Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA

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Where to go on holiday in June

While June is officially the beginning of summer in the UK and the rest of Europe, weather can still be a little unpredictable here. If you get the chance to steal away for an early summer escape, you'll find you have plenty of far-flung destinations to choose from. 

Being just outside of the peak season – schools are still in full-swing and family groups are fewer – resorts and sights of interest are less crowded and more accessible.

The USA is incredibly versatile and offers something that’s inviting to virtually everybody; epic road trips through the vast and beautiful scenery of Yosemite National Park; towering dunes and big skies of Cape Cod’s coastal idyll; or head to Hawaii for daytime sunshine and warmth which melts into balmy evenings and air heavy with the scent of exotic blooms.

Outdoorsy? How about exploring the bio-diverse forests and national parks of Costa Rica or discovering the wild beauty of Zambia, from roaring Victoria Falls to plentiful wildlife. Safari enthusiasts can spot the Big Five on Tanzania’s savannah before contrasting their adventures with relaxation on the paradise beaches of Zanzibar.

At the mid-point of the year, take time out to reflect, reset and recuperate – a June escape can be whatever you want it to be. Whether you’re after beaches and relaxation; scenery and wildlife; or cities and culture, we have some excellent destinations for your June holiday, guaranteeing a summer sojourn to remember.

Aerial view of Mauritius coastline

Best holiday destinations in June

Princeville

Hawaii

The islands of Hawaii are wonderfully sunny and warm all year round and provide the perfect spot for relaxing on paradise beaches. In June Hawaii is hot but not unbearable, with the average daytime temperature of 26°C rising to 28°C in the afternoon before dipping to about 23°C at night. June is the month for the least rainfall – showers tend to be short-lived, across the mountainous zones and are most likely at night. Bathe in the ocean with sea temperatures of 26°C – calmer seas are ideal for swimming and snorkelling or head to the north or east coasts for surfing swells. Daylight hours are at their longest in June (and into July) – with an average of 11 hours of sunshine per day: ideal if you enjoy hikes or sight-seeing tours. Overall, June typically offers some of the best weather of the year for Hawaii. Take a trip to the Tropical Botanical Gardens on the Big Island to wander through tropical rainforests, observing the amazingly lush and varied plant life. You’ll also find a number of festivals, including King Kamehameha Day – celebrated as a state holiday throughout Hawaii on 11th June. In addition, on Oahu there’s the Pan-Pacific Festival; on Maui the Film Festival and Kapalua Wine & Food Festival; and Kauai has a Hula Exhibition.

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Tanzania

Safari adventures in Tanzania are good, year-round, but the dry season – which runs from late June (and through to October) – generally offers the best wildlife viewing opportunities. High densities of animals congregate close to watering holes; this draws both predators and their prey, which makes for exciting game viewing. Another side-effect of less rainfall is that the vegetation thins which boosts visibility. An absolute highlight is the annual Great Migration – a spectacular throng of two million wildebeest, plus zebra and gazelle, making their way from the plains of the Serengeti to the lush Masai Mara. While it varies a little, your best chance of witnessing it in Tanzania is during June and July, during river-crossings at the banks of the Serengeti’s Grumeti or later at the Mara River (we can advise you on the best location and timing). Travelling to Tanzania this month avoids the long rains (March, April and May), when Kilimanjaro is treacherous, wildlife is spread out and dense vegetation makes it harder to view. July and August are peak months: safari vehicles are at an all-time high and sights of interest, such as the Ngorongoro Crater, are very busy. Visiting in the shoulder season of June means that you won’t be jostling for space and you’ll still see the species which are non-migratory.

