May half term holidays 2021

May is a great time of year to go on holiday as it starts to warm up closer to home but it's before the summer crowds descend.

From bustling cities under warming sunshine to sultry, palm-fringed shores, we've got something for everyone looking for somewhere to go in the upcoming May half term break. Here's our pick of some of the best accessible, family-friendly destinations with great weather:

Best European May half term holidays

  1. Crete, Greece
  2. Cyprus
  3. Turkey
  4. Majorca, Balearic Islands
  5. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
  6. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

1. Crete, Greece

  • Flight time: 4 hours
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 19°C

Creteis not only Greece's largest island but also one of its more diverse with so many things to see and do.

Families visiting in the May half term holiday can expect warm days with cooler evenings, and just the slightest chance of a few drops of rain.

There's no heat and humidity to worry about but there is very high UV. Like other destinations in the Med at this time, the sea is still a little too cold to fully enjoy.

Instead, explore the old town of Chania or the markets of Heraklion, while older kids could hike the Samaria Gorge. There's also the Aquaworld Aquarium and Aqua Plus Water Park, both in Hersonissos.

Find Crete holidays

  • Thomas Cook - Crete, Greece
  • TUI - Crete, Greece
  • Jet2holidays - Crete, Greece

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2. Cyprus

  • Flight time: 5 hours
  • Daily high: 29°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 11.5
  • Sea temperature: 22°C

Cyprus is an easy destination for families with some of the most inviting beaches in Europe and many experienced holiday providers ensuring your every need is met.

It is also beautifully hot and sunny in May not to mention that little bit quieter than in the months that follow. Take your children to the Camel Park, get them involved in snorkelling, or think about bowling. There are lots to keep both big and little ones happy in Cyprus during the half term break.

Find Cyprus holidays

  • First Choice - Cyprus
  • Mercury Holidays - Cyprus

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3. Marmaris, Turkey

  • Flight time: 4 hours
  • Daily high: 25°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 19°C

In Marmaris in May, you can expect very comfortable temperatures but bring a layer or two for evenings, which cool to around 13°C. There's only low heat and humidity, but very high UV so remember the SPF for both young and older skin.

While days see lots of sunshine, the sea is a little on the nippy side as it hasn't had the chance to warm up properly by May, so a heated pool may be worthwhile. Families should head to Aqua Dream Water Park, go turtle watching, take a family day cruise, or try water sports such as banana boating and snorkelling.

Find Turkey holidays

  • TUI - Turkey
  • Mark Warner - Turkey
  • Love Holidays - Turkey

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4. Majorca, Balearic Islands

  • Flight time: 2.5 hours
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9.5
  • Sea temperature: 19°C

Palma is a popular destination year-round thanks to Majorca's natural beauty and easy pace of life, making it a great May half term holiday option. It's a touch cooler than mainland Spain in May, but there's still plenty of sunshine.

Majorca has so many stunning spots with plenty of places to explore, and if you hire a car the options are endless. For kids, there's the Ostrich Farm and Safari Zoo, as well as the Palma Aquarium, go karting and more.

Find Majorca holidays

  • Jet2holidays - Majorca, Balearic Islands
  • First Choice - Majorca, Balearic Islands
  • Thomas Cook - Majorca, Balearic Islands

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5. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

  • Flight time: 5 hours
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9
  • Sea temperature: 19°C

Fuerteventura is the second largest of Spain's Canary Islands. It's a popular holiday destination due to its long sandy beaches and year-round sunshine. During the May half term you can expect warm temperatures however, it's not quite beach weather yet due to the constant cool winds and low sea temperature.

There's a host of other things to keep you and yours busy: on a good day families may want to head to Acua Water Park a waterpark with slides, swimming pools, and lounge areas.

For something different find sweeping sea views at the top of Pico de la Zarza, Fuerteventura's highest peak.

Find Fuerteventura holidays

  • On the Beach - Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
  • Jet2holidays - Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
  • TUI - Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

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6. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

  • Flight time: 5 hours
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9
  • Sea temperature: 19°C

Lanzarote is located just off the west coast of North Africa and is known for its beaches and volcanic landscape. As spring progresses and summer approaches temperatures start to get warmer.

In May, temperatures can reach highs of 23°C and, while it may not be warm enough for everyone to swim in the sea, the temperature will be perfect for outdoor activities such as a visit to Timanfaya National Park.

There are plenty of reasons to get up and out of your resort in Lanzarote, Jameos del Agua and Mirador del Río are just two - there's so much more to see and do.

