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Spring is a great time for lazing on a beach to warm up after winter. But where are the best beaches to visit in May?

The Caribbean is an easy choice, with weather that’s mild and a near-endless array of exciting destinations. From Aruba to St. Thomas, you’ll find warm waters for swimming and welcoming bars.

However, there are also good beaches everywhere from Portugal to the Galapagos Islands. After all, the fall in the southern hemisphere can be just as pleasant for beach-going as spring in the north.

Galleon Beach, Antigua

Sandy beach of Galleon Beach, Antigua

Galleon Beach, Antigua

Galleon Beach is one of the remoter beaches on Antigua and is best reached by water taxi from English Harbour. It’s a small, quiet beach, backed by several small hotels and with a good restaurant.

Go snorkeling and you might spot anything from a turtle to a lobster. The hike up and back to Shirley Heights is also a great way to take in some remarkable views.

In May, Antigua is starting to warm up, with temperatures averaging 85ºF and similar sea temperatures. There is a chance of rain, although you’re more likely to experience high humidity and overcast skies than showers.

Las Bachas, Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

White sands of Las Bachas in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Las Bachas in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

May brings long, bright sunny days to the Galapagos, with temperatures around 84°F. Sea temperatures of 73°F make this a good month for swimming as well as sunbathing.

Las Bachas is named for two rusting barges abandoned by the US Army after WWII. “Bachas” is the local Spanish pronunciation of the words “barges”. The wrecks are largely buried in the sand now but the name remains.

This long, sandy beach is perfect for swimming in May. Its two small coastal ponds are home to pink American flamingos that live year-round on Santa Cruz.

Magens Bay, St. Thomas, USVI

Turquoise waters of Magens Bay, St. Thomas

Magens Bay, St. Thomas

This lovely beach on the north side of St. Thomas is so popular that it charges a small entry fee. That’s worth paying to see its tropical beauty for yourself.

The horseshoe-shaped beach in St. Thomas is a perfectly sheltered spot for sunbathing or swimming. You can also rent kayaks or hike to the scenic viewpoint at Mountain Top.

The US Virgin Islands enjoy great weather in May, with average temperatures of 85°F and water around 81°F, blissfully warm for swimming and snorkeling.

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Eagle Beach, Aruba, one of the best beaches to visit in may

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Often voted the best beach in the Caribbean, Eagle Beach is famed for its two gnarled fofoti trees. They make a perfect foreground for photos of its powdery white sand and clear blue waters.

The Aruban beach has sunshades, cabanas, bars, and restaurants to give you respite from the Caribbean sun. In May, you can expect temperatures of 89ºF, but with a cooling breeze.

Snorkeling and diving are popular activities on Aruba, and Eagle Beach is home to four species of sea turtle. Activities such as parasailing and jet-skiing are also available.

Sorobon Beach, Bonaire

Clear waters of Sorobon Beach

Sorobon Beach, Bonaire

Bonaire enjoys the same warm May weather as its neighboring islands of Aruba and Curaçao.

Sorobon Beach sits on the east side of the island, protected by the offshore reef. This lends it calm water for swimming and plenty of sealife for snorkelers.

This beach in Bonaire is also known for having some of the world’s best windsurfing. You can take lessons in windsurfing or parasailing, or rent a paddleboard.

Mambo Beach, Curaçao

Shoreline of Mambo Beach, Curaçao

Mambo Beach, Curaçao

Mambo Beach on Curaçao sits beside a busy entertainment complex. From restaurants to shopping, there is plenty else to do near at hand.

Mambo Beach is one of the best beaches in Curaçao, a perfect stretch of white sand, with the clear water the “ABC” islands are famed for. That water is excellent for snorkeling if you need to cool down from the Caribbean sunshine.

Just a few miles from downtown Willemstad, the beach can be crowded in high season, but May sees fewer people. You should have no problem renting a sun-lounger, palapa, or cabana to relax in.

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Pink sands of Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Horseshoe Bay Beach, Bermuda

Ranked among the world’s top ten beaches, Horseshoe Beach in Bermuda is definitely one of the best beaches to visit in May. Its pink coral sands and clear waters are enticing as temperatures average 76℉.

The crescent curve that gives the beach its name shelters its waters and raises their temperature. Swim or snorkel on the coral reef to admire the marine life that thrives underwater.

