Want to discover the best island to visit in May?

May is an enchanting month to travel, especially if you are considering an island getaway.

The allure of traveling during this spring month lies in its moderate weather, generally pleasant across many parts of the globe, making it ideal for exploring the outdoors without the extremes of summer heat or winter cold.

Furthermore, May typically marks the shoulder season in many destinations, meaning fewer crowds and often lower prices, enhancing the travel experience with a more relaxed atmosphere and better deals.

Choosing the right destination in May can profoundly impact the enjoyment of your holiday.

Whether you’re looking for a serene retreat to unwind or an adventure-packed escape, islands offer a perfect blend of relaxation and exploration opportunities.

In this context, finding the best island to visit in May is crucial.

The ideal island getaway in May will provide a combination of beautiful weather, vibrant cultural experiences, and unique attractions, all accessible without the peak season crowds.

Throughout this article, we will explore the seven best islands to visit in May, each offering its unique charm and reasons why they stand out as the top choices for your spring travel.

From the azure waters of the Caribbean to the historic allure of the Mediterranean, each destination promises a memorable escape.

Let’s discover which island could be your next perfect May retreat!

1: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador


The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands situated in the Pacific Ocean, roughly 900 kilometers west of continental Ecuador.

Known for their vast number of endemic species and historical significance to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, these islands offer a truly unique natural experience.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is one of the best times to visit the Galapagos Islands due to the pleasant weather and the beginning of the warmer season.

This period marks a significant transition in the wildlife activity, including the beginning of the sea turtle nesting season and the end of the hatching season for land iguanas.

Visitors can indulge in snorkeling and diving to witness the vibrant marine life, including the famous Galapagos penguins and marine iguanas.

Bird watching is spectacular during this time, with opportunities to see blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and albatrosses engaging in their mating rituals.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

The Galapagos Islands are primarily known for their extraordinary wildlife and pristine ecosystems, which are unlike any other on the planet.

The conservation efforts and the strict regulations in place to protect the natural environment make it a fascinating destination for eco-tourists and nature enthusiasts.

The islands offer a glimpse into the evolutionary processes and continue to be a living laboratory for scientific research.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

Accommodation in the Galapagos ranges from eco-lodges to luxury hotels, catering to various preferences and budgets.

However, booking early is crucial as the options are limited due to conservation laws limiting construction.

Travelers should consider guided tours, which often include accommodation, meals, and excursions, ensuring a comprehensive and educational visit to the islands.

Travel tips for the Galapagos include packing sun protection, including sunscreen and hats, as the equatorial sun can be quite intense.

It’s also advisable to bring sturdy footwear for hiking on rugged terrain and waterproof bags to protect cameras and other electronic devices during wet landings on the islands.

Lastly, respecting the local wildlife and adhering to the national park rules will enhance your experience and help preserve this unique destination for future visitors.

2: Hawaii

hawaii islands

Hawaii, the only U.S. state composed entirely of islands, is located in the central Pacific Ocean.

It’s a renowned tourist destination known for its lush landscapes, volcanic features, and rich Polynesian culture.

The archipelago consists of hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles, with the eight main islands attracting the most visitors.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is an excellent time to visit Hawaii as it offers beautiful weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices than the high seasons.

The islands are bustling with activities, from hiking in verdant rainforests and exploring volcanic parks to surfing on world-famous waves.

Visitors in May can enjoy the tail end of the whale watching season and also participate in the colorful Lei Day festivities, a unique cultural celebration held every May 1st, celebrating Hawaiian culture with music, dance, and lei-making competitions.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

Hawaii’s natural elements are vast and varied, featuring everything from black sand beaches to the snow-capped heights of Mauna Kea.

The islands’ ecosystems are incredibly diverse, allowing for unique flora and fauna, including the native Hawaiian monk seals and numerous tropical plant species.

Culturally, Hawaii stands out with its rich heritage reflected in the hula dance, Hawaiian music, and the Aloha spirit that permeates every aspect of life on the islands.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

Hawaii offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts on Waikiki Beach to quaint bed and breakfasts hidden in the upcountry regions of Maui.

For those seeking a more authentic experience, vacation rentals and eco-lodges provide a closer look at local life away from the major tourist centers.

Travel tips for Hawaii include renting a car to explore the islands extensively, as public transport is limited outside of urban areas.

