Weather in May 2017
The weather in May is emerging from its transitional period between the blossom of spring and the dry heat of summer in Europe and the Mediterranean, while the rains kick in across much of southeast Asia.
The good news is that if you fancy going on holiday in May, you definitely won't have to fly as far as in previous months to find warm rays of sunshine, or even beach friendly weather. It's also early in the European holiday season, so hotels are freshly cleaned and it's generally uncrowded, even though the weather in May means temperatures aren't yet at their peak.
Weather in May: Top destinations
May is the first real month of the year when you have the choice between destinations near and far for a warm and sunny holiday, beach or otherwise. Read on to discover the destinations with the best holiday weather in May:
Short haul: Cyprus, Italy, Sharm el Sheikh and more
May is just the beginning of the summer close to home: days are long and, in many places, there's plenty of sunshine, particularly in the eastern Med. Temperatures are far from scorching hot but this has its advantages.
Weather in May combines lots of sunshine with minimal heat and humidity, which is excellent if you're sightseeing or getting stuck into outdoor activities. It can, however, still get a little chilly at night, so it's worth packing an extra layer for after dark.
Cyprus usually has the highest daytime temperatures in May (we're talking high twenties), though only by a whisker. Turkey comes next and then Greece, while all three have a good 10 hours of sunshine per day. A quick comparison shows that weather in May in the Canary Islands isn't a patch on the eastern Med, as it's five degrees cooler with two hours less sunshine per day.
It's also an ideal time to visit Italy, which rests more or less in between the east and west coasts of the Mediterranean. Tuscany is particularly delightful at this time of year, as the weather in May is pleasant and inviting. Temperatures around Florence are in the low twenties and you'll find eight hours of sunshine on offer each day.
For a beach holiday within six hours of the UK, head for Egypt's Sharm el Sheikh or one of the other resorts on the western shores of the Red Sea, such as Hurghada, where the weather in May is most inviting. Temperatures range from 20°C at night to over 30°C during the day, with moderate heat and humidity, and around 11 hours of sunshine each day.
In terms of air temperature, this is as warm as - or even a little warmer than - Caribbean destinations, however, the sea temperature is about 4°C cooler than the Caribbean.
Long haul - up to 10 hours: Florida and the Caribbean
If you're craving warmer seas, then consider the Caribbean: flight times to Barbados, St Lucia and the Dominican Republic are between eight to eight and a half hours from London; that's about two hours longer than a flight to Sharm el Sheikh.
Although it's the beginning of the wet season in the Caribbean, the weather in May is still very sunny with generally eight hours of sunshine per day at most destinations. It will rain but only in short bursts, and temperatures normally rise above 30°C during the day, falling to the low twenties at night. It's not that different to the winter months, apart from being a touch more humid.
The Caribbean's American neighbour is another great option thanks to its weather in May, as Florida tends to have even more sunshine with up to 10 hours a day. As in the Caribbean, the wet season has started but again, it's usually only marked by short periods of rain.
Southern Florida, including Miami, is normally a touch sunnier and less humid than destinations in the north, such as Orlando. Overall, Florida enjoys excellent weather in May with daytime temperatures up to the low thirties.
Long haul - 10 hours or more: Mauritius and California
If you're considering a long haul holiday, be wary of the tropics in the Northern Hemisphere, which see an increase in heat and humidity as well as rain, particularly in Asia. For India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, the weather in May is definitely past its best and worth avoiding if you're hankering for a hot and sunny beach destination.
For drier, less hot and humid conditions in the tropics, look to destinations near the equator in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Mauritius which is heading into its dry season in May.
Alternatively, there are other long haul destinations with Mediterranean-style climates thanks to their approaching summer dry season, most notably southern California. The weather in May sees Los Angeles with temperatures ranging from 13°C to 23°C, which is warmer than southern England at the height of summer. It also has nine hours of sunshine a day and is less hot and humid, making it great for all kinds of outdoor activities, except possibly lying on the beach.
California is also home to some incredibly spectacular scenery, including Yosemite National Park, which lies roughly 160 miles east of San Francisco in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It's a lot cooler than LA with temperatures ranging from freezing to a maximum of 15°C during the day depending on how high you go.
Don't let the snow-capped mountains put you off: the weather in May, especially the last two weeks, makes it one of the best times of the year to visit. You'll enjoy up to 11 hours of wall-to-wall sunshine a day while revelling in the wild flowers, flowing waterfalls, and general peace, as neither the crowds nor the mosquitos will yet have arrived.
As you can see, May offers so much in the way of warm and sunny holiday destinations, both close to home and further away. Deciding exactly where to go will largely depend on whether the weather in May affects what you want to do, and how much you're prepared to spend.
If you'd like to find out more, read our where to go on holiday in May section as well as our holiday offers from leading providers for the very latest travel deals and discount codes.
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