Whether it’s a not-to-be-missed festival, the best window of opportunity for the weather or a perfectly-timed visit to experience the true vibe of a city, some places are just better in May. It's a great month for travelling to many places. Temperatures are beginning to rise but tourist crowds are yet to be at their peak. Spring has truly sprung in the Northern Hemisphere by this point of the year, and many of the world’s top destinations are a blanket of colour with their flowers in full bloom.

     If you’re looking for the best destinations to visit in May, we've come up with our top picks to help you start planning your pre-peak season getaway.

    1

    Cappadocia, Turkey

    An enchanting land of balloons

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    Cappadocia in May is when you’ll get to see its mesmerising rock formations at their very best. This breathtaking region of central Turkey is reminiscent of something straight out of a fantasy film. The glow of the warm, spring sun reflecting off its iconic ‘fairy chimneys’ and the colourful hot air balloons floating overhead certainly make for an unforgettable sight.

    A balloon ride is an absolute must when in Cappadocia, and May couldn't be a better time for it. Fewer crowds affect the magical ambience and it’s good to avoid the summer when prices get hiked up. Summer can get incredibly hot too, so May is better for other popular activities, such as hiking and exploring the fascinating Kaymakli underground city.

    Drift off

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    2

    Puglia, Italy

    The breathtaking heel of Italy

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    Puglia in May is all about relaxing beaches, comfortable weather and authentic charm, as the crowds of the summer have yet to descend upon this stunning Italian hotspot. The dramatic cliffs of Italy’s heel boast spectacular views out over azure waters and the beautiful shores along its rugged coastline are only lightly peppered with beach dwellers.

    At this time of year, you can freely explore the area’s historical sights and whitewashed towns and, although warm, the weather won’t be too hot for you to do so. If you’re in Bari at the beginning of May, things get a little livelier when the Festa di San Nicola celebrations take place and the last week welcomes the country’s renowned Cantine Aperte (Open Cellars) wine festival.

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    3

    Napa Valley, CA, USA

    California’s home of vineyards

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    May in Napa Valley is when things are just beginning to hot up, with vineyards coming to life and the peak summer season just around the corner. At the tail end of spring, the weather is warm, but not too hot for an alfresco glass of wine…or 3. Grape harvest season lasts from August to October, resulting in expensive hotels and busy vineyards. But May is when the flowers are in bloom and the wine is still as good.

    With so many enticing wineries to choose from, it’d be rude not to do an organised tour of some of the best. And why not allow time to explore the awesome sights of San Francisco while you’re there too?

    Yes, please!

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    4

    London, England, UK

    Timeless pomp and glamour in one of the most-visited cities in the world

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    London is a hive of activity in May, with bustling parks erupting with colour, rooftop bars dusting off their furniture and the first feelings of summer being teased with not 1, but 2 bank holidays. The UK loves its summer events, and London loves to lead the way with May often kicking things off. If you’re visiting at this time, then the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show is one of the best in the world and not to be missed.

    The weather should be on your side at this time of year, so make the most of the slightly off-peak season and discover the likes of Tower BridgeBuckingham Palace, and The View from The Shard.

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    5

    Seoul, Korea

    A dynamic blend of 'Old meets New'

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    This is one of the best times to experience the South Korean capital because its notoriously varied weather is most likely to be in your favour. The city has 4 very distinct seasons, but the month of May is when temperatures are mild – not too hot; not too cold – and there should be only a slim chance of rain affecting your explorations.

    Discover the spectacular Gyeongbokgung Palace, visit the poignant War Memorial of Korea and stroll through the beautifully preserved Bukchon Hanok Village. Be sure to experience the Lotus Lantern Festival while you’re here in May. The Yeon Deung Hoe (as the festival is locally known) is an enchanting sight that celebrates Buddha’s birthday, filling the streets with a sea of twinkling lanterns and a captivating parade.

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    Sadie Geoghegan-Dann | Contributing Writer

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