Where to go on holiday in June
The English summer is nothing to scoff at. But sometimes your summer break demands hours of sunshine, no chance of rain, cloudless skies, and a flight away from it all. Here’s a list of warm, vibrant, summery destinations where you can start your summer off by slowing down.
Best for a City Break
Rome is at its busiest in June, but for good reason. If you can tolerate crowds and slightly higher prices, you’ll be rewarded with long, warm, sunny days and some great festivals and events. It’s also your last chance to visit if you want to miss the stifling heat of July and August.
Besides, crowds aren’t necessarily a bad thing. In the warm evenings, people pour into the piazzas to dine al fresco, sipping on chilled bottles of the finest local pinot grigio. Street performers entertain the diners and there is a festive cheer in the air just about all through the month. As the sun goes down, Italians step out dressed in their best for the nightly passageata. Locals greet each other warmly in the street, catching up after the siesta. It’s the time to see and be seen, and new couples proudly stroll hand in hand while new mothers introduce their babies to old friends.
Many will recoil at the idea of queuing for museums and having to book long in advance, but it’s worth it for the memories of those summer evenings in Rome.
Many visitors to Barcelona approach their trip with a laundry list of things to do. That’s fine, but if you’re going to visit in June, allow some time to just wander. The long days drenched in sunshine add to the city’s Mediterranean charm, and there’s always a bustling summer atmosphere. Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona’s biggest park, where you can boat on the lake or laze in the sun for hours. There are also outdoor concerts, film festivals and performances to happen upon, and the people are friendly and always happy to point you in a new and exciting direction.
The picture-perfect days are great for hunting down bargains in the little independent shops that give the streets their distinctive charm. The food and drink is fairly affordable, and it’s easy to find really great cuisine on just about every corner.
Prices tend to spike in July, so you’ll miss the highest rates while still getting to enjoy the city at its most vibrant and summery.
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Best for a Short-Haul Holiday
Ibiza in the summer may seem like an obvious choice: it conjures up images of sunburnt British tourists partying themselves nearly to death. And while it’s not a bad choice if your goals are a deep tan and straight-up hedonism, there’s more to this island than meets the eye.
Step just outside the renowned tourist hotspots and you’ll find an island where everything slows to an amble. Beautiful snow-white beaches surrounded by palm trees make for some of the most spectacular sunsets you’ll ever see. You can find isolated bays to dip in the sea and feel like you’re the only person for miles around.
Just a stone’s throw from the resorts are quaint old towns with narrow back streets lined with excellent restaurants and bars that cater for all tastes.
In June the island is beautiful, hot, and there’s always something going on, but it isn’t as chaotic as it gets later in the summer. It’s a great time to visit - the party is just getting started.
Fifteen hours of sun a day, clear skies, and temperatures over 25°C daily: Croatia knows how to do summer right. June in particular is perfect timing, because while you’re ahead of the summer crush, everything is up and running for the season.
Croatia is outstandingly blessed in terms of touristic draws. Bewitching natural beauty, architecural splendour, bountiful seafood and fascinating medieval towns combine to create one of Europe's most exciting holiday destinations. And then of course, there are those Adriatic islands - the likes of Hvar, Korcula, Brac, Mljet and innumerable smaller ones provide the perfect geographical outline for an extended boat trip.
Speaking of which, June is a particularly exciting time as it brings with it the start of Yacht Week. It's not just a single week, but rather a series of events. It works like this: you book yourself a yacht, carefully coordinated for equal numbers of boys and girls, and sail into the sunset for a 7-day mobile party. It’s a wonderland of summer flings, beautiful bodies, and all the exuberance of youth. Not only that, but all this happens on a yacht, over azure waters. Could there be a more scintillating start to the summer?
If you're after sunshine, you might as well go the whole hog. In Sweden in June, the sun stays up for 18 hours a day. It shines from before 4am and doesn’t quit until after 10 at night. June is still a little before peak season, so travel rates are decent (if not exactly cheap), and if you’re lucky you’ll catch the last of the spring wildflowers too.
There are also plenty of outdoor events to enjoy, from the Stockholm Marathon to open-air food festivals to the Sweden Rock Festival, but festivities come to a colourful climax at the Midsummer Festival. It falls on the closest Friday to the 21st each year, and people leave work early on the day.
You’d do well to follow the locals out of the city as they head to the nearest countryside, put wildflowers in their hair and dance around maypoles. Pickled herring and new potatoes are on the menu, and the schnapps flows like… well, like schnapps at midsummer. The celebrations only get rowdier as the sun refuses to set.
There are few greater joys than lying around in the sun at 10pm, listening to Swedes sing and dance as flower-bedecked ladies offer you the umpteenth shot of schnapps.
Best for a Long-Haul Holiday
Zanzibar in June usually means a “cool” 25°C every day, with rarely a cloud in sight, and pleasant breezes to take the edge off the heat of the day. This equatorial paradise isn’t too busy at this time of year, so rates are reasonable and bookings aren’t too hard to come by.
Days in Zanzibar can be spent tanning, drinking rum out of a coconut, browsing spice markets, snorkelling or diving, exploring historic Stone Town, or just lounging in the sun with a good book. They also have lemurs. That alone should be reason enough to visit.
Other Destinations to Consider
Mallorca: The weather in June is warm and sunny, with almost no rainfall throughout the month. Book early, because it gets busy!
St Petersburg: It’s time for the famous "white nights", where the sun literally never sets. Expect night-long parties, festivals and shows aplenty.
Peru: It's the start of the dry season, so there’s not too much rain. The Inca Trail is open for visitors, and the weather is mild. It’s one of the best time to experience the Andes.