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Where’s hot in June? Best destinations for summer sun to escape the crowds

Cala Spinosa is one of the prettiest beaches in the Gallura region, northern Sardinia (Getty Images)
Cala Spinosa is one of the prettiest beaches in the Gallura region, northern Sardinia (Getty Images)

June is a fantastic time to take a summer holiday. Before schools break up in July, beaches and tourist attractions are noticeably less crowded, both in Europe and around the world.

As Europe starts to bask in a sunkissed glow, you can laze around a pool or sit peacefully on a beach before most families descend; plus you’ll benefit from cheaper travel costs before the school holidays hit. Countries such as Croatia, Greece and Italy have temperatures ranging from 24-29C and up to 11 hours of sunshine a day, so you don’t have to go far to guarantee warm weather.

However, if you fancy more of an adventure, the US can offer both city breaks and lazy beach holidays and you’ll find that temperatures are still comfortable enough to walk around and explore. Meanwhile, nature lovers can take advantage of fewer rain showers in south-east Asia to meet orangutans in Malaysia or watch elephants bathe in the river in Thailand.

From Aruba to Borneo, we’ve rounded up some early summer travel destinations with sunshine on tap. Here are eight enjoyable places where you can top up your tan, ramp up your levels of Vitamin D and thoroughly escape the stresses of day-to-day life.

Sardinia, Italy

The colours of Neptune’s Grotto in Sardinia leave a lasting impact (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The colours of Neptune’s Grotto in Sardinia leave a lasting impact (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperature in June: 29C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 15

The second largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily, Sardinia is home to white beaches, turquoise seas and some fascinating rock formations. Temperatures heat up to a balmy 29C in June, but there are plenty of ways to cool down in the clear sea, which offers excellent snorkelling opportunities; and there are several diving schools dotted around if you fancy venturing a bit deeper. In the north-east of the island, Costa Smerelda, which translates to the Emerald Coast, has Caribbean-like beaches with luxurious resorts and places to moor super yachts, as well as more affordable guest houses and vilas. Alghero, the main city in northern Sardinia, is full of colourful architecture and you can dine on affordable lobster that proud locals claim is the best in the world. From here you can catch a boat to Neptune’s Grotto, a spectacular stalactite cave.

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Naxos, Greece

Naxos Town is full of traditional Greek architecture and postcard-perfect views (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Naxos Town is full of traditional Greek architecture and postcard-perfect views (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperatures in June: 26C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 13

If you like the traditional white and blue Greek architecture of Santorini and Mykonos but would rather avoid the crowds of party-goers and bar-hoppers, Naxos is considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Cyclades. Offering 13 hours of sunshine a day and temperatures around a pleasant 26C, June sees fewer crowds than July and August. You’ll find the outside of the island lined by long, sandy beaches, while the interior is filled with farms, olive groves, mountains, charming traditional villages, ancient temple ruins, and over 200 Byzantine churches. Naxos Town, situated in the northwest of the island, has a lively waterfront with plenty of tavernas and shops, overlooked by a superb Venetian castle dating back to the 13th century. It’s within walking distance of Agios Georgios beach and a short 5km drive to Agios Prokopios beach.

Borneo, Malaysia

Hang around with mummy and baby orangutans when you visit Borneo (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Hang around with mummy and baby orangutans when you visit Borneo (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperatures in June: 29C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 10

Asia’s biggest island begins its fully fledged dry season in June and you can expect eight hours of bright daylight. Comfortable, warm days make it equally pleasurable to watch wildlife or sun worship on sandy beaches. Sepilok’s lauded Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, on the edge of the Kabili forest reserve, is worth a visit to see some of the 75 orangutans roaming free within the forest reserve. June is fruiting season in the forest, which means you’re likely to spot them foraging for a fruity meal. Take a trip to Sabah, located at the northern tip of Borneo, for untouched beaches that are home to pristine coral and an array of marine wildlife.

