The Getaway
The Best International Getaways in May

After a tough year, everyone will likely argue they need some downtime in fresh surroundings. Although traveling these days will require a few additional steps, exploring a new destination may be the perfect solution for clearing out the cobwebs and stretching our legs. In May, many international destinations enjoy beautiful, mild weather, a choice of festivals and cultural activities, and great deals on accommodations. It’s a perfect time of the year to plan a trip overseas.


01 Enjoy the sun-drenched beaches of Mykonos

In May, the Mediterranean-like climate in Mykonos is a traveler’s joy. With 11 hours of sunshine, this Greek paradise provides plenty of time to take in some rays on the white, sandy beaches. The summer crowds have not yet started to arrive in May, so it’s much quieter and less expensive than it would be once June rolls around. There are wine tastings, helicopter tours, and jeep safaris to enjoy, and the nightlife here is legendary.

Greece, Cyclades. Mykonos Island. Superparadise Beach Maremagnum / Getty Images

02 Bergen, small-town charm with big amenities

It may be the second-largest city in Norway, but this charming destination has the feel of a place that is much smaller and quainter. The Hanseatic Wharf is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you’ll find shops, galleries, and a museum. Nearby, the outdoor Fish Market sells local crafts, souvenirs, seafood, fresh veggies, and fruit. Experience Bergen’s famous street art displays via a self-guided tour.

Scenic summer panorama of the Old Town pier architecture of Bryggen in Bergen, Norway scanrail / Getty Images

03 Machu Picchu, Peru, mysterious adventure

For people seeking an adventure rather than a simple holiday on the beach, consider heading to the Peruvian Andes to explore the secrets of the Incan Empire at Machu Picchu. To get there, board a train in the city of Cuzco and travel to Aguas Calientes, the closest town to the site. Join an Inca Trail hike or one of the many other guided tours. The two-hour hike to the Sun Gate is free, unlike others that charge a fee. The weather here in May is pleasant, with highs hovering around 77 degrees, but once the sun goes down, temperatures drop rapidly.

Machu Picchu Roger Tidman / Getty Images

04 Prague, Czech Republic, beers, and history

Though it’s chilly in May in Prague, a trip to this unique destination is worth the less-than-ideal vacation weather. Once you arrive, you’ll discover vibrant pops of white, purple, pink, and yellow blooms across the city. Baroque, Gothic, and Art Nouveau buildings surround you, including the ornately decorated National Theatre. Cruise down the Vltava River to explore the city’s historical landmarks from a different perspective. Prague is also home to some of the top crafted beers in Europe, served in pubs and bars around the city.

View of Prague at winter over Vltava river rusm / Getty Images

05 Ramatuelle, France, cozy seaside village

High on a hill in southeastern France, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and not far from Saint Tropez, sits the beautiful, medieval village of Ramatuelle. This isn’t a destination for those who seek the glitz and glamour of Paris. The village is most known for its arts and crafts, galleries, and the 16th century Church of Notre Dame. It’s also the site of the first topless sunbathing beach on the Cote d’ Azur, Pampelonne beach. Romantic, outdoor dining and cozy restaurants add to the village’s charm.

Beach with parasols, beds and luxury yachts IvonneW / Getty Images

06 Leh Ladakh, The Himalayas, scenic, secluded adventure

When most people picture India, they imagine throngs of people in crowded marketplaces. Many travelers may not be aware of the many secluded locales in the Himalayas, including Leh-Ladakh. This off-the-beaten-path region attracts hikers, mountain climbers, backpackers, and biking enthusiasts. Photographers discover inspiring vistas in the Zanskar Valley, an area appreciated for its secluded natural beauty. Discover the district’s exciting rafting experiences or visit one of the Buddhist monasteries. May is in the summer season, with warm daytime temps until the sun goes down.

Prayer flag in Tsemo castle with beautiful mountain snow landscape background in Leh Ladakh primeimages / Getty Images

07 Rwanda, central Africa, explore nature

Spectacular landscapes with sweeping plains, volcanoes, and rainforests create an awe-inspired backdrop to all types of adventures in the small country of Rwanda, the Land of a Thousand Hills. Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, lions, zebras, hippos, giraffes, and crocodiles call this area home. The development of Rwandan ecotourism in recent years has helped provide financial support for local people through wildlife and cultural tours.  

Houses in a small village are dwarfed by the looming presence of a volcanic mountain, Rwanda, Edwin Remsberg / Getty Images

08 Budva, Montenegro, party on

The Balkan country of Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea has had its troubles in the past. But today, it has emerged as a newly discovered travel and party destination. Budva, which some call “the Montenegrin Miami,” is a coastal resort and the country’s most visited locale. Although things are a bit less hectic here in May, it’s not the spot you go for quiet relaxation. Explore Old Town’s cafes and shops or hang out on one of Budva’s 20 beaches. Nightlife seekers will love “Top Hill,” a world-famous nightclub that sits atop a hill within walking distance of Old Town.

Sea landscape and beautiful cityscape. Rocky island and shoreline in cloudy evening. Old Town of Budva, medieval walled city, bay, mountains, coastal strip, sandy beaches on Adriatic Sea, Montenegro. goncharovaia / Getty Images

09 San Jose, Costa Rica, the perfect getaway

Traveling to the Republic of Costa Rica is a traveler’s dream, and San Jose is one of the country’s shining gems. Whether it’s surfing, whitewater rafting, sport fishing, or just relaxing, this is the place to fulfill your vacation goals. Spas, a huge array of cafes and restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing opportunities create endless options in this capital city. San Jose is also centrally located, so there’s easy access to the area’s most popular attractions, like the coffee farms, the Irazu Volcano, the La Paz Waterfall Gardens, and Sarchi Artisan Town.

Second Avenue of San Jose, capital of Costa Rica Luis Alvarado Alvarado /

10 Munich, Bavaria, explore tradition

For the traveler interested in taking in as much of the local German culture as possible, Munich is the perfect place to do it. Open-air cafes throughout the city serve traditional German cuisine, and Munich is famous for its beer culture traditions. The Fruhlingsfest or Spring Festival begins in late April and extends through the first week of May, featuring a flea market, amusement rides, and beer tents. Nights can still be a bit chilly in Munich in May, so pack a jacket or sweater.

Hofbräuhaus on Platzl square (dusk) - Munich, Bavaria, Germany Jorg Greuel / Getty Images

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