm and the ocean which sits only 350 metres away. There are three pools, an Olympic number, large lake style option and children’s splash area. Alongside the water-fueled fun, there’s delectable show cooking options at the restaurant and a spa onsite for a tranquil escape.
2. Antalya, Turkey
With days increasingly longer and sunnier, May is one of the best times to visit Antalya. By the end of the month, temperatures will reach 30°C and daylight will exceed 14 hours. When the sunsets after 6pm, expect lows of 18 to 20°C. It would be wise to pack a light jacket in preparation for dusk. The Mediterranean also benefits from 20°C waters, meaning you won’t feel that dreaded shock when you submerge your body into the ocean.
As the country’s largest city along the Mediterranean and known as the gateway to the Turkish Riviera, its draws are endless. From its towering Taurus Mountains to an old preserved city in Kaleici and mysterious burning flames of Chimera – the question is, which hotspot will you visit first? It even has an aquarium which features the world’s largest tunnel including different species of fish.
Make the most of your sunny climes with a lazy day on Lara Beach which is celebrated for its Blue Flag awards. Alternatively, there’s a 320-mile path from Antalya to Fethiye which also has a stand-out reputation with hikers.
Best things to do?
Sun fact: 300 days of the year are sunny which is 3,000 hours, so the odds are definitely in your favour for a warm holiday.
Flight time: 4 hours and 10 minutes
Best for: Short haul, beaches, All Inclusive and history
Side Premium: Built with your comfort in mind, this contemporary hotel is nestled in the noise-free area of Side. Rooms are deluxe and showered in gold furnishings for added elegance, while its original recipes await in its a la carte eateries. There’s even a dedicated children’s restaurant for small plates and a bar serving colourful concoctions.
Delphin Imperial: This mega complex is comprised of 650 rooms boasting unique Mediterranean views, 12 bars, not to mention nine restaurants ranging from Mexican to French and Greek fare. In terms of fun, sports tournaments will challenge your agility, while the movie theatre showcases the latest flicks and the waterslides situated throughout its six pools will keep you cool in the heat.
As the transition from spring to summer begins in May, averages of 24°C can be expected. In fact, the city of Chania sees warmer climates compared to its neighbouring resorts Heraklion and Rethymnon. However, all of the island’s spots boast a scorching climate during this time of the year. The highest recorded temperature in May was 38°C, so don’t be fooled UV protection is essential.
There’s 71% chance of a perfect sunny day, meaning the odds are in your favour. The average rainfall is 5mm, but these usually come in short bursts and mainly in the mountain regions. More hours around the pool can be enjoyed with roughly 10 hours of sunshine a day, or bask in 20°C seawater until dusk falls.
Not only is Crete the largest Greek island, but it’s by far the most impressive. From its pretty pink beaches nestled among its 650 mile coastline to its 4,000-year-old landmarks and its mountain scenery including the Samaria Gorge, which is the longest in Europe at a staggering 16 kilometres. Did you know it’s ranked among the top 10 destinations in the world by TripAdvisor? No other excuse is needed.
With well over 10 resorts to choose from, there’s a base for every kind of holidaymaker. Party-goers can hit Malia’s after-dark scene, while Rethymon entices culture vultures with its unique heritage and Hersonissos provides the best of both worlds with nearby relics, a famous beach and neon-lit clubs.
Best things to do?
Sun fact: The Sirocco wind that blows from the south brings warm, dry air from Africa that rises the temperature and quickly dries the climate, an effect that is much more noticeable on the southern side of the island than anywhere else.
Flight time: 3 hours and 45 minutes
Best for: Beaches, short haul, history and snorkeling
Mitsis Laguna Resort & Spa: Located in the island’s capital and at the foot of pristine sands, the Mitsis collection never disappoints. Its Ultra All Inclusive is 24 hours, allowing you to revel in themed culinary delights and sip fruity cocktails around the clock. Among its draws are its five pools and wide range of rooms including hot tub suites and presidential numbers.
Thalassi Hotel: This intimate property lies on the coast of Rethymnon with its own private beach. Facilities provide maximum comfort from its endless buffet stations to its cosy double beds and plush sunbathing options, you won’t be able to resist its charms.
As one of the world’s hottest destinations in May, Tunisia enjoys a dry climate at an average of 26°C. There’s rarely any sightings of rain too, so it couldn’t be a better choice for a pre-summer escape. Due to its geographical diversity, the regions vary vastly in terms of climate. Holiday resorts such as Hammamet and Port El Kantaoui border the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert, meaning hot weather is almost guaranteed.
Lows average at 21°C which means it is still acceptable to wear shorts and t-shirts, this cooler temperature usually occurs on the evening. However, that’s just the average some nights can reach 25°C upwards with a warm, humid breeze to match.
More than just a beach getaway, Tunisia will entice guests with its maze-like medinas and UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Venetian and Roman Carthage. Prepare to be in awe of its bustling souks decorated with handwoven carpets, mosaic artwork and intricate jewellery. Meanwhile, the aromas of garlic, cumin and saffron will pull you in the direction of its food vendors.
