Where To Head In May

Just in time for the whopping three bank holidays in May, spring is in the air this month. And as the weather begins to warm up across Europe and the seasons change elsewhere in the world, there’s a fantastic choice of affordable, sunny places to holiday.

European city breaks can be enjoyed for all their outdoor glory, and further afield, it’s possible to walk the line between low season and high season, and enjoy mild conditions and quiet streets and beaches – unless you wanted to partake in some buzzy festivals and events. Best of all, prices aren’t at the height they reach in summer, so it’s easily possible to find excellent deals.

Need some inspo on which destinations to consider in May? Here are our pick of the bunch.


While May is the start of the summer season in Europe, in Barbados it’s is the end of the shoulder season, as it’s the last dry month before the rains begin. Because of this, you can catch a bargain. There’s still plenty to enjoy: if you like surfing, conditions are great from November onwards, and in May, the waters aren’t packed with surfboards. For families, Holetown is a great choice in Barbados as it has an inviting beach with shopping and restaurants nearby.

For nature-lovers, May is the first month of the year for spotting sea turtles, so you can get a good look at these majestic creatures before the crowds arrive.

Memphis, USA

Visitors flock to Memphis to get a taste of the blues all year round, but the May Festival makes it more special. This is a whole month of celebrations of the blues and barbecuing, so no matter what time of the month you visit, you can soak up the delights of the festival. It’s around 27C in May – so the perfect weather for a barbecue or two. On top of this you can visit the pinnacle of music experiences, Elvis Presley’s Graceland. And fitness fans may want to consider the Great American River Run on the 27 May: an unforgettable 5k, 10km or half-marathon in downtown Memphis and along the banks of the Mississippi River.

Botswana, Africa

May is the sweet spot for visiting Botswana, especially if you want to take in a safari park, which, let’s face it, you do! May is the beginning of the dry season here, and the weather is around 27C, so pleasant and not too hot. It also marks the start of the high season for safari parks. So even though the weather is great, and tourism is starting to pick up after the low season, it’s not at its busiest. Take a boat safari on the Chobe River for a unique way to view the wildlife. The dry spell means wildlife head to the river in large numbers as their usual watering holes dry up, so the Chobe comes alive with a magnificent array of crocodile, hippos, birdlife, giraffes, buffalo and other game. Plus, you’ll find Africa’s largest concentration of elephants here, which you can cruise past slowly without the crowds.

Sicily, Italy

Spring really blooms in Sicily in May. Its brightly coloured flowers begin to open up and the water begins to warm, making it an ideal time to enjoy the peaceful beaches and walk the countryside. It’s around 22C – so warm and pleasant, and the summer tourists haven’t arrived yet. As May brings warmer weather to the south of Italy, outdoor festivals start to pop up. You can enjoy the Avvinando Winefest to discover the best of Sicilian wine, and the Greek Theatre Festival in Syracuse. This festival, which began in 1914, sees visitors come from all of the world to see Greek tragedies and comedies performed within its ancient theatre. A shining example of a Greek outdoor amphitheatre, its 59 rows accommodate up to 15,000 spectators.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona in May is 20C, so the perfect temperature for wandering around the city. At the end of the month the Primavera Sound Festival is held in the city, which this year sees Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalia, Depeche Mode, New Order and Calvin Harris headline. This major music weekender is either a reason to jet over or forgo Barcelona to avoid its extremely pricey accommodation at this time! Instead, you could arrive at the beginning of May and take in the Feria de Abrile Catalunya: a week-long food festival where guests indulge in local bites and street food.


Whatever your travels plans are for this year, make sure to protect them with Switched On Travel Insurance for total peace of mind. Our travel policies are packed with features including a 24/7 medical helpline, we consider all medical conditions, and gadget cover is included automatically in Single Trip and Annual policies. Find out more here.