12 Best Places to Visit in May (In the World!)

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Where are the best places to travel during the month of May? May is an awesome time of the year to take a trip. It’s shoulder season in many parts of the world, meaning you’ll find cheaper prices and fewer tourists.

It’s not quite summer in many places, but temperatures are still warm enough to enjoy everything the destination has to offer. We love traveling during the month of May. It’s still cold where we live, so we like to jet off and find somewhere warm and comfortable temperature-wise. Where have our best trips been in May? Read on to see a few of the best places to visit in May!


The Best Places to Visit in May!


Siargao, Philippines


May is actually one of the hottest months of the year in the Philippines. If you are not a fan of scorching temperatures and humidity, then May is not the best time to visit the Philippines. That is not including the island of Siargao when the dry season is between March and October.

Because of its geographical location, the small island of Siargao sees different weather patterns than elsewhere in the Philippines. We visited last year in May and saw barely any rain, and the temperature wasn’t completely unbearable.

If it gets too hot, you’re never really too far from shade and the ocean.


Iceland


iceland honeymooniceland honeymoon

May in Iceland means it’s just about to hit summer and peak season here. Now is the time to travel to Iceland if you want a semi-reasonable deal on travel (sorry guys, nothing in Iceland is cheap). The weather is temperamental and there is more daylight than night and you can get beautifully long sunsets. The Icelanders will be coming out of a long winter so the atmosphere of Iceland is joyous.  The weather can still be unpredictable though, and I would still recommend packing like you are going to Iceland in the winter just in case. That means hiking boots for Iceland, a packable down jacket, gloves, and a hat.

Although you won’t see the Northern Lights, May in Iceland is when wildlife comes alive! The beautiful puffin bird returns to shores of Iceland in April so it’s almost guaranteed you will be able to see them in May. Whale watching tours will also be more pleasant under the May sun and they run often. Last but not least, you can go horseback riding without freezing in May! (Do it – it’s totally worth it).


Cyprus


May has got to be one of the very best times to visit Cyprus. The weather has really improved since the winter in Cyprus, meaning there’s less rain and more sunshine. The average temperature is 20°C and can climb to the mid-20s pretty often. There are also clear skies and about 12 hours of sunshine every day! It’s a great time to visit those fantastic Cypriot beaches and chill in places like Ayia Napa.

The first part of the month is beautifully mild weather, but at the end of the month, things start to heat up a little bit more, with temperatures rising into the mid-20s more often. Visitors begin to arrive on their vacations (especially from the UK), and it heralds the start of the tourist season proper. Come early to avoid the crowds that June, July, and August see!


Bali


best places to visit in maybest places to visit in may

Sunshine, beautiful beach weather, hardly any rain at all – it’s no wonder May is one of the best times to visit Bali. Temperatures are climbing ever upwards with an average of 28°C and highs in the early 30s. Very hot, basically. Fun fact: the coldest day ever recorded in May in Bali was 20°C!

May is the beginning of the dry season – and the beginning of the surfing season too (head to the Bukit Peninsula for big offshore swells) until September. Humidity will also be lessening from May onward as the dry season continues. Bali is a dream destination for many, just make sure you hit it in the dry season.


Turkey


Best Cave Hotels in CappadociaBest Cave Hotels in Cappadocia

One of the best places to visit in the world in May is Turkey! May is when sunshine really starts to bless Turkey, as the country gets warmer and warmer. All that rain has brought an abundance of nature to this Mediterranean nation, notably in its mountain valleys. Turkey sees an average temperature of 16°C across the board, as well as sunny days and fewer clouds in May. There’s not a lot of rain, which is good news. 

By the end of May, the onset of summer starts to get noticeable in places like Istanbul, which sees temperatures hit average highs of 20°C, but humidity is high (75%!). Cappadocia remains definitively cold, with averages of below 10°C for most of the month, making it still not the best time to visit Turkey for those wanting a balloon ride above the fairy chimneys without being freezing.

June, July, and August means it’s summertime in Europe and the crowds will start to hit making Turkey relatively quiet in May, it’s shoulder season.


