16 May 2018
May is a fantastic month for a European getaway – temperatures are mild (ideal if you don’t like the high-summer heat and/or are travelling with young kids) and the crowds haven’t yet appeared, meaning you can take advantage of lower seasonal rates.
Alternatively, May is a good time to holiday in some of the most iconic cities in the United States, or to discover the increasingly family-friendly destination of Dubai, which only just tips into the long-haul flight category and where temperatures haven’t hit their sizzling summer heights.
Less developed than the island’s south coast, Paphos combines culture with coast to glorious effect. There’s history in abundance, including medieval Paphos Castle and several sites devoted to Aphrodite (the goddess of love is said to have been born here), some of the latter in Kato Pafos Archaeological Park. But there’s plenty of scope for beach fun too: Coral Bay is the prime spot, with watersports, boat trips and a pretty harbour dotted with fishing boats.
This classic beach destination is ideal for a dose of sun during May half term and May as a whole. But its appeal goes beyond its balmy climate and lovely beaches. Great things to do in Tenerife include taking the cable-car up to Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide, with its moon-like volcanic landscape, views of the other Canary Islands and star-gazing observatory. With kids, a day out at Siam Park – named the world’s best waterpark in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards for the last two years – is a must, as are the whale and dolphin-watching trips.
Not as well known as its sister island Tenerife, this UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is growing in popularity thanks to its compelling mix of white- and black-sand beaches and its volcanic inland terrain. While you’ll want to make a beeline for some of its 90-plus family-friendly beaches, don’t miss a visit to Timanfaya Park with its 100 Montañas del Fuego (‘fire mountain’ craters) and volcano-top restaurant El Diablo, serving dishes cooked over geothermal heat. For the active, meanwhile, Lanzarote is a good destination for surfing, windsurfing and sailing.
With 200km of natural white-sand beaches, many of them Blue Flag approved, the Algarve is a holiday hotspot for good reason. Among the best beaches in this region is Falesia in Albufeira, Oura, Olhos d’Água and Vilamoura. Unsurprisingly, watersports are a big draw here, including canoeing, windsurfing, kite-surfing and jet-skiing on the calm Mediterranean waters and surfing from the Atlantic beaches. But tennis and golf lovers flock here for the excellent facilities too. With kids, hop aboard a RIB boat for dolphin-watching and cave trips, and check out the highly rated Aqualand and Aquashow waterparks.
Dubai has welcomed several new theme parks over the last few years, including IMG Worlds of Adventure (the world’s largest indoor theme park), Legoland and, from 2019, the first Six Flags theme park outside the USA. But this emirate’s setting is even more of a pull, with desert safaris taking you out onto the red sands for the likes of dune-bashing and quad-biking. The food here is fabulous too. May is an ideal month to visit, before the fierce heat of summer.
May is a brilliant time to hit up the theme-park capital of the world, with mild but sunny weather and no issues with long queues for rides and attractions. Families with young children tend to head for Walt Disney World Resort, while Universal Orlando Resort appeals more to older kids with thrill rides such as The Incredible Hulk Coaster. Stay longer than a week and you can explore beyond Orlando – the Kennedy Space Center is within easy reach, as is Blue Springs State Park with its manatees and kayaking.
The Big Apple’s rooftop bars come into their own in May, when daytime temperatures average about 17°C. But this is also a great time of year to explore the city by bike, take a walking tour or hop aboard a tour boat. New York may be famous for its museums and galleries, but outdoors activities abound from May onwards: think canoeing in Central Park or Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, mountain-biking on trails on Staten Island, and rollerblading in Tribeca Skatepark. You can even sneak in some seaside fun with a visit to Coney Island with its sandy beach and amusement parks.
The weather in Las Vegas in May tends to be hot (an average of 22–27°C) but breezy, making this one of the best months to visit the resort city. Pool parties begin to increase in frequency in the build-up to Memorial Day Weekend at the end of the month, marking the start of summer, while the year-round attractions, including casinos and A-list concerts, continue apace. Outdoors things to do in Las Vegas include the SkyJump controlled freefall from the Stratosphere Tower, hiking in the surrounding canyons and taking a day-trip out to the Hoover Dam 40 minutes away.
Inspired? Contact your Travel Counsellor for information about our holidays in one of these wonderful May holiday destinations.