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Where to go on holiday in June

Where to go on holiday in JuneMed holidays June 2017Where to go in June

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays

June is one of the best months of the year to take a holiday. The weather in the Mediterranean is arguably at its best, with long sunny days, warm seas and gentle breezes. The scorching heat of July and August has yet to arrive.

Best of all, you can get some great holiday deals in June. Travel companies are operating at full capacity, yet the absence of school holidays means that prices are frequently slashed in order to get bums on aircraft seats. This means you can pick up some really cheap holidays in June 2017.

It is not just the Med that is cheap at this time of year. June is also a great time of year to visit America and the Caribbean – this period between Easter and the summer holidays is marked by superb weather and bargain deals. Here’s where to go on holiday in June.

If you’re travelling alone, see our pick of the best singles holidays in June. If you have kids, see the best family holidays in June.

Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.

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MediterraneanUK destinationsLong haulActivity holidaysSomething differentAmerica

Mahal Villas_3Mediterranean beach holidays in JuneCheap holidays in June 2017

Mediterranean beach holidays in June

One of the best ways to enjoy the Med is in your own rented villa, many of which have private pools. We particularly like Catalonia for its pretty fishing villages, secluded coves and mountains, and Paxos, an authentic and unspoilt Greek island. Malta’s little sister Gozo is another island that oozes charm.

In France, families on a budget can rent a self-catering apartment in a car-free holiday village complete with aqua parks and slides, golf courses, farms and free kids clubs. A great option for active children. If your budget is a bit higher, check out this collection of villas in France with private pool.

If you want gorgeous sandy beaches, head to Spain’s Costa de la Luz or the French island of Corsica. The Balaerics may be best known for cheap package holidays but they are also wonderful islands for villa holidays, particularly Mallorca and Ibiza. Explore more destinations in Spain.

To relax in the countryside and have a truly authentic experience, head to Le Marche, an area of Italy all too often overlooked by tourists, or the fabulous region of Tuscany known for its hilltop villages, art treasures and great food. Alternatively, head south to Puglia where you can stay in a five-star masseria or one of these luxury self-catering trulli with pools.

Also in Italy the Amalfi Coast has some superb hotels, particularly in the pretty resort of Sorrento. Or how about a few days in Rome. See our full recommendations on Italian holiday destinations.

I can personally recommend the Sani Resort on a spectacular stretch of beach on mainland Greece, while Crete which has some charming houses to rent and great hotels including the stylish contemporary Daios Cove.

One of the best ways to see the Mediterranean coast is on a small cruise on a traditional Turkish gulet that can moor up at small villages and visit peaceful bays and secret coves – I have personally been on three of these holidays, and love them to bits. For details, visit Peter Sommer.

The Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia have great beaches: I like Forte Village Resort in Sardinia – which is great for families and sporty couples – and Sir Rocco Forte’s Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily.

Mallorca is at its best in June, before the summer crowds descend. This is a great time to explore the capital, Palma. Stay at the beautiful Castillo Hotel Son Vida. If money is no object, splash out on a luxury staffed villa from Scott Dunn.

Although not in the Med, the Italian Lakes do have great beaches along with stunning mountain scenery and are particularly good in June. Find more holiday ideas in Italy.

Cycling at Hadrian's WallUK holidays in JuneCottage holidays in JuneFarmhouse and pub stays in Devon

UK holidays in June

June can be a marvellous time to discover the UK – with long hours of daylight and without the crowds of the school summer holidays. Rent a cottage in Devon with Helpful Holidays. The Jurassic Coast of Dorset – where it’s not uncommon to unearth prehistoric fossils – is a great destination, frequently overlooked. We recommend these cottages.

It’s no surprise that Cornwall is one of the UK’s most popular holiday spots: its beaches, coastal paths, great food and family-friendly attractions never disappoint. We recommend renting a cottage with Classic Cottages.

Try renting a boat to explore some of the beautiful rivers and canals that criss-cross the UK. An easy option is the Norfolk Broads – you can explore 250 miles of connected waterways, cruising through reed marshes, meadows and woodland without a single lock to navigate. Moor beside riverside pubs and restaurants, villages and market towns.