Visitors should also be mindful of the environment by respecting wildlife, staying on designated trails, and using reef-safe sunscreen to protect the marine ecosystems.

Additionally, experiencing local cuisine and attending a luau can provide deeper insights into the island’s culture and traditions.

3: Bali, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

Bali, known as the ‘Island of the Gods,’ is part of the Indonesian archipelago located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands.

It lies between Java to the west and Lombok to the east.

This island is celebrated for its vibrant arts scene, spiritual culture, and breathtaking landscapes, ranging from lush rice terraces to dramatic volcanic hillsides.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is an ideal time to visit Bali as it marks the start of the dry season, offering sunny days perfect for outdoor adventures and beach activities.

During this time, visitors can explore the island’s iconic temples like Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple, which offer stunning sunset views.

The beaches in Bali, such as those in Seminyak and Kuta, are perfect for surfing, sunbathing, and water sports.

Additionally, the Bali Arts Festival typically begins in June, so visiting in late May can provide the opportunity to experience some early cultural events.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

Bali’s unique blend of Hindu culture, intricate art forms, traditional music, and dance sets it apart from other destinations.

The island is also famous for its traditional healing practices and yoga retreats, attracting those seeking spiritual growth and wellness.

Bali’s natural landscape is just as diverse, featuring volcanic mountains, tranquil lakes, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant coral reefs, making it a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

Accommodation in Bali ranges from luxurious beach resorts to private villas and budget-friendly hostels, catering to all types of travelers.

Many visitors choose to stay in Ubud to immerse themselves in the cultural heart of Bali or in the coastal areas for easy beach access.

Travel tips for Bali include respecting local customs and religious practices, especially when visiting temples where appropriate attire is required.

It’s also advisable to rent a scooter to navigate the island efficiently, as this is a common and convenient mode of transport in Bali.

Visitors should be cautious with street food and drink plenty of bottled water to avoid Bali belly. Finally, bargaining in local markets is expected, so don’t hesitate to negotiate prices to get the best deals.

4: Cyprus

Cyprus island

Cyprus, an enchanting island in the Eastern Mediterranean, serves as a crossroads between Europe, Asia, and Africa.

This strategic position has imbued the island with a rich and complex history, reflected in its diverse culture and architectural heritage.

Cyprus is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, known for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and scenic mountain ranges.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is one of the best times to visit Cyprus, as the weather is comfortably warm and the summer crowds have not yet arrived.

This month is perfect for exploring the island’s numerous archaeological sites like the Tombs of the Kings and the ancient Kourion.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking in the Troodos Mountains, which are covered with lush forests and dotted with picturesque villages.

May also features several cultural festivals in Cyprus, offering visitors a glimpse into the island’s traditions and contemporary arts scene.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

Cyprus is unique in its blend of Greek and Turkish influences, which is evident in its cuisine, language, and cultural practices.

The island is also renowned for its stunning natural beauty, from the pristine beaches of Ayia Napa to the rugged Akamas Peninsula, a biodiversity hotspot.

Another significant aspect of Cyprus is its vineyards, which produce some of the oldest named wines in the world, including the renowned Commandaria.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

In Cyprus, accommodations range from luxury seaside resorts and private villas to quaint guesthouses in the mountains, providing options for every taste and budget.

The island’s compact size makes it easy to explore, whether by car or through organized tours.

Travel tips for visitors to Cyprus include renting a car to explore remote areas and hidden gems throughout the island.

It’s also advisable to carry cash, as smaller establishments may not accept credit cards. Visitors should be prepared for the siesta closure of shops and businesses in the early afternoon.

Additionally, while visiting religious sites, appropriate attire should be worn to respect local customs.

Lastly, trying local dishes such as mezze, halloumi, and seafood is a must for a complete Cypriot experience.

5: Bora Bora, French Polynesia

bora bora island

Bora Bora, often referred to as the jewel of the South Seas, is a small South Pacific island northwest of Tahiti in French Polynesia.

Surrounded by a turquoise lagoon and barrier reef, and dominated by the remnants of an extinct volcano rising to two peaks, Mount Pahia and Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora is renowned for its stunning beauty, luxurious resorts, and its warm, inviting waters.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is an excellent time to visit Bora Bora as it falls just before the busy tourist season, offering more privacy and lower prices.

The weather is generally warm and pleasant, ideal for exploring the island’s natural beauty.