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Beach

Zanzibar

A dazzling jewel in the Indian Ocean, just 60 miles off the coast of Tanzania, June is one of the best months to travel to the spice island of Zanzibar. June heralds the beginning of the cool, dry spring – following the long rains of March, April and May. Travel here for a paradise beach escape in its own right, or combine Zanzibar with the thrill of the great wildebeest migration in northern Tanzania’s Serengeti. Although temperatures vary, dependent on altitude and proximity to the coast, you’ll usually benefit from a clear sky and sunny weather in June – it's a great time to visit Zanzibar. Average daytime temperatures reach 26°C, with night-time lows of 23°C. Rainfall is usually around 68mm across the month, amid about nine hours of sunshine per day and a water temperature of 27°C. Take your pick from basking on pristine beaches of white, powdery sand lapped by the turquoise Indian Ocean; discover historic Stone Town and its aromatic spice markets; scuba dive in the crystal clear waters and explore the thriving reefs and marine life; take a traditional dhow sailboat for a romantic cruise; or island hop to idyllic Pemba.

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Yosemite Natioanl Park

Yosemite National Park, California

If spectacular, expansive landscapes are your thing, then the epic scenery of Yosemite is hard to beat. You’ll be in awe of the panoramic vistas of rugged granite cliffs, towering redwoods, crystal clear lakes and enchanting waterfalls. Although Yosemite is open all year round, June is one of the best months to visit: the heavy summer crowds are yet to descend; the waterfalls are at their peak; and there's an abundance of blooming wildflowers, from redbud to lupine and Mariposa lily. Mild daytime conditions are ideal for scenic hikes and other outdoor activities – with highs of 27°C at lower elevations – and the mountain air is deliciously fresh (be prepared for much colder temperatures as night falls). By June, the snow has melted enough to clear the scenic Tioga Pass and Glacier Point Road giving good accessibility to the park by vehicle. After a week touring the sights of Yosemite National Park, why not add on a stopover in San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur or Napa Valley.

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Lighthouse Falmouth Cape Cod

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

With fewer crowds than the summer high season, one of the best times to visit Cape Cod is in the shoulder month of June (in addition to May, September and October). June sees pleasant temperatures – with highs of 22° C – and cool sea breezes; the Atlantic Ocean rises to a comfortable bathing temperature and the climate at this time is ideal for outdoor activities and enjoying the serenity of beautiful unspoilt beaches. Hire a bike and cycle the many trails or explore charming fishing villages and picturesque towns; embrace nature, as you trace the giant dunes; make your way to Provincetown International Film Festival and soak up some culture in the art galleries; indulge your taste buds with dishes made from the catch of the day, from lobster rolls to clam chowder and fresh oysters; embark on a whale watching excursions and spot humpback, orca, pilot whales and more; or travel further afield to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Be warned: Cape Cod can get very busy around specific US holidays, including Memorial Day weekend (last weekend in May) and Independence Day (4th July), so avoid coinciding with these dates if you can.

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Zambia

June is one of the best months to visit Zambia, combining Victoria Falls with a safari adventure. The majority of Zambia enjoys a comfortable subtropical climate, with two distinct seasons – wet summer (November to April) and dry winter (May to October). Days are warm (average maximum temperature 23° C) with bright clear skies and little or no rain, while nights and early mornings are chilly (pack layers for game drives). You’ll find fewer mosquitoes and other bugs due to lower humidity levels. Even though the climate is pleasant, June isn’t peak season so you’ll enjoy a less-crowded Zambia and excellent game viewing because the vegetation starts to thin out and animals congregate around the rivers and waterholes. With the rains gone, this signifies the beginning of the walking safari season – roads and trails are now clear and dry. However, there’s still plenty of water thundering over the precipice of Victoria Falls but the reduced spray won't block the magnificent views to the falls. Photo opportunities of the falls on the Zambia side are best between May and August – by June water should be raging into the gorge.

