By Jessica Russo
Congrats! You've made it through the winter. Just for that, you deserve a vacation.
In May, it's as if the world agrees to be mild, temperate, and dry just about everywhere. From South America to Europe, you'll find warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and - you guessed it - less tourists than the summer. Whether you're looking to relax at an outdoor cafe or hit the ground running on a hike, May is the time to do it all. Here are our top picks for May travel.
In May, Norway comes to life with blossoming flowers, rushing waterfalls, trickling streams, and bright green scenery. Feast your eyes on sparkling fjords, stroll through adorable towns, and take colorful photos of vibrant landscapes. Norway's May temperatures are still a bit chilly, but comfortable. With averages ranging from 45 - 65°F, a light jacket will do the trick! A cool thing about May in Norway is that the land is generally green, while some of the mountain peaks remain snow-capped. An added perk: visiting Norway in May also means you're beating the summer crowds.
If your sole purpose for visiting Norway is to see the Northern Lights, do not go during May. In order to see the Northern Lights, you'll need to visit Norway between September and March, when the country experiences long, dark nights.
May is a beautiful time in Croatia. With temperatures dancing around the low 70s, it's the perfect time to explore the Old Town of Dubrovnik and the crystal coasts of Split or Hvar. The glorious month of May is when restaurant owners begin to put tables outside and budding trees start to bloom into bright green leaves. Nice weather with less crowds than summer? Yes, please.
Bike along Amsterdam's glistening canals and catch the end of the seasonal tulip blooms! May in the Netherlands means spending time in lush parks, strolling through vibrant city streets, and attending tons of outdoor festivals. With an average high temperature of about 60°F in May, you'll still want to bring some layers of warm clothing.
Italy is always a dream, but there's something about Italy in May that's extra special. Teetering on beach weather, Italy's high temperatures sit right around a comfy 75°F. Visiting Italy during the month of May promises weather that's cool enough to explore cities on foot all day, but warm enough to enjoy some refreshing gelato. Feel the warm Mediterranean sun, take beautiful photos of flower-lined coasts, and dine al fresco! Incredible weather without crazy summer crowds? Win!
While Bali's high season falls during the months of July and August, we vote May to be the best time to go. In May, Bali is still in its dry season and, in fact, it's slightly less humid than it is during peak months. With less tourists and beautiful weather, Bali in May is a laid-back tropical oasis. An additional perk: many shops and restaurants drop their prices and offer sales in "off-months." While the exchange rate is already incredible, it never hurts to save more when traveling!
Okay, everybody talks about going to Germany in the fall for Oktoberfest. But, did you know that there's also a "springfest?" Fruhlingfest in Munich is known as Oktoberfest's "little sister," as it offers the same incredible food, beer, and parties as Oktoberfest, but with fewer tourists and lower prices. Sign us up!
Even if beer festivals aren't your thing, Germany, like most of Europe, is nothing short of delightful in May. The spring's mild climate offers the perfect weather to roam around any of Germany's charming towns and historical cities.
In the summer, Spain can get hot. In May, however, you'll experience perfect temperatures that are warm enough to hit the beach but cool enough to walk around all day without getting too sweaty. Treat yourself to some sizzling paella at an outdoor restaurant and enjoy the not-too-crowded streets of Spain's spectacular cities.
You've probably heard this before: Santorini and Mykonos are beautiful, but they're so crowded. While that's not wrong, there is a way to avoid herds of tourists: go in May. With temps in the low 70s, you may not be able to sunbathe in a bikini all day, but you will be able to explore the islands, dine on the coast, take a donkey ride, cruise around on boats, and watch magical sunsets. May is a perfect month to travel since it borders on peak season with wonderful weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices.
Who wants to hike up Machu Picchu in the rain? That's right, nodbody. Let's be real - we all want that bright, shiny photo of ourselves in front of the site on a clear, colorful day. There is a way to ensure good weather for your hike, and that is this: don't go during rainy season. November through April is known as Peru's wettest time of year. So, do yourself a favor and wait until May, when the air warms up and the rain goes away! Once again, May is favorable as opposed to June - September because temperatures climb and tourists flood.
The UK & Ireland
From the Cotswolds to London, England thrives in the month of May. With similar climates, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales are equally as beautiful during this month! Mild and dry, these counties bloom from the countryside to the cities. Visit tiny villages surrounded by Kerry green hills and vivid flowers, then stroll around the culture-hubs of Dublin, London, Edinburgh, or Cardiff. If you're a literary buff, be sure to check out Dublin's annual Literary Festival, which occurs every May! In Scotland, May is when the snowy mountainscapes come alive with bright greenery. Put on a light jacket, hear street musicians playing folk music as you walk, and enjoy some fish n' chips at an outdoor restaurant!