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March – the final throws of winter in the UK. Flu symptoms are still pestering co-workers who are sniffling into their Lem-sips. The joys of life are consumed by a seemingly endless covering of Tupperware-coloured skies.
It is also, for many of us the time of year when holiday allowances are renewed, the possibilities of Spring abound and with this a welcomed renewal of hope. Timing is key – plan your holiday in March just as your energy is flagging and swap grey drizzle for a well-deserved break in the sun.
There are no half term holidays to cope with, so prices remain in the low-season category. Flights are readily available, overwater villas blissfully free and wide African savannahs are free of intrusive 4X4s – yours will be the only binoculars you see glinting on safari.
In South America, the great wine producer, Argentina, is gearing up for a bumper grape harvest. Further afield and the Florida Gulf Coast is bathed in clear skies, offering invigorating beach holidays to those starved of vitamin D.
Get away from it all with an expedition to the plains of Chile, exploring the dramatic landscapes of Tierra del Fuego and lace your boots to hike through spectacular scenery. On the same continent, the streets of Buenos Aires provide culture breaks and tango lessons in vibrant districts, thousands of miles away from the grey skies of the UK. Tempted? So are we. Read on for the greatest escapes in March.
Best holiday destinations in March
Dry and sunny is the overriding message for March holidays to Vietnam. This is an excellent time for an extensive trek among the hill tribes and villages of Sapa and Mu Cang Chai in the north. Combine this with a stroll through the intoxicating Old Quarter of Hanoi and you’ll find conditions are cooler (averaging 23°C) and therefore more favourable for discovering the exotic street food this culinary capital has to offer. The further south in Vietnam you explore the warmer temperatures become. While rainfall is at its lowest, discover the cultural epicentre that is Hoi An or gaze out over the South China Sea across the golden beaches of Da Nang. Combine Vietnam in the south with bustling Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and hunt for handicrafts in Ben Thanh Market for loved ones back home. Then head for the coast to soak up average temperatures of 30°C. In March, marine conditions are excellent for snorkelling and diving around the island of Phu Quoc. Here you will experience a secret escape brimming with underwater adventures, surrounding an idyllic palm-fringed, white sand paradise.
March is late summer and early autumn in the southern hemisphere. The cooler temperatures here mean smaller tourist numbers, providing you with the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. You’ll still feel the sun on your face as you hike through the dramatic landscapes of Tierra del Fuego and Torres del Paine National Park, being spellbound by the majesty of glaciers or the endless vistas of golden pampas (grasslands). For wine lovers, a trip to Santiago will reveal La Fiesta de Vendimia (the Harvest Festival). For more wine-related activities, discover the Colchagua Valley Grape Harvest Festival and the Maipo Valley Grape Harvest Festival. Here you’ll witness proud cultivators presenting their new season wines, serenaded by folk music and while colourful markets spring up in town squares giving foodies the chance to sample authentic local delicacies with a glass or two of Cabernet Sauvignon. Towards the end of the month time your visit to coincide with Easter Week parades across the country. This is an important religious event in this predominantly Catholic country. Take our tip and be sure to take part in the Easter Vigil on San Cristobal hill in northern Santiago, held on Easter Saturday.
Is there a bad time to visit Namibia? The simple answer is no. Is there a best time to visit Namibia? Here, the answer depends on what you want to see and do. If you’re hoping for a handy dry season window of opportunity, then let March be your perfect time to travel. See this as your chance to experience this breath-taking country of towering sand dunes, shipwreck stricken coastlines and desert-adapted wildlife during the low season. Essentially, one of the most arid countries on the planet, this doesn’t mean that Namibia doesn’t experience the odd shower during this month – although these tend to be localised. Actually, from an environmental viewpoint, these brief thunderstorms will only serve to enhance your experience of the savannahs, rolling dunes and massive sand monoliths. When you self drive through Namibia in March you will encounter vast salt pans, subtropical deserts, semi-arid plateaus – all with accompanying average daytime temperatures of 26°C, cooling at night, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing. Spot lone gemsbok and black rhino silhouetted against the sunset. Experience the photogenic cracked-earth of Namib-Naukluft National Park, observe cheetahs stalking oryx in Etosha National Park, and hot air balloon over herds of desert elephants gathering around watering holes before the dry season takes full effect across this stunning country.
