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Where is hot in March in Europe

Bellapais Gardens, North CyprusSeville orangesTenerife beachesVidamar Madeira

 By Mark Hodson, The Sunday Times Travel writer


March really marks the beginning of spring in the Mediterranean and it’s a lovely time to visit with brilliant sunshine, wild flowers and cooling breezes. It’s not too hot in the northern part of the Med – the South of France, for example – gets around 7 hours of daily sun and temperatures of 15ºC. But go further south and you can see temperatures of around 20ºC. You may get some showers, particularly at the beginning of March, and swimming in the sea is only for the brave.


Where’s hot in Europe in March

Country Destination Average highs Average hours of sun
Portugal Algarve 19°C 7 hours
Cyprus Limassol 19°C 8 hours
Portugal Madeira 17°C 7 hours
Spain Tenerife 22°C 8 hours
Malta Valletta 18°C 8 hours
Spain Seville 22°C 8 hours

1. Algarve

Average highs in March: 19ºC
Average daily sunshine: 7 hours
Flying time from UK: 3 hours

The Algarve region of Portugal is a handy winter getaway because the weather is mild, there’s a huge choice of good-value hotels and apartments (along with boutique hideaways) and getting there is easy: just three hours flying time from the UK and plenty of low-cost flights from across the country. Although you can expect a few days of light rain, temperatures are reliable and you can get a good suntan. Our recommendations include this stylish rural hotel, and this friendly eco retreat. You’ll find luxury villas and – for solo travellers – Mercury Holidays has a range of hotels with no single supplement.

2. Cyprus

Average highs in March: 19ºC
Average daily sunshine: 8 hours
Flying time from UK: 4 hours 30 minutes

It’s a longer flight to Cyprus and although average temperatures are similar to the Algarve, it tends to feel much hotter and you can experience highs well into the 20s. This time is a good time of year to explore this fascinating island – check out these holiday experiences including fly-drive itineraries and a self-guided walking holiday. Or you could head to Turkish-speaking North Cyprus which has great beaches and offers good value. I like to stay in the port of Kyrenia.

3. Madeira

Average highs in March: 17ºC
Average daily sunshine: 7 hours
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 45 minutes

Although the average temperatures aren’t scorching, Madeira is a lovely winter destination and the sunshine (6 or 7 hours a day) is surprisingly strong, so you’ll need to wear sunblock. It’s a very scenic, green and mountainous island with great walks, drives, things to see and do and some stylish hotels and traditional quintas. Another option is to take a luxury private tour with your own English-speaking driver / guide. British Airways has direct flights from the UK.

4. Canary Islands

Average highs in March: 22ºC
Average daily sunshine: 8 hours
Flying time from UK: 4 hours 

The Canary Islands is one of the UK’s most popular winter sun destination with direct flights from across the UK. The islands are a little warmer than Madeira, as they are further south, with constant Atlantic breezes. Some resorts are more sheltered, thus warmer, than others. Although the sun can be strong, especially if you take a trip into the volcanic mountains. Stay at one of these hotels in Tenerife or villas in Lanzarote. If you want to escape the crowds, head to La Gomera (a ferry ride from Tenerife) or tiny La Graciosa near Lanzarote.

5. Malta and Gozo

Average highs in March: 18ºC
Average daily sunshine: 8 hours
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 30 minutes

I recommend Malta if you’re looking for more than a beach. The island is packed with interesting historical sites and is easy to get around. Make time to take a ferry to its sister island, Gozo, which is much quieter and more rural. Many people go straight to Gozo and spend their entire holiday there – the water is especially clear, there are some lovely places to stay and you can rent bicycles and explore the quiet country lanes. The weather is likely to be better towards the end of March.

6. Seville

Average highs in March: 22ºC
Average daily sunshine: 8 hours
Flying time from UK: 2 hours 45 minutes

If you want an exciting city break with good weather in March, it would be hard to beat Seville in southern Spain. This is the home of tapas and flamenco, as well as bullfighting, and is packed with beautiful sights and great food. It’s easy to reach with a short flight from the UK and quick transfer into the city centre. Don’t even think about going in August – it’s roasting – but March is just about perfect for sightseeing and eating lunch outside.

See what weather to expect in Europe in other winter months:

October | November | December | January | February | March | April

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Last updated: 4 February 2019

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