May 2023 promises to be a good vintage for weekends. Three public holidays fall on Monday. With the addition of Ascension weekend, the 2023 calendar offers four golden opportunities to spend a long weekend under spring skies.
Do whatever you want in May! The need to disconnect after a long winter is even more urgent as 2023 promises to be full of bridges and public holidays. Reborn countryside, reopened restaurant terraces and even beaches under palm trees… Let’s turn our globe to point to these sunny regions. Whether you’re from more France or abroad, here are our ideas for weekend destinations to experience May weekends elsewhere and outdoors.
Where to go for a long weekend in France on May weekends?
City dwellers looking to (re)discover our beautiful country will be packing their bags for a while city trip in a large French city. Navigate the southern French cities with wind in their sails: Bordeaux, Toulouse, Montpellier, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Nantes…
Still in France, those with more of a “country break” will go green around the Arcachon basin, from Cap Ferret to Dune du Pilat. A balance between nature and culture will be ensured in Normandy, from bocage to bucolic gardens to landing beaches. Sun junkies will hike the countryside in the Provençal hinterland, or cruise the rivers of Marseille, or even take a trip to Corsica, which enjoys above-average sunshine across the country.
Spring on the Isle of Beauty also marks the resumption of craft and agricultural fairs such as A Fiera di U Casgiu (April 29 and 30, 2023) and the Sainte-Lucie de Tallano olive oil fair (May 13 and 14). 2023, excluding long weekends).
Where to go with your family on weekends in May?
Mopping families are looking for the alchemy between fun and educational holidays, a change of scenery and entertainment. And here again, the national territory has treasures to offer.
For a family focus on culture, the châteaux of the Loire invite you to step into history to experience it for a lifetime. For sporty tribes, the valleys, forests and coastal regions favor cycling tourism: greenways and cycle routes (Véloscénie from Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel, Vélodyssée from Brittany along the Atlantic coast to the Basque Country, Loire River by Bike), old railway lines and canals and towpaths along the rivers (Canals de Bourgogne, Canal du Midi, Canal de Nantes).
Presented majestically by Mont Saint-Michel on the borders of Normandy, Brittany provides a magnificent breath of iodized air with a singular personality. The wild beauty of the steppes, rugged windswept coastlines and island charm of the islands are the engines of low-carbon escapes before buckwheat pancake holidays.
Auvergne is one of these regions with a strong personality. An iconic area of volcanism in France, May sees flowers spread across forests, peat bogs and mountains. This is the breeding season of the plateaus, where the grazing animals go out to the mountain pastures. The unmissable volcanoes combine educational and fun trips with easy trails through green and gently rolling landscapes.
Where to go on May weekends in the sun?
If you’re already feeling summer cravings, it’s time to look to destinations that herald summer (already!). For a little more radical change of atmosphere and immersion in another culture, city dwellers will fly to capitals or large cities of Southern Europe rich in endless cultural offerings. Summer is just one step ahead around the Mediterranean, from the Algarve to Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona, Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan to Dubrovnik.
If you want to cross borders while staying outdoors, the hinterland and countryside offer great opportunities for countryside escapes: in Tuscany or on the shores of the Italian lakes, on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia or even in Iberia, Andalusia or the peninsula. Algarve. We will cross more bridges during our stay in Sicily or Sardinia, Greek islands (Crete, Cyclades…), Malta or the Canary Islands. Southern Europe in spring often has the advantage of milder airfares than in summer, in line with the still mild temperatures in this season.
For the most impatient lovers of idleness on the beach, a seaside escape is already possible in May with the option of swimming on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The sea temperature varies between 15 and 22°C on a seasonal average. In the south and east of the Mediterranean, the water is slightly warmer. Average water temperature (18-20°C) is recorded in Greece and the Greek islands, as well as in the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Crete. The warmest water temperatures for diving are in Cyprus (21°C), the Mediterranean coast of Turkey (20-22°C) and Tel Aviv, a 4.5-hour flight from Paris (sea about 21-22°C). . Conversely, the more adventurous can bring their towels closer: on the Tunisian island of Djerba (water around 19°C), in Corsica, Sicily and Sardinia (around 19°C) and on the beaches of the Côte d’Azur (around 18°C).
To find the exotic way A thousand and one nights and an optimal change of scenery, the most adventurous will cross the Mediterranean to Turkey, Tunisia or Morocco.
Where to go by train on weekends in May?
For low carbon footprint travel, eco-friendly adventurers will take the train, which remains one of the most eco-friendly ways to travel. Marseille, Saint-Malo, Bordeaux and Lyon are less than 3 hours by train from Paris. Lyon is also less than 3 hours from Geneva and less than 4 hours from Turin.
In Europe, London remains a must city break cultural. Departing from Gare du Nord, the Eurostar crosses the Channel Tunnel and reaches the British capital in 2 hours 15 minutes. In May, the cultural season begins, often outdoors: nights in museums, events and festivals in great London parks. In front of these events, Regent’s Park Open Air Theater presents plays and musicals in an outdoor amphitheater. At the start of the Whitsun weekend (25-27 May 2023), the Chelsea Flower Show is in full swing. In the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, this prestigious horticultural exhibition sees stunning floral creations and innovative garden designs flourish.
A map of the Thalys network further east is also inspiring. The red trains on the main axis of this high-speed train service stop in Brussels, where the cultural program begins. The Brussels Short Film Festival (April 26 – May 6, 2023) presents more than 300 short films in competition, some of which are screened outdoors. L’Afrique en couleurs festival (5-7 May 2023) takes you on a journey of culture, art and cuisine. New to the Brussels calendar, CORE Festival returns for its 2nd edition. It combines different musical genres and art installations in Osseghem Park at the foot of the Atomium (27 and 28 May 2023).
From the flat country there is only one step to Holland. We stop in Rotterdam to admire the timeless modernity of cube houses (Kubuswoningen) and we pedal along Amsterdam’s flowery canals, not forgetting to stop at Keukenhof, one of the world’s most beautiful spring parks (open until May 14, 2023). A visit to this flower park is even more beautiful at the end of the season, when it is the turn of the tulips, the stars of the park and the coat of arms of the Netherlands, to show off their colors and scents.