May and June are fantastic months to travel, as many popular holiday destinations are quieter than usual. The early summer sun is just the right level of hot, plus travelling at this time of year means saving money on your villa and flights too. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and check out our top travel destinations for an early summer getaway.
Malta is a beautiful island to visit at any time of year, but in June it hosts the historic ‘L-Imnarja’ festivities. One of Malta’s oldest festivals, L-Imnarja is a perfect coming together of culture, history and food – what could be better? Taking place on 29th June each year, the festival commemorates two of Malta’s most notable saints, St. Paul and St. Peter. The principle attraction though takes place on the eve of the event, where big celebrations happen at Buskett Gardens in the south east. Lasting the night through with feasting, folkore and music, people express their joy through light, with a bonfire and lighting candles earning the festival’s name, from the Latin word “luminare”, meaning “illuminate”. It’s a spectacle not to miss if you’re holidaying in Malta in June.
With temperatures hovering around a pleasant 22–25 degrees Celsius, the Algarve in May is a breath of fresh air. During peak months, the golf courses and family resorts of the Algarve really come alive. However, in the month of May, the area’s wide golden beaches – such as Praia da Falésia in Albufeira – are much more tranquil, providing the perfect opportunity to enjoy the many leisure activities and beautiful scenery.
To the east, the Rio Formosa nature reserve is a wonderful place to explore. One of Algarve’s three protected areas, the park is made up of large wetlands, which support rare wildlife, some of which can only be found in southern Portugal. If you want to learn about the area properly, it’s a great idea to take a tour by boat, or a bike ride to get up close and personal with the stunning landscape.
You could see beautiful flamingos, chameleons, seahorses and even the rare Portuguese water dog, if you’re lucky! Across the rest of the Algarve, look out for the white stork bird, as in the months of May and June their eggs begin to hatch.
Where to stay…
Villa Mariana enjoys a prime location in between the exclusive resorts of Vale do Lobo and Quinta do Lago and is a fantastic choice for those looking for a James Villa holiday to the Algarve this May or June.
Many people who have visited Tuscany in May will tell you that this is a wonderful time to visit this Italian beauty, with green fields, balmy weather and flowers in bloom. Yellow rapeseed crops blanket the landscape, while pockets of red from the poppy flower can be seen, too. Other wild flowers in bloom at this time include olive trees and sage, while gardens are full of roses and jasmine.
May is also a fantastic time to visit Tuscany as it marks the start of many “sagre”, which are festivals dedicated to specific local produce. Celebrating local specialities such as olive oil, wine and truffles, you’re bound to find a foodie celebration if you visit in May, so keep a look out!
Crete is an enchanting destination, which is beautiful in both May and June, before the summer holidays are in full swing. The weather here in early summer is idyllic, as the days are pleasantly warm, the air is fresh and perfect for hiking in the breathtaking landscapes.
One of the most popular spots to explore on the island when hiking is the Samaria Gorge. The trail runs for about 16 kilometres and in the peak months it can attract a couple of thousand visitors a day. During May, however, you might just find that you have some of the most picturesque parts of the gorge to yourself, making it an incredibly peaceful experience. In May, the gorge is bedecked with bursts of colour from wildflowers in bloom, so be sure to take your camera – and don’t forget to look out for golden eagles!
Where to stay…
The lovely Villa Kyveli sits within the beautiful and tranquil location of Loutra, with wonderful views across the neighbouring olive grove, orchards and out to sea.