The best places to travel in May and where to stay…

Written by Chloe Hambidge


A Greek gem loved by many and dreamed of by all, Crete is a tapestry of splendid beaches, ancient treasures and landscapes, weaving in vibrant cities and dreamy villages. Become one of the locals as you’re let in on secrets and decade long traditions as if a long lost family member. With mouthwatering cuisine and an open hearted spirit, a trip here will warm not only the body but the soul. As the southernmost of the Greek islands, Crete is the hottest, allowing you to make the most of its delights for most of the year. Thinner crowds and lazy days, take your pick of laid back resorts or upbeat beach clubs, all nursing spectacular, rugged mountain drives through dozing villages and quaint taverns producing goodies from meat to cheese and wine.

Where to stay? Family-friendly resorts are never hard to come by with Cretans welcoming your young ones with open arms, especially in Domes of Elounda with excitement from a kids club to a games room for teens. Feel as if staying in a hidden local village of luxury with an olive-tree shaded sandy beach, a selection of large pools awaiting a dip and mouthwatering gourmet restaurants. Or, tuck yourself into the unspoilt haven of the eastern side of the island at St Nicolas Bay, Agios Nikolas, where love for the simple life is magnified by lavish interiors. With its jaw-dropping cliff side location swim laps in the infinity pool and try local food with produce from the marina just a stones throw away, all before sneaking back to the all-new Olive & Sea suites with a private terrace, separate rooms and a pool nestled amongst the six-acre white stone, blossom tree dappled property.


Spring is the season that Madeira truly blossoms to life, temperatures are pleasant with the sun shining overhead allowing it to have the perfect weather for outdoor pursuits and to truly make the most of this slice of Portugal’s natural offerings. The dramatically diverse natural environment of Madeira is just one of the reasons this treasure trove has been labelled the Hawaii of Europe. Walk amongst lush green forests, hike up volcanic peaks towering above scenes of sea and evergreen, before strolling along vertiginous cliff paths scattered with the soft lull of waterfalls. That’s before entering its azure waters where Maderias marine life runs rampant throughout these months, brimming with 20 species of whales and dolphins. It’s an enchanting island boasting a range of subtropical holiday promises.

Where to stay? Appreciate the true levels of Maderias charm at Reid’s Palace, A Belmond Hotel, considered to be paradise personified. Perched amongst clifftop perfection, it’s becomes an impossibility not to gawk at the sprawling water of Funchal Harbour, or even the surrounding subtropical gardens bursting with colours brighter than life. These panoramic views are heightened with fine dining holding many a Michelin star and chic suites oozing a sense of zen. Having welcomed guests for over 130 years, you could say they’re the experts in holiday bliss.


Short-haul sunshine could be the answer to all your winter blues. Cyprus is just a short hop into Europe and holds bounds of beautiful coasts and landscapes, allowing the perfect balance of relaxation and walking. With warm weather allowing you to swim in the sea, yet not too hot yet, allowing you to appreciate hillsides bursting with a kaleidoscope of colour with various wildflowers and orchids blossoming along pathways. The fragrant scent of herbs will forever bring you back to your tranquil stay in Cyprus. You can bathe in turquoise waters as the morning sun shines bright and then discover compelling cultures steeped in myth and riddled with ancient riches as the sun sets.

Where to stay? A haven touched by both sea and serenity, where Cypriot truly comes to life Anassa, Latchi ticks all the boxes for the whole family. A 2022 Gold List winner, and rightfully so, for one of the best hotels in Europe, explore a series of immaculate white buildings erupted down golden hillsides all the way to the beach, with various pools marking your path. Get front row seats to Chrysou bay which is definitely a highlight of the north-west coast, renowned for great scuba diving. A true stand out of this resort is it spa, which is a peg above the rest with healing thalassotherapy pools and treatments by cult farm-to-face brand Tata Harper. Or, fancy some one on one time with your partner, Amavi MadeForTwoHotels, Paphos, will steal your heart with floor to ceiling windows welcoming you into paradise. Cap St George, Peyia, is also worth a mention oozing an exclusive dominion over a peninsula in Cyprus’s west coast. A highlight of this resort the food, boasting Michelin-star chefs, fresh produce grown in the nearby Perivoli farm (guests can also pick their own produce) and the Sky7 restaurant, where seventh-floor ocean views top it off. The kids are also sure to have a blast with an open air cinema playing Disney movies.

