Tulum ticks all the boxes for a beach break this June

From lobbing wine at strangers in Spain to diving with South Africa’s most fearsome predators, we round up our top picks for a June getaway.

For thrill seekers…

Short haul: London, England

Get a fresh perspective on the Big Smoke this June by kayaking down the River Thames... at night. Departing Limehouse Basin on the evening of 25 June, this urban expedition is the brainchild of Secret Adventures, an experiential travel company that offers adventure in unlikely places.

Participants will paddle upstream, floating beneath the iconic Tower Bridge, before scrambling up a pub fire escape for dinner and drinks by the river.

Led by a team of expert kayakers, the adventure is suitable for all abilities and costs £69, which includes equipment, food and a pint. Some of the profits from the evening go towards children’s charity, Kids Company.

Get a fresh perspective on London this JuneTake to the Thames for a fresh perspective on London this June
Secret Adventures

Long haul: Gansbaai, South Africa

Like sun-seeking holidaymakers, great whites flock to the shores of South Africa in the summer (Jun-Sep) for a vacation of their own.

The best place to see these fearsome predators is the coastal town of Gansbaai, which, for reasons that scarcely need explaining, is also known as the ‘shark cage diving capital of the world’.

The predators are lured to Gansbaai's waters by its warm currents and bountiful buffets (some 50,000 Cape fur seals also call this place home), and the best time to dive with them is June, before the masses arrive.

Get up close and personal with great whites this JuneJune is a prime time for cage diving with great white sharks
Whitepointer / Thinkstock

For city slickers…

Short haul: Haro, Spain

Pack the Persil (and the paracetamol) because you’re going to need both if you visit Haro, the Rioja wine capital in the Spanish mountains.

Held at the end of June, La Batalla de Vino de Haro ('The Wine Fight') sees the townsfolk dress in white cotton, fill whatever vessels they can with vino tinto, before soaking each other with perfectly good plonk until the whole place is painted purple.

The fiesta then moves on to Plaza de la Paz, where the partying prevails all night – and the hangovers last all decade.

Better pack the stain remover if you're heading to Haro this JuneBetter pack the Persil if you're heading to Haro this June
BigSus / WikimediaCommons

Long haul: Austin, Texas

“Ha ha ha ha! You don’t have to be mad to visit Austin – but it helps!” cackles a crazy, kookily-clad, cross-eyed Timmy Mallett lookalike, pulling off his only sock to take part in the toe wrestling championships.

Welcome to Austin, the coolest city in the America’s southern states, and for one day (27 June) in summer, the nation’s wackiest as well.

The annual Keep Austin Weird Fest is a celebration of the city’s madness with live music, ‘smelly chambers’ (your guess is as good as ours), fancy dress and the slowest 5km (3-mile) race on the planet. Just make sure you straighten your Donald Duck tie before you start back at work.

The Keep Austin Weird Fest promises patrons a day of madnessThe Keep Austin Weird Fest promises patrons a day of madness
Keep Austin Weird Fest

For beach bums...

Short haul: Margate, England

For many, a trip to the English seaside is synonymous with days gone by. Ice cream in cones, chips in newspaper and women in full-length swimwear, it was all jolly good fun.

But why must these happy times be confined to the past? This June, take a nostalgic trip to Margate for the grand re-opening of Dreamland, ‘the UK’s original pleasure park’. The park houses a number of classic fairground rides, including the UK’s oldest wooden rollercoaster.

While Dreamland may be the headline act, the supporting cast is the town’s charming surrounds. Frolic in the surf of Margate sands, watch a play at the tiny Tom Thumb Theatre, or revel in the smooth sound of jazz at the International Jazz Festival (also held in June).

Margate has long been a coastal escape for Londoners Margate has long been a coastal escape for Londoners
Creative Commons / Richard Clark

Long haul: Tulum, Mexico

Nestling on Mexico's idyllic east coast, Tulum may just be the ultimate beach destination. Boasting chalk-white sands and warm Caribbean waters, this coastal town remains surprisingly quiet come June.  

If you can tear yourself off the crowd-free beach, culture abounds. Overlooking the limpid waters and powdery sands of the bay loom the crumbling ruins of Tulum Castillo, one of the best-preserved Mayan cities in Central America.

And then there's the wildlife: iguanas scurry over coastal paths, parrot fish weave through protected reefs and, in June, recently hatched turtles scramble down the beach at night. What more could you ask for? 

Tulum is everything you could want in a beach holidayTurtles and Mayan ruins add to the appeal of pristine sands
Creative Commons / Dennis Jarvis


 


 

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