UPDATED: This article was originally published in March 2018
You’ve decided you want to travel more this year (good on you), but you’re struggling to choose your next destination. Surely there’s an easier way than trawling through endless travel mags and guidebooks for the answers, right? That’s where our ultimate month-by-month travel guide comes in: your easily digestible list of places to visit, things to experience, and amazing weather to chase around the world.
All eyes on June this time around! The European summer is fast approaching, the Canadian snow is melting, and the dry season is getting going across the African continent. Whether you’ve always wanted to slurp schnapps at a Swedish celebration, track endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda or hike to the summit of Mount Batur in Bali. Here’s your guide for where to travel in June.
By the time June rolls around Canada’s summer season has started but is not yet in full swing, meaning fewer crowds – hurrah! Long, warm days enable you to completely immerse yourself in the country’s great outdoor offerings, from fresh-water fishing to camping. Many of the hiking trails are now open too, allowing you to soak up the breath-taking vistas at Banff National Park and beyond.
As the snow melts, lakes and rivers defrost and grasslands slowly start coming back to life. Encouraging native wildlife, such as furry black and brown bears, to go in search of food after months of hibernation. It’s also worth mentioning that Canada is a perfect destination for those looking to unleash their inner thrill-seeker, with countless opportunities for mountain biking and river rafting.
June kickstarts the lengthy dry season in Rwanda, a landlocked country best known for its Volcanoes National Park. As the rainy season showers subside, the ground becomes dry and firm under foot, making it an optimum time for tracking Africa’s endangered mountain gorillas. Make your way through dense, muggy jungle and find yourself falling in love with the gentle nature of these giants.
Add remarkably close wildlife encounters to witnessing some of the most incredible landscapes on the continent and you’ve got a very special destination on your hands. It’s important to gain an insight into the nation’s tragically sad past too. Visit the Rwandan Genocide Museum, built in 2004, for an eye-opening experience that’ll help you understand the courage and resilience of the local people.
Labelling June as part of Guatemala’s rainy season is misleading because any showers are likely to be short-lived. Often called the “land of eternal spring”, large parts of the country are blessed with warm days and mild evenings year-round, and so good weather is almost always on the cards. In case you didn’t know July and August are popular times to visit, therefore you’ll miss the crowds by going now.
Enjoy strolling down charming colonial streets in Antigua with an imposing volcanic backdrop. Trek deep into the steamy jungles to explore remnants of mighty Mayan civilisations like Tikal. Unwind on a relaxing boat ride around Lake Atitlan and meet the friendly locals living on its banks. Or watch the fishermen at sunset in the waters surrounding the tiny yet irresistibly picturesque town of Flores.
June brings about the most typically Swedish celebration ever – Midsommar (or Midsummer) – when Swedes raise a glass to the summer solstice. The festivities have their roots in Pagan tradition, which is where the midsommarstång (or maypole) supposedly comes from. Merriment manifests itself in pretty flower crowns, pickled herring, singing folk songs, dancing and copious amounts of aquavit.
Aside from the excitement of Midsommar, Sweden in June is just beautiful. Temperatures are slowly creeping upwards and the days are at their longest, leaving plenty of hours of sunshine to be enjoyed however you like. Whether that’s taking a peaceful ferry ride around Stockholm’s archipelago, or treating yourself to a spot of fika (or coffee and cake) at one of the capital’s many independent cafes.
June falls within Indonesia’s dry season making it an ideal time to visit, and warm sunny days enable you to explore the islands of this tropical archipelago with ease. If you’ve always dreamt of seeing orangutans in the wild, make your way to Gunung National Park in Sumatra for your best chance to do so. You’ll come across some 300 bird species and might even spot an endangered Sumatran tiger too.
If you prefer a laidback beach break, enjoy lazing on the sugar-white beaches of Gili Air with a cocktail (or Bintang) in hand. If it’s adventure you’re after, strap on your hiking boots and prepare to tackle the steep slopes of an active volcano, Mount Batur. Or if it’s a bit of spirituality and relaxation you need, wind down with yoga classes and smoothies in Ubud. There’s something for everyone in Indonesia.
Throughout June the days in Madagascar are bright and temperate. The occasional rain shower is still to be expected though, as we’re not firmly at the height of the dry season yet. It’s a brilliant time for observing wildlife, such as watching playful baby lemurs and humpback whales returning to the coasts of Ile Sainte-Marie. Clear and calm waters also make it easier to observe diverse African marine life.
Aside from incredible fauna, Madagascar is also home to some spectacular scenery. From the bizarre rock formations making up Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park to the unique ancient trees lining the iconic Avenue of the Baobabs. There’s plenty of opportunity for activity here too. Spend your days trekking to secluded swimming holes and cruising the Matsiatra River in a traditional dugout canoe.
Wildlife spotting in Botswana is remarkable all year round, but some safari parks are especially impressive from June to September. During the dry season, the lack of vegetation in these parts leads animals to congregate by watering holes and rivers making them easier to see. The skies are clear and the chance of rain is slim. These arid conditions also mean less pesky mosquitoes are floating around.
Bask in the serene atmosphere of the Chobe River on a sunset cruise, keeping your eyes peeled for elephants, cheetahs and lions frolicking on the shore. Journey into the unspoiled wilderness of the Okavango Delta, looking for hippos, crocodiles and more, before setting up camp in the African bush. Visit the Khama Rhino Sanctuary too, the only place left in Botswana with both black and white rhinos.
Come June it’s all go, go, go in Hungary with festivals sprouting up across the capital. First is their Summer Festival, which offers a broad range of cultural performances such as concerts, musicals and comedy shows, all housed in an open-air theatre. Their Danube Carnival starts a week or so later and hosts nearly 400 artists from all over the world, including contemporary dancers and folk musicians.
Don’t fret if festivals aren’t your thing, as Hungary has plenty more to bring to the table. Marvel at the mint green-domed Esztergom Basilica on the famous Danube Bend. Sample a glass of vino or two in one of the country’s many flourishing wine regions. Put the world to rights in the thermal waters and healing spas of Komárom or while away the hours in the beautifully preserved Baroque town of Eger.