Top May Destinations
The world is a huge place and with so many destination possibilities it isn’t easy trying to narrow them down without closing your eyes and randomly jabbing your finger at a map to choose. However, it is always good to know what city is best to visit in a specific month as there would be nothing worse than heading somewhere for a beach holiday only to find its winter there.
So, that is why I have narrowed down these Eight ultimate cities to visit during May, whether you are after bright, vibrant and sunny, or quaint, traditional and cultured, there is a bit of something for everyone here. Be prepared to pack your favourite Harry Potter book, your best outfits and head out into the world for a whirlwind adventure.
1. Lofoten Islands, Norway
One of the most sought after destinations last year was the famous Iceland with its rugged landscapes, plane ruins and incredible waterfalls, however, this year and especially in May, Norway is the place to be. The Lofoten Islands are part of the picturesque archipelago which happens to fall just before the peak season, giving visitors a preview to the regions Midnight Sun. This is a two-month-long period where the sun stays above the horizon 24 hours a day creating some of the most eerily beautiful atmospheres you will ever experience in your lifetime.
The islands have plenty of hiking opportunities for those nature lovers, where they can become part of the beautiful surrounding landscapes and escape from the hustle and bustle of the main cities and towns. For even more remarkable views, rent a car and take a drive down its stunning winding roads which reach viewpoints to witness its gorgeous panoramic horizons.
2. San Francisco, USA
One of the most fantastic cities in America has to be San Francisco with its ever-charming Golden Gate Bridge, charming colourful houses and of course the famous island of Alcatraz. What makes it so special during May? Well, that would have to be the weather. Most notably known to be a little bipolar when it comes to forecasts – think four seasons in one day – in May it seems to calm down a little.
The city of the Bay has plenty to offer everyone as well. With plenty of huge shopping areas to quench your spending needs, the Mission district for authentic Mexican food and Muir Woods National Monument for a bit of nature you will certainly be very occupied here. I would highly recommend to try and grab a hot dog and take in a baseball game if you are into your sports or if it is a particularly hot day head down to Ocean Beach for a spot of sunbathing.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
This was, many years back, one of Europe’s hidden gems which not many people had heard of let alone wanted to visit. However, now it attracts millions of travellers annually and to be honest, for a very good reason. This incredible city has some of the most awe-inspiring architecture, culture, landmarks, castles and delicious food and drink. In May, Prague is still in its spring season but is a lot warmer than April and still just outside of the peak season of the summer months making it the best time to visit.
Whether you are after a quick weekend getaway or something a bit more long term, there is something for everyone here. Spend some time admiring the quirky Astronomical clock tower, chat to some friendly locals, walk down the many alleyways of its charming neighbourhoods, explore the Prague Castle and check out the bizarrely designed Dancing House. Even better, Prague is super affordable so after a long day of walking around the city, you can sit down and have a few drinks to wash down the delicious local food.
4. Banff, Alberta
If this destination isn’t on your bucket list yet, then I highly suggest you add it because you would not want to miss this city in your lifetime. Banff is an incredibly beautiful location nestled in amongst the magnificent Rocky Mountains and Banff National Park which provide some surreal backdrops. This Canadian vacation spot is most notably known for its outdoor activities, primarily hiking and trekking the wilderness which you could spend months exploring.
Or for those more adrenalin enthusiasts, you can try your hand at white-water rafting, caving, rock climbing, spelunking, mountain biking, dog sledging, skiing and snowboarding. One of the most famous spots is the Moraine Lake (pictured above) which has the bluest water you will ever see, mirroring the towering rugged mountains on its clear surface for some unbelievable photo opportunities.
5. St. Lucia, Caribbean
Who doesn’t love pristine white beaches, clear blue warm sea and plenty of sunshine? St Lucia is one of the Caribbean’s many ultimate exotic islands which is ideal for those sun worshippers out there. It has been a long-time favourite for honeymooners and couples, but it is now also more accessible for those solo travellers and families too.
The island has so much to offer such as hiking Pigeon Island where you can encounter outlandish tropical foliage and plenty of palm trees surrounded by coconuts at their bases. Not to mention the dramatic waterfalls, and of course the main attraction – the beach. This is the perfect place to lay down with a good book, catch some sun, top up the tan, splash around in the ocean and watch the world go by.
6. Florence, Italy
Italy is one of those must-visit European destinations that every has on their ‘to visit’ lists and rightly so. With so many incredible cities to choose from its super hard to pick where to go when you do want to visit. That is why I am here to tell you that Florence should be top of your list and the first Italian city you should visit. With its numerous alluring museums’ full of history, spectacular churches with their tremendous architecture and the plentiful number of cobbled streets with charming locals it will keep you entertained the whole time you are there.
The atmosphere there will completely envelop you, taking you back in time to when the ostentatious Duomo was first built and will end up leaving you breathless from its grandeur. It is an inspiring city where you can take a walk over the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge while eating delicious ice cream from one of the many gelato shops along the way. For some of the best views of the city head to the top of Piazzale Michelangelo where you can take in the fantastic panoramic landscapes.
7. Hong Kong, China
For May, Hong Kong is certainly up there as a destination which puts many traveller’s senses into overdrive and leaves them wanting more. The weather at this time of year is perfect to explore the towering high rises, varied food scene, historical and cultural sites and of course Disney Land. During the day, it is a concrete jungle with access to some beautiful forests and waterfronts while at night it turns into a neon dreamland brilliantly overloading your senses.
Start your time here with a trip down to the waterfront for a tour by the Star Ferry where you get to envelope yourself from a different perspective and away from the bustling metropolis. More into your nature? Then head to Victoria Peak for some insane views of the glittering skyline and some stunning 360-degree views, especially at sunset when it explodes with colour. Fancy yourself a bit more of a foodie? Then have no fear, there are plenty of options for you to check out including dim sum, pineapple buns and stir-fries for you to sample.
8. Ubud, Indonesia
Who doesn’t love a bit of Bali? This is pretty much the newest version of Thailand where most travellers and holidaymakers now head for some exotic paradise while still being a bit more touristy than remoter places like the Philippines. This Indonesian city provides the perfect mix of cultural exploration with its rice paddies, water temples, monkeys and bustling market places. With many luxurious resorts, boutique hotels and unique homestays you can truly experience the local’s way of life.
With many spa opportunities, available why not have an ultimate pamper day and feel super relaxed when you head out in the evening to experience some delicious local cuisines and drinks. The Monkey Forest is a hilarious visit, with these cheeky creatures running around the trees and swooping down to collect bananas or lazing in the mid-day sun with their little bellies hanging out. The rice paddies are also one of the main attractions where if you head there for sunset you can capture its magnificent light and some ultimate photo opportunities.
Be sure to check out my website for more information and travel advice as well as my Twitter @TakeLeapTravel and Instagram @taketheleaptravel.
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