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News Hit the beach before everyone else: six sun-drenched destinations for a June escape

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Hit the beach before everyone else: six sun-drenched destinations for a June escape

Has the spring sunshine got you dreaming of the sea? Then hurry up and book a break in June. Flights are cheap, the light is dazzling, and there's loads more room on the beach to spread your towel.

1. The Amalfi Coast, Italy – return flights from £34


Praiano on the Amalfi Coast, Italy

Average June temperature: 21°C
Half of Italy shows up to holiday here in August – and it’s not hard to understand why. Clifftop walking trails, pink and terracotta towns, and irresistible ice cream make for a perfect slice of la dolce vita. The trick, however, is to come in June, when there’s less competition for sunbeds and umbrellas on the spectacular blue-water beaches.

There’s some heavyweight history to consider too – thanks to the extraordinary remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum, preserved by the catastrophic eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. It’s not just the heart-stopping story of the disaster that will grip you. The details of everyday life that were preserved by it – from bath-house graffiti to ruts in the road – make it feel like the Romans have only just left.

Where to stay: The three star Hotel Doria’s rooftop terrace with sunbeds and primo Mediterranean views makes it an attractive option from £140 a night.

2. Kos, Greece – return flights from £70

Kos, Greece

Average June temperature: 23°C
June is Goldilocks month in the Med. Neither too hot, nor too cold, it offers the perfect balance of fresh, energetic mornings for exploration, and languid afternoons, lapping up the sun. On the Greek island of Kos you can do plenty of both. Inland, there are craggy, green valleys to hike, while Kos town – guarded by the Castle of the Knights of St John – is sprinkled with evocative classical remains. Bodrum in Turkey is a short ferry ride away if you want to bag another country on the trip – but don’t let it keep you from the staggeringly beautiful beaches in Kefalos Bay.

Where to stay: The Peridis Family Resort is within walking distance of Kos Town’s historic attractions and restaurants, and comes with its own mini golf course.

3. Dubrovnik, Croatia – flights from £67 return

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Average June temperature: 22°C
Built on cliff-tops, and surrounded by towering walls, UNESCO-protected Dubrovnik was magical long before the Game Of Thrones crew turned up. It’s a place for lavish gelato-slurping, diving off the rocks and showy evening promenades – and now you can add location-spotting to the list. Glossy main street Stradun is one of many places that have doubled as parts of King’s Landing.

Another regularly-used location is Lokrum Island, a 10 minute ferry ride from the Old Town. Here you can leap into the sparkling Adriatic at a clothing-optional beach, or splash in the small salt lake just north-east of the old monastery – before heading back to Dubrovnik for a sundowner. In June, you won’t have to work so hard to get a table, and you’ll have more time before the sun sinks into the sea, too.

Where to stay: The family-owned Hotel Aquarius is a short stroll from Lapad Beach and has a suntrap pool terrace.

4. The Algarve, Portugal – return flights from £25

The Algarve, Portugal

Average June temperature: 21°C
Whatever your taste in beaches, you’ll find a strand to suit you in the Algarve. Want a yawning stretch of sand, edged with buzzing bars and restaurants? Then take a boat trip through the wildlife-packed waterways of the Parque Natural de Ria Formosa, to Ilha de Tavira, where a seven-mile beach edges the Gulf of Cadiz. Prefer picturesque coves backed by colourful cliffs? There are plenty around Lagos – some of which are best reached by small boat or kayak. Or do you always pack a surfboard when you head to the sea? Then the pounding surf of the west coast should be your target, with Praia do Amado home to one of the key beach breaks. In June, the swells aren’t so powerful, so it’s a good time for beginners to pick up a board and learn.

Where to stay: The Cascade Wellness and Lifestyle Resort in Lagos has rooms themed on four continents, as well as two pools, a big kids’ club and two tennis courts.

5. Costa del Sol, Spain – return flights from £36

Malaga, Spain

Average June temperature: 22°C
The big, open beaches of southern Spain are at their best before the crowds descend in the school holidays. The likes of Playa Burriana, with its dozens of restaurants, beach volleyball courts and jetski rentals, are great for all-action types. Playa de Maro nearby, meanwhile, is fab for snorkelling and kayaking around the rocks. Expect water temperatures around 20C in June – invigorating, but pleasant once you’ve dunked your head under.

There’s plenty to do between sunbathing sessions, too. Yes, golf is a big attraction – the three courses at La Cala are designed to suit different skill levels – but the coast now has plenty of cultural interest too, thanks to rejuvenated Malaga. Here the Museo Picasso and Centre Pompidou are the big-hitting art museums, while the palatical hilltop Alcazaba opens a window on the world of Al Andalus, when the Moors ruled much of Spain.

Where to stay: The Hotel Isabel is right on the beach at Torremolinos, in the middle of the restaurant-packed promenade. There’s a sizable pool, and most rooms have sea views.

Published May 2019. Any prices are lowest estimated prices only at the time of publication and are subject to change and/or availability.