As well as watersports, including paddleboarding, you can take guided hikes along the coast. Bars and food stalls will make sure you never go thirsty or hungry.

Read: Best Beaches in Bermuda

Pearl Island, Nassau, Bahamas

Pearl Island Bahamas, one of the best beaches to visit in may

Pearl Island in Nassau, Bahamas

Pearl Island is the much-photographed home of the “swimming” pigs. This private island is reached by a short ferry ride from Nassau.

There are two pretty white sand beaches here, both well served with leisure facilities. Whether you want to kayak or trampoline, you’ll find plenty of options..

Two bars serve traditional Bahamian food and plenty of cooling drinks. In May, Bahama’s daily temperatures can hit 85°F, making this a wonderful time to visit. As for those swimming swine, they’re delightful, especially the piglets, and will join you for a dip in return for tidbits.

Golden Bay, Malta

Golden Bay Malta, one of the best beaches to visit in may

Golden Bay, Malta

May is an ideal time to visit Malta, as the weather is at its best. You miss the extreme heat of summer, any breezes are cooling, and there is little rain.

Golden Bay, one of Malta’s most popular beaches, is also much less crowded than in peak season. Stretch out to enjoy its lovely soft, reddish sand and scenic high cliffs.

The best way to reach this northwestern beach is by boat tour, seeing the Blue Lagoon and Popeye Village on the way. While here, go horseback riding or rent a kayak to explore around the bay’s headlands.

Canet d’en Berenguer Beach, Valencia, Spain

Brown sands of Canet d’en Berenguer Beach with outpost

Canet d’en Berenguer Beach in Valencia, Spain

Only 30 minutes north of Valencia, this remote beach is at its best in May, when it’s mostly frequented by local people. The Mediterranean water is still too cool for swimming, but the sunny spring days are perfect otherwise.

This popular beach in Valencia is of golden sand, although some areas are pebbly. There are a number of chiringuitos (beach bars) for drinks or quick toes-in-the-sand meals.

Steady winds make the beach ideal for windsurfing and kite surfing, while surfers also take to the waves. However, walking the promenade or sitting in a bar to enjoy the sea views are still the most popular activities.

Praia do Guincho, Lisbon, Portugal

Large waves of Praia do Guincho, Lisbon, Portugal

Praia do Guincho in Lisbon, Portugal

Guincho is a deep, V-shaped beach backed by the green hills of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park. Only 35 minutes from Lisbon, its Atlantic Coast wildness and strong winds deter casual beachgoers.

Instead, the reliable waves bring bodyboarders, surfers, and windsurfers to enjoy their thrills. Local restaurants that specialize in seafood are also very much part of Guincho’s appeal.

In May, the late spring weather makes this part of Portugal ideal for visitors. You can expect bright, sunny days before the intense heat of summer arrives.

Fegina Beach, Cinque Terre, Italy

Fegina Beach, Cinque Terre, one of the best beaches to visit in may

Fegina Beach in Cinque Terre, Italy

The Unesco World Heritage Site of Cinque Terre is a place of pretty fishing villages and awesome scenery. The five towns of Cinque Terre are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore.

Fegina Beach is the beach nearest to Monterosso al Mare, the largest of these villages. The beach—nearly as much pebble as sand—is a place to rent a deck chair to enjoy views of the blue Ligurian Sea.

In May, the mild weather brings the hillsides into bloom but the crowds are yet to arrive. After the beach, find a restaurant on the narrow streets of Monterosso to sample the very best in Italian cooking.

Read: Best Things to Do in Cinque Terre

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Banje Beach, Dubrovnik, one of the best beaches to visit in may

Banje Beach in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Only five minutes from the city walls of Dubrovnik, Banje Beach is a great urban beach. Its contrast to the looming battlements behind it is beloved of photographers.

In May, daily highs average around 70°F, so it’s still a little cool for swimming. Not for sunbathing, though, and as this beach in Dubrovnik is shingly, you will want to rent a lounger rather than lie on a towel.

That means accessing the beach club which covers half the beach. It’s well worth it to enjoy a drink or a meal, watch the harbor traffic, and take in the views of Lokrum Island.