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View across the Lake to the Volcano

Costa Rica

June is an ideal month to explore Costa Rica. Although it’s the second month of the wet season (or ‘green season’, as it is known here), the rains begin softly and build up gradually over the months. Most days start off clear and sunny, with any tropical rain showers occurring in the late afternoon. Weather is highly variable here – the country is composed of diverse microclimates with fluctuating conditions. The afternoon showers bring lushness back to the forests, returning northwest Costa Rica to a tropical feel. The South Pacific is one of the wettest areas of Costa Rica, with regular, heavy rain in the afternoons and this is also the case in the mountains and along the Caribbean Coast. Costa Rica in June means reduced crowds and plenty of warm sunshine in between the rain. Discover the beauty of the national parks and verdant jungles as you observe an abundance of wildlife, from squirrel monkeys, silky anteaters and sloths to vivid red-eyed tree frogs, green iguanas and scarlet macaw. Trek through cloud forests and admire cascading waterfalls; witness looming active Arenal Volcano; head to the Pacific Coast to surf dramatic swells; or experience the thrill of white water rafting on surging swollen rivers.

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Sri Lanka

The weather in Sri Lanka can vary greatly, despite being a small island, so it’s always a good idea to plan around the particular area you wish to visit. Whatever the season, temperatures rarely fall below 26°C, making it an ideal destination for anyone wanting to experience life in warmer climes. In June, when the southern and western regions are affected by the monsoon, the east coast is by far the best place to explore. Glorious white sands and clear blue waters dominate much of the landscape, so this is the perfect location for a relaxing beach break. For an insight into the area’s cultural and historical past, a visit to Trincomalee - the capital of the east - is an absolute must. Brimming with life and activity, the town combines colonial architecture, Portuguese-built forts and traditional Hindu temples with a friendly, laid back atmosphere that instantly encourages relaxation. Popular among marine lovers, the harbour is also the starting point for boat trips to nearby Pigeon Island - to enjoy an afternoon of snorkelling amid rare coral, before unwinding with a cocktail on the beach to gaze at the sunset. Also in the east, Arugam Bay is great for surfing and other water sports, but for somewhere a little further off the beaten track, the town of Batticaloa, with its vast and picturesque lagoon, is a lesser-known gem. During the summer months, visitors to the lagoon may hear noises emanating from the depths of the waters, known locally as the sounds of the ‘singing fish’.

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Bali

Visit Bali in June and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of the dry season, only without the bustle and crowds that tend to arrive during July and August. Temperatures are hot all year round (usually between 26 and 30°C in the daytime), but midsummer offers the luxury of almost uninterrupted sunshine and far less humidity than in the earlier months of the year. With an average temperature of 27°C, Bali is the perfect place to unwind and get a real insight into local life - either by relaxing on one of the island’s pristine beaches, or by paying a visit to the vibrant town of Ubud. Sample some delicious Indonesian delicacies at one of area’s excellent restaurants, or sit back with a cocktail as you watch the world go by. The clear waters of the Indian Ocean will be much calmer than during the rainy season – not to mention an average of 28°C - so June is also an ideal time to indulge in underwater pursuits such as diving and snorkelling. Situated in the south of the island, Seminyak is renowned for its gorgeous golden sunsets, chic bars, and wide variety of luxurious and indulgent wellness spas.

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Vancouver

Vibrant, eclectic and full of natural beauty, there really is no bad time to visit Vancouver. During the summer months, temperatures fall between 18 and 21 °C, with an average of 8 hours of sunshine per day, making the city an ideal destination to explore. In June, you’ll find the weather neither too hot nor humid, and since it’s just outside the peak of summer, even the busiest areas won’t be overly crowded. This time of year, travellers should take the opportunity to embark on an adventure or two. Witness Grizzly bears in their natural Grouse Mountain habitat (as well as breath-taking views across the cityscape), head downtown for a stroll through Stanley Park, or set off on the Rocky Mountaineer – one of the world’s most spectacular railway journeys. Some of the highlights on this incredible, luxurious train ride include cascading waterfalls, glistening lakes, and of course, the iconic Rocky Mountains. From Vancouver, you can also visit Granville Island by taking a short boat trip across False Creek. Soak up the laid back atmosphere, and be sure to sample the delicious fresh produce on offer at the Public Market.

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