Where to Go On Holiday in May


May is arguably the best time of year to visit Europe, when the weather is perfect, and the crowds haven’t arrived. Further afield, South America, Indonesia and Japan are all at their peak too. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to where’s hot in May but to narrow it down, we’ve selected our favourite destinations.

Best Hot Holiday Destinations in May

Find wildlife or culture and long sunny days on holiday in May in these exciting locations which will warm the cockles after a cold winter in England.

Desert Camp Morocco

For long-haul vibes without a long-haul flight, Morocco ticks all the boxes. Especially if you’re hunting for where is warm in May. You’ve got glorious sunshine, thrilling sights, and luxe hotels. Fly into Marrakech and check into the likes of the Four Seasons, La Mamounia or the Oberoi for pampering with a side of culture. Add a trip to the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira or a night in the Agafay Desert for a change of scene and a dash of adventure.

Machu Picchu

May is when Peru’s rainy season comes to an end and it’s the perfect time to visit Machu Picchu, when it’s not too crowded. Arrive in style from Cusco on the luxurious Inca Rail train or hike the famous Inca Trail to experience the best of Peru’s varied landscapes, taking in rainforests, snow-covered mountains, and beautiful lakes on your journey. May is also one of the best times to visit Lake Titicaca’s sacred islands.

Best beach holiday destinations in May

If sunbathing and sunshine are high on your holiday agenda, then look no further than our best beach holidays in May.

Niyama Private Islands, Maldives

With pristine turquoise waters and secluded water villas aplenty, this archipelago offers unrivalled luxury and beauty for a hot holiday in May. This time of year heralds the end of the wet season in the Maldives, ensuring sun-kissed days and balmy nights. Snorkel or dive among vibrant coral reefs, pamper yourself with world-class spa treatments and savour gourmet cuisine on the water's edge. Take your pick of hotels, each is geared towards different travellers, whether you’re with family or wanting quiet adults-only time.

Nihiwatu beach in Indonesia

Although Indonesia is magical all year round, it’s one of the best places to visit in May, which is its dry season (until September). It will be hard to pick just one island, but if you’re travelling with kids, we’d suggest Bali. For culture head to Java, for diving and wildlife pick Komodo, if it’s a remote beach and stunning landscapes you’re after then there’s Lombok and for an off-the-beaten track adventure choose Sumba. All the islands can be paired with each other as you can see in Extraordinary Indonesia, or add a stop in Singapore for city time too.

Best May Holiday Destinations in Europe

Europe in May is a perfect time to go on a minibreak to one of the fascinating cities without the crowds or hit the beaches before it gets busy.

Boats in the water before the Sicilian coast

Italy in May is idyllic, it’s one of the best times to visit the country. You could wander the streets of Rome or spend time in the Puglian or Tuscan countryside. Amalfi Coast will be starting to heat up and Sicily is fantastic out of the peak season as it’s warm from about April to November. Temperatures will be in the mid-to-high-twenties and you’ll have less rain than in autumn. An added bonus of Italy in May is the short flight time, so make the most of many UK bank holidays with a quick hop to seek out the sunshine.

Boat Hire

Spain is one of the best countries to visit in May. It’s the perfect time to explore Barcelona’s incredible architecture and food on a short break, where you’ll find bright blue skies and highs of 26C. Meanwhile, Mallorca is also heating up in May, and many of the beautiful properties there are better value than in the summer, making it a fantastic option for May half term or an adult’s-only jaunt during term time. Marbella and Seville are also beautiful in spring and among the warmest parts of the country. We love Marbella Club for families.

Tromso, Norway

Spring in Norway is enchanting, particularly in the north, where you’ll find the distinctively beautiful Lofoten Islands. In the south, the weather in May is perfect for hiking to the pretty hidden coves and islets, where you can look out for whales and white-tailed sea eagles. Oslo is also lovely this time of year (although you may get some rain), surrounded by lush green hills and filled with cool museums, galleries and restaurants, Norway’s capital will captivate you.

Best Places for Couples to Go On Holiday in May

There’s something eternally romantic about May, perhaps it’s to do with the sun making an appearance after a long winter. And with that comes the promise of long, alfresco lunches, walks under blue skies or the feeling of the sand between your toes. For the best places to visit as a couple in May, read on.

Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan

Japan is one of the best holiday destinations in May. It’s when the gardens are in full bloom, plus the weather is prime for sightseeing. Whether you’re looking for an unforgettable honeymoon destination, or to celebrate a special birthday, Japan tops our bucket list. You’ve got gardens, culture and superlative food in Tokyo and Kyoto, while there’s stunning nature around Hakone and the Central Honshu Mountains, where there’s nothing cosier than staying in a ryokan and soaking in a onsen. Because May is the most popular time to visit Japan, you need to book early.

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South Africa

Michelin-star restaurants, perfect vineyards, stunning beaches and of course safari – South Africa has it all. In May, Cape Town and the Winelands are about 28C, a lovely temperature for wine tasting. For safaris, you could head to Kruger or Madikwe in the north of the country, both of which boast a line-up of impressive animals – the Big Five and beyond – plus ultra-luxurious private game reserves, which are made for honeymoons. Dine under the stars, sleep in a treehouse, and get up close to the world’s most incredible...

Best Places for Families to Visit in May

A family holiday in May half-term can leave you feeling very smug. Prices haven’t peaked yet, but Europe’s beaches are ready and waiting for you, with long, sunny days that aren’t too hot for the kids.

Remote Greek Islands

Greece is one of the best places to visit in May. It’s hot, but not too hot (as it can be in August) and it’s a crowd-pleaser for all ages. Teens and tweens will love the water sports, there’s epic history and culture to discover and plenty of beach days to be had together. While the list of islands is endless, for families you’re best choosing one with a direct flight from the UK, such as Corfu, Crete or Costa Navarino on the mainland. Many hotels have top-notch kids’ clubs, including Scott Dunn’s Explorer’s Club, which is exclusively for our guests.

Panagia Chrysopolitissa Basilica in Paphos, Cyprus

Wondering where is hot in May, you can’t go wrong with Cyprus. Its temperatures are warm enough for beach trips, but the Mediterranean island has more to offer than just that. There’s Mount Olympus and the Troodos Mountains to explore, incredible Byzantine churches, Roman ruins, and pretty vineyards. Parklane Limassol on the southern Cypriot coast is famous for being child-friendly without compromising on what adults need from a holiday too. You can relax in luxury while your little ones enjoy action-packed fun at our Explorers Kids Club.

Algarve Portugal

Head to Portugal before the real crowds descend in the summer. While it’s not as hot as other parts of the Mediterranean, its sunny skies and mid-twenties temperatures are great for families with young children. Hotels in the Algarve, including Pine Cliffs Resort (with Scott Dunn’s Explorer’s Club) and Vila Vita Parc geared up perfectly for families. Right on the beach, they have several restaurants, a ton of activities to occupy the kids, and tennis, golf, and spas for the adults too.

Explore the Best Countries to Visit in May with Scott Dunn

Contact one of our travel specialists to start planning your May holiday. Whether you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime trip for your honeymoon, a mini-break for two or a family holiday, you’re in safe hands with Scott Dunn. From seamless planning to bespoke itineraries and the assurance that you’ll be looked after wherever you are, we promise the highest levels of luxury and enjoyment for your holiday.

Call us on 020 3993 4933 to start planning your holiday

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