In the Cotswolds is Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, which has a two-Michelin star restaurant, a world-class spa and even a private cinema. Further away from it all, Pen-y-Dyffryn is a cosy country house hotel set in unspoilt hills on the Shropshire-Wales border. Nearby, in the unspoilt town of Bishops Castle, the 300-year-old Castle Hotel offers gastro food, modern rooms and easy access to picturesque walking routes.

I love this collection of boutique hotels in the UK chosen by i-escape. It ranges from a riverside pub near Bath converted into a stylish bolthole to Olga Polizzi’s Hotel Tresanton in Cornwall. You can also check out their latest special offers.

If you’re travelling with a group of 12 or more, rent a large house where you can hold your own house party. We recommend The Big Domain which has a superb collection of houses, villas and chalets in the UK and overseas. See the latest special offers.

Love the idea of camping but don’t want the discomfort? Then Feather Down Farms might be for you with their stylish large fixed tents (think wood floors, proper beds, wood-burning stove) in more than 30 locations on real working farms. Another option is Trevella Park on the coast of Cornwall – it has its own nature trails, fishing lakes and heated outdoor swimming pool. We love its safari tents that sleep six and have comfortable beds with duvets.

Or how about a short break in Scotland? Options include whisky tours on Islay, and the chance to see Minke Whales, otters, seals, porpoises on a Mull Wildlife Experience.

Or take a short hop to the picturesque island of Guernsey which boasts sandy beaches, lots of activities, gourmet food and walking trails, all with a French accent.

See my colleague Annabelle Thorpe’s suggestions for the best short breaks in June.

Take the trainRasa Ria resortLion trioMeet the locals

Long haul holiday ideas June

In Africa, Botswana is great for game viewing, yet prices are manageable as it’s not yet peak season. June is also a good month for visiting Namibia, though you should avoid South Africa’s Western Cape which can be distinctly wintry. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, how about tracking mountain gorillas in Rwanda. See our full pick of the best African holidays.

In the Caribbean you’ll find excellent weather and low prices before the school summer holidays begin. Head to Barbados for ritzy hotels, or slow the pace in the one of the small charming islands such as Tobago. Other top chill-out spots include the Cayman Islands. Also consider renting a luxury Caribbean villa with CV Villas.

Cuba combines great-value beaches with culture and history, making it ideal for a multi-centre holiday. Don’t miss the capital Havana (we recommend the Saratoga Hotel) which combines nicely with the colonial city of Trinidad and the chilled beaches of Cayo Ensenachos.

See our pick of the best Caribbean holidays and details of Caribbean weather in June.

Bermuda is not – as many people assume – in the Caribbean or even in the Tropics. It’s in the mid-Atlantic and the best time to visit is our summer when you can enjoy long lazy days on pink sand beaches, warmed by endless sunshine with opportunities to play golf or take boat trips. We recommend staying at Cambridge Beaches or the family-friendly Fairmont Southampton.

June is a great time to visit Canada. Explore the Rockies on a self-drive holiday or ride the Rocky Mountaineer, one of the world’s great train journeys. On the French-speaking east coast, Québec province is spectacular, with pristine wilderness and the vibrant, charming cities of Montréal and Québec City – only seven hours flying time from the UK.

In Asia, this is a good time to visit the orangutans in Borneo or chill out on a beach, perhaps at the superb Tanjong Jara Resort in Malaysia or on the laid-back Thai island of Koh Samui. If you want some adventure I recommend Indonesia which an exciting, diverse and cheap destination (June is the dry season). Essential Java and Bali is ideal for first-time visitors, or you could go deeper with a thrilling tour of Sulawesi, Java and Bali.

It’s a good month to visit Japan. You might get a few rain showers in Tokyo but you’ll find glorious weather in the northern island of Hokkaido. With the snow melting in warm sunshine, stunning countryside and wildlife is revealed. Find more holiday ideas in Japan.