Portugal


Praia do Zavial 2 - Best Beaches in AlgarvePraia do Zavial 2 - Best Beaches in Algarve

May is lovely in Portugal, and it’s also the shoulder season! This is Portugal before the summer heat and crowds, and the first time in the year that visiting the beach in a swimsuit is a viable option.

Average temperatures across the country are a very pleasant 24°C and, with 14 hours of sunshine per day, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the top sights and the beaches especially towards the Algarve. If you like hiking, this is an excellent time of year to do that, too. You shouldn’t need to bring waterproof stuff, since there are only a couple of days in May affected by showers. Basically, May is one of the best times to visit Portugal if you want to avoid the European crowds (and heat) of summer. 


Jordan


It’s an awesome time of the year in Jordan in May. The winter (and early spring) rains have watered the nature of Jordan to such an extent that the country is popping with verdant flora and colorful flowers. It’s not too hot – it’s a great time of year!

However, this is obviously going to be high season – you’re going to want to reserve rooms in advance if you want your first pick at Jordan’s top sights. There are still chances of rain, but only around 5mm of rain falls for the whole month – not much at all. Temperatures in Petra and Amman hover around 27°C; the Dead Sea and Aqaba are a steamy 35°C – great if you like the heat.


Japan


Kumano KodoKumano Kodo
Hiking the Kumano Kodo

May in Japan means things start to get much warmer across the country. Even Hokkaido has thawed by now, with Sapporo seeing its very own hanami around the first week of this month. May can also be punctuated by heatwaves of 30°C+, so it’s good to be prepared.

May is basically the best month of the year to visit Japan. Nowhere is particularly snowy (except the tops of mountains), there’s not loads of rain, and the temperature is – on average – around 20°C.

It’s in May that plants and flowers start to burst into life. It’s a fantastic time to hike the Kumano Kodo and get outside. Azalea bushes make Tokyo’s streets, for example, a rainbow of color. The better weather, the proper start of spring, the fact that Golden Week – a period of national holidays clustered together – occurs in May, means it can also be a busy time to visit. However it is the last of the nice, sometimes hot, spring weather. Enjoy it before the heat and humidity of Japanese summertime hits.


Morocco


Morocco Travel Tips To KnowMorocco Travel Tips To Know

Part of Morocco’s gradual move into warmer weather in May. The nationwide average temperatures is a mere 29°C, and it’s even cooler around the coast. Rainfall in May is pretty low: expect only about three rainy days the entire month!

However, desert nature of the south means that the daytime high can soar above 30°C, but Marrakech itself sees daytime temperatures of 27°C, which is pretty comfortable. If you go towards places like Chefchaouen you’ll have dream weather! May is an awesome time to visit before the school children in Europe are on break and head south!


Italy


Things to Know before you head to ItalyThings to Know before you head to Italy

Spring will be in full bloom come May in Italy. Even in the cooler north, temperatures are inching towards the realm of ‘warm.’ Venice is around 17°C, Rome is about 21°C, while destinations on the Mediterranean Coast hover around 23°C.

May will be a lovely time of year to visit Italian historical sights, ruins like Pompeii, as well as interesting places like Alberobello (Puglia, southern Italy), with its Trulli – strange, conical-roofed houses. It’s not scorching yet in Southern Italy, but very pleasant, making it one of the best places to visit in May.

You may, if you’re brave, head to the beach. Hours of sunshine reach a daily average of 12, and the sea temperature is a not-freezing 19°C.


Greece


GreeceGreece

Greece is one of the best places to visit in May. It’s spring in Greece in May, which makes it one of the best times to travel to Greece. Things are inching towards what we’d consider ‘warm,’ and you’ll see around ten hours of sunshine a day. Little rain, too, which is always lovely.

At the start of the month, average temperatures are about 20°C, increasing to 22-23°C by the end of the month. The sea begins to get more bearable at a not-freezing 19°C.

UV levels can be pretty high, what with all the sunshine, so do make sure you slather on that sunscreen and bring a hat. Greece’s summer tourism picks up in June and will last until September, so getting there in May will ensure cheaper accommodation, rental car prices, and fewer crowds. It’s honestly an excellent time to get to the Greek Islands.