UK sun-seekers should be more aware of the charms of this picturesque Caribbean island. However, until they become acquainted with its culture and natural beauty, including the extraordinary Camuy Caves and rainforest landscapes of El Yunque National Forest, then rest in the knowledge of being the first of your circle of friends to visit this stunning island. Visitor numbers, which have been high all winter, are now beginning to decrease even though March sees the lowest rainfall of the year. San Juan, the capital is renowned for offering unforgettable cultural city breaks away from the beaches. Weather in the capital is an average 26°C with 9 hours of sunshine. If beautiful beaches and stunning tropical landscapes are your thing, then March holidays in Puerto Rico will provide you with some of the best conditions in the Caribbean, including ocean temperatures averaging 26°C; perfect for snorkelling and diving. Puerto Rico is also becoming famous for its night time tours and kayaking safaris to paddle among bioluminescent bays. These tiny plankton will light up the water after sunset and will create a lasting memory of your Caribbean holiday.
This chain of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean is the ideal spot for underwater enthusiasts during March. With temperatures a balmy average of 30°C during the day, winter in the UK will be a long-forgotten memory. At this time of year the rain showers of the monsoon season are petering out. However, expect the odd, short burst of rain to ensure the exotic blooms will greet you with their floral displays. Also enhancing your stay in paradise is an average of 12 hours of glorious, life-affirming sunshine. Duck into the shade of huge palm fronds at the Vallée de Mai nature reserve on Praslin Island to cool down a little. Tread quietly, and you might hear the call of the rare black parrot or discover the Coco De Mer palm tree, featuring the world’s largest seed pod, endemic to the Seychelles.
Barbados is the epitome of a perfect March holiday; ideal for rest and rejuvenation, should you so wish, or for enjoying a vibrant culture among islanders who are rightly proud of their rich heritage. Being peak season there is so much to do, whether rum-tasting at world-famous distilleries, strolling through lush gardens and wildlife reserves or watching a spot of cricket at the Kensington Oval. This is prime-time to watch international test cricket so be sure you book your tickets early. Whatever your fancy, expect to luxuriate on an island in full holiday mode. March sees the most sunshine with 10 hours possible – the sun lounger could be your new best friend. Average temperatures will hover around the 26°C mark, and with humidity at the lower end of the scale, this is a very pleasant time to visit the restaurants and marketplaces of the capital Bridgetown. Why not venture to Oistin’s Fish Fry to dance the evening away, enjoying a glass of rum punch with the locals. Once you discover secluded beaches, such as Bathsheba, North Point or Drill Hall, we’re sure that your Caribbean getaway is the perfect mix of a tranquil and activity-rich dream holiday.
Fort Myers – Florida Gulf Coast
Low season does not mean low temperatures; in this case it means slightly lower than usual and slightly less people. So March is perfect for those wishing to absorb the sunshine while walking barefoot on the white sands of the Florida Gulf coastline. There’s an average 8% chance of cloudy days in March allied to 63% chance of blue skies. Of course, spring holidays in Florida have also become synonymous with spring breaks, so unless you wish to reclaim your youth, head to charming Fort Myers, offering average highs of 27°C and a chance of exploring a vibrant community with a bustling downtown area that’s not quite so ‘colourful’ at this time of year. Fort Myers also benefits from close links to Sanibel Island for visits to J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge to spot pink flamingos amid the mangroves. Hiring a kayak to paddle out in Manatee Park will ensure close encounters with this extraordinary creature too, providing you with plenty of memories, a healthy tan and lots activities to do in this picturesque corner of the Sunshine State.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
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