Considered the shoulder season in many destinations around the world, the month of May can be a traveler’s delight. Fewer tourists and great deals, the cusp of the rainy season or the joys of spring, it’s still not too late to enjoy our favorite places to visit in May.
May is an excellent time to holiday to Scotland, the days are almost at their longest, wildflowers and rhododendrons are popping out in the countryside, plus statistically you have the best chance of the whole year of getting dry weather.
“The Glenapp Castle is a great place to go in spring,” highlights Andrew Loyd, one of our UK experts of Loyd & Townsend Rose. “It’s truly ideal for garden lovers.”
The impressive 19th-century castle, built for the Earl of Inchcape, is located close to the coast in the southwest of the country. Opened to guests since 2000, its 17 rooms, sophisticated drawing room and library evoke the utmost of Victorian splendour. Outside, the elegance is carried over in its historic Italian gardens and 36 acre private grounds.
Garden aficionados should roam beyond the castle walls to several noteworthy gardens in the vicinity. Andrew recommends exploring the clifftop Culzean Castle and its gorgeous 600 acres of park and woods where you can seek out the spring blossoms along the marked paths through meadows, forests and around secluded ponds. There’s also Castle Kennedy Gardens, an important historic garden as well as the famous Logan Botanic Garden, considered the country’s most exotic garden.
Whereas over at our other UK expert, Warren de Long of Blandings, recommends going to the coast of Fife, where they have some fabulous properties to base yourself for exploring the area.
“So much of the press for Scotland is about the Highlands and the Western Isles – but I think this part of Scotland is every bit as beautiful and full of charm.
“The obvious place to start, of course, is St Andrews, it’s historic university and the world-class golf should be enough to tempt anyone, but to my mind there is so much more. There is a glorious coastal path that is best between St Monans and Crail—beautiful coastline and great villages, as well as excellent fish & chips in the villages near Anstruther. If you are a bit more adventurous, there is the Elie Chain Walk (between Elie & Leven) where there is a bracing, otter-spotting trail over the cliffs where you can do a 2-to-3 hour scramble. It’s challenging but not as scary as it sounds!
“For those who would rather sit than walk, it is worth going to the nearby coastal village of Elie where The Ship Inn not only has great food, but also hosts beach cricket (only when it is low tide!) starting in May and going on throughout the Summer. Pittenweem is another great spot on the beautiful East Neuk coastline, and in August each year they host the Pittenweem Arts Festival—which is great fun for families, and growing in popularity each year. Nature-lovers have plenty to see too, as there are regular ferries from Anstruther to the Isle of May which is known for its puffins, seals, porpoise, dolphin and even the occasional whale!”
“May is one of my favorite months to be in the Bahamas, in particular Harbour Island,” says our our Bahamas expert Pamela Murdock. “The air temperature ranges from about 70 – 85 degrees and the water is about 80 degrees. It’s simply perfect. Though it’s the beginning of the rainy season, the weather is generally beautiful. While this idyllic small island remains a wildly popular destination year round, by May the sun worshippers have been joined by those who love fishing and diving.”
We are in luck because Pamela was just on Harbour Island a week ago scouting out some new luxury properties to add to her already extensive portfolio and gave us these insider tips:
“Of course I made time to do some of my favorite things like snorkeling with Jeff of Ocean Fox and shopping for chic clothes at the Blue Rooster and just around the corner at the island’s newest store, Drake. We also had an fantastic lunch at Ocean Talley. Once a best-kept secret, this little jewel is getting more and more popular so definitely make a reservation, especially on weekends,” advises Pamela wisely. “It’s located in a lighthouse on Whale Point, Eleuthera which is about a 10-minute boat trip from Harbour Island. Definitely try their Tequila Shrimp as a first course – It’s so good you may want to have it for your main as well! It really is the perfect way to spend a Bahamian afternoon.”
We couldn’t agree more! A big thank you to Pamela for sharing this valuable local insight. You can learn more about Pamela’s offerings on beautiful Harbour Island at here.
One of our Costa Rica experts, Jane Moore of Papagayo, confirmed that May is a wonderful time to visit the country. Her luxury villas are located in the most upscale area of Costa Rica, home to the Four Seasons and an Arnold Palmer Golf Course. However, the area is still not overly developed so it feels very private.
“May is the beginning of the green season,” explains Jane. “We’re located in a tropical dry forest so when it rains, even just a little, everything becomes greener. Plus temperatures have started cooling down from April’s extreme heat. In addition, since it’s the fringe season, just after spring break and before summer school holidays, it’s a good time to visit for couples. It’s like you have the place all to yourself.”
It’s also perfect timing because Papagayo has a fantastic last minute deal of up to 50% savings on certain villas for stays through June 01, 2016. Jane has sweetened the deal even further by running a flash sale which extends this deal for rental up to Nov 1 for bookings made by April 30, 2016.
May is the most wonderful time of the year to travel to Morocco and Marrakech in particular,” says David Schneuwly one of our Morocco experts at Villanovo, who have some fabulous villas in Marrakech and Essaouira evoking the traditional spirit of Morocco coupled with modern luxury.
“During the day you can enjoy blossoming gardens under clear blue skies and in the evening al fresco dining in all our villas,” he tempts us further. “Golfing at its best, plus i’s also a wonderful time to trek in the Atlas mountains. We can organize superb lunch parties in the Agafay desert located one hour from Marrakech.”
May can be a great month to go to Bali, in part for similar reasons to Costa Rica above: it’s still relatively dry and slightly less humid then the rainy season, plus it’s just before the high season in summer making it less crowded and giving the island a more authentic, laid-back feel.
Our Bali experts at Luna2 have a fantastic May Getaway package. Named one of “the world’s top 10 hottest hotels” by Tatler Asia, Luna2 is a private hotel located in Seminyak, Bali’s ultimate beachfront holiday destination. You have exclusive-use of 5 bedrooms (4 doubles, 1 twin) for up to 10 adults. Their additional services include VIP ‘fast-track’ with complimentary airport pick-up/drop-off, daily sunset canapés, 24-hour use of 1 “Lunamobile,” with driver, complimentary kids’ coordinator/babysitting services.
Their May Getaway package is available for any bookings made from now until May 31, 2016 for stays between May 1 and August 31. They are also providing a special exclusive offer for UltraVilla readers, who will also receive a 5-course degustation dinner at the Chef’s table, for up to 10 guests, with the uninterrupted sunset and ocean views.
Learn more about Luna2 here or the exclusive properties of our other Indonesia experts, Global Nomad, who are all booked by for May, but the autumn is also a nice time to go to Indonesia.
Happy travels and we hope to see you at some of these wonderful destinations!