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Where to go on holiday in March

holiday ideas March 2019Where to go on holiday in MarchCaribbean in March

* Fly just 4 hours for sunshine and 23ºC

* For hot weather, head to Dubai, Caribbean or The Gambia

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

Although March signals the beginning of spring, it’s often a chilly month – not just in the UK but across much of Europe. You can find lots of sunshine in the Mediterranean, but temperatures are likely to be cool and the sea will be distinctly cold.

So if you want guaranteed sunbathing weather it’s best to look beyond the Med. Fortunately, you don’t need to fly far. March is a great month to holiday in the Canary Islands where on the islands of Lanzarote and Tenerife you can expect temperatures of 21ºC and 7 hours of daily sunshine. You should also consider nearby Madeira which has some outstanding hotels and is great for hiking and botanical gardens. All are 4 hours flying time from the UK.

Morocco is a good bet whether you want to discover exotic cities, such as Marrakech and Fes, or discover mountains, desert, souks and kasbahs – see this selection of recommended itineraries. The flight is just over 3 hours from the UK and you can expect highs of 23ºC and 8 hours of daily sunshine.

If you’re travelling solo, see our pick of the best singles holidays in March. Or search for short breaks in March. Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.

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BeachAfrica and Indian OceanAsia – City breaksSomething different

Beach holidays in MarchThe Caribbean is one of the best holiday destinations in March

Beach holidays in March

If you want beach weather you’ll need to fly a little further, but you can still find some great deals. The Gambia in West Africa is a great destination for cheap holidays in March. It’s only 6 hours flying time from the UK, with direct charter flights, and there’s a good choice of beachfront hotels. Temperatures reach 34ºC with 9 hours of daily sunshine.

The Arabian Gulf is less than 7 hours flying time from the UK. Abu Dhabi has an amazing collection of hotels, attractions, shopping malls and beaches, and enjoys average temperatures of 27°C in March. It combines well with neighbouring Oman where you’ll find culture, history, mountains and beaches.

The Caribbean is a good bet, particularly if you travel before prices rise over the Easter holidays (Easter Sunday falls on 21 April in 2019). See details of the Caribbean weather in March.

You could head to Anguilla for pristine white-sand beaches, the Cayman Islands for world-class diving or Barbados for stylish hotels and busy nightlife.

If you just want to relax in an adults-only all-inclusive resort, head for Sandals which has properties in JamaicaAntiguaSt Lucia and the Bahamas.

You might also consider a tall ship cruise of the Caribbean with Star Clippers or a beach-and-sightseeing tour of Cuba where I recommend combining a few days in the characterful capital Havana with some lounging on the beach.

The ultimate long haul beach escape? Head to the pearl-white beaches of the South Pacific. The palette of natural blue colours in TahitiFiji and the Cook Islands will blow you away.

Lion trioRelax on the beachWinelandsLux* Maldives

Africa and Indian Ocean

Where to go on holiday in March in Africa? You could head to South Africa where the Western Cape is at its best. Meanwhile, East Africa is enjoying its dry season: try a safari in KenyaBotswana can be wet at this time of year, although it’s great for bird watching.

Fancy a beach? March is a great month to be in the Seychelles, where the sea will be calm and clear. In Mauritius the cyclone season has just ended, though you can still expect high humidity.

See our choice of the best Africa holidays.

Mount FujiRasa Ria baby Orang UtanSri Lanka holidays

Asia luxury holiday ideas in March

March can be a wet month in some of Asia’s most popular beach resorts – although it’s usually a case of a dramatic short sharp shower rather than persistent drizzle. It’s very hot (and wet) in Bangkok, though it can be a bit chilly in the touristy parts of China.

Vietnam is a good bet for beach holidays in March, as is Sri Lanka. A little off the beaten track lie the beautiful pristine islands of the Philippines.

Good weather and clear mountain air make March one of the best months to visit Nepal where you’ll find breathtaking mountain scenery and a colourful Buddhist culture. Explore the temples of Kathmandu, trek in the foothills of the Himalayas near Pokhara and stalk the endangered Bengal Tiger in Bardia National Park. The country’s famous rhododendron are also in bloom.

This is a great time of year to visit Rajasthan in India (I recommend a private tour by car with TransIndus).

March is a lovely time of year to visit Japan. This fascinating country would be worth visiting for its food alone, but you’ll also find dazzling cities, ancient culture, mountains and beach. We recommend Inside Japan Tours, a small specialist company that offers self-guided and group tours.

The Residence outdoor poolcheap holidays in MarchMontreal waterfrontCity breaks in Germany

City breaks in March

Although many cities in northern and Eastern European will be decidedly chilly, this is a great month to venture south to the likes of Seville in southern Spain, Palma in Mallorca and Sorrento in Italy. It’s also perfect sightseeing weather in Malta.

Venice is beautiful in early spring, with mists over the lagoon and no hordes of tourists. To do it in style, jump on board the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from London. You can also take the Orient Express to BudapestVerona and Vienna.

March is also a great month to visit Nice on the Cote d’Azur. It has art galleries, great restaurants, markets, an elegant beach and – best of all – that gorgeous Mediterranean sunshine.

Or head to America. A weekend of non-stop fun in Las Vegas, perhaps, or New York to join a highbrow art and architecture tour.

My colleague, Annabelle Thorpe, has written a guide to the best short breaks in March. And you can see my tips for where’s hot in March in Europe.

Incredible waterfallsGauchoKayaking in Iceland

Something different

How about a holiday of a lifetime in South America? I recommend Brazil or Argentina with on-the-ground specialists, Dehouche. They know the best guides and most stylish places to stay and can tailor-make an itinerary to your personal needs.

It’s the beginning of autumn in New Zealand with the leaves starting to change colour, and fewer tourists than in the peak season. The hiking is incredible. Most Brits now opt for a fly-drive.

You can explore the mountains and jungles of Ecuador and the neighbouring Galapagos Islands on a small-ship cruise. March is a great month as newly-born seal pups can be seen on the beaches, wild flowers are in bloom and the seas are calm. Choose from a private holiday or escorted tour.

In Central America, Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers with rainforest and cloud forest, volcanoes, rafting rivers, hiking trails, wildlife reserves and Pacific and Caribbean beaches. The weather in March is perfect, but prices are lower than in the peak period of December – February. And British Airways now flies direct.  Check out this range of hotels and lodges in Costa Rica.

It’s the dry season in Colombia. One of the most popular trips is a 14-night Highlights of Colombia tour featuring Cartagena, Medellín, the Gold Museum in Bogota, the underground Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá, coffee plantations, a butterfly farm, remote Andean villages and Tayrona National Park.

If you want to treat yourself to a pampering holiday, or give yourself a challenge, check out The Healthy Holiday Company’s trip ideas in March which include surf and yoga in Morocco and spa hotels in Thailand.

Or take a gastronomic tour of Spain or Italy led by an expert guide, travelling with a small group of fellow foodies. Details here.

Go skiing. Springtime in the Alps can be magical with great snow, sunshine and no crowds. You could get a late ski deal on a self-catering apartment with Peak Retreats or a chalet holiday with Ski Total. Alternatively, you could venture north to see the Northern Lights, perhaps viewing them from one of these Glass Igloos in Finnish Lapland.

For more detailed climate information, see where is hot in March. Also see our sister sites for short breaks in March and expert recommendations on honeymoons in March.

Last updated: 13 November 2018

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