Activities in May include snorkeling and scuba diving in the clear lagoon waters, where colorful fish and coral gardens abound.

Visitors can also enjoy shark and ray feeding tours, sail on catamarans, or explore the island by 4×4 vehicles, which offer panoramic views of the lush terrain and azure seas.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

Bora Bora’s culture is deeply rooted in its Polynesian heritage, which is evident in the local music, dance, and crafts.

The Heiva Festival, although held in July, starts its preparations in May, and visitors can often see the rehearsals and the buildup to this important cultural event.

The island’s natural environment is equally impressive, featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, such as Matira Beach, and a stunning lagoon that hosts a diverse range of marine life.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

Accommodation in Bora Bora is synonymous with luxury, with many resorts offering overwater bungalows that provide direct access to the lagoon right from your doorstep.

While these can be pricey, there are also more budget-friendly hotels and guesthouses available, particularly on the main island.

Travel tips for Bora Bora include booking accommodations well in advance, especially if traveling around popular travel times or festivals.

Water-based activities are a must-do, so plan to spend plenty of time on or under the water. It’s also advisable to bring high SPF sunscreen and protective clothing to shield against the strong tropical sun.

Lastly, while French and Tahitian are the official languages, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, making communication easy for most travelers.

6: Tahiti, French Polynesia

island of tahiti

Tahiti, the largest island in French Polynesia, lies in the South Pacific and forms part of the Society Islands.

It is shaped like a figure-eight and is known for its volcanic mountains and lush rainforest.

As the economic, cultural, and political center of French Polynesia, Tahiti offers a blend of sophisticated French style with the laid-back island vibe.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is an ideal month to visit Tahiti due to the pleasant weather, with fewer rain showers and comfortably warm temperatures.

This period is perfect for outdoor activities without the intense heat of the summer months.

Visitors can explore black sand beaches, such as Pointe Venus, or hike the lava tubes and waterfalls in the interior of the island.

Tahiti also hosts the Tahiti Pearl Regatta in May, one of the largest sailing events in the South Pacific, which brings a festive atmosphere with competitive races and cultural celebrations.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

Tahiti is rich in cultural heritage, prominently displayed through vibrant dance performances, music, and traditional Polynesian art.

The island is also famous for its pearls, particularly black pearls, which are cultivated in its lagoons.

Nature-wise, Tahiti is known for its dramatic waterfalls, deep valleys, and extensive coral reefs that offer excellent diving opportunities.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

Accommodation on Tahiti ranges from luxury resorts to family-run pensions (guesthouses), offering a wide variety of choices depending on travelers’ budgets and preferences.

The capital city, Papeete, has more urban hotel options and is known for its lively market, vibrant nightlife, and excellent dining options.

Travel tips for Tahiti include renting a car to explore the island at your own pace, as public transport options are limited.

It’s also advisable to try local foods such as poisson cru (raw fish marinated in lime juice and coconut milk), which is a staple in Tahitian cuisine.

Visitors should be prepared for the casual island pace and occasional “island time” delays in services.

Lastly, while French is the official language, English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, making communication relatively straightforward for most visitors.

7: Santorini, Greece


Santorini, officially known as Thira, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece’s mainland.

It is the most famous of the Cyclades Islands, primarily for its dramatic views, stunning sunsets, and the iconic white and blue-domed buildings that cascade down its steep cliffs.

Key Attractions and Activities Suitable for May

May is an excellent time to visit Santorini, as the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for exploring the island before the peak tourist season begins.

Visitors can enjoy walking tours of the famous villages of Fira and Oia, where the narrow, winding paths offer breathtaking views of the caldera.

Wine tours are also popular, as Santorini’s unique volcanic soil produces some distinctive wines.

May also sees the opening of most tourist facilities and is ideal for experiencing outdoor dining with spectacular views without the summer crowds.

Unique Cultural or Natural Elements

Santorini’s most striking feature is its geological landscape — the island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history, which created the current caldera.

This natural event has significantly influenced the island’s culture and architecture, evident in the cave houses built into the cliffs and the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, which showcase prehistoric life before the eruption.

The island is also renowned for its spectacular sunsets, which have become one of the symbols of Santorini.

Accommodation Options and Travel Tips

Santorini offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious hotels with infinity pools overlooking the caldera to more modest but charming guesthouses in the interior villages.

Early booking is highly recommended, especially for rooms with caldera views, as they can sell out months in advance.