But you can’t visit this north African gem without tackling its world-renowned sand dunes in the Sahara. Whether it’s by 4×4 or camelback, it’s a sight to behold. Stop by an authentic Bedouin camp along the way for a refreshing cup of mint tea – an experience like no other.
El Haouaria Beach
Plage de Chaffar
Best things to do?
Grand Erg Oriental
Sun fact: The Atlas Mountains create a ‘rain shadow’ by blocking rain-bearing winds from the north. As a result, the regions south of the Atlas Mountains are incredibly hot and dry.
Flight time: 2 hours and 40 minutes
Best for: Short haul, souks, beaches and All Inclusive hotels
Hotel Riviera: Perfectly positioned next to the marina with its Arab-Moorish style, this breathtaking property will have you in awe. Standard rooms offer ocean views, while family options provide premium space and royal suites benefit from added luxury. Sample local fare from the a la carte or indulge on stringy spaghetti from the Italian before heading for dessert at the buffet. When you’re not diving into its large pool, there’s a mini golf course, bowling and tennis courts at your disposal.
Medina Solaria: This 5 star option ticks all the boxes from its triad of pools to its kids’ clubs and Thalasso spa – all members of the family are catered for here. Roomy suites will provide a premium night’s rest, while all-singing, all-dancing suites come equipped with hot tubs and a large sitting area. Foodies will dote on the Italian and Tunsian themed restaurants, while fuss pots can indulge at the international buffet.
With eight long hours of sunshine to play with, summer has finally arrived. Bulgaria will see highs of 21°C and averages of 17°C. This is a comfortable climate for exploring its most sought-after sites. The Black Sea sits at roughly 16°C and steadily warms up throughout the month, perfect watersport conditions. In terms of rain, there’s only six potential days of downpours to worry about.
Celebrated for its cheap eats and inexpensive beer, this affordable destination will win over any bargain hunter. It’s Europe’s rising star with regions such as Sunny Beach and Golden Sands becoming increasingly popular for their wild nightlife, Blue Flag awarded shores and natural thermal springs. History buffs will be captivated by its UNESCO-protected Old Town in Nessebar and monastery carved into the cliffs.
From Orthodox churches to Vitosha Mountain backdrops and a cultural melting pot of Greek, Slavic, Ottoman and Persian influences, you’ll learn a thing or two on this retreat.
Kara Dere Beach
Best things to do?
Sun fact: From the start to the end of May, the daylight hours increase by one hour
Flight time: 3 hours
Best for: Nightlife, short haul, theme parks and families
Hotel Iberostar Sunny Beach: Ideal for families with its live cooking stations, All Inclusive options, kids’ club for ages four to 17 and double rooms, this hotel is renowned for its 24-hour fun. Lounge around in beach hammocks, sample local cuisine or hit the spa for that much needed R&R – either way, you’ll be well looked after.
TSB Sunny Victory Apartments: Just because this spot is budget-friendly doesn’t mean it lacks style. These Self Catering apartments boast a modern vibe, some even feature two floors offering more space and comfort. Its two swimming pools go down a treat with the kids and its onsite bistro will have mouths watering with daily barbecues luring hungry guests in. You’re also just a five-minute walk from Sunny Beach, one of the country’s best stretches.
6. Albufeira, Portugal
Pack your sunglasses and keep hydrated because Albufeira reaches nearly 30°C in May and averages at 27°C. Conditions you’ve been dreaming about all winter await. Throughout its 14 hours of sunshine, days are clear with a few clouds. But don’t worry they won’t hinder your sunbathing sessions. Lows of 16°C may occur on the evening with a slight breeze, but most nights you can explore jacket-free.
It’s one of the Algarve’s most popular resorts thanks to its whitewashed Old Town, electric nightlife, thrilling waterparks and championship golf courses. Made up of 25 beaches, some among the best in the world, there’s no better place for sandcastle building. Attractions such as Zoomarine and Aqualand will have families plunging down watercoasters or spotting wildlife in no time.
Meanwhile, Paderne Castle and the Municipal Archaeological Museum contain prehistoric 16th century remains that culture fanatics will fall head over heels for. And if you wish to practice your swing, Pine Cliffs Golf Course is built amidst 168 acres of woodlands and is famous for the renowned ‘Devil’s Parlour’.
Praia dos Pescadores
Praia do Peneco
Praia da Oura
Praia dos Aveiros
Praia de Santa Eulália
Best things to do?
Albufeira Old Town
Hot Wheels Raceway
Mimo Cooking School
Sun fact: The maximum recorded temperature in May was 32°C in 2014.
Flight time: 2 hours and 55 minutes
Best for: Beaches, golf, nightlife and families
Adriana Beach Club: The entertainment is non-stop in this chic hotel with yoga allowing you to channel your inner zen and zumba working off those holiday treats, not to mention the mini golf for families and Portuguese classes. Bedrooms range from basic to doubles and superior, as for dining you have an ample choice including a grill restaurant and sunset bar.
Grande Real Santa Eulalia Resort: This crowd-pleaser boasts 5 stars and sits proudly on the beach of Santa Eulalia. There are 29 suites and 155 apartments at your fingertips, gastronomy-wise, choose from four eateries with varied menus. The onsite Le Club has hosted world-famous DJs and the Real Spa Therapy centre offers luxurious treatments.