If you want sunshine, festivals and wildlife, here are the best places to visit in June – travel corridors and vaccine passports permitting
June is a popular month for travel around the world. For good reason, too. Some of the world's best-loved wildlife can be seen in June, there are plenty of summer-themed festivals underway, and the weather's at its peak around many parts of the globe.
So, whether you’re looking for a travel experience to last the month, or are in the process of plotting your next city visit or short break in the sun, we've got the best June destination recommendations for you.
Skip ahead to your chosen travel type by clicking on one of the below, or keep scrolling for the full list:
A dry month for this South-East Asian island, with an average temperature of 29°C, there's a reason in itself to head to Borneo. Add in the fact that June is one of your best shots for one of the world's rarest and most inspiring wildlife experiences, and we wouldn't be surprised if you were already booked, packed and on the plane.
Trees start to fruit in June, and orangutans start to come out in the wild Sabah forest to pick up these tasty treats. If you're lucky, they'll come close enough for an incredible sighting. June is also when you'll see green and hawksbill turtles on the remote, sandy Lankayan Island.
June to July is the best part of Zambia's dry season, before the bush dries out and starts looking a little thirsty for rain. July, however, is when visitor numbers start to soar, and safaris and wildlife experiences start to get busier.
To miss high season (and high season prices), plan a trip for June. You'll still have a very good chance of spotting the likes of leopards, elephants and giraffes gathering by the rivers, or in the vegetation.
Don't forget to wrap up warm for morning safaris. The days may be toasty, but the mornings are typically a tad nippy.
Masai Mara is a must-visit destination for anyone with a love for big cats. Lions, leopards and cheetahs live happily in this Kenyan reserve. The prides who call the Mara home are even a little bit famous, thanks to TV shows such as Big Cat Tales and Big Cat Diary.
July to October is considered high season, just like it is in South Luangwa. Avoid the bulk of the crowds clamouring for the same sighting, without really reducing your chances of a stunning big cat spot, by going instead in June. Go towards the end of June specifically to try for a glimpse of Kenya's wildebeest migration, too.
Trekking the Virunda mountains of Rwanda and Uganda, you can enjoy mountain gorilla sightings throughout the year. However, it's awfully misty in the mountains, so you'll be peering through cloudy air to witness the wonder of the gorillas in their natural home.
Dry season takes place from June to September, and yes, it is busy during this time. We'd say it's busy for good reason, as the viewing conditions are so spectacular. Make sure to book a tour well in advance, to ensure your place for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The temperature is also very palatable for a decent hike, too, with a low of 17°C and a high of 26°C. It does climb as July and August roll on, so keep that in mind.
Both the northern and southern Pantanal in the depths of Brazil offer the best of the best opportunities to spot a jaguar in the wild. June is the start of dry season, which ends in October, making it the ideal weather conditions for a sighting.
Fortunately, the jaguars in the Pantanal are used to the idea of seeing humans around, so a respectful jaguar-spotting sesh shouldn't spook them too much.
The northern Pantanal is thought to practically guarantee a sighting, while our founding editor Lyn Hughes had an excellent experience watching the jaguars at the Caiman Ecological Reserve in the south. So, take your pick...
June's the right time to immerse yourself in the Great Barrier Reef. Not only is it winter in Australia, meaning flight and accommodation prices are lower in the surrounding cities, but there's also little rainfall, meaning diving conditions are at their peak.
You'll be able to explore hundreds of hard and soft corals – and hopefully catch a sighting of green, hawksbill or loggerhead sea turtles (to name a few species). There are also over 30 marine creatures, including the rare dugong (who, for context, is closely related to a manatee).
You'll need to ensure you book your diving experience well in advance, of course. Rainy season brings with it a tirade of box jellyfish, so pretty much everyone will be visiting when the weather is dry and pleasant.
Just about everyone's in agreement: there's no better time to enjoy the high waters, rugged landscapes and glorious colours of Yosemite National Park. Early June's spring weather makes for a typically dry, warm visit, and the busy crowds don't roll around until later in the month and through summertime.
The epic double waterfall, Yosemite Falls, with its three cascades of varying heights, gets its flow of water from the winter's melting snow, and experiences peak runoff in June, before drying up in the summer. You can check how Yosemite Falls is flowing, via live webcam.
Sentinel, Bridalveil Falls and Ribbon Fall – three more of Yosemite's iconic waterfalls – are also flowing in full swing by June. Ribbon is the single largest drop in North America, too. One to tick off your must-see list.
In June, Greenland's typically Arctic temperatures hover around 10°C, but the low humidity makes it feel a little warmer, and cosier. In the southernmost part of the country, you'll occasionally see it climb to 20°C.
Mainly, Greenland makes our June list because you can see for miles on end thanks to the crisp, clean air and low moisture. So far, in fact, that it may throw you off kilter: towns, mountains and fjords may seem closer than they actually are.
Still, if you plan properly, you can enjoy great hikes in near-perfect weather, and in edge-of-the-world surroundings. There are countless things you can do beyond simply admiring Greenland's natural beauty – it's certainly not a 'short break' destination. UNESCO heritage sites, Viking ruins and the perfectly quaint Saqqaq village, pictured, are just a few.
Welcome to the near-mystical region of Ladakh in India. It's a walker's paradise. The surrounding views of the Himalayas and Karakoram mountain range are totally unchallenged, and it's the highest point in the entire Kashmir Valley, 3,000 feet above sea level.
The desert cities of Leh and Kargil are also worth a visit, known for their fascinating Buddhist temples and ample trekking routes.
