Best places to travel in May 2021
If you’re planning a May break, the sun is always out over Bali’s soft-sand beaches at a time of year before the crowds hit their peak. Planning in advance pays off, as some of our favorite hotels are quick to book up. For a trip in the mountain air, hike along the wildflower trails of the High Atlas in Morocco. The temperature is comfortable for enjoying the scenery and it's an ideal time for camping out in Bedouin-style tents. It's also a good time to visit Europe before the weather gets too hot.
Popular countries to visit in May
Our specialists share their ideas, personal recommendations and inspiration about the best places to visit in May
One of our favorite times to visit Indonesia, you’ll find the beaches of Bali and Lombok in glorious sunshine and the rainforests in their drier season. In China’s cities and towns, dragon boat festivals line the rivers, and the flower fields of Yunnan are a riot of blooms. It’s also a good time to visit France, with Paris looking its finest in the spring sunshine and Hollywood royalty gathering for the Cannes Film Festival.
Tours we recommend in May
Trip suggestions that we know capture a route at its best if you’re planning to travel in May.
See the many treasures of the Hermitage, one of the world's best art galleries.
Visit the Peter and Paul Fortress, the city's first permanent building.
See the Catherine Palace and marvel at the phenomenal wealth of the Tsars.
Explore the beautiful canals and grand buildings of one of the world's prettiest cities.
Relax and enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches on Mauritius.
Explore the island's coastline by kayak or canoe.
Savour the decadent cuisine and attention to detail in one of the hotel's seven restaurants.
Take advantage of the many children's activities at the Belle Mare Plage.
Cycle to Anse Source D'Argent on La Digue - one of the Seychelles' most famous and beautiful beaches.
Take an ox cart ride around La Digue.
Swim and snorkel from the idyllic L'Archipel beach, a crescent of perfect white sand.
Visit the huge Roman site at Jerash.
Travel the King's Highway between Amman and Petra.
Walk down Siq Canyon before emerging into Petra.
Enjoy an extended tour of Wadi Rum.
Relax by the Dead Sea.
The chance to see traditional buffalo racing in west Bali.
Snorkel in the clear warm waters of the north coast.
Relax with a stay at a tented camp on the slopes of Mount Batukaru.
Visit the iconic temple of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan at Lake Bratan.
Explore the markets and galleries around Ubud.
Snorkel the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean and the colourful coral reefs around the Seychelles.
Stroll along the stunning beaches of La Digue.
Explore the fascinating Vallee du Mai.
Hire a bike and visit a secluded beach for a picnic.
Explore Newgrange — an ancient passage tomb that predates the Egyptian pyramids.
Learn the rules of hurling during a hand-on Gaelic games experience.
Visit the iconic Cliffs of Moher.
View the rugged landscape of Connemara National Park.
Experience Dublin’s night life on a musical pub crawl.
Sip Irish whiskey with farmhouse cheese pairings.
Drive the spectacular and iconic Ring of Kerry.
Listen to a storytelling evening in an Irish Pub.
Kayak on one of Killarney’s lakes to Innisfallen Island.
Sample fabulous local wines in the Margaret River wine region.
Hang out with super cute Quokkas on Rottnest Island.
Relax on some of the country's finest pristine white sand beaches.
Wander through ancient Karri forests.
Enjoy dinner overlooking an Indian Ocean sunset.
Explore the historic town of Fremantle, with its convict jails, whaling ships and old taverns.
Experience the vast sandy beaches of Mauritius' east coast.
Explore the northern part of the island, taking picnics to sandy coves, and exploring colourful local towns.
Pass through lush sugar plantations as you explore the island.
Immerse yourself in the souqs of Marrakesh and see craftsmen busy at their trade.
Learn about Marrakesh’s past by visiting its grand palaces, mosques and gardens with a guide.
Stay in a traditional riad, each of which has its own distinctive character.
