Where to Travel in May

Where to Travel in May

Craving a dose of vitamin D? Plotting a last-minute city break? We’ve got you covered. These are the best destinations to visit in May, from a sexy Brazilian beach town to an off-grid Scottish isle.

weekends left, right and centre, baby-blue
skies, light-drenched evenings… It must be May. As the British
summer gets well and truly underway, we’re looking forward to
chilled-out barbecues, weekend beach trips and picnic lunch breaks aplenty. While
we’d argue there’s no place that does it like London (when the sun
decides to make an appearance, that is), we also wouldn’t say no to
an entire week of good grub, sun-sure lounging and an empty
calendar. So, we’ve done some digging and drawn up a shortlist of
our favourite destinations for getaways long and short to take this

Magnificent May: the best destinations to visit this month




The South of France is loved for many reasons, its
glittering coastline, rolling lavender fields and world-class wine
being just a few of them. But, having been made popular by writers,
artists and celebrities, many of its stretches of golden sand have
become something of a haven for sunburnt holidaymakers. We suggest
skipping the tourist-swamped Nice and St Tropez and, instead, savouring a slice of
traditional French culture in the delightful harbour town of
Menton. Stroll palm-fringed avenues, hop between serene beaches –
Plage Rondelli is our favourite – and taste your way through the
area’s delicious culinary specialities, which include hearty
bouillabaisse and fluffy lemon desserts (this being the centre of
France’s lemon industry).



Positioned at the crossroads between Morocco’s major cities, the
“Athens of Africa” has a vibrant charm all of its own. It’s the
oldest of Morocco’s imperial cities, making the ancient medina here
prime territory for exploring. This Unesco World Heritage site is
one of the world’s largest car-free urban zones. Wander through
twisting lanes and dodge donkey-drawn carts to find colourful spice
markets, sizzling food stalls and hidden doorways leading to
rooftops overlooking the city’s colourful minarets. Visit in May,
before temperatures peak, but when the weather is warm enough to
spend days wandering around souks and gardens.


Kent, UK

One of the grittier members of Kent’s family of seaside towns, Folkestone is a place
that prides itself on creativity and a resilient, two-fingers-up
brio – it was here, remember, that someone spray painted a penis
over a Banksy mural. You’ll find a fierce artistic energy running
through its independent galleries, stores and workshops. Make a
beeline for the Creative Quarter, where you’ll find rainbow-hued
galleries and artists’ showrooms huddled together on steep lanes,
stroll down to The Leas, a cliffside promenade designed by the same
architect behind Kew Gardens’ Palm House, or slip away to Sunny
Sands, a rugged beach backed by fields of wildflowers and thyme. As
far as UK seaside getaways go, Folkestone’s got buckets and
spadefuls to offer.

Merimbula Australia



Bordered by Queensland and Victoria, New South Wales is situated on Australia’s
glorious east coast. Originally home to Aborginal tribes, its
population today stands at around eight million, making it the
country’s most populous state. Head for one of its most magical
towns, Merimbula. Water babies will love this southern end of the
Sapphire Coast, and the pristine Merimbula Lake. While tiny, it’s
the town’s sense of community and busy calendar of local events
that have allowed it to flourish, its windsurfing and kiteboarding
festival and the Pambula Merimbula Golf Club’s legendary annual
competition having caught the attention of cool creatives.



Bursting with evidence of the city’s rich history, Cagliari’s
cobbled alleys are replete with Roman ruins, ancient churches and
towering palazzi. Rent a Vespa and zip through the city streets in
true Italian style, stopping only for a quick espresso at any of
the charismatic cafés that line the narrow roads. Beautiful beaches
fringe the city’s bay: while Spiaggia del Poetto is the most
popular, its white sands stretching over 8km, we suggest heading to
Mari Pintau, a secluded bay just a short drive from the city. In
the evening, head to Castello, the walled citadel perched on a
hilltop overlooking the city. What appears to be a sleepy
neighbourhood comes alive when the sun goes down. Locals at bars,
cafés and restaurants spill out onto the street, enthusiastically
directing tourists towards their favourite boltholes.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka spells lush landscapes, misty forests, tea
plantations, waves gently lapping the shore and a diverse local
culture. Don’t miss out on some of the most scenic rail travel out
there, with one of the best routes involving heading east from the
capital of Colombo to the Badulla district, in hill country. If
you’re after a sea breeze, board the coastal train to Matara (on
the southern tip of the tropical island) and soak up the views from
your simple cabin.


Bosnia Herzegovina

Over a decade after the destruction of Mostar’s most famous
landmark, the so-called Sloping Bridge, the city is rebuilding
itself. An attraction for travellers looking for destinations off
the regular tourist trail, Mostar’s old town is all cobbled streets
and laid-back cafés set against a backdrop of rolling hills and
rustic villas. Come here to fill your socials with images of
Ottoman-inspired architecture and bursting-with-flavour traditional
Balkan cuisine.