7Pines, Ibiza


It’s hard to ignore the buzz of the Balearic heart throb that is Ibiza. Home to some of the best parties but also a chic authentic charm hidden amongst beach towns and villages. Rediscover life in the old town with areas such as Santa Eulalia where cobbled streets meet mouth-watering tapas. You will even have the added bonus of cosy temperatures warm enough to still allow you a much desired dip in the white isle waters. To embrace a truly authentic Ibizan escape, leave big names such as Pacha behind and head north where you will be meet by untouched bliss. Admire rugged landscapes and beaches hidden from the crowds.

Where to stay? Fancy an all-suite stay inspired by traditional whitewashed Ibizan villages. Then the elegant 7Pines is calling your name. Holding pride of place in a prime position between Cala Conta beach and Cala Codolar beach. With all things lavish, dine in The View restaurant providing panoramic rooftop views and sumptuous dining options, or set sail on a sunset voyage on a 7Pines Pershing private yacht charter. Six Senses Ibiza is another chic haven to rest and recuperate, made up of clever hillside architecture and brimming with wellness ideas from farm-to-table gastronomy to energizing experiences in the spa. Tranquility is a second nature at this Six Senses gem, for a limited time, the hotel is also running its “Recharge and Elevate” offer.

Atlantis The Royal, Dubai


A trip to the UAE is promised to fuel a sunshine high. A year round Sun worshippers paradise, May is when this hotspot really warms up and renowned resorts still offering their more appealing fares. Spend your days lounging effortlessly in glamorous beach clubs or enjoy jacket-less evenings in the glittering marina. Take your pick of adventures from sand dune exploration through stark desert splendour to wandering the cities ambitious futuristic skyline.

Where to stay? One&Only The Palm, an iconically luxurious name nestled amongst the intimate and perfectly plush Palm. Understandably award-winning this, beachfront hotel is a sight to behold with Moorish and Andalusian accents with a contemporary Arabian-chic design, hugged by lush manicured gardens and relaxing pools, perfect for families and anything in between. With an around the clock premium service paired with the choice of three restaurants under the culinary guidance of three Michelin-starred chef Yannic Alleno. A recently new addition to Dubai’s intricate skyline, Atlantis, The Royal reigns high and mighty over Palm Island and the Arabian Sea. With enchanting facilities from a 90-metre roof top pool, 17 world-class restaurants (eight helmed by celebrity chefs) and an unmatched health care experience in their 5,000sqm wellness centre. The sweeping views of Dubai’s breathtaking horizon and attentative service provided from suite to suite, will be sure to make the flight worth it.


With a charm like no other, lose yourself in Gothic Quarters and centuries old architecture. The Sevilla Province will slowly disarm and seduce you with all its offerings from countless Tapas havens scattered across palm tree adorned streets to the heart stopping excitement of flamenco. As the capital of Andalucía, it’s a hotspot for culture and perfectly preserved royal palaces. A sensual blend of Spanish Renaissance and verdant parks, Seville boasts nature and colour throughout, wearing its heritage with pride. Its enchanting streets are rich with gastronomic delight and timeless properties converted to cool hotels inviting you to indulge. Underlying tones of colonial influences saturate the city’s’ style and culture as a result of the Spanish Empire. It’s truly a city that holds an unbeatable sense of elegance and splendor that has inspired works of art, music and poetry, and will certainly continue to live up to this rave.

Where to stay? Comissioned by the King of Spain back in 1929, Hotel Alfonso XIII, a Luxury Collection Hotel, this elegant hotel is quite literally built for royalty. Standing regal and proud, hotels like this are rare to come by; which is one of the many reasons it remains an iconic cultural landmark as well as an iconic city stay. Nestled in the city centre and historic quarter of Santa Cruz it’s a nod to Andalusian design with its mosaic covered arches, soaring towers and an Instagram-worthy courtyard. With divine rooms and suites, it’s a European dream with the perfect blend of luxury and city exploration at your doorstep.

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