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

White sands of Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman

The fact it is just over five miles long is probably the only criticism you can make of Seven Mile Beach. Starting on the edge of Georgetown, the capital of Grand Cayman, it stretches invitingly along the edge of the incredibly clear blue water.

You really can’t come to the Cayman Islands without trying out the fabulous snorkeling or diving. In May, water temperatures will be in the low 80s, so you may not even need a wetsuit.

Perivolos Beach, Santorini, Greece

Black sands of Perivolos Beach, Santorini, Greece

Perivolos Beach in Santorini, Greece

The volcanic rock of Santorini gives Perivolos Beach its distinctive black sand. In summer, that makes it very hot underfoot, but it’s one of the best beaches in May for the sheer novelty of the sparkling volcanic sand.

Spring brings warm, sunny days and fewer visitors than in the summer season. The restaurants and resorts are delighted to see you after their winter lull, making this a great time to visit Santorini.

Perivolos Beach offers water sports facilities that include scuba diving and jet skiing.  However, its restaurants serving delicious Greek cuisine rich with fresh seafood are the main draw.

Faliraki Beach, Rhodes, Greece

Couple enjoying Faliraki Beach in Rhodes, Greece

Faliraki Beach in Rhodes, Greece

Faliraki Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Rhodes. You’ll understand why when you see its golden sands and clear turquoise waters.

Stretching for more than two miles, the beach is lined with sun-loungers, bars, and restaurants. If you like seafood, you’ve come to the right place.

The cooler weather makes May a great time for hiking on Rhodes, or seeing its many historic attractions. It’s typically warm (70-75ºF), but the crowds don’t arrive until later in the season.

Elia Beach, Mykonos, Greece

Elia Beach Mykonos, one of the best beaches to visit in may

Elia Beach in Mykonos, Greece

Elia Beach sits on the southern shores of Mykonos, only seven miles from Mykonos Town. It’s the longest beach on this beautiful island and calm water here adds to the appeal of its soft golden sand.

A sea of colorful sun-loungers, this Mykonos beach is also well served with water sports. You can try anything from windsurfing to banana boat rides, with experienced instructors.

Being in Greece, good restaurants and bars are a given. May is when the summer season is beginning to get going, with many of the bars holding opening parties.

Kourouta Beach, Katakolon, Greece

Kourouta Beach in Katakolon Greece

Kourouta Beach in Katakolon, Greece

With some ten miles of golden sand washed by the Ionian Sea, Kourouta Beach has appeal for everyone. At its start is a resort area busy with friendly Greek tavernas, while sand dunes and pine forests fringe the more remote stretches.

The nearby resort of Katakolon is the traditional entry point for visiting the ancient ruins of Olympia. This birthplace of the Olympic Games, first held in 776 BCE, is still a major attraction.

Rather more earthly delights await you on this Greek beach, with its golden sands and fine local food. Rental companies offer windsurfing and other sport activities if you want to ready your Olympic body for the coming summer.

Haeundae Beach, Busan, South Korea

White sands of Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea

Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea

Haeundae is the most popular beach in Busan for good reason. It enjoys long golden sands, scenic views of the city, and an energetic atmosphere.

In May, temperatures can reach 77°F, with relatively low humidity, making this a perfect time to visit. At the end of May, you can also see the remarkable Busan Sand Sculpture Festival.

Haeundae is backed by a promenade lined with skyscraper apartments, shops, cafés, restaurants, and bars. Busan Aquarium and the nature forest on Dongbaek Island are great destinations for a short walk.

Sandy Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

Fine sands of Sandy Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii

Sandy Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii

If you want to watch the legendary surfers of Hawaii, Sandy Beach on the island of Oahu is a great place to go. “Sandy’s” is famous for its powerful shore break, safe only for experienced bodyboarders and surfers.

Strong currents and powerful waves make swimming hazardous for everyone else. Listen to the lifeguards and stay ashore to enjoy the fine golden sand and dune-backed picnic areas.

During May, temperatures here are ideal: 80 to 85ºF with little rain. Even better, visitors are fewer in number—except during Memorial Day weekend at the very end of the month.

Pearl Island in Nassau, Bahamas, one of the best beaches to visit in May

Pearl Island in Nassau, Bahamas

Are you ready to slip on your Bermuda shorts and plan a beach trip for May? Then browse our May cruises to find the perfect cruise.

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Free Vacation Planning Services