It’s also an ideal month for a group tour of Iran, a beautiful, fascinating and friendly country now back on the tourist map. Few visitors fail to be amazed by the exquisite palaces and mosques, the ancient capital of Pasargadae and the Zoroastrian temples of Yazd. This Treasures of Persia tour is a great introduction. Check the dates of Ramadan – it’s probably best to avoid this time.

The European summer is the best time to visit Peru where you can hike to the Lost City of Machu Picchu, go mountain biking through the Sacred Valley and white-water rafting down the Urubamba River. Stay in one of these comfortable mountain lodges or, if you want a less pampered adventure, you could join an overland truck tour.

June is also a smart month to grab a bargain in Costa Rica with its wonderful beaches, hiking trails, volcanoes, cloud forests and rafting rivers. British Airways recently launched direct flights, and this Value Costa Rica: The Essential Highlights is hard to beat.

It’s also a good time for a trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands – we recommend a luxury small ship cruise to view the wildlife, and combine it with a trip to mainland Ecuador to tour volcanoes, Andean peaks, traditional villages and Amazon rainforest.

Coastal walking holidaysArmenia

Activity holidays in June

June is an ideal month for an activity holiday as the weather is fine across Europe, but rarely humid. We recommend Headwater for cycling holidays in France, in particular this 8-night Secret Provence tour on two wheels.

One of the best ways to experience the countryside of Europe is on a hotel-to-hotel walking holiday. As you hike stunning coastal trails such as the Costa Vicentina in Portugal and the Lycian Way in Turkey, your luggage is transported to your next overnight stop, where you stay in a charming owner-run hotel or inn.

It’s also a great time of year to go trekking in Morocco where you can follow a guided walk across the Atlas Mountains with a couple of days relaxing by a pool in Marrakech.

June is also good for biking. You don’t need to be an expert cyclist to take a group trip in the UK. Join a fully-guided road cycling or mountain bike weekend in the Lake District, Wales or the Cotswolds. The more adventurous could try a self-guided journey along the C2C (Coast to Coast) route or the Hadrian Cycleway.

In Catalonia we recommend these self-guided cycling holidays – choose from a great selection of routes from easy to moderate.

Northern Spain is a million miles from the overcrowded costas of the south. Think wide sandy beaches, rolling hills, mountains and medieval towns. This is a slice of authentic Spain, with excellent food and great-value hotels.

Many people neglect the Alps in summer, regarding them as only for skiing. In fact, they are beautiful and great value, too. Stay lakeside at Annecy or Evian, or hit the mountains in Les Deux Alpes. This is also a great time of year to get a deal at The Lodge, Verbier, a luxury chalet owned by Sir Richard Branson.

Join Kudu Travel for a cultural walking tour with like-minded people. You could indulge your mind and body on a relaxing, detoxing spa holiday in the South of France, or stretch to a yoga holiday in a beautiful Mediterranean setting.

Holidays to IcelandNorway is one of the best holiday destinations in JuneAkademik IoffeThe Plaza Mayor at night

Try something different

Because June is the month of midsummer it’s a great time to head north to enjoy long sunny days – if you go far enough you can experience the wonder of the midnight sun.

Iceland is especially beautiful, a remarkable country of mountains, glaciers, volcanoes and geysers. Choose from these fly-drive tours and see the latest special offers. Or take a short break in the capital Reykjavik where the sun hardly sets and the bars rarely close.

Beautiful Norway is one of the best holiday destinations in June, as you can witness days that never end. Take a 8-night independent tour of fjords, lakes and mountains or a coastal voyage on a ship that is used by both locals and tourists. Details from Nordic Experience. You can also cruise around the unspoilt Lofoten Islands or visit Tromso, Land of the Midnight Sun.

Sweden is stunning in summer – a land of sparkling lakes, midnight sun, forested islands and elegant stylish cities. Try this Highlights of Sweden holiday, which visits Stockholm, Lake Silja, Lake Vattern and includes hiking in Tivedens National Park. See this selection of holidays in Sweden in June.

You could ride on Europe’s highest railway between Olso and Bergen on a four-night Roof Across Norway. For a city break, we recommend stylish Copenhagen, for its laid back lifestyle and great restaurants, or the beautiful city of Stockholm.

