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10 Best Luxury Travel Destinations for Vacation in May

Where to go in the month of May? What are the places with the best weather in May? And where are there luxury events, 5-star hotels and resorts, and culture and adventure for all? Here are 10 of the best luxury travel destinations – where to go for a vacation for families or couples looking for adventure or culture in the month of May.

where to go for a luxury vacation in the month of May

Where should you go in May to have a marvelous luxury experience? Glad you asked, dear reader.

There are glamorous luxury events all month long in May: the Cannes Film Festival, the Met Costume Gala, bellwether art auctions in New York, the Chelsea Flower Show, the Kentucky Derby, and the Monaco Grand Prix.

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Plus Mother’s Day and Memorial Day – both excellent excuses for a splurge vacation with your family and friends.

Here are 10 sensational luxury destinations for the month of May 2022. The weather there in May will be great, and there will be plenty of fun to be had all month long.

10 Best Luxury Travel Destinations for the Perfect Vacation in May

1. Malta

As temperatures rise, venture to Malta for golden beaches, exquisite cuisine, culture and historic sites like Mdina. Malta’s 16th-century citadel, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Valletta, was named one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2018. Preparation for that celebration included extensive restoration projects. As a result, the entire town is aglow.

A melting pot of European influences since it was built by the Knights of St. John following the Great Siege of 1565, Valletta offers both history and art. Further afield, Gozo provides a serene retreat on the coastline. Must-see spots there include the Azure Window, and the Cittadella and Ggantija temples, which date back as far as 3600 BC.

Best luxury travel destinations and where to go for a vacation for families or couples looking for adventure or culture in the month of May.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May. The ancient capital city of Mdina in Malta.

2. The Azores

Located off the coast of Portugal, these nine pristine islands boast stunning natural beauty, charming villages, sandy beaches, and excellent cuisine. New Yorkers can take advantage of Delta’s direct flights from JFK, departing five days per week for the spring and summer vacation season.

São Miguel is the most developed of the islands, and is home to the capital, Ponta Delgada. You’ll find waterfalls, black sand beaches, dolphins, and hot springs fed by the volcanoes by which the archipelago was originally formed.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May. Lagoa do Congro in the Azores, Portugal.

3. The Scottish Highlands

For peace and quiet, stunning scenery and ample leisure activities, the Scottish Highlands are absolutely ideal – especially at this time of year. See Edinburgh and Stirling, then drive through the countryside, filled with sparkling lochs and romantic castles.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May. Loch Fleet in the Scottish Highlands.

4. The French Riviera

The Côte D’Azur is alive with beauty and adventure in May. We think you should go crazy and rent a luxury convertible, ‘cause why not? And then hit the road for one of the most gorgeous drives on Earth.

In Monaco, in addition to the 77thannual edition of the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, you can wager at the world-famous and glamorous Casino in Monte Carlo. And dine at the world’s only all-organic restaurant to have a Michelin star. Be sure to visit the spectacular Oceanographic Museum. We love the Hotel de Paris – it’s just steps away from chic shops, the Casino and the yacht harbor.

Cannes will be hosting its iconic 11-day film festival. So hanging out at the grande dame Carlton Hotel on La Croisette is guaranteed to be a star-studded experience.

Then plot a course for Eze, Mougin, Grasse, Saint-Tropez and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. In a region with 320 days of sunshine per year, it promises to be a brilliant escape.

Marseille on the Cote d’Azur

5. Paris

April is an iconic time to visit the City of Light (as the song says), but there’s beauty and sparkle aplenty in May, as well. If you visit Saturday, May 18th, 2019, you can join the 15th edition of the wonderful annual Nuit des Musées. Over 1,000 museums, including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou, will be open until after midnight. And admission is free. The French Open begins May 20, 2019 on the clay courts at Roland Garros.

The best luxury travel destinations for adventure or culture on vacation in the month of May. Musee d’Orsay Paris.

