June is one of the busiest travel months of the year, and it can be difficult to find a destination that doesn’t come with inflated prices and hoards of other tourists. Fortunately, we’ve done that part of the research for you! Below are the 20 best underrated places to travel in the month of June.
If you take one piece of advice from us, make it this: skip the crowds and overpriced dinners in Italy and Croatia and head straight for Albania. This stunning Mediterranean country is completely underrated, though just why that is is a total mystery. Albania enjoys a rich culinary scene, beautiful landscapes, make-you-look-twice prices, and maybe even the best Roman ruins anywhere in the world.
Don’t get this small Caribbean nation confused with the Dominican Republic! Nicknamed “Nature Island,” Dominica is lush with natural wonders. Much of the island has been deemed a national park. A trip to Dominica isn’t complete without experiencing some rainforest, secluded waterfalls, volcanos, hot springs, black- and white-sand beaches, and the second largest boiling lake in the world. When you’re not hiking through some of the most stunning natural scenery to be found anywhere, you can expect Dominica’s tourist scene to be friendly, fun, and some of the most sustainable in the region.
Pending the local political scene, Egypt’s resort-filled Red Sea coastline is a beautiful — and totally underrated! — place to cool down with a beach vacation. Though the Egyptian coast can get hot during the summer months, you won’t mind when you have the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea to dip into. The waterfront resorts in this region are the epitome of luxurious, while the local waters host some of the best scuba diving spots in the world. If you have the time, consider booking a guided tour to some of Egypt’s famous ancient sites.
One of many Eastern European countries to make our list of the best underrated travel destinations, Estonia remains practically free of tourists even during the “busy” summer months. Head to the capital city of Tallinn, a colorful and welcoming city with a slew of buildings dating back to the 1200s. As you wander along the cobblestoned streets, pop in an out of sidewalk cafes and family-owned restaurants serving traditional local fare. Explore the various museums dedicated to Estonia’s fascinating history and you’ll think you’ve landed in some kind of fairy tale. Yep, this country is just that pretty.
If Iceland is on your travel wish list but you feel deterred by the thoughts of big crowds and high-priced beers, consider the geographically similar Finland. Like Iceland, Finland enjoys 24 hours of sunlight during the summer months, making it a great place to experience one of earth’s most interesting phenomenons. Explore the capital city of Helsinki, home to unique attractions like the rock-carved Temppeliaukio Church, without the hoards of tourists that plague so many other European cities. If experiencing nature is your M.O., then don’t miss the walking trails of stunning Suomenlinna. Finally, take some time to sleep under the sun-lit sky at Santa Claus Village, Finland’s year-round Christmas destination located in Arctic Lapland.
Like Dominica, Grenada is another hidden gem in the Caribbean. People in the know come here for the “Pure Grenada” experience — the charming island vibe, welcoming locals, and luxury beachfront living. If your goal is simply to laze away your days in the sun, Grenada boasts more than 50 white-sand beaches where you can relax to the sounds of the surf. If you’re up for a little more adventure, Grenada has that too. This country boasts countless hiking trails to more than a dozen secluded waterfalls, the first Underwater Sculpture Park, and some of the best dive sites around, including the largest shipwreck to be found anywhere in the Caribbean.
Middle Eastern travel stereotypes keep many American travelers from considering the region as a travel destination. But those willing to break the ranks and take a chance won’t be disappointed in Jordan. This gorgeous country is hot during the summer months, but somehow, the heat almost feels appropriate when you’re traversing the landscape on a camel. To get the full Jordanian experience of historic sites and vibrant culture, book a group tour that takes you to the Valley of the Moon (or Wadi Rum, technically) and the ancient city of Petra.
Head to the tiny Mediterranean principality of Monaco in June and you’ll have just missed the biggest crowds of the year (May is Monaco’s famous Formula 1 Grand Prix). Located just 30 minutes from the much more popular French Riviera, Monaco is a place that screams glamor and luxury. Rent a yacht for the day and suntan on the deep blue sea, or pick a spot on the golden-sand beach and laze the day away. Boutique hotels and mom-and-pop restaurants line the walkable beachfront, while the famous casino scene can make a great trip even better.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
If a long plane ride across the pond sounds unappealing, consider Montreal. This French-Canadian city has a unique European feel, complete with impressive French-style architecture, sidewalk cafes, and a laid-back pace. There’s a ton of culture and art to experience here, plus the major sites of Notre-Dame Basilica, the Montreal Biodome, the lookout spot at Mount Royal, and the Montreal Botanical Garden.
