Need an excuse to pack your bags, hop on a plane and see somewhere new? Here are a few suggestions on where to go and what to look forward to over the next couple of months…
Morocco: May is the perfect month to travel to Morocco. Catch some rays on the Mediterranean coast, check out the souks of Marrakesh or go surfing in Essaouira while the weather is just right.
Head to El-Kelaâ M’Gouna, in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains – the nearby Vallée des Roses is carpeted in Persian roses every spring and hosts an annual Rose Festival each May.
France: All eyes will be on the Côte d’Azur for the world-famous Cannes Film Festival. Spot Hollywood royalty or gear up for a frenzy of fast cars in Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix. Pleasant temperatures also make this one of the best months to walk the Camino Francés.
Tip: Fly into Biarritz and take a bus to Bayonne station. From here, there’s a direct train to the Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port starting point.
Greece: May is the ideal time to visit Greece – the beaches and ancient wonders are less crowded, accommodation prices are lower and the weather feels comfortably warm.
Head to the capital and take a tour of the Acropolis or Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Get a taste of island life in Crete, laze on the long sandy beaches of the north coast or explore the Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaistos and the old town charms of Chaniá.
Italy: Warm temperatures and much quieter roads make May one of the best months to explore Sicily. Wander historic towns such as Syracuse, Noto, and Taormina, spend a night at the opera in Palermo’s famous Teatro Massimo or savour a scoop of gelato in the cinematic surroundings of Cefalú.
Back on the mainland, the rolling hills of Tuscany are in full bloom, the UNESCO world heritage sights are yet to be overrun with coachloads of tourists and the picturesque villages of Cinque Terre and Maremma are ready for their close-ups.
Malta: The weather is hotting up on Malta and Gozo – pack your togs and snorkel for the turquoise lagoons or explore ancient ruins and colourful fishing villages. Leave the Game of Thrones hype at home and check out the real life backdrops in Valletta.
Portugal: Get a head-start on the crowds and take off to the beaches of the Algarve for a chilled out holiday in the sun. Alternatively, take the plunge in the Azores and spot rare and beautiful marine-life in the depths of the North Atlantic.
Spain: Ibiza’s opening parties are getting underway, make this the year to tick Ibiza off your bucket list. Tempted? Check out our blogger’s guide to Ibiza for insider advice and tips.
UK: Everything’s coming up roses with London’s Chelsea Flower Show in full bloom. Meanwhile, warmer weather, scenic walks and cosy distillery tours makes May THE month to have a highland fling in Scotland.
Czech Republic: The Czech Republic has produced some of the world’s greatest composers. Get to know the local talent at Prague’s Spring Music Festival, the city’s annual three week festival of classical music.
Alternatively, celebrate that other great Czech export at the Czech Beer Festival – seventeen days of Czech beer, hearty Czech food and live music.
Ireland: The music festival season opens with Forbidden Fruit in Dublin, followed by midsummer madness at Body and Soul, set in the magical woodlands of Ballinlough Castle in Co. Westmeath.
James Joyce fan? Join Dubliners and Joycean bookworms from all around the world in Dublin on 16th June to follow in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom, the lead character from Ulysses. As usual, there’ll be colourful readings, fancy dress, straw boater hats and traditional Bloomsday breakfasts.
Spain: While the dance-floors of Ibiza start to fill up, June in Mallorca and Menorca is a much more laid-back affair.
Jet into Palma and check out the historic sights, stroll around pretty, time-forgotten villages such as Deia, or dip your toes in the clear blue water of the secret coves along the north coast.
Menorca is even more low key – take advantage of the quietness and appreciate the amazing sunset views. Over on the mainland, festival season rolls into Barcelona just as Seville begins to sizzle.
Beach break calling? Now’s the time to hit the sunny shores of the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol before the resorts get REALLY busy.
Portugal: Temperatures are in the high 20s. There’s 12 hours of sunshine. AND the beaches are still pretty quiet. What’s not to love about the Algarve in June?
There’s loads more going on this month in the rest of Portugal too. Party all night at Lisbon’s Saint Anthony Festival, or catch a music festival in Porto.
Sweden: See the midnight sun in Stockholm, or if you plan your visit around the solstice on 21st June, you’ll experience almost 24 hours of sunlight.
For an extravaganza of meatballs, pickled herring and aquavit, gatecrash the Midsommar festival on the weekend nearest to the solstice.
Hungary: Apart from blue skies, outdoor baths and ruin pubs, there’s plenty going on in Budapest this June. Raise a glass at the Craft Beer Festival, sample the local street food at Főzdefeszt or give folk dancing a whirl at the Summer Festival and Danube Carnival.
- Fiona Hillliard