6. Shanghai

Shanghai’s subtropical monsoon climate means that mid-May is the sweet spot for mild, pleasant weather – it’s right in between the rainy season and the oppressively hot summer. The city is as stylish and sophisticated as ever, with an incredible array of 5-star properties from which to choose. They include Amanyangyun; the Capella Shanghai, Jian Ye Li; the Bellagio ShanghaiThe Middle Housethe Bulgari Shanghai; and the Shanghai EDITION.

Meanwhile, the Power Station of Art (mainland China’s first state-run museum dedicated to contemporary art) and the striking kinetic Fosun Foundation (designed by Foster + Partners in collaboration with Heatherwick Studio) are drawing design lovers from around the world. The Fosun is notable for its three overlapping moving layers of vertical stainless steel pipes. The layers, inspired by theater curtains, slowly rotate around the building.

The best luxury travel destinations for vacation in the month of May

The best luxury travel destinations for vacation in the month of May. Springtime in Shanghai.

7. Bali

Bali has spectacular beaches, temples and marketplaces, as well as several world-class resorts. And there seem to be always more on the way. Additions within the past 12 months include the Six Senses in Uluwatu—the village famous for its temple perched atop a cliff overlooking the sea. And the Cliff, an addition to Alila Villas Ulutawu. Capella Ubudwill has debuted with a series of luxury tents designed by acclaimed architect Bill Bensley. The island will soon be even easier to reach, thanks to an expansion of the international airport in Denpasar.

The best luxury travel destinations for vacation in the month of May

The best luxury travel destinations for vacation in the month of May. Floating Temple in Bali, Indonesia

8. Memphis, Tennessee

Louisville, Kentucky gets all of the attention in May because of the Kentucky Derby. But if you want to experience another special Southern city, head to the “Memphis in May” international festival, which is spread throughout the month and includes the three-day Beale Street Music Festival (May 3-5, 2019) and the 42nd annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (May 15-18, 2019). Visit the National Civil Rights Museum and pay your respects to the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Stay at the iconic Peabody Hotel – and don’t miss the adorable daily duck parade in its ornate lobby.

Where to go to for the best luxury travel destinations in the month of May.

Where to go to for the best luxury vacation in the month of May. Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee

9. Scottsdale, Arizona

What could be lovelier in springtime than a desert rose? In the Valley of the Sun, there are more than 330 days of sunshine per year. May is the start of the “dry” summer in Scottsdale, with warm temperatures (highs in low 90’s), low humidity, and no precipitation. There will be flowering cacti to view in the Sonoran Desert. You can explore it on foot, bike, jeep, horseback and even hot-air balloon – just be sure to bring a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen.

We love to make the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess our home base when we visit, because it’s low-key, relaxed luxury. Our ace travel agent Judi votes for the Phoenician as the most luxurious of all. She also recommends the Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North (which is a bit removed from the center of things) and the landmark Arizona Biltmore (which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright). If you want something hipper, she says the Andaz is definitely the place to go.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May. Springtime in the Arizona desert.

10. Toronto, Canada

May continues Toronto’s mild spring season, making it the ideal time to explore the city’s outdoor offerings, including dining al fresco and going on a walking tour of the many lovely gardens and parks. Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art is now well-established in its new location in Sterling Road’s Automotive Tower. Toward the end of the month is Victoria Day, which will see fireworks and celebrations in honor of Queen Victoria. You can’t go wrong staying at the Four Seasons. Toronto is the birthplace of the luxury brand, and the property here is one of the best in the portfolio.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May.

Where to go for the best luxury vacation for adventure or culture in the month of May. The Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada.

There you have it: the best travel destinations for a luxurious May escape. What’s at the top of your list this month? Have fun, and make it brilliant.

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels published by Simon & Schuster. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She loves fashion, Paris, New York, books, contemporary art, running, skiing, coffee, Corgis and violets. 

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