Get the weather-to-crowds ratio just right in these sun-soaked destinations that really start to shine in May.
Tenerife, Canary Islands
Tenerife’s climate serves great weather all year round, but in May it starts to get into its summertime stride – and before the summertime crowds descend. Temperatures creep into the high twenties, daily sunshine averages 9 hours, and the recently departed winter rains have left the island in full bloom. Base yourself among the south coast resorts to make the most of the hot, dry weather systems travelling over from Western Sahara. May sees the start of summer opening hours for the awesome aquatic playground Siam Park, and because temperatures haven’t yet hit their peak, this is a great time of year to climb (or take the cable car) up Mount Teide, the third largest volcano in the world.
Mauritius, Indian Ocean
Did you know that Mauritius has at least 27 microclimates? So you can pretty much pick your weather once you’re there anyway! May is the tail end of Mauritius’ sweltering wet summer season. Head to the west and north of the island where average maximum temperatures are a smidge over 28C, with almost 8 hours of sunshine. Even better, the sea is calm and a balmy 26C, meaning visibility is excellent so hop on board a yacht and sail across crystal clear lagoons teeming with colourful fish and dolphins. Tear yourself away from the soft sandy beaches and check out the markets and delicious Mauritian food available in the capital Port Louis.
Tropical Miami starts to crank up the heat in May, but the sky-high humidity (and crowds) of summer are yet to arrive. Average maximum temperatures nudge the mercury up towards the thirties (although this heat brings a little more rain), and there are 10 hours of sunshine a day in which to enjoy everything this energetic city has to offer. This is the time of year that Miamians start to top up their tans, so join them on one of the city’s three main beaches and take a dip in the warm waters. As night falls, the temperatures rise in the glitzy bars of Miami Beach at the heart of the city’s throbbing nightlife.
Crete, Greek Islands
With one of the longest beach seasons in Greece, it’s fair to say that things really kick-start in Crete in May. The room rates and taverna service are markedly better than the crowded, stifling summer months of July and August, and although the sea hasn’t quite warmed up fully yet, the countryside looks pretty and fresh. Hike the Samarian Gorge- 500-metre vertical walls, which at some points are just three metres apart, are bedecked with wildflowers at this time of year. If the weather doesn’t always play ball, head to Heraklion Archaeological Museum and explore over 5,500 years’ worth of history.
May in Barbados means plenty of sunshine and average maximum temps of 27C. The month also marks the start of the wet season so the odd heavy downpour is to be expected; and dare we say enjoyed? Spend your days wandering the colonial buildings, shops and street markets of the capital Bridgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site. And of course, hit those legendary beaches! If the skies do open, soak up some history in Arlington House, Speightstown, which covers local history; right from pirates to the slave trade. Alternatively head underground to Harrison’s Cave, a beautiful crystallised limestone cavern filled with deep pools of water.