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8 reasons to travel in June 2014
Eight reasons to travel in June 2014
Normandy and Bosnia and Herzegovina - for World War commemorations
Two key anniversaries take place this month. June 6,today, is 70 years since the D-Day landings in Normandy; while June 28 is a century since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an event which triggered the outbreak of the First World War.
To mark the former, there are a whole host of activities planned across Normandy, including firework displays, film screenings, concerts and exhibitions.
For the latter, head to Sarajevo, where a museum is built on the very spot where the archduke was gunned down
Scotland - for the Bannockburn anniversary
Another key military anniversary takes place this month, on the weekend of June 28 and 29, when Scots - particularly those backing independence, one must assume - celebrate 700 years since the Battle of Bannockburn. A "feast of food, music and history" is promised, with the sparkling new visitor centre as the backdrop.
A new battle could be fought, too. The main events of UK Armed Forces Day will be staged in Stirling, three miles from Bannockburn, on the same weekend. Expect clenched fists should the Red Arrows pass overhead during the reenactments.
The Glasgow Jazz Festival also takes place this month, from June 25-29.
St Petersburg - for White Nights
Now is one of the best times to visit Russia’s most beautiful and cultured city. White Nights (May 28-July 31), so-called because it takes place during June and July when the sun doesn't set until midnight, sees a glut of classical music concerts, ballets and operatic musicals at the Mariinsky Theatre.
Sweden is another beguiling place to visit during June, and celebrations take place across the country to mark Midsummer Eve.
Alaska - to see bears feast on salmon
Summer is the best time to see one of the more remarkable sights in nature - bears catching salmon from the riverbanks of Alaska. Head to Kodiak Island, on the state's south coast, between now and September, for the best viewing opportunities.
Those considering a US trip might also head to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, where azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom, or the Finger Lakes of New York State, for its waterfalls and vineyards.
Menorca - for sun and fun
June is perhaps the best time to visit the Mediterranean. It's hot, but not oppressively so, and the summer holiday crowds have yet to arrive.
Visitors to Menorca will also be able to witness the festival of St John, one of the liveliest and most historically important in the Balearics, which takes place on June 23 and 24. Dating back to the 14th century, the most spectacular element is the cavalcade of riders dressed in black who converge on the port of Ciutadella and demonstrate their horsemanship, shield jousting and acrobatic riding.
Otherwise consider a trip to Haro, in the Rioja region of mainland Spain. On June 29 vast quantities of wine – presumably of extremely low quality – are distributed and loaded into buckets, pumps and water pistols, and a full-scale "wine war" breaks out.
Verona - for the opera
The opening of the opera festival in the Roman Arena on June 20 marks the beginning of Verona's summer. It is one of the great outdoor venues of Europe and this year performances, which continue until early September, include Carmen, Madame Butterly and Romeo & Juliet.
Stonehenge - for the summer solstice
The earliest the sun rises in England is at 4.43am on June 21, and the most popular place to see it is Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Expect crowds to be especially big this year, given that June 20 is a Friday night. Access to the stones is from 7pm until 8am.
Other UK highlights include Aldeburgh Festival June 13-29, and Wimbledon June 23-July 6. Across the Irish Sea, Dublin will be celebrating Bloomsday on June 16.
Chicago - for the Blues Festival
The Windy City claims this to be the world’s largest free blues festival and expects more than 500,000 people to visit Grant Park between June 13 and 15, watch performances on five stages, before retreating to the city's bars and clubs in the evening. Past acts have included Ray Charles, B.B. King and Bo Diddley.