INSPIRATION • May 2019
The tourist crowd isn’t yet in full effect, but summer’s creeping in, making June an ideal month for a European adventure. Country-hopping journalist Alicia Miller hits the road to pick the best spots for your next jaunt
Paradise for ramblers in winter, and beach-goers in high summer, Tenerife is the perfect all-rounder right now. Its sprawling volcanic hiking paths are strewn with flowers, its wowza turquoise waters, teeming with exotic marine life, are calm for diving, and its golden crescent beaches are boasting a tan-perfect temperature of 25°C. Don’t miss stargazing in the warm, clear nights – Tenerife is one of the world’s best places for spotting constellations.
Dream flight: Take BA2730 from Gatwick at 14:00 on Friday, and arrive into Tenerife at 18:35.
Gateway to the ray-drenched Algarve – prime in June thanks to balmy climes, affordable, shoulder-season prices and sleepier beaches – Faro is an underrated gem. So, take a day or two exploring before heading out to the seaside resorts. Spend a warm afternoon wandering the cobbled Old Town, home to a gilded-altar cathedral, neo-Renaissance Arco da Vila gate, and sleepy alfresco cafés. Or head straight for a local beach – Ilha Deserta is a sandy strip, home to sparkling waters and a sublime seafood restaurant.
Dream flight: Take BA0508 from Heathrow at 15:45 on Friday, and arrive into Faro at 18:40.
Kos is at its sunshiny best in June – average highs are a manageable 25°C to 27°C, rather than July’s 30°C-plus – and, as masses of holidaymakers haven’t yet landed, there’s still plenty of room on its Insta-perfect sands (don’t miss Aghios Stefanos beach). But you don’t just have to do a fly-and-flop: explore ancient mosaic ruins, visit a castle built by the Knights of St John, or hire a bike to zoom along tree-lined dirt mountain paths. Whatever your chill-out style, don’t miss soaking up the fiery sunset at Zia, with ouzo in hand – it doesn’t get much more ‘holiday feeling’ than this.
Dream flight: Take BA2558 from Gatwick at 07:10 on Saturday, and arrive into Kos at 13:20.
Dominated by the photogenic ruins of Roman emperor Diocletian’s palace, jewel-box Split is utterly enchanting in late spring. Come for just a weekend and wander its polished stone streets, scoff grilled prawns in view of sparkling azure waters, or poke through ancient churches. Or come for a whole week and use the town as a jumping-off point to the rugged and beautiful neighbouring islands – Hvar, Brac and Solta are all easy ferry hops away, and provide plentiful opportunities for day-long sailing trips, sunset kayaking tours and long lunches in sleepy historic towns.
Dream flight: Take BA0842 from Heathrow at 09:50 on Friday, and arrive into Split at 13:30. From London City, take the 14:10 arriving into Split at 14:45.
It’s criss-crossed with canals, awash with ornate Renaissance architecture, and dotted with romantic corners – no wonder Venice is perennially popular, at every time of year. But, for in-the-know travellers June wins out: not only have the peak July and August crowds not yet gathered, but the weather is warm without being stifling – perfect for relaxed gondola rides or alfresco negronis. Already ticked off the must-dos? This year the Venice Biennale returns, with eclectic contemporary dance performances, architecture exhibitions and art displays scheduled throughout the month.
Dream flight: Take BA0598 from Heathrow at 20:15 on Friday, and arrive into Venice at 23:25.
Switzerland’s serene lakeside city, Geneva, positively sparkles in June. Daytime highs of 22°C are just right for wandering around the scenic, hillside Old Town – stuffed with boutiques and the epic St-Pierre Cathedral – or rifling through flea market stalls at diamond-shaped Plaine de Plainpalais square. But the weather’s even better for making the most of the city’s number one asset – vast, glistening Lake Geneva. Go canoeing, hop on a boat or join the locals down at the Bains de Pâquis, the popular, 1930s-built public lakeside pools.
Dream flight: Take BA0738 from Heathrow at 20:05 on Friday, and arrive into Geneva at 22:45.