June is a joy. She greets you with lavender in Provence and sunflowers in Bourgogne. She brings butterflies to Bulgaria’s Rhodope Mountains, Italy’s Dolomites and Switzerland’s High Valais, all some of Europe’s largest butterfly habitats. June graces us with long-lasting rays of light on the summer solstice making Norway, Sweden and Denmark some of our best places to travel in June. June is kind to travellers too, greeting them with warmth while not crowding them out. On World Oceans Day she looks over our precious coasts and, on World Environment Day, she celebrates the big beautiful picture. In short, June’s a keeper.
Provence at its prettiest
Provence is almost greedy in its gorgeousness, and yet it just keeps giving. From walking trails through ancient Luberon villages, to cycling tours in both Provence and the Camargue, this region that stretches from the Alps to the Mediterranean has been immortalised by greats such as Cezanne and Van Gogh. Like the bliss of Cezanne’s bathers to the iconic sunflowers of Van Gogh, Provence is positively blooming in June. Toast Provence’s fine natural heritage by cycling and walking alongside its vineyards or bring your summer walking season to a spectacular start in the Verdon Gorge.
A bouquet of beauty in the Dolomites
The Dolomites are a photographers’ dream in June. You still get some snow on the peaks, there’s a flush of summer wildflowers, from anemones to orchids, and the light keeps you on your toes shimmering between light seasonal showers. The Dolomites are also a butterfly hotspot and botanists’ favourite, so swot up on your fritillaries and skippers before you go. Walking tours of the Dolomites vary from elevated trekking along the Alta Via 1, with holidays only starting in June, to leisurely paced walks through lower valleys and pastures, or being lifted up to the likes of Dolomieu Panoramic Trail by cable car.
The Dolomites are a butterfly hotspot and botanists’ favourite, and a photographer’s dream in June.
Corfu before it closes
It doesn’t actually close of course, but we don’t run the complete Corfu Trail holiday in July and August, so that you can ramble without roasting. One of the best walking trails in the Ionian Islands, it’s a 200km adventure into the heart of the archipelago’s second largest island, you can do the whole thing in two weeks, reading its most famous resident’s work, Gerald Durrell, along the way. You can also visit his beloved home area at Kalami, one of our most popular trips, particularly with solo travellers and which, again, we keep closed off in the shade while it sizzles.
Celebrate in Kosovo
This year, Kosovo is marking 15 years since it declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. And, as our Kosovo tours only open in June, we think it’s a great time to raise a toast to ongoing peace whether it’s on the Peaks of the Balkans or Via Dinarica Trails. Kosovo is a country where you’ll meet the warmest people walking in the likes of Bjeshkët e Nemuna (Accursed Mountains) National Park, or enjoying cafe life in medieval, and now very multicultural towns and cities like Prizren. It also has abundant sunshine and consequently, cups overflowing with wine. You can even explore the Rahovec Valley wine region on this Kosovo hiking holiday. Gëzuar (cheers) Kosovo!
Rugova Gorge is just one of Kosovo’s natural highlights, with trekking holidays open from June.
June in the Karakorams, Pakistan
We are excited to have added the Karakoram Mountains to our portfolio of adventures for 2023 and, although our K2 Basecamp treks don’t start until July, the lower elevations of the Nangma Valley Trek are open. And, if you thought that Pakistan was only for extreme adventure seekers, you’ll be delighted to know that our guided holiday through one of its most dramatically beautiful landscapes is categorised as easy. The Nangma Valley is also known as the Yosemite of Pakistan because of its immense rock walls and towers. Staying in a mix of tents, local guesthouses and hotels, natural highlights include walks to Amin Brakk Base Camp (4,500m) or Mingulo Broq (3,500m) and falling asleep under the dark skies of the Nangma Valley (3,950m).
Ticket to Ryde, Isle of Wight
It’s party time on the Isle of Wight between 15 and 18 June, when its iconic festival fills the Solent island with beautiful beats. For the rest of the month, cyclists can sing with joy as they enjoy the island’s 55km cycling circuit before the school holidays kick in, or you can do the festival thing first, and explore the island after. Even when the festival is on, you still have many of the cliffs, chalky downs and coves to yourselves, with plenty of swimming cool downs along the way at the seaside towns of Yarmouth and Ryde. The Isle of Wight is also easily accessible by train, and you can bring your own bike or pay a supplement to jump on a rented bike when you arrive in Ryde. It’s just the ticket.
Mark a centenary on Mount Toubkal, Morocco
If you like the idea of climbing North Africa’s highest mountain on an important anniversary, the first recorded ascent of Mount Toubkal, was a hundred years ago, on 12 June 1923, by the Marquis de Segonzac, Vincent Berger and Hubert Dolbeau. However, you don’t need a title to top Toubkal (4,167m) these days. You just need an excellent local guide, at least two days to ascend and descend, and a taste for strong mint tea. While temperatures can soar to as high as the high 30s in Marrakech in June, they usually dip by ten degrees in the Atlas mountains. Also, it’s a great time to get in quick on our Junie newbie, cycling in the Atlas Mountains.
Leave the heat of Marrakech in June to cool down in the Atlas Mountains.
For more joyful June jaunts, see all our walking and cycling holidays available during this month. As the seas are also starting to warm up in the UK and Europe, you may enjoy our blog on our Best coastal walking tours, as well as our blog on Walking holidays to combine with city breaks.