Hottest places in Spain in May

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer

May is the month when Spain switches from spring to early summer. You can expect long days of sunshine and – if you go south – sunbathing weather. This is arguably a perfect time to visit, with few crowds and low prices, particularly as tour operators launch their summer season and offer price cuts to fill beds and aircraft seats.

It’s prime time for a city break with Madrid offering temperatures of 25ºC and an average nine hours of daily sunshine. Barcelona is a little cooler at 22ºC because of the sea breezes, but you should see eight hours of sun. If you really want to turn up the temperature dial, head south to Seville which offers 28ºC and 10 hours of sunshine each day. Arguably this is the last month before the summer heat makes sightseeing uncomfortable. There’s a huge contrast with the north coast where Bilbao sees only 20ºC with five hours of sun.

If you’re looking for a beach holiday, the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz are the hottest places to stay in Spain in May. Malaga will be around 25ºC with Marbella around 24ºC, each with 9-10 hours of daily sunshine. If you’re looking for a classy all-inclusive hotel, we recommend the IKOS Andalusía, part of a successful group that came out of Greece.

If you prefer the idea of self-catering, check out these rental villas in Andalucia most of which have a private pool. All should be ideally placed for good weather in May.

Another option is the Balearic Islands where the summer season will be getting under way. It’s a lovely time to be in Mallorca with temperatures around 23ºC and nine hours of daily sun. You can spend the morning sightseeing or walking and the afternoon on the beach. Another option is Ibiza where you can enjoy the countryside, villages and sandy coves before the summer crowds descend. The other island with sensational beaches is Menorca. If you only have a few days, I’d recommend Palma, the lovely capital of Mallorca.

If you like to get active, try one of these independent walking holidays that will allow you discover the unspoiled countryside and hidden trails of some of Spain’s prettiest regions. And Flavours Holidays has group trips to Andalucia based around cooking, Pilates or painting.

May half-term family holidays in Spain

May half-term week is a popular time for families to visit Spain. The weather will almost certainly be hot and sunny, but without the scorching heat and humidity of July and August.

Catalonia has lovely small sandy beaches, mountains and interesting sights, from Barcelona to Dalí’s Theatre-Museum in Figueres. You can rent a villa or take an independent cycling holiday along the Catalan coast. In the stylish beach resort of Sitges near Barcelona you can rent one of these family villas. Ask about pool heating before you book.

In the Balearics, the luxury Nobu Ibiza Bay Hotel near Ibiza Town is aimed squarely at families, while the five-star 7Pines Resort Ibiza welcomes children and boasts a world-class spa. Oliver’s Travels has a selection of private villas in Mallorca.

Find more holiday ideas in Spain, including the best singles holidays in Spain. Also see where’s hot in the Canary Islands in May.

Last updated: 4 January 2022

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