Must-see destinations in May

Malta - Popeye Village

Popeye Village, Malta (From the movie set!)

May is a great month to vacation, although it does start to get busier again towards the end of the month. Prices will still be lower and fewer tourists than June to September in most places. I wrote posts about the best places to visit in March and April. These are still good in May too.

I’m only going to focus on three that I thought stood out during the month. If you’ve read my other posts, I usually include two cost saving tip reminders.

Two weeks is the sweet spot: When not fully booked, airlines, hotels, and cruise ships often offer huge discounts two weeks before the travel date.

Be flexible: The time of day and the day of the week you travel can have a huge impact on costs either higher or lower.

Some places to visit in May

I tried to pick places that people may not consider as their top destination spot.

Cinque Terre, Italy

Manarola, Cinque Terre

An evening capture of Manarola, Cinque Terre.

If you’ve read my other posts, you also know that I try to sneak Italy in somewhere! May is one of the best months to visit Cinque Terre because the crowds are not there. And later in the month, the temperature is close to what it is in July or August so that you won’t feel like you’re missing out.

It’s made up of five towns, Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Stay in any one, and walk, bike or drive around to see the beautiful sights around all of them.

Some attractions

Beaches: May is the start of beach season in Cinque Terre. There are a variety of beaches depending on what you’re looking to do and see.  Monterosso beach is ideal for swimming and has some bars and restaurants. Vernazza beach is a stony beach with calm waters that’s ideal for swimming and fishing. There are also a few beaches just minutes away. Best Beaches has a high-level overview of all the beaches in and around the area.

Sporty: You can be very active in Cinque Terre. Go sailing, paragliding, fishing or play water sports. If it’s warm enough, you can scuba dive or snorkel. There are multitudes of hiking and biking tours you may want to take to see the beautiful sites. The Footpath Monterosso – Vernazza and Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre are just two of them.

Sites to see:  There is an abundance to see in Cinque Terre. I’m just going to name a few. Check out the castle and cathedrals in Vernazza, the Monumento a San Francesco d’Assisi in Monterosso, the Castello di Riomaggiore, Chiesa di San Pietro in Corniglia or Chiesa di San Lorenzo in Manarola.

Belforte Ristorante, Vernazza

My table view at the Belforte Ristorante in Vernazza, Cinque Terre

Food scene: It is Italy, so I’m going to say the food is excellent (no bias!). I chose a few standouts because you can get gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan options on top of everything else so that anyone can enjoy them. Nessun Dorma Cinque Terre in Manarola has an excellent wine bar and views on top of the delicious food. Gastronomia San Martino in Monterosso is a great place to eat and not break the bank. It’s cafeteria-style service and a great value. Belforte in Vernazza has spectacular views, friendly staff, and a good wine list. It’s shown in the picture above.

Average temperature: High 64F/16C, low 57/14C) (later in the month it averages a high of 72F / 22C)

For more information, read what other travelers have said on TripAdvisor.

Valletta, Malta

Malta - Valletta

View while I was boating in Valletta, Malta

I’ve been to Malta a few times, especially when I was young. It’s close to Sicily, so we would vacation there when I still lived in Italy. I’ve been back once in later years, and it was in May. I will definitely go back. It’s a small but beautiful place with a lot to do. You can stay pretty much anywhere in Malta and enjoy the beauty. Valletta is the Capital City, and the place I had visited in May.

Some attractions

Beach: Valletta doesn’t have any beaches, but for some people, the temperate in May is not quite beach ready anyway. If it is, since Malta is not large, you can take a bus to any of the beaches. It is worth it; they are all beautiful.

Sporty: Go sailing or play water sports. Take walks or bike ride to see all the historic sites Valletta has to offer.

Because you must: The Blue Lagoon. It’s a ferry ride away in Comino. May is the perfect time to see it because in the summer it gets way too busy. Popeye Village. How could you turn down going to the place where the movie Popeye was filmed? It has a winery, pool, museum and things for kids to do so it’s fun for everyone.

Sites to see: Check out St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the Upper Barrakka Gardens, shop, go to one of the museums or take a cultural tour.

Dinner in the Sky, Malta

Dinner in the Sky, Malta was an unreal experience. I first captured it visiting, and then had to book a dinner to try it. Outstanding.

Food scene: There are tons of restaurants in the city of different varieties. For cheap eats, I enjoyed Piadina Caffe. For higher-end food and an experience, you can’t go wrong with Dinner in the Sky. The picture alone says it. Both places have great gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian options. If you want to customize your dining experience, try the Karlito’s Way private food tour.

Nightlife: There are casinos, clubs, bars, theaters and an opera in and around Valletta depending on what you enjoy. For good food and wine, I enjoyed Trabuxu Wine Bar. The Pub is a small British pub that’s friendly and has great drinks. If you’re into Hollywood stories, it’s the place where actor Oliver Reed died of a heart attack having a drink while filming the movie Gladiator.

