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Where is hot in May in Europe? Eight spring holiday destinations you wouldn’t expect

Balearic Island Formentera offers nine hours of bright sunshine a day   (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Balearic Island Formentera offers nine hours of bright sunshine a day (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Spring is in the air in the UK, with blossom, bulbs and bees making their presence felt in recent weeks as the weather has warmed up. But while the temperature is steadily rising, it’s safe to say that British weather can be unpredictable – so we can’t guarantee any scorching hot days very soon.

For wall-to-wall sunshine in May then, your best bet is a trip abroad – many parts of Europe offer hot weather from this month onwards. Whether you fancy a city break or sun lounger escapism, there are plenty of places to peruse.

The hottest temperatures recorded on the continent throughout May are typically seen in Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Turkey. With temperatures ranging from 23-27C and up to 11 hours of sunshine a day, a spring getaway to some of these destinations is an appealing prospect.

From Gozo and Seville to Thessaloniki and Bodrum, we’ve rounded up the spring holiday destinations you wouldn’t expect. Keep scrolling for some hot weather travel inspiration for May.

Gozo, Malta

Soak up Mediterranean views and visit a medieval citadel (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Soak up Mediterranean views and visit a medieval citadel (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in May: 24C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

The Malteze island of Gozo offers a quieter holiday pace than the mainland – which is just a 45-minute ferry ride away – and you can expect average temperatures of 24C throughout May, as well as around nine hours of sunshine per day. Soak up beautiful Mediterranean views, tuck into local Gozitan cuisine and enjoy meandering along the island’s rural hiking paths. Gozo is just 67sqkm in size and there are 15 bus routes offering a travel network across the island. Visit the capital Rabat (or Victoria as it’s also known), where you’ll find a medieval citadel which is home to the Gran Castello Historic House, the Gozo Museum of Archaeology and Gozo Cathedral. There’s also an open-air market just below the citadel in Independence Square, selling produce, clothing and souvenirs. You can also travel by boat to the smaller nearby island Comino from MÄ¡arr Harbour and take a dip in the tempting turquoise Blue Lagoon water.

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Seville, Spain

The Andalusian capital boasts 16th century architecure and modern buildings (Getty Images)
The Andalusian capital boasts 16th century architecure and modern buildings (Getty Images)
  • Average temperature in May: 26C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

Travel to Seville and soak up eight hours of sunshine a day in May, while also enjoying an average temperature of 26C. The Andalusian capital boasts an array of architecture ranging from modern buildings to historic monuments. Visit Unesco World Heritage Site Seville Cathedral, which is a gothic 16th-century building dating back to Moorish times. Meanwhile, the city’s Alcázar Palace is an 18th-century crowd-pleaser where guided tours are available. Tuck into cheap tapas and visit El Rinconcillo, the oldest bar in Seville, and swing by the Museum of Fine Arts, which hosts paintings from the 12th-18th centuries and also has a courtyard for catching some rays. Head to the Alameda neighbourhood if you fancy doing some shopping, while nearby Triana has a food market.

Thessaloniki, Greece

Lap up sea views and enjoy historic sights in Thessaloniki (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Lap up sea views and enjoy historic sights in Thessaloniki (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in May: 25C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

Thessaloniki reaches a tempting 25C in May, and there are around eight hours of daily sunshine. If you’re seeking sea views and a cultural city break, this is the place to visit. The White Tower of Thessaloniki sits on the seafront and historic sights also include the 4th-century Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda, while the Walls of Thessaloniki surround the city and were built during the Middle Ages. Meanwhile, the Church of St Paul is a modern building, finished in 1987. Head to main street Egnatia for shops, restaurants and bars – there’s a vibrant nightlife scene. There are several beaches situated within reach of the city, so you can combine relaxation with seeing the sights.

Bodrum, Turkey

Picturesque whitewashed houses make an ideal holiday backdrop (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Picturesque whitewashed houses make an ideal holiday backdrop (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in May: 27C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 11

Turkey’sBodrum reaches a whopping 27C in May, and offers up to 11 hours of sunshine a day. The peninsula is located on the southwest coast and looks out onto the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, making it an ideal destination for a May beach break. This pretty port city has picturesque, whitewashed houses and 15th-century Bodrum Castle, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Bodrum is known for its vibrant bars, restaurants and nightlife for those looking to party. There are smaller coastal villages, such as Yalikavak, Turgutreis and Gumusluk, nearby if you prefer staying somewhere a little quieter.

Formentera, Spain

This is a less crowded Balearic option, compared to Ibiza (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
This is a less crowded Balearic option, compared to Ibiza (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in May: 24C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

The smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera is situated to the southeast of Ibiza and is a quieter, less crowded holiday destination. Temperatures heat up to an amiable 24C in May, and you can also expect to see around 9 hours of Spanish sunshine per day. There are breath-taking beaches and turquoise waters, plus several towns and resorts to explore, including La Savina, Es Migjorn, Cala Saona, Es Pujols and El Pilar de la Mola. Formentera can be reached by ferry, and it’s worth knowing that vehicle numbers are restricted during the summer to help protect this picturesque isle.

Secret Balearic Islands: an insider’s guide to lesser-known Menorca and Formentera

Sorrento, Italy

Survey sweeping scenery and sunbathe on popular beaches (Getty)
Survey sweeping scenery and sunbathe on popular beaches (Getty)
  • Average temperature in May: 26C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

Sorrento is a historic Italian town situated on a peninsula, offering visitors a stunning view over to the Bay of Naples. With average temperatures reaching 26C in May, it’s an ideal time to see the blooming orange blossoms and lemon trees. Plus, there tend to be fewer visitors in May than during the peak summer months. Take in the sweeping scenery, comprising rocky coasts and beaches popular for bathing. Meanwhile, Piazza Tasso is Sorrento’s central square, featuring shops, bars, and restaurants. Just a five-minute walk away you’ll find Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century Franciscan church.

Protaras, Cyprus

Fig Tree Bay is the most well-known coastal spot, with bars, restaurants and nightlife (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Fig Tree Bay is the most well-known coastal spot, with bars, restaurants and nightlife (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in May: 26C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 10

This eastern Cyprus resort town has glorious beaches for lazing on a lounger or taking a scenic coastal walk. In May you can expect to lap up around 10 hours of sunshine a day, while temperatures reach 26C. Fig Tree Bay is the most well-known coastal spot, where bars, restaurants and nightlife are also found. You can visit Hellenistic tombs nearby, as well as the Church of Profitis Ilias which leads to a nature trail. Plus, famed party town Ayia Napa is only a 15-minute drive away.

Cascais, Portugal

Enjoy hiking trails, watersports and a round of golf (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Enjoy hiking trails, watersports and a round of golf (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in May: 23C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

The Portugese city of Cascais is just 40 minutes from capital Lisbon, and it offers a pleasing 23C daily average temperature in May, as well as nine hours of sunshine. Cultural spots include 19th-century stately home Casa de Santa Maria and the Santa Marta Lighthouse Museum. Outdoor activities include hiking trails, kayaking, paddle boarding and paragliding, and Cascais is famous for its many golf courses too, if you’re looking for a sporty sunshine break. For foodie fans, Fortaleza do Guincho has a Michelin star, and there are plentiful seafood picks across the harbour.

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