You don’t need to look that far afield for an amazing holiday in June: much of Europe is sizzling, from midsummer nights on Swedish islands...

You don’t need to look that far afield for an amazing holiday in June: much of Europe is sizzling, from midsummer nights on Swedish islands to rosé days in southern France. It’s also the perfect time for African safari adventures.

Provence, France

Crillon Le Brave offers Provencal charm in spades (Crillon Le Brave)

As if this corner of France wasn’t already gorgeous enough, June sees the countryside reach its perfumed purple zenith as lavender season sweeps across the fields. The almost-guaranteed balmy weather is ideal for frolics on the Riviera’s beaches, while the street parties and concerts of annual festival Fête de la Musique (21 June) adds extra bon vivant spirit to towns across the region. If it’s the beach that beckons, private mansion turned boutique hotel White 1921 Saint-Tropez (from £177 per night) puts you right at the heart of the Riviera’s ritziest town; the on-site bar, rather fittingly, is dedicated to champagne. For more of a rural retreat, Crillon Le Brave (from £300 per night B&B) is a recently revamped family-run property at the foot of Mont Ventoux offering Provencal charm in spades.

Average temperature in June: 30°C

Flight time: 2 hours

Stockholm archipelago, Sweden

Enjoy Midsommar on the Stockholm archipelago (Ola Ericson)

The Swedes excel at maximising their alfresco fun during June – who can blame them after those long, dark winters? Midsommar, the longest day, is arguably a bigger celebration than Christmas, as people flock to outdoor, all-night parties across the Stockholm archipelago. With some 30,000 islands, you can easily find your own patch of forested, fresh-air paradise, only a few minutes outside the capital; simply hop aboard one of the Waxholmsbolaget public boats from the city centre. Under the midnight sun, it’s all about indulging in schnapps and May Pole dancing (definitely in that order), feasting on pickled herring and larking about on boats or kayaks. Those Scandis have somehow struck the perfect note between wholesomeness and hedonism. Skål (cheers) to that!

Average temperature in June: 20°C

Flight time: 2 hours 15 minutes


Enjoy the ultimate Lion King experience at Borana Lodge (Borana)

The rain clouds have rolled on by late June, meaning Kenya’s safari season is back in business. But rather than automatically heading for the iconic Masai Mara, turn your attentions northwards, to the Laikipia highlands, where private reserves are teeming with the Big Five – and a whole lot more besides. From heading up Mount Kenya by helicopter for a spot of trout fishing (see Tropic Air’s excursions) to wild swimming in the ancient Ngare Ndare forest, safari is only part of the action. The ultimate Lion King experience unfolds at Borana Lodge (rooms from £460pp per night including meals, drinks, guided excursions and game drives): you can sip sundowners on the real-life Pride Rock, following in the footsteps of a crew from Disney. Even Nairobi gets in on the safari theme: did you know the city has a 117sqkm national park where lion, giraffes and rhinos roam? At boutique lodge The Emakoko you can spot game from your room, or there’s grand-dame hotel Hemingways (from £269 for two sharing) in the peaceful nearby suburb of Karen.

Average temperature in June: 26°C

Flight time: 8 hours 35 minutes


Mouthwatering gelato, crumbling remains of ampitheatres and temples, sundrenched piazzas that come alive for Aperol Spritz-fuelled aperitivo sessions – so far, so Italian. But it soon becomes clear Sicily has a strong identity distinct from its mainland kin. A series of conquests by the Romans, Arabs, Normans and Spanish has made this large island into a real Mediterranean melting pot, which is writ large in everything from the cuisine (specialities to try include Arab-inspired dessert cassata and the aubergine stew caponata) to the architecture (case in point: the fusion of Byzantine bling, Baroque marble and Moorish archways in Cefalù Cathedral). Massimo Villas does a fine line in scenic self-catering properties (from £800 per week), including Villa Borghetto, which crowns an olive tree-studded hilltop above Cefalù. Divide your time between exploring remote medieval towns – Castelbuono, for example, is home to Fiasconaro Panettone which has the seal of approval from both Obama and the Popes – and sailing trips escorted by pods of dolphins.

Average temperature in June: 25°C

Flight time: 2 hours 55 minutes

Turkish Riviera

The new Bodrum EDITION is one of a handful of new properties on the Turquoise Coast (Bodrum EDITION)

After suffering from turbulent politics and instability in recent years, there’s a real buzz around the Turquoise Coast once again, with visitor figures climbing 21 percent in 2018 to hit an all-time peak. So, why the comeback now? A slew of stylish hotel openings is a large part of the attraction – there’s Ian Schrager’s latest outpost The Bodrum EDITION (from £300 per night B&B) in the yacht-filled resort, and, just outside the ancient city Izmir, Club Marvy (£177 per night full board), with its boho beach club and farm-to-fork dining. The scenery, meanwhile, is as jaw-droppingly lovely as ever: the 500km-long Lycian Way hiking route weaves past pine forests and ancient tombs carved into the cliff-faces, overlooking sandy coves lapped by the Aegean Sea. After pounding these pathways and stepping back in time at Unesco-listed sites such as Xanthos (dating from 545 BC), you’ll certainly have earned a generous spread of mezze come evening.

Average temperature in June: 31°C

Flight time: 3 hours 50 minutes

Cusco, Peru

Explore the rural villages of Peru’s Lares region

It’s winter down in Peru, which brings the driest, clearest conditions for tackling high-altitude adventures. Swerve the crowds of the well-trodden Inca Trail in favour of flashpacking along the lesser-known ancient paths and rural villages of the Lares region. With fewer challenging peaks to cross, this slightly shorter option carves its way through archaeological sites like Ollantaytambo (the best surviving example of Incan city planning) and sleepy communities where textile weaving is the main industry – but not missing out the mighty Machu Picchu, of course. Sustainable travel specialist Mountain Lodges of Peru offers a five- or seven-day Sacred Valley & Lares itinerary (from £1,454), staying at a series of deluxe “base camps” that profit-share with their communities – for example, El Retablo celebrates Andean crafts across its 17 rooms, which are hand-painted by artisans from the Fine Arts School of Cusco and decked out in handwoven tapestries.

Average temperature in June: 21°C

Flight time: 17 hours 25 minutes

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