olive travels: where to visit in May
From tropical island hopping to coastal Croatian festivals and lush green UK road trips, here's our pick of where to travel this month
Want some ideas on where to go on holiday in May? Explore our pick of destinations for a food lover’s break this spring: tropical island hopping in the Philippines, festivals in Croatia and roadtripping through the Wye and Severn Valleys in search of spring produce. This is just a small selection of our UK, European and global travel guides – click here for more inspiration, or check out our pick of the best UK culinary escapes for 2022 and Europe’s top food trips for 2022. Want to know where to visit in April? Take a look here, or find out where to visit in June here.
The banks of these rivers that span England and Wales come alive with lush greenery and produce in spring. Wye Valley Produce makes the most of the microclimate to produce award-winning asparagus and rhubarb, available to pick up at the farm gate, St Briavels farmers’ market, or to try in the area’s restaurants, including Michelin-starred The Whitebrook and Severn & Wye Smokery. At the latter, asparagus is paired with Welsh sea trout to enjoy on the banks of the Severn River, and towards the end of the month you might even find wild Severn salmon (catch quickly as most are snapped up by London’s The Ritz).
While you’re in this part of the world, taste local tipples including sparkling wine at Parva Farm vineyard and hoppy ales alongside stone-baked pizzas at woodland microbrewery Kingstone Brewery. Visit the area at the end of May and make a detour north west to Hay-on-Wye, on the edge of the beautiful Brecon Beacons National Park for Hay Festival, bringing together film, literature and food. Foodie events include farm walks, cookbook talks and honey-making workshops.
Festivals in Croatia
In the city of Split, Croatians celebrate Sudamja, the feast of St. Domnius, on 7 May. In the lead up, the city comes alive with processions, concerts, exhibitions and Dalmation feasts. Explore Split’s fish and vegetable markets, where spring produce such as wild asparagus, crab and cuttlefish, is in abundance. Try Split's famous soparnik flatbreads stuffed with chard, garlic and olive oil with local wine, and Dalmatian John Dory fish stew in traditional taverns, before exploring local history and architecture. Hop on a ferry to the island of Šolta where you can explore olive groves and sample the famous wild rosemary honey.
Remote island adventures in the Philippines
The month of May is a great time to visit this stunning archipelago of 7,000 tropical islands. The warm climate hasn’t quite reached rainy season, and tropical fruits are in abundance – taste Java plums, jackfruit, watermelon, pineapples, pomelo and the islands’ national fruit, mangos (try to find the champagne mango, considered the sweetest in the world).
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Community-based hospitality initiative, Tao, has adapted its desert island fantasy tours to ensure sustainable tourism for the islands’ fishermen and farmers. A true escape (don’t expect room service or Wi-Fi), here you can wake up each morning in a bamboo hut before heading out on a private boat tour, going snorkelling or swimming off deserted beaches or enjoying a traditional massage. In the evenings, return to sip on rum cocktails and feast on fresh fish in the company of your fellow adventurers.
Croatia photographer credit: CNTB Ivan Šardi