Choosing where to holiday in June can be a tricky decision. Not only is Europe now warming up, but destinations further afield also have plenty to offer. Here is the Cox & Kings guide on the very best destinations for the month. Some of the best festivities in Europe actually take place in the north, with celebrations of the midnight sun. Countries such as Norway, Finland and Sweden experience days on end where the sun does not set. Celebrations marking the summer solstice on 21 June come in the form of toasts, bonfires, saunas and any daytime activity you can think of – at any time of the night.June is also a great time to visit Ladakh in India, where the Hemis festival is celebrated with colourful costumes and traditional music. It is at this time of year that the luxurious Ultimate Travelling Camp stops in Thiksey – and it offers the perfect setting in which to stay the night. Meanwhile In Africa, the wildebeest migration can be viewed in the western area of the Serengeti, including some dramatic and spectacular river crossings.
One of the best times to track mountain gorillas is June, when the weather is cooler, drier and the tourist crowds have not yet arrived for peak season. It’s also when Kwita Izina is held – the gorilla naming ceremony – which is usually attended by the prime minister of Rwanda, important members of the Rwandan community and the park rangers. Kwita Izina is a way of monitoring the birth rates year by year, and is also held to bring attention to the importance of gorilla conservation. Thankfully, tourists are more than welcome to attend the ceremony as well.
June is the dry season, where days tend to be sunny and warm, making it a great time to visit Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Sacred Valley. One of the main attractions in June, however, is the theatrical Inti Raymi festival in Cusco. For nine days there are banquets, street celebrations and traditional Peruvian music played out, until it is time for the main procession, which begins at the Sun Temple and runs out along the streets to the walled complex of Sacsayhuaman. With the king and queen present in lavish, colourful costumes, an ancient Inca ceremony is then re-enacted to honour the Sun God, complete with a pretend sacrifice.Train to Machu Picchu >
During the summer, St Petersburg experiences days of long sunshine, including some days where the sun does not set at all. These Belye Nochi (or White Nights) are celebrated with aplomb, including the Scarlet Sails performance in which a water show and fireworks are put on over the Neva river. The Mariinsky also features daily performances of ballet, classical music and opera – though the best part of White Nights may be wandering the warm, luminous streets at 2am with an ice-cream in hand.