6 Destinations to Visit From the UK This June
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If you’re looking for a hot hotel or airfare deal, June may be the month to find it. Prices are still low before school lets out for the summer, though families looking to travel with kids should do so at half-term, which runs into the beginning of June.
Many destinations that will be packed with tourists in July and August are still calm and relatively crowd-free in June, but with the same sunshine or otherwise ideal weather as you’d expect from later in the season. Here are six of the best spots to travel to in June from the UK.
Beer lovers should branch out from their typical go-to cider or ale and head to southern Peru during the Beer Festival (June 1 through 7) to sample Peru’s most popular beer, Cusqueña. With local and international music acts, traditional food and, of course, plenty of booze, it’s a guaranteed good time.
The Corpus Christi Festival (June 20) is another celebration to catch. Although it’s popular throughout the entire country, Cusco is known for having one of the largest and most colorful interpretations, which includes a massive procession where statues of local saints are paraded through town on floats.
The summer solstice has always been important within the Inca culture, and Cusco celebrates the longest day of the year with the Festival of Inti Raymi (June 24). The event kicks off with a ceremony dedicated to the sun god and features traditional food and costumes.
Weather in June in Cusco is perfect for festivals, but also for exploring and hiking. While the city is typically a stop along the Machu Picchu trail, there’s plenty to see and do right here, in the gateway to the Sacred Valley. Besides the famous Plaza de Armas and the San Pedro market, where you can watch the locals do their shopping as you sip a freshly-squeezed fruit juice, the archeological sites of Pisac, Sacsayhumán, the salt mines of Maras and the famous Rainbow Mountain (or Mountain of Seven Colors) are just a day trip away.
British Airways’ seasonal service operates from London (LGW) to Lima (LIM) throughout the month of June and beyond. Then, thanks to Sky Airlines’ newly-launched domestic flights from Lima (LIM), you can easily get to Cusco (CUZ), as well as other Peruvian destinations such as Arequipa (AQP), Iquitos (IQT) and more.
Attend the very first electronic music rave hosted in the iconic Versailles Palace this June. The event, hosted by Busy P. (founder of Ed Banger Records and Daft Punk’s former manager) will take place on June 8. The DJs playing at the end of the famous Hall of Mirrors include Breakbot x Irfane, Myd and So Me.
If French electronic music really isn’t your scene, Versailles has a number of other cultural events happening at the palace in June such as concerts, opera, theatre, ballet and the famous costume ball on June 22.
But the allure of Versailles goes beyond the adorned palace gates. The town itself is divided into two areas, one on either side of the palace: Quartier Saint-Louis and the Quartier Notre-Dame. Here, travellers can explore quaint boutiques and family-run pastry shops, as well as a bustling food market hawking everything from foie to fresh vegetables, wheels of cheese, homegrown honey and more.
Don’t forget, you have an alternative option when travelling to Paris: the Eurostar, which takes a little over two hours from London. Once you’ve arrived in the French capital, Versailles is just a short train ride away from central Paris.
High season on this idyllic Indonesian island is really in July and August, and June is still a tad more like the shoulder season. But there’s still glorious sunshine, little rain and fewer visitors.
And Londoners can now fly directly to Bali without having to stop in Jakarta. A thrice-weekly nonstop service offered by Garuda Airlines gets you nonstop from London (LHR) to Bali (DPS) in a “mere” 15-or-so hours. The catch? You’ll have to stop in Jakarta on the way back, as the nonstop route only operates to Bali. But you’ll be so relaxed and tan by that point, who cares?
With a plethora of luxury hotels, many of which feature amenities like private plunge pools, expansive ocean views and villas nestled in the jungle and along rice terraces, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to using points. Prices range from a budget stay at the Element by Westin Bali Ubud, a Category 3 property that costs just 17,500 Bonvoy points per night to the Category 6 Ritz-Carlton Bali that charges 50,000 Bonvoy points per night.
If you tire of beach-hopping, check out the Bali Arts Festival at the Denpasar Arts Centre for a little culture, where you can experience crafts, painting, dance and musical performances, fashion shows, workshops, literary competitions and more (June 16 to July 14).
Starting June 2, Split will be easier than ever to visit, as British Airways is flying between London City (LCY) and Split (SPU) three times a week. The new service comes just in time for the Ultra Music Festival (June 12 to 14), but before the majority of tourists descend on the city in July and August. This year’s festival lineup includes Swedish House Mafia, AfroJack, The Chainsmokers, David Guetta and Carl Cox, among others.
If you prefer movies to music, the Mediterranean Film Festival will take place in Split from June 13 through 22. The festival calls itself, “one of the best and most popular cultural manifestations on Adriatic,” and even has a special programme for children this year. If you’re concerned about so much indoor activity when you really want to be outside on the beach, don’t worry. Bring along your towel and catch a film on the beach at the Bačvice Open Air Cinema.
Speaking of beaches, there are plenty to visit in and around Split. For the clearest water and most pristine sands, boat over to a nearby island such as Hvar, Brac, Vis or Solta.
While you may associate visits to Switzerland with skiing, the country is green and lush during the warmer spring and summer months. In fact, it’s especially delightful to visit in June: shoulder season for this destination.
And where better to see Art Basel than Basel itself (June 13 to 16)? This year’s festival showcases masterpieces from more than 4,000 artists that you can view — and maybe buy, if you’re so inclined.
But Basel’s appeal goes beyond just its most famous namesake art event. There are almost 40 museums in the medieval city and a stunning Gothic cathedral. You could spend forever strolling (or swimming in) the picturesque Rhine River. And if you aren’t in the mood for a dip, cross it via ferry — the boats are powered by the river’s current, and pushed across a cable to the other side.
Getting to Basel (BSL) from the UK is simple, too. You can fly easyJet from London (LGW), Manchester (MAN) or Edinburgh (EDI), or British Airways from London (LHR). The Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport (BSL) is actually located in France, although it’s just a short drive from both Basel as well as the border of Germany — perfect for visiting three countries in one trip.
Visiting Finland’s northernmost region around the summer solstice can be one of the most unforgettable travel experiences. That’s because you can witness the midnight sun: a period of time from the end of May to July where the sun never actually dips below the horizon at all, for basically 24 hours of sunlight.
The best way to celebrate the never-ending day is with Finland’s Midnight Sun Film Festival (June 12 to 16). The festival showcases movies, music and more around the clock, taking full advantage of the constant light. The Jutajaiset Folklore Festival is another event that goes all day and night, with concerts, workshops and dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
Thanks to the nightless nights, you can enjoy lengthy hikes that extend beyond twilight, or participate in any number of other outdoor activities (think: rock climbing and cycling) that take advantage of those extra-long days. And for anyone who associates reindeer with Christmas, a June visit to the reindeer farm will immediately erase any seasonal stereotypes.
Although you can fly to Helsinki (HEL) nonstop from the UK, the best airport for a Lapland’s visit is Rovaniemi (RVN). Just expect to change planes in Helsinki. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Rovaniemi is known as the official home of Santa Claus. Again, drop those seasonal prejudices and enjoy a visit to the Santa Claus village for a little Christmas spirit in your summer holiday.
Featured photo of the Hindu temple in Bali by sutthinon sanyakup / Getty Images.
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