Bergen Norway



Nestled amid the city’s seven mountains, Bergen’s web of timber
houses, cobbled roads and green spaces make strolling through its
streets feel like an adventure in itself, and a step back in time.
But don’t be fooled: dig a little deeper and you’ll find a youthful
mentality driving the city. Book onto a street art tour and you’ll
see what we mean.

Saint Malo Brittany France



Famed for its dazzling coastline, this small French town clings to the western edge of
Brittany. Originally built as a defence against pirates and other
seafaring enemies, Saint-Malo is characterised by history-drenched
medieval ramparts, caressed by sapphire waves, though you’ll find
some great boutiques tucked along its cobbled streets, too. To
appreciate it in all its glory, take the 2km walk around the
ramparts. As you lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow streets,
stop by Maison du Québec, where you’ll learn about
Saint-Malo’s role in the founding of Canada. Hankering for a hike?
Climb to the top of the great keep of the 13th-century Château de
Saint-Malo and you’ll be rewarded with some spectacular views.

Viseu Portugal



Set on a steep hill, this provincial city offers postcard-worthy
vistas across terracotta-tiled roofs to the surrounding Centro
region, where vineyards, pine forests and mountains form a pastoral
patchwork. It’s small wonder Viseu is ranked among Portugal’s best cities in which to live. Encircled by
15th-century ramparts, the hilltop historic quarter is best
explored on foot. Roam between plazas and alleyways, stopping at
Rua Escura, Rua Direita and Rua Augusto Hilário for photo ops,
before dipping into gourmet shops and tavernas whose menus are
packed with local produce. Earthy red plonk from Dão (one of
Portugal’s oldest wine regions) is popular here, alongside quality
cheese and sausages.

Rathlin Island Northern Ireland

Rathlin Island

Northern Ireland

This is the ideal destination for splendid isolation. With more
seabirds than souls (the population of the island stands at around
150), this is where we’re heading for a digital detox and complete
reboot. Shrouded in medieval myths and Gaelic folklore, this tiny
isle hovers 6km off of the coast of Ballycastle and 17km from
Scotland – a stepping stone for the giants who
once frolicked on the causeway further west. As expected, an island
this size has little in the way of extracurricular activities, so
if you’re not a fan of long, blustery walks and birdwatching, we’d
suggest planning a weekend break in Belfast, instead.

Martha’s Vineyard


With Memorial Day Weekend marking the official beginning of
summer weekends away in the U.S. at the end of May, scheduling a
trip to Martha’s Vineyard is a fantastic way to start off a series
of beachside getaways. A less crowded alternative to the Hamptons, the island is
brimming with authentic New England charm, winding biking trails
and incredible waterfront cafés.



With temperatures climbing, sun, sand and icy rosé are the only
things on our minds. The small Montenegrin town of Ulcinj is the
ultimate getaway location for kitesurfing lessons by day and
dancing the night away at beach bars after dark. Pack your bikini
and head to the glimmering Adriatic coast – at a price that would
be impossible to find seaside in Spain or Italy.

Asheville North Carolina


North Carolina, US

A concrete jungle this is not. Encircled by the Blue Ridge
Mountains, Asheville is quickly becoming a hot-ticket destination
for millennials lured in by boutique boltholes and farm-to-table
restaurants. Expect bougie back-to-nature vibes and a city centre
that’s robust with live music, outdoor beer gardens and a unique
arts scene. Despite its southern location, Asheville is known for
its progressive ideals, and strives to promote inclusivity.

Dugi Otok Croatia

Dugi Otok


Sharing the Adriatic coast with the likes of Slovenia, Hungary and Montenegro, Croatia marks Europe’s
centre point. Head to the pocket-sized Dugi Otok – meaning “long
island”. Blessed with craggy cliffs, low-slung villas and
rust-coloured roofs, this place is home to some of Europe’s best
beaches, promising gin-clear waters and baby-blue skies. While it’s
almost impossible to peel yourself away from the seafront, trust
us, it’s well worth doing so to discover the isle’s many handsome
old towns, of which Sali, Luka and Savar are our favourites. The
perfect day? A morning hike along one of its many trails, a
lunchtime spent bobbing in the waves and an evening that entails
feasting like a true Croat.



Famed for its food, art deco architecture and bohemian vibe,
Brazil has a sexy and invigorating charm like no other. We’re
bookmarking the beach town of Paraty as the ultimate destination.
Slotted between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the place has long
served as a road-trip pit stop. But, having undergone something of
a renaissance, its palm-fringed streets now offer a bevy of glitzy
hotels and glamorous restaurants. After unpacking and refuelling,
we recommend filling your days with strolls around the colourful
town, snacking on local truffles, and dipping in and out of sunny,
rock-hewn coves.

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