Average temperature: High 72F / 22C, Low 63F /17C

For more information, read what other travelers have said on TripAdvisor.

Provincetown, Cape Cod, USA

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Beautiful view of Provincetown, Massachusetts during a boat ride

Peak time here starts around Memorial Day weekend (May 29), so take it from me and go before then to take advantage of less busy beaches and lower Airbnb and hotel rates. Cape Cod is fantastic with a couple of people or a big group, and for a variety of ages and interests.

Some attractions

Beaches: It’s not normally beach weather in May, but there are plenty of beaches in Cape Cod, and you can do other things instead of swimming. In Provincetown, Race Point Beach is my favorite. It’s great to swim, walk, kayak, canoe and whale watch in the Spring. You can also camp out there. It’s beautiful with amazing views. For a full list of beaches in Cape Cod, read capecodchamber.org.

Sporty: You can also surf, swim and snorkel at one of the beaches, weather permitting; as well as paddleboat, jet ski, play water sports. The Cape Cod National Seashore is a beautiful National park to hike, drive the dunes, whale watch and much more. There are many other hiking and biking trails in Cape Cod.

Provincetown whale watching

I got to experience a once-in-a-lifetime event going whale watching in Provincetown

Things to do: There are things to do for every interest. You can keep busy dolphin and whale-watching, going to art galleries and museums like the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, and checking out the many nature and wildlife areas, such as Beech Forest Trail. There are also many historical sites including the Race Point Lighthouse.

Food scene: It is New England, so the seafood is excellent! It’s also a foodie haven. I found it a little harder to find an abundance of places that catered to vegan and gluten-free options than some other places I have visited. Fortunately for me, it’s not an issue, but I like to recommend places that everyone can experience. So, I chose a couple of standouts that had gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan options. For cheap eats, I enjoyed Far Land Provisions. It’s an all-day deli with home cooked food, and it’s open all day. They also sell groceries if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen. For higher-end dining, I’d recommend the restaurant and lounge at Sage Inn. Great drinks too if you’re looking to do something at night.

Average temperature: High 62 F / 17 C, Low 48F /9C

For more information, read what other travelers have said on TripAdvisor.

Some resources to help you with better pricing for your trip:

Flight from JFK

View from my window on a flight from JFK to Toronto

These are a few areas I have been to in May. Do you have any others to add to the list?

 

 

62 replies »

  1. OMG these places are absolutely amazing !! Wonderful photos as usual!! Will be visiting Cape Cod this summer hopefully. Definitely a place on my list! Thanks so much for sharingz

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry for the late reply!! I have a huge problem flying. People that have flown with me are scared after flying with me. I ended up having to fly for work – luckily short flights – 1 hour but my problem is mostly the take off (and turbulence) so it doesn’t matter how short the flight is, I will panic. I’ve tried sleeping on the plane, but I can’t, I’ve tried some medication, but it didn’t work either. I hate to say it but for me the only thing that works is wine. I only take afternoon flights and get to the airport early so I can grab some food and wine and try to relax. It has a noticeable effect on how I fly. I had a couple of morning flights after thinking I could just fly normally … and I still can’t, even after around 20 flights in one year, so I have to stick to my routine right now. But, it allows me to fly on my own which is even a bigger step for me. I can tell you more about my routine if you want to hear more about it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sure, anything helps. I do wonder how a bit of alcohol would do. I have thought about that approach more than once haha. I just want to be able to know that I could take a trip and not be fearful of dying on the way there haha. I really wasn’t a fan of take off and landing.

        Like

    • Ok so you have the same problem I do! Then drinking does help (I hesitate to say it to people because it sounds terrible but I have found it helps). I need to have it around 1 hour before takeoff so I give myself lots of time at the airport and only take afternoon flights. I will relax and as long as they’re aren’t delays and it throws my timing off, I’ve been fine. People that have flown with me with and without have noticed a huge difference. I also never fly on propeller planes and try to sit near the front or middle (the back and propeller planes feel worse during take off and landing). I’d say start with a flight no longer than 3 hours in case and summer flying is usually better because the weather is better. I managed 20 trips last year and before that I could maybe do 1 trip a year…maybe. I hope you find it can helps too

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow; these are some awesome pictures! That dinner in the sky looks like a must in traveling to Malta. Are these pictures that you show ones that you have taken?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks a lot! Appreciated. The dinner in the sky is amazing. I would definitely try it again. For this pic, we were walking by and saw it and then our next family trip, we booked it. These are my photos. Photography is part of my job in the travel industry. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

    • They are all beautiful. If you make your way to Italy, you really aren’t going to go wrong anywhere. Cinque Terre is great in May because it quiet and you can enjoy it without the crowds. Malta is also worth the flight!

      Like

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