Soak up the laid-back, bohemian atmosphere of Essaouria’s historic medina and fishing port.
Go hiking in the High Atlas Mountains and visit traditional Berber villages.
Enjoy a shared tour of the magnificent Cape Point and Cape Peninsula.
Take a private tour of Robben Island to learn about South Africa’s apartheid history.
Go wine tasting at the various estates in and around Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Enjoy game drives in a private nature reserve, looking for zebra, wildebeest and antelope.
Relax and stroll on the beach in the laid-back coastal town of Paternoster.
Explore the cosmopolitan city of Naples on a guided walking tour.
Visit Naples Archaeological Museum and see original relics from Pompeii.
Relax at Ischia’s thermal baths and beaches.
Enjoy panoramic views of Ischia on a private hike followed by a tasty lunch.
See colonial architecture in the UNESCO city of Malacca.
Try the monorail in Kuala Lumpur during a guided walking tour of the city.
Visit the vast tea plantations of the Cameron Highlands and try a local brew.
Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling UNESCO city of George Town.
See China’s quintessential sights including the Great Wall, Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors and the Bund.
Travel by high-speed bullet trains and optional ride on Shanghai’s Maglev train.
Enjoy a cycling tour through the Beijing’s Hutongs.
Explore Xian’s lively Muslim Quarter and the Grand Mosque.
Browse the Salamanca Markets in Hobart for local arts and crafts, surrounded by the historical harbour buildings.
Cruise the Gordon River and take in the local flora, fauna and convict history.
Get up close to the elusive Tasmanian Devils at Cradle Mountain National Park.
Walk to the Wineglass Bay lookout in Freycinet National Park and take your own pictures of one of Australia's most photographed beaches.
Soak up the art and culture of Durban and sample local Afro-Indian delicacies.
Relax at a countryside retreat in the Midlands, taking leisurely strolls along the river.
Find out about the history of the Battlefields, touring the sites with a knowledgeable guide.
Go hiking, horse riding or mountain biking in the Drakensberg Mountains.
Relax on a beautiful beach in the south with access to great restaurants and beautiful temples.
Soak up the atmosphere of Ubud; the cultural heart of Bali.
Help out with the daily farming practices.
Snorkel in a peaceful bay on the remote northern coast.
Picture perfect sunsets over the Indian Ocean.
Snorkel over pristine coral reefs.
Try unique Bali dishes such as Sambal Goreng Petai (chili beef in coconut milk).
Enjoy a traditional massage as you gaze out to the blue waters of the Lombok Strait.
Visit one of the oldest villages in Bali and see their famed double ikat cloth.
Explore the shops and galleries in Ubud and try some of Bali's best restaurants.
Explore the largest city in the Azores, Ponta Delgada, on a private walking tour.
Visit the twin lakes of Sete Cidades by bicycle and 4x4.
Embark on a whale- and dolphin-watching tour outside Ponta Delgada.
Hear traditional Portuguese fado music at a special dinner in Lisbon.
Discover the history of Lisbon on a private walking tour.
Tour the vibrant and eclectic palaces of Sintra.
Visit Ubud, Bali's spiritual and artistic hub.
Gain an insight into Balinese life and customs.
Stay in rural Bali away from the crowds.
Eat like a local and learn to make Balinese dishes.
Relax on Bali's eastern coast.
The Punanga Nui Market on a Saturday is a great place to find some local arts and craft.
Snorkeling on the north-western side of Rarotonga, where you can walk out amongst the coral.
The flight between Rarotonga and Aitutaki gives you superb views of the reefs weaving their way through the Pacific Ocean.
Relaxing in Aitutaki - if ever there was a place to find picture perfect desert island scenery, this is it.
Relax on the beautiful sandy beach - book in hand and cold drink on the table beside you.
Pamper yourself with a relaxing spa treatment.
Book a car for the day and set off for a hike in the mountains before descending to a sandy beach for a spot of sunbathing and swimming.