These June holiday destinations make for the perfect early summer holiday
June is the perfect time get away from it all: temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere are on the rise, whilst – as it’s pre-school holidays – visitor numbers generally are not.
So where to go? From sunny crowd-free beaches to exciting city breaks and once-in-a-lifetime experiences, here’s where to holiday in June…
Best June holiday for: A once-in-a-lifetime experience
June is the best time to tick Machu Picchu off your bucket list, and travelling through Peru’s Sacred Valley to this hilltop Inca stronghold is a truly spine-tingling travel experience.
Those up for a challenge can complete the four-day Inca Trail trek, which includes a 4am start on the final stay to reach Machu Picchu as the sun rises. Alternatively, spare your legs and opt for luxury train the Belmond Hiram Bingham. You’ll travel to Machu Picchu in five-star style with a dining car and observation deck on board.
Elsewhere, don’t miss the equally impressive Sacred Valley, pisco sours in Cusco, and the beautiful islands of Lake Titicaca.
Where to stay: Housed in a restored 16th century convent, JW Marriott El Convento is just a stone’s throw away from Cusco’s cathedral and main square. Vaulted ceilings and a vast courtyard make for an atmospheric stay, whilst some rooms are ‘oxygen enriched’ – handy, given the city’s elevation of 11,000 feet above sea level.
Best June holiday for: Sun, sand and seafood
This sun-drenched island’s picture-perfect white-washed houses and lapis lazuli-coloured waters have been made famous by many a postcard – but it’s even more impressive when seen with your own eyes.
This is a slice of traditional Greece, where the food is fine, the vineyards are bounteous, and the welcome is always warm.
Santorini is a key port of call for cruise ships, but its bay is best experienced from a sailing ship or small boat. Finish with a seafood supper and a nightcap on a clifftop taverna.
Where to stay: The five-star Kirini Santorini makes the most of its clifftop location – with both the spa and pool are carved into the cliff-side, offering incredible views of the Aegean sea. Inside the vibe is clean and minimalist, with Bulgari toiletries in the ensuite.
Best June holiday for: A summer staycation
Catch Cornwall before the kids break up from school and you’ll be richly rewarded. In June, there’s still the chance of finding an idyllic beach all to yourself – especially if you go mid-week. A few weeks later and these sun-kissed coves will be heaving under the masses of summer staycationers.
Head to the likes of Watergate Bay, St Ives, Falmouth or Penzance for Cornish seaside charm and stunning stretches of sand.
Where to stay: Tregenna Castle Resort is set in 72 acres of private grounds overlooking St Ives. If you don’t fancy braving the waters of St Ives Bay, then the resort’s two pools – one outdoors, one indoors, both heated – will be a welcome luxury.
Lake Garda, Italy
Best June holiday for: A fitness break
In Italy’s beautiful Lake Garda region, there’s plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and active, from bike riding routes, nature walks and yoga on the terrace.
Check-in to a resort with a specially-tailored wellness programme to ensure you head home feeling fully restored. Many fuse fitness (think personal trainers and group classes) with relaxation, including spa facilities and massage therapies.
Where to stay: Lefay Resort & Spa in the district of Gargnano is surrounded by hills and olive groves. Each room at the resort has a lake-view balcony or terrace and the spa boasts facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, a hammam (or Turkish bath), hot tub/jacuzzi and sauna.
Best June holiday for: Midnight sun adventures
Though famed for its snow scenes and northern lights in winter, Finland is also a sterling summer destination – especially at midsummer in June. At this time of year, the sun only sets for a couple of hours per night, so you can squeeze maximum adventure into just a short break.
Think forest walks, bear watching, wild camping and sea swimming, while just a short drive from Helsinki (the capital) you’ll find whale watching and thousands of islands to discover.
Where to stay: Marski By Scandic is located 350 metres away from Helsinki Central Station. Each room comes complete with its own sauna and pillow selection. Other facilities include an on-site restaurant, cafe and gym. Guests also have access to a Lifestyle Concierge, who is on hand to ensure they have everything they need to enjoy their stay.
Guernsey, Channel Islands
Best June holiday for: A foodie mini break
The Channel Islands are a real foodie hotspot. The sunny micro-climate is perfect for growing fresh fruit and vegetables, the local seafood is sublime – and then there’s the famous local butter, cream and potatoes.
Thanks to its close proximity to France, the archipelago’s cuisine is also rich and comforting – letting those top-notch ingredients speak for themselves.
Guernsey is easy to reach by ferry from Portsmouth, Poole and Southampton, but not so easy to leave – the beaches here are pristine and the pace of life pleasingly slow.
Where to stay: The Farmhouse Hotel & Restaurant is set in a 15th century Farmhouse on the West Coast of Guernsey and boasts elegant, individually decorated rooms with luxury ensuite bathrooms. Plus there’s an award-winning restaurant, swimming pool and leafy gardens to boot.
The Rocky Mountains, Canada
Best June holiday for: Wild adventures
If you like your landscapes dramatic and crowd-free, the Rockies are an ideal June holiday destination.
After a long winter, the lakes are thawing and wildflowers are blooming in the lower elevations. Beneath the snow-capped mountains, the tourism season is beginning: boat tours launching on Lake Minnewanka and Maligne Lake, plus there’s hiking, canoeing, horse riding and fly fishing to enjoy.
June is also a fantastic time for wildlife watching, as the elk, deer and grizzlies descend from the upper reaches to graze on the flowers and grasses.
While this is a wet month, rain showers rarely last all day – and, best of all, the summer crowds are yet to arrive.
Where to stay: Located just a short distance from Banff town centre, one of the most popular resort towns in the Rockies, The Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets is an ideal choice for families. The resort offers a free regular shuttle bus service to Banff and has plenty to keep little ones happy including two indoor waterslides, a children’s pool and an indoor play area. The resort also has lots to keep grown ups occupied including facilities such as saunas and a fitness centre.
Best June holiday for: A wild swimming city break
The Swiss city of Bern makes for a fine summer mini break. Set on an oxbow bend in the Aare river, it’s perfectly placed for a spot of wild swimming, so join the locals for a dip in any one of the public pools and swimming areas along its banks.
In the city itself, you’ll spot intriguing fountains with peculiar back stories, gorgeous little boutiques and some fantastic restaurants. This small city is very walkable, so get your trainers on and explore.
Where to stay: Located in Bern’s Old Town, the 4-star Belle Epoque Boutique Hotel features spacious, individually decorated rooms. The hotel also boasts an extensive art collection, with works by the likes of Klimt and Toulouse Lautrec.