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Dust off the hiking boots, mountain bikes or sailing boats – clement weather in both hemispheres means it’s time to get outdoors. The Blue Mountains, the Rockies, the Alps and the Pyrenees are awash with colour, while in cities from San Francisco to Stockholm, folks in decidedly fewer clothes begin to populate the parks and public places.

GO WITH THE FLOW
May is the month for packing a picnic and a pair of wine glasses, hiring a 2CV (a cliché of which we wholeheartedly approve) and heading out across the countryside in France. The route from Normandy to the Languedoc should occupy you for a week or so, passing through Bordeaux and the Dordogne towards Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi. Or meander south through Champagne and Burgundy on your way to Provence, ending your trip on the Côte d’Azur for May’s Cannes Film Festival.

Ibiza, Balearics

ESCAPE THE CROWDS
Ibiza is rubbing the sleep from its eyes in May: the weather is waking up and the beaches are quiet, too – perfect for couples’ breaks, especially for UK travellers who have two long weekends this month, or as a family villa escape during the May half-term. Plus, if you fancy a glamorous night out, May’s the month for the island’s eagerly anticipated opening parties. Mallorca, too, is a sure shout as it continues to forge a reputation as the Balearic foodie capital.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Endless events kick off under May’s blue skies. Our global highlights include Melbourne’s Good Beer Week, Barcelona’s peerless Primavera Sound, England’s gloriously eccentric Summer Solstice at Stonehenge and the momentous San Francisco Pride.

Delaire Graff Estate, Cape Winelands, South Africa

BOOK NOW FOR…
There’s still availability at top summer destinations in Europe, but savvy hotel-lovers in the northern hemisphere will be looking to secure their long-haul winter breaks in May, be it skiing over Christmas, adventuring in far-flung spots (Chile’s Patagonia, South Africa’s Cape Winelands and more), or flying and flopping onto a blissed-out Maldives beach.

For more travel inspiration, explore where to go in June

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