Where to travel in May
In Europe, Italy and Spain are ideal May destinations. Tuscany enjoys highs of 21ºC making for pleasant road trips and walks through Florence. In Spain, Andalucia basks in sunshine, while the north's slightly cooler mid-20s makes for the perfect time to walk the Camino de Santiago trail.
Just over the border, Portugal is an equally attractive proposition. Porto, Lisbon and the Algarve all benefit from the same Iberian sunshine, and pousada-based self-drives are a little quieter thanks to skirting the peak tourist season.
In North America, travel to New York for almost-guaranteed sunshine and fewer city crowds. It's hot but not humid, making May perhaps the best month for gentle activities, such as cycling through Central Park, walking the Highline and visiting Ellis Island. The wider state is similarly excellent – head to Niagara Falls (and continue into Canada) for the same lower-level of crowds. It's also a great time to spot whales off Canada's Vancouver Island, while national parks in the USA enjoy a favourable climate, with the canyonlands not too hot and hotel availability generally far better.
South America's Peru and Bolivia are also starting to come into their own but haven't yet hit high season. Southern Africa is also hotting up, but the humidity in destinations such as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe remains low, making it an excellent time to go on safari.
Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia are also blessed with enormous amounts of sunshine at this time, with Bali particularly pleasant. China enjoys warmth without the intense summer heat, making a Yangtze river cruise a good choice.
Lastly, May is also a great time to head to the Caribbean. Prior to the rainy season, it's often quieter and resorts entice with good special offers after Easter. Barbados, Tobago, Grenada and St. Lucia are all good options – the latter even features a superb jazz festival.
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Combine the white sands of the Tuscan coast with the Renaissance excess of Florence, enjoying stays in two of the country’s finest hotels; contrast private-beach access with Michelin-starred dining. In between, the use of a hire car will afford you the flexibility to explore the Tuscan countryside.
Offering superb value, this weeklong road trip will see you uncovering the Moorish wonders of southern Spain, brought to life with guided tours and stays in superb hotels. Highlights include visits to the palace-fortresses of Seville and Granada along with the Córdoba's cathedral-mosque.
Led by an expert guide, this small group tour will see you stay in charming villages as you hike ‘The Way of St. James’. Passing through delightfully rural scenery, you’ll uncover the region’s fascinating past and unique cuisine.
From castles, palaces, fortresses and monasteries, Portugal's Pousadas are spread throughout the country. The Explorer Passport provides five nights accommodation and breakfast using 17 of the most famous Pousadas throughout the country.
Free car hire
On this two-week road trip uncover some of the state’s hidden, and not so hidden, gems from the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls and Adirondack Mountains to the serene Finger Lakes and the balms of Saratoga Springs. Of course, you’ll also have three nights to explore the delights of New York City.