Whether you’re after beaches, culture or countryside, June’s glorious weather and long days make it the perfect month to travel in Europe. Elsewhere, wildlife enthusiasts can spot whales in Iceland or bears in Yellowstone, while the World Cup will be in full swing in Brazil.
Relax on a beach in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
While most of Asia is in the throes of monsoon season, the east coast of Malaysia remains dry and sunny in June with calm sea conditions and average highs of around 30°C. The Perhentian Islands, off the northeast coast, close to Thailand, consist of Besar (large) and Kecil (small); Besar is the more developed of the two, while Kecil is more geared towards backpackers. If a tropical paradise is what you’re after, you’re in luck: you'll find white-sand beaches, turquoise water, gorgeous beach huts, top snorkeling and diving opportunities (with visibility of up to 20m) and a wonderfully easy-going atmosphere to top it all off.
Go whale watching in Iceland
Take a trip to Húsavík, just south of the Arctic Circle on Iceland’s north coast, and you can see some of the greatest creatures on earth under a midnight sun. Whale populations in the Skjálfandi bay are strong despite the 2006 lift on the whaling ban, and chances of seeing some action on a half-day trip are high. The area is known for minke whales, but you can sometimes see humpbacks, orcas and the phenomenally large blue whales, which are commonly spotted in June. White-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are a frequent sight, too, and if you don’t see a whale on a trip with tour operators North Sailing, they’ll book you on another voyage, free of charge.
Get outdoors in Yellowstone National Park
Sprawling across the northwest of Wyoming, Yellowstone is the largest and oldest National Park in the USA, established in 1872. June is one of the best times to spot wildlife here: gangly, long-limbed bighorn lambs and elk calf are taking their early steps, grizzly bears are on the prowl and wildflowers are sprinkled across the lower mountain slopes. Yellowstone also has a host of year-round geothermal attractions (the park contains over half of the world’s geysers), of which Old Faithful is perhaps the most popular. Local schools are out by now, but two million acres can absorb quite a few crowds.
Raft down the Grand Canyon
Picture the Grand Canyon, and you'll probably think of the view from the top. But, as anyone who’s done it will attest, there’s no better way to really get to grips with the world’s longest and most awe-inspiring canyon than to spend a week or two looking up at its majestic walls from the very bottom. Embark on an adventure like no other, winding your way down the Colorado River on a raft, through the full length of the canyon (277 miles, or 446km). This is not for the faint hearted – this stretch of the river has an estimated 161 sets of rapids. Opportunities for mini hikes to tucked-away waterfalls or into side canyons filled with jungle-like foliage are abundant, and you camp on the riverbanks under star-filled skies. Trips don’t come cheap, and you can’t simply hop in a raft and make your way downstream – you’ll need to book yourself onto a commercial trip with a qualified guide; try Arizona Raft Adventures, based in Flagstaff.
Mess about in a boat on the Broads
Whether you choose to spend your time at the tiller of a traditional yacht or lounging aboard a modern cruiser, the best way to explore the UK's largest protected wetland is undoubtedly by boat. Slightly questionably marketed as “Britain’s Magical Waterland”, the Broads are actually man-made, created from flooded peat cuttings. June’s long and sunny days are the perfect time to potter about these 125 miles of waterways; you’re likely to encounter water voles, warblers, bitterns and swallowtail butterflies as you float along.