Don’t be fooled, though. Evenings are still around 14°C, so it’s still not shorts-and-t-shirt-after-dark weather yet. Make sure to bring a lightweight jacket on your trip!


The Galapagos


Galapagos Packing ListGalapagos Packing List

The Galapagos is the ultimate bucket list-worthy travel experience. The amount of wildlife you can see on the relatively untouched islands is amazing. That’s just what’s on land as when you step off the gorgeous islands you’ll find deep blue Pacific water abundant in marine life.

It’s a place unlike any other on earth and it’s easy to understand how the islands provided inspiration for Charles Darwin. March falls in between the countries’ warm and wet season. The warm season means higher precipitation, lush vegetation, warmer temperatures, and vibrant sunsets. It’s a great time to visit, though the Galapagos wildlife can be seen year round.

The Galapagos climate sees hot and sunny days with the odd heavy shower between January to June, meaning that May is a fantastic time to visit.


Plan & Pack for Your
Trip in May


Book a Tour!

Sometimes it’s nice when others do all the travel planning!

ViatorGetYourGuide



CamelbakCamelbak
Hiking/Daypack Backpack

You’re going to need something to carry your belongings in while you’re traveling around Italy. Even if you’re not doing extensive hikes you need at least something small for day trips. My favorite daypacks are from REI.

See our favorite hiking backpacks here!


Beach Packing List SunglassesBeach Packing List Sunglasses
Sunglasses

Make sure to protect your eyes from the sun in Italy. There are a lot of options for sunglasses and everyone should own at least a pair. It’s best to make sure they do have UV protection for the health of your eyes.

We made our first investment in quality polarized sunglasses with a pair of SMITH Optics Lowdown 2. Truthfully, not everyone needs to invest $150 in a pair of sunglasses, but they do make a huge difference from the crappy $10 ones.

See Sunglasses


Traveling in ItalyTraveling in Italy
Sunscreen

Skin cancer is for real, even in Italy! Don’t forget your SPF when traveling around Italy. We recommend ordering some online before leaving the house as you will need it underneath the sun in the summer.

We highly recommend getting an eco friendly sun cream that does not contain harmful chemicals.

Purchase Sunscreen


AllBirdsAllBirds

Best Down JacketsBest Down Jackets

Traveling in ItalyTraveling in Italy
Kindle Paperwhite

I love real books, but for traveling it can be easier to carry a lighter and more compact item like a Kindle. Plus, then you can download new books on the go!

Kindle Paperwhite


Best Travel Water BottlesBest Travel Water Bottles
Waterbottle

Please consider purchasing a travel water bottle before your trip! We hate to see one time use plastic bottles ending up in the ocean. The tap water is so good here – seriously please don’t be one of those tourist that buys plastic water bottles in Italy. It’s a waste of money and plastic!

Grayl Waterbottle


Traveling in ItalyTraveling in Italy
Delsey 24″ Spinner

Delsey makes my favorite hard side luggage and after five years of travel around the world, they have yet to let me down. Plus their bags look incredibly stylish, which is essential in countries like Italy. Many of their bags have heavy duty wheels, TSA accepted locks and two full packing compartments with tie-down straps and a zippered divider. If you want something different, check out our other favorite carry on luggage pieces.

Delsey Top Sellers


Best Travel Towel - REI Micro Lite towelBest Travel Towel - REI Micro Lite towel
Travel Towel

Most hotels will provide you with a towel, but they often aren’t suitable or allowed on the beaches. I like to travel with a microfiber towel because they are light and fold up small, and they also don’t cling on to sand our dirt. Here are a few of our favorite travel towels.

Travel Towel



About the Author

Natasha

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Natasha is a five-foot blonde that believes she was made short so she could fit in air, train, car, and bus seats comfortably. She believes in watching every single movie nominated for an Oscar and loves all animals. Natasha has a passion for environmentally friendly and sustainable travel.
Natasha recently made a move to Canada and resides near Banff National Park in Alberta and loves new adventures in the mountains. Natasha’s favorite countries are Italy, Iceland, Greece, Japan, Mozambique, and South Africa.

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Last Updated on April 26, 2020

One thought on “12 Best Places to Visit in May (In the World!)

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