World’s Top 10 Places to Travel in May

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May is the unofficial start to the travel season, with the weather starting to warm again, though it’s also a great time to hit the road before the peak crowds of summer arrive. This month is arguably one of the best of the year for traveling, depending on where you go, of course. So, where should you head if you’ve got the travel itch? Here are some of the top picks.

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The Azores
Flores Island, Azores

The Azores

The breathtakingly beautiful nine volcanic islands that are dotted across the mid-Atlantic known as The Azores may be remote, but they’re now easily accessible, thanks to Delta Airline’s direct service from JFK. May is one of the best times to visit, with spring bringing especially pleasant weather, with lots of opportunities for enjoying the myriad of outdoor adventures. A hiker’s paradise in particular, the islands are home to a wide range of trails from gentle strolls along coastal paths and crater lakes to more challenging treks like the hike to the peak of volcanic Mount Pico. You’ll also find underground caves, some of which house tranquil pools and waterfalls. While Sao Miguel is the most developed, there is still lots of unspoiled landscape with waterfalls, black sand beaches and hot springs fed by the volcanoes that formed the archipelago.

Cannes, France
Cannes, France

Cannes, France

If you’re looking for an escape that’s filled with glitz and glamour, look no further than Cannes. May is the month when the world-famous Cannes Film Festival comes to town, bringing countless Hollywood stars to the sun-drenched coast for plenty of celebrity spotting opportunities. While there is limited public access, several festivities are open to the public, like the nightly screenings on the beach, though you’ll need to line up early. Tickets are available to the Critics’ Week and Directors’ Fortnight sections as well, showcasing new features and shorts. While you’re here, you can also enjoy those picture-perfect beaches Southern France is so well known for.

Ireland
Slea Head, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland

Ireland

May is one of the best times of the year to visit Ireland. The unofficial start of summer, oftentimes the weather is even warmer and drier than it will be in June, July or August, and, you’ll miss the biggest tourist crowds too. It’s truly the best of both worlds as the attractions and activities are now in full swing, but you can often enjoy them without bumping elbows with countless others. If you’re into festivals, you’ll find lots to attend as well, from the set dance weekend and the “May the Fourth” Star Wars festival in Portmagee to Riverfest in Limerick.

The Greek Islands
Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

The Greek Islands

May is also one of the best times to visit the Greek Islands, when the beaches are less crowded and you can view ancient ruins uninterrupted, prices are lower and the weather is pretty much perfect. After you’ve checked out the Acropolis in Athens, head to the islands, like Zakynthos, AKA the “Green Island. Here you can embark on a boat excursion to Smugglers’ Cove, which sits in Shipwreck Bay near the picturesque mountain village of Volimes, home to one of the country’s, and the world’s, most beautiful beaches. A ship lays abandoned here, the remnants of a wreck that was the result of illegal smuggling and stormy weather. Stunning Santorini is a must for romance seekers, while Crete and Naxos offer a little bit of everything.

Shanghai

Shanghai

Shanghai is a rapidly growing city that’s become an increasingly popular tourist destination, and May is an ideal time to visit with the springtime rains having passed, yet the humidity of summer has yet to set in. Enjoy the wealth of world-class shopping, luxury hotels and highly-acclaimed restaurants, and be sure to sample at least one of the new speakeasy-styled bars. You may want to consider a visit to Shanghai Disney Resort before it gets too crowded with summer vacationers too.

Paris
Eiffel Tower at Sunset, Paris

Paris

You know what they say, there’s nothing like Paris in April, but we think this city is even better in May. After all, those April showers have all but disappeared. If you’re here on May 19th in 2018, you can also catch the annual Nuit des Musées, or Long Night of Museums, when more than 1,000 institutions stay open until after midnight, and admission is free. Plus you can enjoy the obvious before the peak summer crowds arrive, like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the underground catacombs or simply wander the cobblestone streets of Montmartre with its fabulous ‘Old Paris’ vibe.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

The peak season for Cape Cod typically kicks off on Memorial Day weekend, so if you can visit earlier in the month, you can take advantage of the relatively uncrowded beaches, and lower accommodation rates. Stroll through the dunes, which extend for miles at the north end of the Cape, enjoy whale watching (and some great people watching too) in Provincetown, visit a dozen or so lighthouses, wander through colorful heritage gardens, and sample delicious fresh seafood, including everything from lobster to oysters and clams.

Monaco
View of Monaco Harbor, prepared for Grand Prix

Monaco

May brings all the action to Monaco, with the world’s most famous car race, the Grand Prix, held this month. This is when things are the craziest here, so if you’d rather miss the excitement, plan to come in early to mid-May. You’ll find a lot more to do than watching cars whiz around, including trying your luck at the famous casinos, indulging in high-end shopping, dining on an endless array of gourmet fare and staying in luxury accommodation.

Bahamas
Swimming pig in Exuma, Bahamas

Bahamas

May is a fantastic time to visit the Bahamas, as the winter crowds are gone and the room rates have begun to drop. It’s not too hot, with the sizzling heat of summer still another month or so away, and humidity tends to be low, which means hardly any bugs, including those pesky mosquitoes. It’s the perfect time for a day, or a week at the beach, and while just about every island has something to offer, with especially like the remote Exumas with their crystal clear warm waters home to the famous “swimming pigs.”

The Himalayas
The-Himalayas,-Nepal

The Himalayas

If you’re big on adventure and have always wanted to hike the Himalayas, May is one of the best months to do just that as the rains of June haven’t arrived just yet, and you’ll experience incredible visibility from the high altitude. Plus, as Buddha’s birthday falls around mid-May, you can join in the many celebrations for an especially unique cultural experience.