The Getaway
Music Festivals, Safaris and Deep Sea Diving: How to Scratch That Travel Bug in June

Summer only comes once a year; when your vacation rolls around, you should seek out the most unique, exciting destinations in the world. June, in particular, is one of the hottest months for festivals and music shows, not to mention that nature is in full bloom. Have you ever explored an untouched, remote jungle teeming with wildlife or gone swimming with dolphins in the ocean? If you've never combed through an ancient architectural site, this summer is when you should change that!


01 Go jaguar spotting in Brazil

Close up of a Jaguar stretching on a fallen tree, Pantanal, Brazil. Dgwildlife / Getty Images

Pantanal offers the best opportunities for jaguar-watching around the world. Jaguars are notoriously hard to spot in the wild, but the ones in Pantanal are used to human presence. So not only will it be easy to go jaguar spotting, but it'll be entirely ethical. The world's largest tropical wetland hits a dry season in June that provides perfect conditions for sighting. Don't stop your exploration with only jaguars while you're in South America's most biodiverse destination. Join other wildlife safaris to see otters, tapirs, hyacinth macaws, toco toucans, and the famous anaconda.


02 Photo hunt for gorillas in Uganda

Family of gorillas in the trees in the Congo guenterguni / Getty Images

Gorilla trekking is a must when visiting Uganda. The dry spell of June makes it the perfect season for getting lost in the untamed wilderness of Uganda and seeing our distant evolutionary cousins. Once you've finished your gorilla-spotting trek, there's plenty more to enjoy in Uganda. You can challenge yourself to a Nalubale river rafting journey, get involved in the local culture in the Ndere Centre, or stand right on top of the equator.


03 Embrace your inner Viking in Greenland

Statue of Leif Eriksson, Greenland

In Greenland, you can follow the footsteps of the Vikings who discovered the new world. About a thousand years ago, the infamous Erik the Red settled Greenland after Iceland exiled him for murder. According to legend, he set out with 25 ships, but only 14 of them made it to Greenland. A notable example of historic sites is Erik the Red's estate, Brattahlíð: it's the best-preserved site on the island. There are tours available to explore Brattahlíð as well as the rest of the nearby coast. If you have time left in your trip, you can enjoy taking a hike in one of the cleanest parts of the world, visit various UNESCO sites or spend a weekend in one of the cozy villages scattered all over the country.


04 Dive down to an undersea garden in South Walton, Florida

woman is diving in the ocean

South Walton takes pride in being the home to America’s first permanent sunken sculpture garden. The Underwater Museum of Art is an eco-friendly art exhibit displaying sculptures that function as artificial reefs. The museum lies at a depth of 58-feet, attracting a wide variety of marine life each year. Stay up to date with the museum's website to learn how many new designs are set to debut each year. South Walton is also home to rare coastal dune lakes. They dot the coast and are another destination that should be on your list. Despite being extremely rare, South Walton has a high concentration of them.


05 Join the lilac festival on Mackinac Island

The Wedding Cake Cottage is shown on the West Bluff on Michigan's Mackinac Island. A horse stands in front and the lilacs out front are in full bloom

Nothing beats a local summer festival. Mackinac Island is home to the Lilac Festival every June, a famous ten-day festival that draws people from around the world. While celebrating the annual Lilac Festival with the locals, you can enjoy horse-drawn carriage tours, a self-guided tour of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, a ferry ride to St. Ignace, wine tastings, and concerts.


06 Rain, ajisai and fireflies in Japan

hydrangea flower festival

You can quench your thirst for beauty this June with the delightful Japanese ajisai festivals. Ajisai festivals are all over Tokyo in the middle of June. A notable example, the Bunko Ajisai Festival, starts in early June and runs until the middle of the month at Hakusan Shrine. There are 10,000 plants on show, and entrance is free. These festivals mark the height of summer rains, which help cause another beautiful natural phenomenon: swarms of fireflies. From mid-June to the end of July you can visit the Tsukiyono Firefly Village on the west side of the Jomo-Kogen station.


07 Hop on a free bike tour in Barcelona, Spain

Man with bicycle and friend in city on sunny day xavierarnau / Getty Images

Barcelona is one of Europe’s most attractive destinations and is the third most visited city on the continent. For your next trip, all you have to do is find accommodation and book a trip with "Free Bike Tour Barcelona" to enjoy a unique travel experience. According to their website, "visitors to Barcelona discover so much more by bike in 3 hours than in 3 days on foot or from the seat of a tourist bus", and they're right!. Barcelona is exceptionally bike-friendly, colorful, and filled with stunning architectural masterpieces. Book early, though: the tours sell out quickly!


08 Take a break in Lisbon, Portugal

Praia da Ursa beach with rocks in Portugal. 8vFanI / Getty Images

If active rest is your thing, right after biking around in Spain, you should head to Lisbon. The temperatures during June are perfect for hiking in the evening without tiring yourself out too badly. After a gentle hike around the hills of Lisbon, you can take a class in Portuguese pottery painting during the day. At night, come out to play, drink, party, or try the variety of luxurious wines that Portugal has to offer.


09 Roses and fire dancing in Bulgaria

Oil Rose flowers in bloom. Workers collecting oil rose flowers from the blossoming bushes in a traditional way in Bulgarian Oil Rose fields in the lap of the mountains. Daniel Balakov / Getty Images

You can find Bulgaria tucked away at the bottom right corner of the map of Europe, right alongside Turkey. Bulgaria is home to many festivals in June, but there are two that truly stand out. Bulgaria contributes 70% of the total world rose production every year, and much of this comes from the Rose Valley of Kazanlak. Each year, they honor the flower in their rose festival with many activities such as rose picking, the Queen Rose competition, and the fireworks show. On the 3rd day of June, you can head to one of the villages in the Strandzha region to see the ancient tradition of fire dancing. The "nestinari" honor the Sun god by dancing barefoot on burning coal. If you have the heart for it, watch: but locals advise against participation!


10 Go summer skiing in Australia

Perisher valley small running river through perisher valley in Snowy Mountains national park of NSW, Australia, covered by white snow. zetter / Getty Images

If you've lived your whole life in the Northern Hemisphere, skiing in June sounds like a joke more than an actual opportunity. June skiing is one of the biggest attractions in Australia, though. The state of Victoria has a number of popular ski resorts with a multitude of slopes, ready to cater to all levels of skier. Even if you've never tried skiing before, Mt Baw Baw has a collection of classes and courses. So, if you ever have the urge to learn how to tame a snowboard or you're eager to cool down in the middle of June, book a flight to Australia.


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