Asian countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam have become hugely popular, but Laos has managed to stay under the tourism radar. That’s pretty surprising, considering just how much this small country has to offer. Laid back and welcoming, Laos is full of small towns just asking to be explored. Don’t be surprised if you see a European-style building sitting right next to an authentic Buddhist temple. Laos is a mash of cultures and one of the most fascinating places on the planet.
Located off the eastern coast of southern Africa, Madagascar enjoys its dry season in June. This makes it an ideal time to visit this beautiful island nation. In the capital city of Antananarivo, visitors will find a vibrant Malagasy culture, a rich food scene, and a welcoming local population. But no trip to Madagascar is complete without seeing some of its famous wildlife. Specifically, the lemurs. These lovable primates are best spotted in Madagascar’s more rural areas. Fortunately, plenty of tour companies are available to caravan visitors through the national parks in an attempt to spot these elusive creatures.
African countries like Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa become incredibly busy (and expensive!) during the summer months. Surprisingly, the southern African country of Malawi remains totally underrated. Head to Majete Wildlife Reserve to spot the Big 5, then make your way to the coast where miles of white-sand beaches make for a luxurious sunbathing adventure. If you enjoy snorkeling, keep in mind that Lake Malawi is home to some of the best snorkeling in all of Africa.
Spend a week or spend the entire month — we promise you won’t run out of things to see and do in the beautiful state of Michigan. If camping, hiking, and otherwise exploring nature is your preferred type of vacation, then head right to the Upper Peninsula, where you’ll find all that and more at Isle Royale, one of America’s least-visited and underrated national parks. Also near the U.P. is charming Mackinac Island, a carless destination steeped in history and charm.
We could probably fill our list of underrated travel destinations with Eastern European countries, nearly all of which miss out on the hoards of tourists experienced by their western neighbors. One such underrated destination is Romania. If you’re on the active side, take a cycling tour through a string of old towns or hike amongst the beautiful Carpathian mountains. Like things more leisurely? Explore Dracula’s Bran castle, meander through the picturesque city of Bucharest, or book a wine tasting tour through Romania’s underrated wine region.
Whether it’s the extra step of obtaining a visa or the fact that not a day goes by that Russia is not included in the headlines, this beautiful European country somehow misses the big tourist crowds. Still, it should definitely be on your list of potential June travel destinations. Russia is chock-full of bucket list experiences, including the Trans-Siberian Railroad, cruising the River Volga, awing over Moscow’s stunning underground stations, and taking in the rich history in St. Petersburg.
After the terrible events of 1994, the central African country of Rwanda has one of the fastest growing tourism scenes on the continent. Yet, it’s still considered totally underrated. June starts Rwanda’s dry season, the ideal time to visit this lush country. The capital city of Kigali is a thriving center of commerce, though don’t forget to take some time for the Kigali Genocide Memorial. And no trip to Rwanda is complete without making the trek through the jungle to see some of the famous gorillas. Though the local authorities place a strict cap on the number of people who can view the gorillas each day, booking with a tour company will ensure you have the right passes and equipment for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Borneo is the third largest island in the world, and it is chock-full of adventure! Head to the Malaysian state of Sabah, where the weather is mild and dry during the month of June. If heart-pounding adventure is what you seek, pack your supplies and take on the 4,000-foot Mount Kinabalu. If you prefer a quieter adventure, you can’t beat Borneo’s wildlife. Book a stay at a resort on the Kinabatangan River. Then boat out with a guide during the mornings and evenings in search of pygmy elephants, crocodiles, and the elusive orangutans endemic to this beautiful island.
The country of Singapore is little more than a city, and yet the long list of things to see and do is practically endless. Take your camera to Gardens by the Bay, the incredibly picturesque crown jewel of this stunning city. The Singapore Zoo boasts a unique jungle setting, while the Tiger Sky Tower is a must-do for the incredible panoramic views. Finally, don’t leave Singapore without checking out the National Gallery, a 700,000-square foot collection of Southeast Asian art.
Melbourne and Sydney may be Australia’s go-to destinations, but if you’re looking to get off the beaten track, consider the country’s island state of Tasmania. This underrated destination is located in the Southern Hemisphere, so it’s a cool and pleasant climate come June. Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, is edgy and artsy, while a lush rainforest ideal for hiking and other outdoor adventures is located less than three hours away by car. And of course, no trip to Tasmania is complete without visiting the famous Tasmanian devils.
Uruguay tends to get lost in the shuffle of South American countries, and we genuinely hope that changes in the near future. Situated between the much more popular Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is a laid-back country boasting the vibrant waterfront capital city of Montevideo, a coastline full of world-class beaches, a rich cultural heritage, and a wine country that is quickly climbing the ranks of the wine world.