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Sun, sea, sand, Albania. Yes, you heard it right. Home to some of the Mediterranean’s most pristine and unadulterated beaches, June is the time to visit the southeastern European country to see it in all its glory. Like Croatia 20 years ago, we’ve earmarked it as an emerging summer holiday destination.
You’ll find relaxed vibes year round in the capital of cool, but it’s in the summer months that Berlin really comes to life. Locals flock to the parks, beer gardens, markets and outdoor spaces, with techno parties under the stars driving even the most loyal Berghain-goers outside.
Although you may struggle to locate Armenia on a map (it’s bordered by Turkey and Georgia), this ancient country is ripe for exploration, attracting curious travellers with its complex history, diverse landscapes and welcoming people. With influences from Arabia to Iran and Mongolia, the cuisine is also unlike anywhere else.
Move over, Sicily; the volcanic islet of Pantelleria with its rolling hills, secluded beaches and design-led hotels easily rivals the charms of Italy’s largest island. The only things to do are sunbathe, swim, eat, explore – repeat. We’re secretly hoping that the world doesn’t find out about this island escape.
Paris is always a good idea, but what better way to experience it than spending balmy days strolling the city’s pretty streets followed by long, lazy evenings setting the world to rights over a vat of house red and cheese or checking out the capital’s bar scene?Alternatively, escape the city to one of these countryside getaways.
Bordered by Russia and China, Mongolia is not as touched by tourism as other southeast Asian countries, making it a fantastic option for those in search of truly experiential travel. Known for its nomadic culture and endless landscapes, you will feel very small and very far away from home – in the best way possible.
June marks the beginning of prime wildlife-spotting season in Namibia – but we wouldn’t blame you if you just went for the stargazing, meant to be some of the best in the world. The majestic dunes and sprawling desert plains set the country apart from more traditional safari destinations like Kenya, while you’ll also find fewer tourists.
You may associate Iceland with snowy plains, but summers here are relatively mild. With almost 24 hours of sunlight, you can pack in as many outdoor activities as you like – for the brave, there’s even surfing. Reykjavik has a young, fun vibe, while the nearby Blue Lagoon may be touristy but perfect place to soothe tired limbs.
Found within California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is famed for its dramatic waterfalls, best seen at this time of year when they’re in full flow but the weather is warm. There will still be snow at higher points, creating a varied landscape for an adventure-filled trip.
Mykonos, Corfu and Santorini in the summer are inevitably overflowing with sun-worshippers. Rally the troops and avoid the hordes by renting a boat and heading to one of the lesser-known of the Greek islands. A Grecian getaway is all about the simple life: seafood, sun and plenty of retsina.
Amalfi Coast, Italy
A visit to the Amalfi Coast will make you feel like you’ve been transported into a Slim Aarons photograph. In June, the weather is beautiful and the hotel prices are still fairly reasonable because it’s just before peak season. A place of timeless romance (also offering the chance to gorge on Italian cuisine), gorgeous Ravello beats Positano in our books.
The capital of Estonia is the country’s cultural hub and a fantastic budget destination. Medieval houses, intricate gothic churches and winding cobblestone streets are given contemporary edge by towering skyscrapers and an emerging restaurant scene.
Is there ever a bad time to visit the city that never sleeps? Whether it’s lazy outdoor brunches in Brooklyn, staying at design-led hotels with superb roof top bars or strolling through Central Park – besides Christmas, the summer months promise the most magical time.
A brand-new direct EasyJet flight from London to Volos (just an hour’s drive from Pelion) makes June the ideal time to explore this adventurer’s playground that is still under the radar. Venture inland from the crystalline coastline and you’ll find yourself in a little-known fairytale setting of whitewashed houses clinging to the emerald-green flanks of Pelion Mountain and lush pine forests enclosing secret waterfalls.
The pocket-sized wonderland of Sperlonga teeters atop a cliff overlooking the cerulean waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea, making for Amalfi-like vistas without the crowds. A long-standing celebrity retreat that’s kept hush-hush, it’s our favourite spot for chilling out at a tranquil beach club with an Aperol spritz in hand.
While tourists flock to the storied Amalfi coast, locals head straight for Ischia for their holiday breaks. The volcanic islet boasts the best of Neapolitan food, lazy beaches overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, and a refreshing island breeze. Come for the archetypal Italian slow pace of life and a quaint village feel in the island’s tiny comuni. Differing from its glam neighbour Capri, Ischia significantly lacks plush boutiques and sophisticated bars, instead offering an abundance of family-run trattorias, natural thermal spas and colourful houses stacked along cobbled alleys.
The pristine beaches, laid-back atmosphere and vast greenery of this sleepy fishing village has made it a popular spot for sun-seekers looking for a quiet escape and surfers looking for the best waves. With only around 500 residents, locals mill about their daily business, greeting everyone by name and happily advising the best places to eat, drink and surf. Choose between a variety of beachside eco resorts, and spend days swimming in hidden coves such as Manzanillo Bay, or surfing Troncones’ legendary waves. Venture a little beyond the beach to find Cascadas Artesianas, a cascading waterfall, or explore the limestone caves of nearby Majahua. Come in June, just before the rainy season when the weather is idyllic and the swell from the south means the waves are a sight to behold.
With medieval towers, a walled old town and charming trattorias all surrounded by rolling vineyards, this Etruscan hill town is quintessential Italy. Travel south from Florence through verdant fields to reach San Gimignano’s crumbling 13th-century walls, through which you’ll find sand-hued buildings and family-run business dating back generations. Spend mornings sipping espresso in Piazza della Cisterna, where locals gather for a morning gossip and nonnas wave from doorways, before navigating the town’s cobbled backstreets to find 12th-century churches and Etruscan museums. June is a popular month for holidaying in Tuscany, as it’s when the region is at its best. Hot weather can be quickly remedied with a cool glass of white wine.
What’s happening in the world in June?
18-21: Stonehenge Summer Solstice Festival, England
29-30: San Francisco Pride, California
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