Find Lanzarote holidays

  • Love Holidays - Lanzarote, Canary Islands
  • TUI - Lanzarote, Canary Islands
  • First Choice - Lanzarote, Canary Islands

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Visiting a popular attraction during half term? Check out our selection of deals and discounts on attractions such as theme and water parks, historic sites, city tours and much more.

Best May half term city breaks

  1. Rome, Italy
  2. Dubrovnik, Croatia
  3. Venice, Italy
  4. Dubai, UAE
  5. Orlando, USA
  6. Havana, Cuba

1. Rome, Italy

  • Flight time: 3 hours
  • Daily high: 23°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9 hours

Spring is an excellent time to visit Rome. During the May half term you can expect warm temperatures with highs of 23°C, spring flowers and trees in new leaf.

There won't be any humidity so exploring the delights of this historic city can be done in comfort. You'll find endless things to see and do in this cosmopolitan capital that's a vibrant hub of influential art, architecture, culture and ancient ruins.

Don't miss big hitters like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Sistine Chapel and the Villa Borghese Gardens that will look beautiful in the spring sunshine.

Find Rome holidays

  • Jet2holidays - Rome, Italy
  • lastminute.com - Rome, Italy
  • Expedia - Rome, Italy

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2. Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Flight time: 3 hours
  • Daily high: 21°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8 hours
  • Sea temperature: 18°C

May is the first month after winter that temperatures begin to climb in Dubrovnik reaching highs of 21°C during the day, although they drop at night so you will still want to bring some warm clothing.

The sea is perhaps a bit too cool for swimming at this time of year but there's a plethora of other things to do in and around the city that will keep you busy. You can walk the historic walls of Dubrovnik and enjoy the scenic sea views. Wander down Stradun, explore the old town and take a cable car up to the top of Mount Srd for a sunset to remember.

Find Dubrovnik holidays

  • TUI - Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Balkan Holidays - Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Love Holidays - Dubrovnik, Croatia

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3. Venice, Italy

  • Flight time: 3 hours
  • Daily high: 22°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 7 hours
  • Sea temperature: 18°C

May in Venice marks the start of the tourist season as the weather warms up significantly from previous months with highs of 22°C. Although it can be a delight, be prepared for the crowds if you are going during May half term - head to major attractions early.

But don't be put off: it doesn't mean you can't enjoy your time in this enticing city. A gondola ride is, without doubt, the number one must-do in Venice followed by a visit to St Mark's Basilica. This city which is built on more than 100 small islands has more than enough to offer.

Find Venice holidays

  • easyJet holidays - Venice, Italy
  • Jet2holidays - Venice, Italy
  • lastminute.com - Venice, Italy

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4. Dubai, UAE

  • Flight time: 7 hours
  • Daily high: 37°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 11 hours
  • Sea temperature: 29°C

In May you'll find that Dubai is really hot with virtually no rain but still slightly cooler than its impending summer highs. The sea temperature is around 29°C so you'll enjoy a welcome dip. Lots of sun cream is advised as the strong sun will be shining bright for 11 hours a day.

This lively, ultra-modern city is known for its luxury and you can fully indulge yourself in all of its extravagances. Visit Dubai Mall for a shopping spree, head to the Burj Khalifa for a breathtaking view and Dubai Marina for a some fine dining.

Find Dubai holidays

  • lastminute.com - Dubai, UAE
  • Virgin Holidays - Dubai, UAE

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5. Orlando, USA

  • Flight time: 10 hours
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9 hours

Temperatures in Orlando are high all year round with May being particularly warm and humid. Day times reach around 31°C, while evenings stay close at 18°C, so you're unlikely to need any thick layers. There's typically around nine hours of sunshine a day for you to soak up whilst taking part in various activities.

Of course, Orlando is the home to Disney World Resort and over a dozen theme parks so it's not short of attractions. Visit Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Universal Orlando resort.

If you want to discover Orlando beyond Disney head to International Drive for numerous eateries, boutiques and gift shops. Alternatively, you can visit Lake Eola Park and Gatorland for completely different experiences.

Find Orlando holidays

  • Virgin Holidays - Orlando, USA
  • TUI - Orlando, USA
  • Thomas Cook - Orlando, USA

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6. Havana, Cuba

  • Flight time: 10 hours
  • Daily high: 30°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9 hours
  • Sea temperature: 27°C

May is one of the best months to visit the Cuban capital of Havana. You can expect mostly dry, sunny days with plenty of blue skies and highs of 30°C. It will be a humid city break but luckily you'll have the sea at Playas del Este to cool you down.

Delve into Old Havana and admire the Spanish colonial architecture, mooch along The Malecón or venture to Morro Castle, the stunning sea fortress at the mouth of the harbour.