June is an idyllic time to venture here. The weather warms up as the snow dissipates, and Ladakh opens itself up to visitors. The roads leading into Ladakh are fully open, and you can expect a variety of choice in hotels, places to eat and other amenities.
Is there ever a bad time to go to Corsica? A stunning Mediterranean island off France, with Italian sensibilities and otherworldly beaches, is surely worth a look even in the dead of winter.
Well, we'd say go in June. The sun is typically shining, the ocean crystal blue, and temperatures hover around 20°C to 25°C, meaning you can enjoy a dip in the water or explore the island without feeling the heat too much.
For a summer trip down south, you're best off going in June to avoid the school summer holidays crowd in July and August. Hotels will be slightly emptier; campervan sites will have spaces left.
Join the locals in catching a few rays on the not-too-crowded beaches (perhaps even spotting a dolphin), stroll along one of the many brilliant Cornish coastal walks without feeling rushed, or enjoy the Great Garden of Cornwall in full bloom.
British weather is temperamental, to say the least, but temps can stay as high as 17°C.
The natural beauty of the Azores comes into full focus in June, with its big hydrangea blooms decorating the island in a mix of pinks, purples and blues. For the most impressive bursts of blue by the archipelago, set your sights on the island of Pico, and admire the bushes of hydrangea highlighting Mount Pico volcano.
Portugal's mainland is also a top pick for June, with its temps starting to soar and a variety of colourful festivals and attractions taking place in the capital Lisbon, and its second city, Porto.
The good folks of Guernsey celebrate an annual Spring Walking Festival which continues into June, which is perfect for nature lovers.
When not exploring on foot, there's plenty to discover on this Channel Island: the historic, beach-side Fort Grey, Victor Hugo's old home and the Sunday concerts held outdoors in Candie Gardens, which run throughout summer. If bars are open then try the gin, Guernsey's speciality. Visit a local distillery or just head to the pub and give one or two (or three) local samples a whirl.
Generally, you can expect lovely weather from Long Island in June. The Hudson Valley, especially, turns a lush, deep green, especially striking against a clear blue sky. Temperatures of around 20°C to 24°C make strolling through the village of Cold Spring, the arty town of Beacon or hiking Breakneck Ridge a breeze.
Once you're done, keep going on the train to the very edge of Long Island, and find yourself where the richest of locals 'summer': East Hampton and Montauk. Enjoy dreamy, chilled-out beaches and mellow cycling paths, as the best way to get around (if not by car) is by bike.
Famous for appearing in The Affair and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, you'll probably feel familiar grabbing lunch at the Lobster Roll, or exploring the Montauk lighthouse, pictured.
June is technically winter in Fiji, but you wouldn't necessarily know it – given that temperatures still climb to around 27°C, and the humidity is quite low.
You'll just pip the crowds to the post, as they typically arrive for the peak visiting season of July to September. You may even feel like you're getting a bit more of Fiji 'to yourself'.
Of course, this gathering of over 300 islands is every bit as beautiful as you imagine, no matter who's around: sky-high palm trees, turquoise water as far as the eye can see, and an array of unique islands with endless walking, hiking and water sport opportunities.
Art Basel is a yearly, international art show that draws the world's most influential and cutting edge artists to Miami, Hong Kong and to the Swiss city after which it is named. Usually in June you can immerse yourself in the 'artworld' and admire installations, displays and modern artworks, and hear daily talks from the artists themselves, in a variety of locations across the city – however, the 2021 edition has been postponed till September. (Here's all the information.)
Not to be outdone, Basel is still planning on hosting the Swiss Yodelling Festival (25-27 June) and Summerstage Basel (25-26 June), starring Bonnie Tyler and Patent Ochsner.
Basel also has a host of galleries and attractions you can explore year-round. Marvel at Basel Minster, the gothic, 18th century cathedral with its impressive twin spires. Sit near Markplatz main square, and enjoy a coffee and a pastry. If you're still feeling creative, head to Museum Tinguey, the Basel Paper Mill (Museum) and enjoy sitting by Carnival Fountain – a fine piece of sculpture work in itself.
Budapest, Hungary's capital, is full of surprises – not least the myriad festival celebrations to partake in during the month of June.
Sure, enjoy the classics: ruin bars, the thermal Szechenyi Baths and a cruise down the Danube. They're classics for a reason. Afterwards, get involved with the local summer celebrations, including the week-long Danube Carnival (5-13 June), complete with folk dance performances, dance workshops, fairs and craft markets.
Savvy travellers will also want to take advantage of concerts in Budapest Park – Europe's biggest open-air entertainment centre. Don't miss the Deftones performing on 25 June.
Newport lights up with neon colours and lively music for the classic Isle of Wight Festival (17-21 June).
There's something for most tastes, from pop and dance to indie and rock, and for all ages – whether you came of musical age in the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s or are into today's charts.
In terms of accommodation, you can camp, glamp or stay in the city itself. Naturally, you'll want to book early.
The Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria are undoubtedly the perfect setting for a fairy tale... but also, as it happens, a truly unique music festival experience.
In June each year, the Rhodope Mountains are filled with revellers looking to enjoy the music and art-driven Meadows In The Mountains festival (3-6 June), which invites dance acts to perform on a stage with literally the view pictured as their backdrop. Whether you're into dance music or not, it's definitely an unusual festival experience.
Two Spanish cities: lots of June cultural attractions.
Murcia, in Spain's south-east, has a brilliant festival taking over its June calendar: the Baby-Jumping Colacho Festival, where men literally hop over babies in the street. Let's say it's... unusual!
Meanwhile, over in Haro in the north of Spain, a peaceful-yet-messy ceremonial wine-chucking battle called The Battle Of Wine takes place, at the end of June each year.
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