By Bryony Dunn
Marketing Manager at Travel Nation
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If you get the chance to sneak in an early summer escape, June is a brilliant month to jet off into the Big Blue. Schools are still in full swing, so most destinations are quieter, while the summer heat has yet to reach sweltering in many parts of the world. Even better, hotel prices haven’t quite hit premium highs, and there are some great flight deals waiting to be snapped up. Low on crowds and easy on the wallet – what’s not to like?
However, if you’re thinking about travelling long haul, it pays to think strategically about where to go in June. The seasonal monsoons have started to bounce around Southern Asia and winter is taking its chilly grip on Australasia, so you’ll need to cherry-pick your destination carefully if you’re craving some long-overdue sunshine.
Whether you fancy visiting endangered orangutans in Borneo, taking some time out in Tahiti or hiking through Yosemite National Park, June has something up its sleeve for you. Head to one of these hotspots and you can’t go far wrong…
If the mountains are calling, make a beeline for Northern California. It’s the ideal time to explore Yosemite National Park, riddled with scenic hiking trails and waterfalls that tumble all year round. The campsites are open and (weather permitting) it’s possible to climb the legendary Half Dome before the schoolkids take noisy hold. What’s more, June is blooming marvellous in Yosemite, as redbud, lupine, Mariposa lily and penstemon burst into flower.
You can spend a week in Yosemite alone but, for a rich all-American road trip, add San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Redwood National Park and the Napa Valley. If you’re beach-bound, don’t be put off by the fabled ‘June gloom’ that rolls across the Californian coastline in the mornings, particularly in the South. It rarely rains in June, the mist tends to clear by lunchtime, and it’s a beautiful natural phenomenon in its own right.
Tiny islands encircled by turquoise lagoons, sugary soft beaches fringed with swaying palms - French Polynesia is every over-worked person’s paradise. With its iconic overwater bungalows perched over crystal clear waters, Bora Bora has become the ultimate holiday pin-up. It’s nothing short of gorgeous. In June, French Polynesia’s temperatures hover blissfully around the late twenties and the skies are set to sunny, making it a great time to plan your escape.
For many of us, French Polynesia seems financially out of reach. Everything about it screams exclusive - and therefore expensive. However, taking a trip to French Polynesia doesn’t necessarily need to cost the earth. There are ways to do it without spending a small fortune on scratch cards. If overwater bungalow rates on Bora Bora make you wince, there are many other islands to explore with equally jaw-dropping scenery. By staying in family-owned local pensions rather than big resorts, paradise becomes affordable.
Canada is a country of jaw-dropping natural beauty, so it’s no wonder that Western Canada road trips have boomed in popularity over recent years. As a result, travelling can be pricey over the peak summer months, when tourists flock to the Canadian Rockies and Lake Louise in their thousands. As road trip destinations go, you can’t beat Canada. It’s safe, it’s gorgeous, and it holds surprises around every corner. Not only that, but the roads are still reasonably quiet, as family holidaymakers have not yet landed. If you’re after an adventure, look no further!
It’s impossible not to love orangutans. FACT. If like me, you’ve always dreamt of seeing orangutans up close, June is your perfect window of opportunity. It’s sunny in Sabah and fruiting season in the rainforest, drawing the wildlife out of the foliage as they forage for sweet treats. And it’s not only orangutans! You can visit the Bornean Sun Bear Sanctuary, watch turtles lay their eggs on the beaches of Selingan Island, and spot crocodiles, proboscis monkeys and pygmy elephants along the banks of the Kinabatangan River.
Critters aside, Borneo is simply beautiful. Snack on spicy street food in cosmopolitan Kota Kinabalu, soak up the sunshine on the beaches of Gaya Island, trek through the rainforests of the Danum Valleys and feel like a castaway on Lankayan Island. If you’re feeling intrepid, you can climb Mount Kinabalu - the highest mountain in South East Asia - and watch the sunrise light up the hills below.
If you’ve got your sights set on Machu Picchu, June is the time to dig out your hiking gear. It’s the ideal month for Inca Trail trekking, with sunny Andean days, chilly-but-bearable nights, and fewer crowds than July. For a less commercial experience, try opting for one of the Inca Trail alternatives, such as the Lares or Salkantay trek. These routes are generally quieter and, nowadays, widely regarded as more scenic. However, trekking to Machu Picchu isn’t something you can do on impulse – trekking permits sell like hotcakes, so you’ll need to plan ahead.
However, there are a million reasons to go to Peru – Machu Picchu is just one of them. Peru is home to incredibly diverse landscapes and warm local communities, so be sure to stay and explore. Discover the floating Uros islands of Lake Titicaca, spot condors in the Colca Canyon, cruise through the Amazon rainforest and check out the other-worldly Rainbow Mountain (above). What’s more, you’ll find Peru in party mode throughout June, as the country celebrates Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun).
By June, Darwin is finally dry, and Australia’s tropical Top End is open for business. Often overlooked by first-time visitors to Australia, the tip of the Northern Territory is a real treat when the rains recede. Darwin is a colourful little city itself, with bags of character and epic sunsets over at Mindil Beach. Discover the unique traditions of the Tiwi Islands, soak in the waterfalls of nearby Litchfield National Park and scour the mangroves from crocs on a wildlife-spotting trip.
Beyond Darwin, the Top End is part of Australia’s last natural wilderness, making it excellent road trip territory. Look for over 250 species of birds on an airboat tour of the lush May River Wetlands, hike between the rocky outcrops of Kakadu National Park and hop from rainforests to remote islands in Arnhem Land. Rugged, unruly and unpretentious, this is the real Outback. So, if you’re heading Down Under in June, don’t just stick to the bottom!
Our friendly experts have all travelled the globe themselves, so we can offer first-hand destination advice. All of our trips are 100% customisable, so please send an email or call us on 1273 320 580 with your personal requests.
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Bryony is an explorer in every sense of the meaning. In 2013 she took the plunge, quit her marketing job and decided to face down her lifelong panic disorder to begin life as a freelance digital nomad. Journeying all over Asia, for years she earned her keep writing for travel brands. Almost by accident, she ended up in Cali, Colombia where she discovered a remarkable (as yet latent) talent for Salsa dancing. After spending a year in sequins shimmying from dance show to dance show, she returned to the UK, tanned, toned and ready to settle down. Bryony joined Travel Nation as a round the world specialist in 2016 and is now the Marketing Manager, with a little salsa on the side.