You’ll find long days and cracking nightlife in Edinburgh where I recommend Old Town Chambers for luxury apartment rentals.

Or take a direct flight to the Azores where the whale and dolphin watching season is at its peak. There’s amazing walking and cycling in the lush volcanic landscapes plus gorgeous beaches and hotels with real character.

Budapest is great value, and rich in culture. Or head to romantic Prague where you could stay at The Augustine, a 13th-century monastery turned luxury hotel.

Madrid is an exciting destination filled with world-class art galleries, tapas bars, and pavement cafes on grand squares. If you want beach with your culture and great food, try Barcelona. It’s also a great time of year to visit the contrasting German cities of Cologne and Berlin.

June marks the beginning of the Verona Opera Festival where you can experience classic performances in a magnificent candlelit Roman amphitheatre. It’s the world’s largest opera stage, and a fabulous experience.

In France, Inntravel has perfected the art of sourcing characterful and charming places to stay, including these gourmet Channel hops, perfect for a special occasion.

Discover the unspoilt beauty of Portugal’s Douro Valley on a leisurely river cruise. Combine it with a few days in the fascinating coastal city of Porto where you can sample vintage port at lodges including Noval, Sandeman and Graham’s.

Treat yourselves to a luxury barge cruise in France European Waterways where you can watch the countryside slide by as you indulge in gourmet cuisine served with fine wines all included in the price. The barges are small – sleeping between 4 and 20 people – and there is a wide range of destinations including Bordeaux, Gascony, Burgundy and the Canal du Midi.

Take a guided tour of the Great Houses of England, one of a large selection of cultural tours of Britain led by an expert in art, music or architecture. Or get together with friends or family to rent a chateau in France with Oliver’s Travels.

Feeling flush? For a real treat – a big birthday or anniversary, maybe – why not fly to France by private jet. If you get together with friends or family, a day trip or short break can cost less than £1,000 per person.

Family holidays in June

If you’re looking for something more family-friendly please see our tips for the best family holidays in June. It is packed full of great ideas for every budget, in the UK, Europe and further afield, selected by our expert editor Mark Frary.

Holidays in America in June

June is a great time to visit the USA. New York and Boston will be warm, but not sweltering. You could arrive in style on a transatlantic cruise or join a tour of the Great Eastern Cities – New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC with visits to Niagara Falls and Amish Country.

New England is one of the most popular fly-drive destinations, but don’t overlook New York State, a beautiful part of the country.

Dreaming of the California beach life? Treat yourselves to a stay at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica.

California offers guaranteed sunshine. Motor down the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the world’s most scenic drives.

America’s National Parks are firm favourites. This fly-drive holiday will take you to the best of the lot, including Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon, plus Monument Valley. Want some real thrills? You can join a camping tour of the Northern Rockies or New York and Niagara.

Rent a car and you can explore the byways of America at your own pace. You could follow the Civil War route or drive from Miami to the Florida Keys – or fly and flop with a luxurious stay on Little Palm Island.

If you want somebody else behind the wheel, how about a luxury coach tour. You could try this escorted tour of Texas – everything from Southfork Ranch in Dallas to NASA’s home in Houston, or a trip through American Heartland from Chicago to Tennessee.

How about taking a tour of Louisiana plantation homes.

You can also join a foodie tour of America, such as this Taste & Sounds of the South where you can make mint juleps and learn Creole cooking in New Orleans.

June is the best time of year to visit Alaska where the sun barely sets. Join a cruise, explore vast tracts of wilderness on a fly-drive or track grizzly bears in Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge. Or combine a spectacular cruise in Alaska with a rail journey across the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska tour.

Other exciting itineraries include a trip down Route 66.

You can also find hot holidays in June and visit our sister site to find June honeymoons.

Last updated: 5 April 2017

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If you’re still stuck for ideas, why not try our fun holiday quiz. Answer 10 easy questions like the one below to find out what kind of holidaymaker you are, and get personalised travel recommendations. Try the quiz now.

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