Nothing quite beats May. The cold is a distant memory; spring is edging towards summer, giving us the occasional day of blue skies and sunshine. But for those that crave more, there’s also solo travel in May – a lone voyage to a corner of the planet you’ve never seen, but always dreamt of, during a month that offers quieter crowds and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Doing it alone doesn’t mean you’re devoid of company either. You’ll have your own thoughts to reflect on, can meet the locals, and even pick the brains of a guide as they take you through villages, deserts, mountains and backwoods. Is now too soon to get excited? Hardly. Read our best destinations for solo travel in May 2020.
Ishigaki Island, Japan
Spring isn’t just known for cherry blossom in Japan (although if you get a chance to stroll through a public park this time of year, don’t pass it up). May is also the high point between a slightly longer winter than we’re used to in the UK and the country’s rainy season, which lasts from June to August. Ishigaki Island is a mini paradise of its own – ideal for a quick getaway. You get some of the finest golden beaches in Okinawa, plus coral reefs smattered around the Yaeyama archipelago.
Sacred Valley, Peru
Looking for solo travel ideas that come with a slice of ancient history? Look no further than Sacred Valley, the former linchpin of the Incan Empire. Several popular hiking and camping tours take you through the ruinous walls, steps and temples – plus you’ll avoid the summer crowds by going early. It’s a chance to take some time for yourself, and find new friends in the canvas next to you. Nearby, there’s sweltering jungle to explore, as well as jaw-dropping stop-offs en route to Machu Picchu.
The Alps, Slovenia
A keen kayaker? This trip might rank amongst the most transformative things you ever do. IGO Adventures can take you to Slovenia – one of the most picturesque countries in the world – and head a four-day journey outdoors, with hiking thrown in for good measure. You’ll be scaling the face of The Alps above the placid waters of Lake Bohinj, a 3.3 sq. km natural wonder within Triglav National Park. We have trips in the first and third weekends of May; click below for details.
It’s not too far from the beaten tourist path, but Spain’s Valencia region to the southwest is rich ground for camping. Sure, there’s the city too, but we suggest striking out for the beaches close to the Albufera lagoon – a couple of large, official tent sites can act as your base whilst you’re exploring. You can then book a cruise or jeep tour across one of the most important Spanish wetlands for biodiversity. A fantastic tapas restaurant at the water’s edge will be waiting when you’re ready to refuel.
A decade ago, this Romanian county was heralded for its scenery but didn’t have a standout attraction. That all changed in 2013 as the mossy Bigar Waterfall flew up the lists of everyone’s natural beauty must-sees. Solo travel in May is a brilliant excuse to see the Bigar in person. Elsewhere in Caraş-Severin, you can go bear-watching, or head to conservation areas by traditional horse and cart before a wild truffle hunt in the afternoon.
Pembrokeshire, West Wales
According to National Geographic, Pembrokeshire is home to the second-greatest coastline in the world. So why not reserve a few days to get some sand between your toes? We’re leading visits here from May to June. It’s just two nights, but we pack so much into them – stargazing, coasteering and basic fire-making skills. IGO adventurers can stay in tents and bunkhouses, getting to know each other over the weekend. Solo adventures don’t have to stay solo for very long.
A destination for those of us who wish winter lasted a little longer… Svalbard has polar bears all-year round, and spring is the time at which they’re active again hunting for seals and walruses. Fly across the tundra in a snowmobile. Pay for a husky ride. Visit remote glaciers and hunker down for an ice cave expedition. It’s incredible what you can do in three or four days – choose mid-May (the archipelago’s summer period) for longer, brighter days.
Rub’ Al Khali, Oman
Push yourself a little further and embrace the endless dunes of Oman. Since you’re contemplating solo travel in May, the heat won’t be punishing. And the best way to enjoy it? Outdoor camping with camels, of course. IGO Adventures offer a fantastic tour of Rub’ Al Khali (The Empty Quarter), a stunning stretch of desert leading to the southern coast, where four species of turtle tend to breed. On the journey, you’ll experience the life of the local Dhofari tribe – sleeping, eating and trekking just like them.
The Azores, Portugal
It’s regarded as a prime spot for whale watchers (and, in fact, May is the ultimate month for sighting whales here). Yet there’s so much more to The Azores, like seafood, hiking trails and Mount Pico: a dormant volcano that’s always a one-of-a-kind camping experience. It’s one of our favourite solo adventures, and we’ll put you in the capable hands of IGO Founder, Bobby, when you touch down. There are plenty of rest stops too for food and Azorian wine. Book your place, sit back, and imagine waking up at dawn to see a beluga at the side of your boat.
Learn more >>The best destinations for solo travel are ready and waiting. Think of the lessons you might learn as well – eco-sustainability is a huge gift to take and develop, lasting far beyond the dates on your plane tickets. Make confidence count in an environment you’ve been waiting for. Chat to a member of the IGO team today.