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Where is hot in March

Hot holidays in MarchWhere's hot in March - Lanzarote

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays

March is too early in the year to bank on hot weather in the Mediterranean. The closest destinations to get a serious suntan are the Canary Islands including Lanzarote and Madeira – both about 4.5 hours flying time from the UK. But this is also a great time of year for a long-haul holiday, with prices still in the doldrums.

Beach in Moroccocheap holidays in MarchBeachesTutankamun

6 hours flying time or less

Six hours flying time – and no jet lag – gets you to The Gambia on the West coast of Africa, a great-value destination for magnificent beaches, friendly hotels and plenty of fascinating sights. March is hot in the Gambia with 10 hours of sunshine a day and average temperatures of 34°C. Toasty!

In five hours you can be on the Red Sea coast of Egypt where you’ll find temperatures of 25°C, zero rainfall, 10 hours of sunshine a day – and a great selection of hotels, including the Movenpick Resort & Spa El Gouna. The capital, Cairo, is a great city where you can discover the Pyramids and the Sphinx, as well as markets and museums.

Further north, Morocco is just a three-hour flight from London, with the fascinating city of Tunis even closer. Don’t expect scorching temperatures, but you can look forward to lots of desert sunshine and warm days – ideal, in fact, for sightseeing. We recommend The Residence Tunis.

Marrakech is the obvious destination but to get a little off the beaten track, we recommend Taroudant or Casablanca combined with a stay on one of Morocco’s beaches or a couple of days in the Atlas Mountains.

March is also a great month to explore the Middle East before the onset of summer when temperatures can get oppressive. Try a short break to Istanbul – where Europe meets Asia – or an adventure tour in Jordan where you can visit the rock-carved city of Petra, the Dead Sea and the magical desert landscapes of Wadi Rum.

It’s one of the best times of year to visit the Arabian Gulf – you’ll find 10 hours of sunshine and temperatures of 32°C in Dubai. Neighbouring Oman and Abu Dhabi also have some fabulous hotels.

Even in southern Europe you have a good bet of finding good weather (though not scorching heat). Try Seville in southern Spain, the Mallorcan capital of Palma or Sorrento in Italy.

For more ideas see our complete guide to the best city destinations in spring.

March is also a great time of year for a slightly more active holiday. How about a cookery course in Andalucia. Cycling is a great way to discover a destination – try an independent cycling tour of Catalonia or Gozo. Or for something different, consider a wine tour of France or Italy.

However, charter flights to Mediterranean resorts don’t generally get started until Easter. In 2014 Easter Sunday does not fall until 20 April. In 2015 it falls on 5 April.

St Lucia is hot in MarchAquamareKo Samui in March

Long haul holidays in March

If you are prepared to fly long haul you’ll have no shortage of destinations that are hot in March. The Caribbean is perfect at this time of year and can be great value if you avoid the Easter holidays. See our detailed report on the Caribbean weather in March.

In Barbados, Jamaica, GrenadaTobago and the Cayman Islands you are likely to enjoy 8 or 9 hours of sunshine a day. This is also a great time to be in Cuba. See our selection of the best Caribbean holidays and these luxury villas from CV Travel.

March is a great month to be in the Maldives with temperatures of around 30°C, plus 9 hours of sunshine and low average rainfall. The Seychelles are also ideal, but Mauritius is not so great: this is the rainy season.

Where’s hot in March in Africa? We recommend South Africa, particularly Cape Town and the Winelands and beaches of the Western Cape.

Asia is a great bet. The weather in Vietnam is great, with temperatures in the beach resort of Nha Trang at around 34°C. In Sri Lanka you can expect temperatures of 31°C with a risk of short, sharp showers.

Thailand is hot in March and this is a good time to visit both Koh Samui on the Gulf coast and Phuket on the Andaman coast.

March is a great month to visit Japan: warm enough to enjoy a beach break on one of the southern islands, but not too hot for some serious sightseeing.

In America, it’s a great time to visit Hawaii whether you plan to laze on the soft golden beaches of Kaua’i or take an escorted tour of the dramatic island landscapes. You can also see Hawaii on a small ship cruise.

You’ll find sunshine in Southern California where you could take the Pacific Coast Highway or motor from California to Las Vegas.

Florida is also going to be warm and sunny. You’ll find some fabulous beach hotels in Miami or you could drive down to the Florida Keys, perhaps staying in the gorgeous Little Palm Island. You’ll also find some cheap deals in Orlando where you can rent a private home with pool.

Find more holidays in America in March.

In South America, both Brazil and Argentina are superb destinations for hot holidays in March. You could also discover the very best that Australia and New Zealand has to offer.

Hawaii cruise

Find more March holidays and also see our sister site for honeymoons in March.

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