June, what a magical month! It’s the official start to the Summer (well certainly for the colder countries in Europe!). Everywhere is buzzing – from music festivals, to outdoor theater and carnivals to packed parks – everyone seems to be outside, soaking up the sun. June 21 is the Summer Solstice. This can be a perfect time of year to take a European road trip and visit certain unique places in Europe, some of which have a long standing Pagan history, as many of them still pay homage to the ancient traditions.
Most people who visit England barely get out of London. Take this opportunity to visit the infamous ancient Pagan monument that is Stonehenge. Tens of thousands of people from all over Europe descend on this area for the Summer Solstice. Solstice at Stonehenge is supposed to be a spiritual, life-changing experience. Join the masses and watch stunning sunsets over this 5,000 year old monument!
Afterwards head over to Glastonbury, arguably the biggest and most exciting music festival of the summer for the whole of Europe! The Glastonbury Festival kicks off England’s famous festival season. Some of the biggest names in English music history have performed here. If you do have a ticket for this year, party along with thousands of other music lovers, listening to the sounds of today’s most popular artists! Check out this year’s lineup, it will not disappoint.
For some more cool vibes head to Brighton. This famous English seaside town is known for its busy beach, bustling boardwalk and legendary pier with its amusement arcades. Cool down with an ice cream, breathe in the sea air, and make sure to find out what live performance will be taking place that night – starting in June big events happen just about every night in Brighton!
Brighton is only a short train ride from London. So head to the capital, where the locals are making the most of the warm weather, basking in the sun. With outdoor movie nights, the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, bustling flea-markets, and concerts in the parks, the city pretty much picks up and moves outside for the summer!
Other destinations in Europe that are great at this time of year are those in the extremities of the Northern Hemisphere. Why? because the days are longer! You have what is known as ‘White Nights’. This is the perfect gift for travellers, especially for those who don’t have many vacation days. In Iceland there are nearly 20 hours of daylight each day so you can explore!
Sweden, Norway and Iceland are just three such places that are worth visiting at this time of year. All three countries are known for their breathtaking scenery, and with the Midnight Sun, you can make the most of every minute of your trip. From the fjords of Norway to the black beaches of Iceland, don’t waste a single moment!
Sweden takes Midsummer almost as seriously as Christmas! In the month of June, Sweden is in full bloom and celebrates the fertility of this lush season by marking the Summer Solstice with Midsummer festivities. The origins of these traditions date back to Pagan times when they honored Fertility and Sun Gods.
Follow the flock to the countryside, where you can even participate in some flower garland making and Maypole dancing! Enjoy festive meals, music, drinking, singing, and lots of different types of Swedish dancing. Don’t be embarrassed to join the traditional frog hopping dance – you’ll pick up the moves pretty quickly.
Norwegians take their Summer Solstice very seriously. Similarly to Sweden, many of the Norwegian traditions are rooted in Pagan fertility celebrations such as bonfires, flower garlands, and traditional dances.
Norwegian towns practically compete to make the biggest bonfires – but there really is no contest. Head to Alesund where the tower for the fire has reached over 130 feet tall! Join the masses sipping beer and watching the massive blaze as you ring in the summer!
All nature lovers know the feeling of wishing the sun would never set. During treks through breathtaking scenery, there is nothing more valuable than daylight – which is why you need to visit Iceland in June! The sun literally does not set this time of year (well, only for about four hours).
Iceland is among the northern countries that really know how to celebrate the start of summer. With two major midsummer festivals and countless smaller ones all over the country, you won’t want to miss out on the Summer Solstice here. If you’re a modern music lover, you need to check out this year’s Secret Solstice Festival lineup! If you have more refined musical taste, the Reykjavik Midsummer Music Festival is among the best in the world.
So how will you be celebrating the Summer Solstice this year?