Travel tips for Santorini include renting an ATV or a scooter to navigate the island efficiently, as this is a popular mode of transportation among tourists.

Visitors should be prepared for walking up and down steep and often crowded paths, especially in Fira and Oia.

It’s advisable to pack a good pair of walking shoes.

Additionally, while dining out, trying local dishes such as tomatokeftedes (tomato fritters) and fresh seafood is a must.

Finally, be mindful of the strong sun and bring adequate sun protection, especially during the day.

Comparative Analysis

best island to visit in may

Each of the seven best islands to visit in May offers unique attractions and activities, making them stand out depending on travelers’ specific interests.

Here, we compare the climate conditions and highlight which island caters best to various activities such as beaches, hiking, wildlife, and cultural festivals.

Climate Conditions in May

  • Galapagos Islands: May in the Galapagos Islands is mild with average temperatures around 25°C (77°F), which is ideal for both land and sea explorations.
  • Hawaii: Expect temperatures around 26°C (79°F) with minimal rainfall, providing excellent weather for a wide range of outdoor activities.
  • Bali: Bali begins its dry season in May, with warm temperatures averaging 28°C (82°F), making it perfect for beach and water activities.
  • Cyprus: The Mediterranean climate offers warm days with average temperatures of 24°C (75°F), ideal for exploring historical sites and hiking.
  • Bora Bora: Tropical and warm with temperatures around 28°C (82°F), May is the beginning of the less rainy season in French Polynesia.
  • Tahiti: Similar to Bora Bora, Tahiti experiences warm, tropical weather with temperatures around 28°C (82°F) and reduced rainfall.
  • Santorini: The temperate climate in May sees temperatures around 20°C (68°F), cooler than tropical islands but pleasant for sightseeing and enjoying the outdoors.

Best Islands for Specific Interests

  • Beaches: For beach enthusiasts, Bora Bora and Tahiti offer some of the most picturesque and luxurious beach experiences with their stunning turquoise waters and white sands. Bali also provides a wide range of beach activities along with a vibrant beach club scene.
  • Hiking: Hawaii stands out for hikers with its diverse landscapes ranging from volcanic craters to lush rainforests. Cyprus also offers excellent hiking opportunities in the Troodos Mountains.
  • Wildlife: The Galapagos Islands are unparalleled for wildlife enthusiasts looking to observe unique species in their natural habitat. Similarly, Bali provides a rich biodiversity, particularly in its marine and forest reserves.
  • Cultural Festivals: Bali, with its colorful festivals and rich traditions, and Santorini, with its unique blend of Greek culture and volcanic history, are top destinations for cultural explorers. Hawaii‘s Lei Day and Tahiti’s Heiva Festival are also significant cultural events that attract many visitors.

Each island has its own charm and specialty, making them suitable for different kinds of travelers.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation on a beach, adventurous hikes, close encounters with wildlife, or immersive cultural experiences, one of these islands is likely to offer exactly what you need in May.

Travel Tips and Recommendations

gorgeous island

Island-hopping in May can be an enriching way to spend your vacation, offering pleasant weather, diverse cultures, and unique landscapes.

Here are some general travel tips and recommendations to enhance your island experience in May:

General Travel Advice for Island-Hopping in May

  • Plan Ahead: While May is generally a shoulder season for many island destinations, it’s wise to plan your itinerary and book key activities in advance to avoid disappointment, especially in popular locations like Santorini and Bora Bora.
  • Pack Appropriately: Lightweight, breathable clothing is essential, along with a good mix of swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, and a sturdy pair of walking shoes for exploring. Also, remember to pack a light jacket or sweater as evenings can be cooler, especially on islands like Santorini.
  • Stay Hydrated and Protected: The sun can be intense in tropical and Mediterranean climates, so regular application of sunscreen and staying hydrated is crucial to enjoying your days fully.
  • Be Flexible: Weather can still be unpredictable, and being flexible with your plans can help you make the most of your trip despite occasional showers or changes in local event schedules.

Recommendations on How to Make the Most of a May Visit

  • Local Festivals and Events: Participate in local events such as the Bali Arts Festival, Tahiti’s Heiva Festival preparations, or the Lei Day celebrations in Hawaii. These cultural events offer deep insights into the local heritage and are a fun way to engage with the community.
  • Explore the Outdoors: Take advantage of the typically milder May weather to explore natural attractions. Whether it’s hiking in Hawaii, snorkeling in the Galapagos, or sunset watching in Santorini, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities.
  • Local Cuisine: Try local specialties wherever you are. Each island offers its unique flavors and dishes, from fresh seafood in Bora Bora to traditional meze in Cyprus.