Find Havana holidays

  • lastminute.com - Havana, Cuba
  • Virgin Holidays - Havana, Cuba
  • Expedia - Havana, Cuba

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Best long haul May half term holidays

  1. Hurghada, Egypt
  2. Tampa, Florida
  3. Barbados
  4. St Lucia
  5. Grenada
  6. Bahamas

1. Hurghada, Egypt

  • Flight time: 6 hours
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 11 hours
  • Sea temperature: 24°C

Hurghada is one of the most popular resorts on Egypt's Red Sea coast, and it's easy to see why with its subtropical climate bringing beautiful sunshine all year round.

May is springtime in Hurghada and with temperatures of around 31°C it's definitely warm enough to relax on the beach for most of the day as you will get an average of 11 hours of sunshine to revel in.

Make the most of the Red Sea, its coral reefs and turquoise waters with a range of water sports such as windsurfing and snorkelling. Take the kids to the Hurghada Grand Aquarium or enjoy a family fun day out at Makadi Bay Water World.

Find Hurghada holidays

  • First Choice - Hurghada, Egypt
  • On the Beach - Hurghada, Egypt
  • Thomas Cook - Hurghada, Egypt

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2. Tampa, Florida

  • Flight time: 10 hours
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10 hours
  • Sea temperature: 25°C

Tampa is known for being a business centre but also for its museums and other cultural offerings. It may be a 10 hour flight away but if you want deliciously hot and sunny weather in May then it's the place to go as temperatures reach highs of 31°C.

Tampa is packed full of things to do and see with its main attraction being the famous African-themed amusement park, Busch Gardens., while The Florida Aquarium and Adventure Island are not far behind. If you're seeking something a little different Ybor City hosts many boutiques, vintage shops and Cuban eateries.

Find Tampa holidays

  • Love Holidays - Tampa, Florida
  • Expedia - Tampa, Florida

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3. Barbados

  • Flight time: 9 hours
  • Daily high: 30°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8 hours
  • Sea temperature: 28°C

If high temperatures and lashings of sun are what you want for your May half term holiday then this is what you will get in Barbados. May is the last month of the dry season before the rainy season begins in June so you'll avoid downpours but the humidity will be very high.

With numerous charming beaches there will be plenty of places for you to catch the sun and unwind, as well as make the most of the warm sea temperature. Investigate Harrison's Cave, the underground limestone cavern, and Hunte's Gardens, an exotic landscaped rainforest gardens located in the middle of this Caribbean rainforest.

Find Barbados holidays

  • TUI - Barbados
  • Thomas Cook - Barbados
  • Virgin Holidays - Barbados

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4. St Lucia

  • Flight time: 9 hours
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9 hours
  • Sea temperature: 28°C

St Lucia will be hot in May with highs of 31°C and nine hours of sunshine a day. You may get the odd refreshing shower but this will be a nice break from the humidity and the sea will be the perfect temperature for swimming and snorkelling.

To make the most of your time in St Lucia venture to the beckoning beaches like Marigot Bay to recline in the sun or keep active and climb Mount Gimie, St Lucia's highest mountain.

Find St Lucia holidays

  • Sandals - St Lucia
  • TUI - St Lucia

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5. Grenada

  • Flight time: 11 hours
  • Daily high: 30°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8 hours
  • Sea temperature: 28°C

Grenada is known as the 'Spice Island' due to its main island's umpteen nutmeg plantations; however, it's also known for its heavenly beaches. Like other Caribbean destinations, Grenada is hot and sunny throughout May and you can stroll along the beautiful beaches in 30°C and swim in the wonderfully warm sea.

To experience the best of Grenada head to Grand Anse Beach for sand and sea with a view of the capital. Also Grand Etang Lake is a crater lake in an extinct volcano and a truly special place for a hike.

Find Grenada holidays

  • Virgin Holidays - Grenada
  • Sandals - Grenada

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6. Bahamas

  • Flight time: 12 to 14 hours
  • Daily high: 29°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9 hours
  • Sea temperature: 26°C

The Bahamas is an Atlantic archipelago comprised of 700 islands, one of the most visited spots in the world, known for its scenic beauty and year-round tropical weather.

If you are visiting the capital Nassau during the May half term holiday you can expect hot and humid days, warm evenings, and some rain but mostly short sharp showers. The sea temperature will be slightly cooler than in Caribbean destinations but will still be warm enough for swimming.

Head to Paradise Island where you'll find Cabbage Beach and the Atlantis Resort. Go paddle boarding, jet skiing or gte cultural and visit the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.

Find Bahamas holidays

  • Club Med - Bahamas
  • Sandals - Bahamas

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More half term destination ideas

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