Summer is on the way, we can just feel it! Make sure to see out the Spring in style in some gorgeous destinations around the world.
From whale-watching to spit-roasted cake, and fantasy sets to midnight sun, here’s where you should be spending this May.
May is the best time to visit Norway’s incredible fjords. Its 1500 mile long western coast that stretches from the North Sea all the way up to the arctic is stunningly serrated from millennia of glacial movement and geological activity.
Why not set sail northwards from the pretty town of Bergen, stopping off at the ports and villages that dot the rugged coastline, and take in the wild scenery you’ve only ever imagine in fantasy novels. The sight of dark cliffs arising from the mist is so deeply evocative of viking tales and weird and wonderful folklore.
You could even take the ferries as far north as Trømso, the town famous for viewing the northern lights during the winter and known as the land of the midnight sun at this time of year. With seemingly unending days (you might catch 40 winks of darkness around 2-3am) a jaunt around the fjords is an unmissable experience this summer.
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The best time to see Catalonia is when the wildflowers bloom and fragrant herbs create a carpet of colour around the scenery. Catalonia truly has it all, from the beaches of the Costa Brava and the stunning peaks of the pyrenees, to beautiful farmland, lakes and ancient cities.
Make sure to see Girona, a beautiful medieval walled city has a rich cultural heritage with diverse influences from the ancient Romans, Moorish-era Arabs, and Jews. The Old Town was built on the right bank of the Onyar River with richly colourful houses flanking the waterside. Only half an hour’s drive away is the glittering lake of Banyoles, where a dip in the sunshine is an irresistible urge.
And it goes without saying not to miss the effervescent city of Barcelona, an unparalleled capital of culture dominated by Gaudi’s ravishingly unique architecture.
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
The proximity of Vancouver Island to the city of Vancouver makes it one of Canada’s premier tourist destinations and its easy to see why. With vast, pine-fringed mountains, steely mirror lakes and rugged beaches, as well as quaint little towns and villages, this tiny corner of such a huge country really has it all.
The provincial capital of Victoria is a laid-back place of small-town values, which has a pretty waterfront, superb places to eat, museum and, despite being home to BC’s oldest Chinatown, a decidedly English ambience.
Make sure to stop off in the pretty fishing towns of Tofino and Nanaimo, and take a drive, hike or cycle (or all three) through the magnificent Pacific Rim National Park.
Vancouver Island’s main attraction is the outdoors and whale-watching, an activity which can be pursued from Victoria or Tofino, or make the trek to the remote Telegraph Cove where playful whales suddenly break the surface of the icily still waters.
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Spearing up out from the middle of the Atlantic to the west of Senegal, this stunning chain of rugged islands comprises imposing mountains, white sand beaches and peaceful seaside villages. The arc of islands change dramatically one from the next – the northern five are windswept and orange with clayey topsoil, the southern 4 are lush and green.
From north to south, Santo Antão has craggy peaks that shelter sugar cane plantations, and offer breathtaking hikes. São Vicente is home to the cultural capital of the islands, Mindelo, which is alive with bars and music clubs. On the smaller Sal and Maio, undulating dunes merge into the deep sapphire of the sea on unspoilt beaches of powdery white sand. The capital, Praia sits on the southern tip of Picos, the largest island. The little city is a hub for shopping and restaurants and has beautiful colonial architecture centred around the ‘plateau’.
Meanwhile, far-flung Fogo and Brava in the southwest offer surreal volcanic landscapes, sparkling, untouched bays and towering, forested peaks. A jaunt around this striking string of island is one you will never forget.
Dalmation Coast, Croatia
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With a mish-mash of terracotta roofs, narrow, white-washed streets, ancient palace complexes, scarred city walls and a striking mountain backdrop, framed by the azure Mediterranean, its easy to see why the achingly beautiful town of Dubrovnik was chosen as a Game of Thrones set.
May is ideal for seeing this little city, in the warmth of springtime and before the overbearing heat of summer (and the throngs of tourists that come with it). Don’t miss the cable car up to Mount Srd where you will be met with awe-inspiring vistas over the town and glittering ocean.
Escape the busy town and head to a a nearby island – Šipan, Lokrum or Mljet to name a few – where you can sunbathe, swim and snorkel and while away a warm evening with unparalleled seafood and wine at a local taverna.
‘Vilnius, the G-spot of Europe: Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it, it’s amazing’ the hilarious tagline from the tourist board’s 2018 advert really hits the nail on the head. Most people won’t have even heard of Lithuania’s principal city, let alone have been… but more fool them.
This quaint capital has been quietly charming tourists for years, and has recently become known as a little hub for art. With exceptional galleries and museums, there’s still plenty to do even when the mildness of May turns soggy.
Noted for the red roofs of the city’s gorgeous old town, the skyline is punctuated by a multitude of spires from churches and synagogues, and its culture has been defined by its Jewish, Catholic and Orthodox communities among others who moved here for refuge over the years.
The old town’s pebbly streets are lined with weather-worn period buildings that hide cafes, boutiques and dainty guesthouses. A day spent getting lost in the warren of narrows streets and alleys, sprayed with works of art and peculiar sculpture, whilst munching on Šakotis cake with strong coffee is a day well spent. Šakotis is is created by dripping cake batter on a roasting spit over open flames to create a large, spiked cakey sculpture, often decorated with chocolate or edible flowers – delicious!