Tips on Booking Accommodations and Transport

  • Early Reservations: Book your accommodations early, especially if you are traveling to popular destinations or during local festival periods. Overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and beach resorts in Bali are particularly in high demand.
  • Transport Options: Consider renting a car or scooter for convenience, particularly in places like Cyprus or Tahiti where attractions are spread out. In islands like Santorini, public transport combined with some walking offers a practical way to explore.
  • Local Travel Experts: Utilize local travel agents or resources to plan your transportation between islands, especially when dealing with less frequent ferry schedules or local flights. They can offer insights and deals not always available online.
  • Travel Insurance: Always a good idea, travel insurance provides an extra layer of security for health issues, travel interruptions, or last-minute changes, ensuring peace of mind during your island adventure.


As we have explored, the seven best islands to visit in May each offer a unique blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and diverse activities that make them standout destinations for a spring getaway.

From the lush landscapes and wildlife encounters in the Galapagos Islands to the serene beaches and vibrant cultural festivals of Bali and Tahiti, there is a perfect island experience waiting for every type of traveler.

May presents an opportune time to visit these islands due to the favorable weather conditions—generally warm and dry, yet still mild enough to enjoy extensive outdoor activities.

This month also typically sees fewer tourists and more competitive prices, providing an ideal balance of comfort, value, and exclusivity.

With everything these islands have to offer, there is no better time than now to start planning your May island getaway.

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deep dive into new cultures, these destinations promise unforgettable experiences.

Early planning and booking are key to securing the best accommodations and travel arrangements, ensuring that you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

lovely island

FAQ’s About the Best Islands to visit in May:

What is the Best Island to Visit in May for Wildlife Enthusiasts?

For wildlife enthusiasts, the Galapagos Islands are unparalleled.

May is a particularly fascinating month to visit, as it coincides with unique wildlife activities such as the sea turtles nesting and the end of the hatching season for land iguanas.

The islands’ strict conservation laws ensure that visitors can observe these creatures in their natural habitats with minimal human interference.

How Can I Experience Local Culture During My Island Visit in May?

To deeply experience local culture during your May island visit, plan your trip around local events and festivals.

For instance, Bali’s pre-festival activities for the Bali Arts Festival in June start in May, offering rich cultural experiences through traditional dances, music, and crafts.

In Hawaii, the Lei Day celebration on May 1st is a wonderful opportunity to engage with local traditions and enjoy Hawaiian music and hula performances.

Are There Any Specific Travel Tips for Island-Hopping in French Polynesia?

When island-hopping in French Polynesia, such as visiting Bora Bora and Tahiti, it’s important to consider transportation options.

Inter-island flights are common, but booking early is crucial as flights can fill up quickly.

Also, renting a scooter or car can be beneficial for exploring the islands at your leisure.

Remember to pack reef-safe sunscreen and a good insect repellent, as tropical climates can have strong sun and pesky mosquitoes.

What Should I Pack for a Trip to These Islands in May?

For a trip to these islands in May, packing light and breathable clothing is recommended due to the generally warm weather.

Include swimwear, a hat, sunglasses, and comfortable walking shoes for exploring natural landscapes and historical sites.

It’s also wise to pack a lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho, as unexpected showers can occur, especially in tropical regions.

How Early Should I Book My Accommodations for a May Visit?

Booking your accommodations early is crucial, particularly for popular destinations like Santorini or Bora Bora, where prime lodging options such as caldera-view rooms or overwater bungalows can sell out months in advance.

Ideally, start looking at booking options 4 to 6 months prior to your trip to ensure the best selection and prices.

Lakshadweep Agatti Island

(Island Expert)

Christian is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with a relentless passion for unlocking the potential of island real estate. Christian's expertise extends beyond entrepreneurship and property transactions. He possesses a profound expertise in crafting captivating content and persuasive copywriting tailored exclusively to the enchanting realm of island real estate.

Thanks for your enquiry.

Check your email shortly for the ebook download link.

Download Island Buyers Guide Ebook

Please fill in your details below and we will send you this ebook via email