Thailand

See elephants roam free in the Khao Sok National Park near Phuket (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
See elephants roam free in the Khao Sok National Park near Phuket (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
  • Average temperatures in June: 31C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 13

June is the driest month of Thailand’s rainy season (running from May to October). Khao Sok National Park, in the east of the country, comprises an expanse of evergreen rainforests with waterfalls and untouched islands. It’s home to a staggering number of indigenous animals and plants that rival the Amazon for biodiversity. You could see sun bears and clouded leopards lazing in the sunshine as well as elephants, deer, monkeys and boars. Meanwhile, the island of Phuket, two hours’ drive south, boasts white-sand, palm tree-lined beaches catering to all types of traveller. Lively Patong offers bustling restaurants, shops and bars while Natai beach is quieter and more upmarket (and you might recognise it from an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians).

Maui, Hawaii, US

Watch the sun rise above the clouds at the Haleakala Volcano, 10,000 feet above sea level (Getty Images)
Watch the sun rise above the clouds at the Haleakala Volcano, 10,000 feet above sea level (Getty Images)
  • Average temperatures in June: 24C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

From volcanoes and rainforests to waterfalls and ancient petroglyphs, there’s a lot more to Maui than just sand and surf. In June, temperatures are an amiable 24C and accommodation is often much cheaper than in the peak summer months. Reserve your spot to see sunrise from above the clouds by climbing the dormant Haleakala Volcano. Keen cyclists might enjoy a bike tour to cruise 37 miles down Haleakala’s steep slopes and take in the volcanic rock formations and deep green vegetation on the descent. For hikers, the Polihua Trail is 4.8 miles of a red volcanic dirt road, offering the chance to see petroglyph symbols dating back thousands of years, which leads to a secluded beach.

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Seattle, Washington

The iconic Space Needle tower dominates Seattle’s skyline (Getty Images)
The iconic Space Needle tower dominates Seattle’s skyline (Getty Images)
  • Average temperature in June: 21C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

If your’re seeking an educational city break but also enjoy hiking and the outdoors, Seattle is an enticing spot. In June, you’ll have nine hours of sunlight to enjoy everything from world-class ballet to Boeing jet factory tours. There’s something for art lovers, tech fans and foodies; visit the original Starbucks shop in Pike Place Market or enjoy fresh oysters fished from Seattle’s cool waters. With temperatures of around 21C, you should be comfortable sightseeing in a T-shirt. Climb the iconic Space Needle building or experience it from a different angle and rent a hot tub boat where you can enjoy a soak while taking in the city’s most famous attractions.

Pag Island, Croatia

Zrce beach on Pag Island is home to huge outdoor clubs (Getty Images)
Zrce beach on Pag Island is home to huge outdoor clubs (Getty Images)
  • Average temperature in June: 25C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

With temperatures comfortably in the mid-20s and the location of the famous Hideout music festival, Pag Island is a fun place to visit in June. The island is easily accessible as it is linked to the mainland by a bridge and, if you fly to Zadar, you can be in Pag in around an hour’s drive. For clubbers and music lovers, Zrce Beach is where all the festivals take place and home to huge super clubs such as Papaya, Nomad and Aquarius. Coves and beaches dress the island on all sides and, for extra scenic views, the Velebit Mountains of the mainland dominate the inland horizon. Foodies can take a tour of a cheese factory as Pag is world-famous for producing and exporting high-end and award-winning cheeses (Paški sir), as well as olive oils and wines.

Eagle Beach, Aruba

Aruba’s capital Oranjestad has colourful Dutch colonial architecture (Getty Images)
Aruba’s capital Oranjestad has colourful Dutch colonial architecture (Getty Images)
  • Average temperature in June: 33C

  • Hours of sunshine per day: 12

Down in the Caribbean’s far south, much closer to Colombia and Venezuela than Cuba or the Virgin Islands, Aruba sits happily outside the hurricane belt, making June an ideal time to visit. While the rest of the Caribbean has tropical storms, Aruba experiences sultry days in the low to mid 30s and calm seas ripe for snorkelling or scuba diving. Eagle Beach and Palm Beach are the most popular resorts, with hotels opening up onto powdery soft beachfronts. Take your camera for a trip to Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital. The city is a unique blend of old and new with pastel-hued Dutch Colonial buildings, vibrant colour, and charming shops lining the streets.

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