In my previous post I suggested some great local getaways for the upcoming May bank holidays, but if your idea of a great long weekend is travelling outside of the UK for some spring sunshine, here are some holiday destinations you may want to consider:
Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
One of the best beach holiday destinations has to be the magnificent Canary Islands. Although any Canary Island holiday would be fantastic, my personal favourite island in this Spanish archipelago is Gran Canaria for the amazing variety of landscapes and its rugged beauty. Gran Canaria holiday apartments and villas overlook sun-drenched beaches where you can enjoy water sports like surfing, sailing and scuba diving, while the rugged interior of the island is the perfect setting for outdoor recreation. If you enjoy hiking you’ll love the spectacular natural scenery around Tejeda and Veneguera, and the pine forests of Tamadaba Natural Park.
The Algarve is Portugal premier holiday destination, and while it may be crowded during the summer, it’s a great option for families looking for some fun in the sun during the May bank holidays. Located on the south-western tip of Europe, the golden coastline of the Algarve is home to 74 Blue Flag beaches including Praia da Luz, Ilha de Faro and secluded beach of Praia da Armona which is only accessible by foot or boat. Families are well catered for in the Algarve region, with spacious holiday apartments and a wide range of attractions including water parks and an endless variety of water sports. When you’re not on the beach you can explore the pretty cobbled streets of Lagos, play a round of golf at one of the many golf courses, or enjoy scrumptious Portuguese cuisine at Agua na Boca in Salema.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If spending the long weekend shopping is your idea of the perfect May bank holiday break, then Dubai just might be the perfect destination for you. The city of Dubai is world-renowned for its fantastic shopping experiences, with at least 15 large malls, the most famous of which are Mall of the Emirates, which has an indoor ski slope, and Dubai Mall, which is home to one of the world’s most impressive aquariums. If you want something a little more traditional then you can always shop at one of the many souks. For the kids there are fantastic family attractions like the Wild Wadi water park, and numerous sandy beaches such as Jumeirah Beach Park, Kite Beach, Jebel Ali Beach and Mamzer Beach Park. Staying in a Dubai holiday villa will also give you the chance to visit the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa.
The island of Cyprus offers the perfect mix of sandy beaches, beautiful cities, bustling resorts and a rich history. During the summer months the Mediterranean island is bursting at the seams with holidaymakers, so why not take your holiday before the crowds by enjoying a bank holiday long weekend here? Beach lovers can stretch out in the sun on the white sand of Coral Bay, go snorkelling or swimming at the beaches of Agia Napa and Protaras, or go scuba diving at the Zenobia Shipwreck off Larnaca. History buffs can visit the Painted Churches in the Troodos Mountains, or visit the archaeological park at Phapos, while outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy scenic walks along trails in the Troodos Mountains. When you’re not on the beach or exploring the unique Cyprus landscape, you can enjoy traditional meze at a local tavern, or read a book at the poolside of your Cyprus villa.
Costa del Sol, Spain
If you’re looking for a family holiday rental in Spain that is close to the beach and golf courses, with plenty of attractions for kids, then visiting the Costa del Sol during the May bank holidays is a great option. There are numerous Blue Flag beaches, including Calahonda in Mijas, El Cristo in Estepona, and El Cable – Pinillo at Marbella. The calm shallow waters of many of the beaches make them perfect for families with small children. There are also great beaches for activities like windsurfing, sailing, and snorkelling. When your kids have had enough of the beach you can head to Tivoli World theme park, or Bioparc Fuengirola, a new concept zoo. If you want to explore the city of Malaga, join the city sightseeing tour bus – Bus Turístico de Málaga, which will take you to the most important and famous sights in the city, including Gibralfaro Castle, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Basilica of Santa Maria de la Victoria.