Where to go in March

Although March is officially spring in Europe and North America there is no need to pack away the skis and snowboards just yet.

March still sees some snow falling in the Alps and the Rocky Mountains, and the high altitude ski resorts are very much open for business. The likes of Tignes in the French Alps hangs on to good snow cover right up until May, and Austria’s highest resort – pretty Obergurgl – is also a sure bet for spring snow. The purpose-built resort of Val Thorens in France is the highest ski resort in Europe with pistes above 3,000 metres offering snow reliability up to mid-April. In the United States Mammoth in California surprisingly sports snowy slopes into spring, and wonderful Whistler and Blackcomb in Canada welcomes skiers right up to June.

Rather opt for sun than snow?  Then you will have to head south.

A great option for a beach holiday in March is the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, where you can soak up around 10 hours of sunshine a day, be assured of no rain and enjoy pleasant temperatures hovering in the mid-20°s C (around 77°F). It’s close enough to Europe and the UK to avoid jet lag, and you could perhaps combine your quest for the sun with some sensational sight-seeing along the Nile before you go home.  March is an ideal month for a Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan, with the heat not too debilitating – likewise visiting the pyramids and museum in Cairo is not as draining as it is in the searing heat and humidity at other times of the year.

Morocco in North Africa is an even shorter distance from Europe and just as fascinating. The weather in Morocco in March is delightfully sunny and mild – perfect for trawling the exotic markets and seeing the sights of Marrakech, if still a little chilly for beach bathing, especially at night when it can be downright cold.

For a full on beach holiday in March Europeans will have to take the long haul to the tropics, along with North American “snowbirds” seeking the sun. March – the dry season – is a great time to visit Cuba or Costa Rica for hot, humid, sunny weather. Likewise the rest of the Caribbean islands are hot and happening in March, which is outside the hurricane season and largely rain-free. You’re spoilt for choice with all the islands – the Bahamas, Barbadosthe British Virgin Islands and beyond – welcoming visitors for their high holiday season.

In the USA March is an excellent time to migrate to Florida for a family feast of Disney and the myriad other attractions of the sunshine State, with spring in the air – warm to hot days and cool evenings. It can be extremely busy at the theme parks and resorts though, especially in the run-up to the Easter holidays.
South American holiday destinations have plenty to offer in March. Brazil hangs on to its sizzling summer weather until the end of the month, but there could be some unpredictable rainy days to mar the fun in the sun in Rio de Janiero. Argentina is also a good bet, Buenos Aires being blessed with sunny days without the stifling heat of mid-summer as the country slips into autumn.

For some adventure travel to more exotic locations in March head east to explore destinations like Vietnam and Japan (both very pleasant weather-wise in March), or go leopard-spotting in the lush highlands of Sri Lanka, just before the onset of the wet monsoon season. Down in the south an exciting prospect is a visit to the remote and beautiful Galapagos Islands off of the coast of Ecuador, where the weather in March is as good as it gets for bird-watching and getting back to nature.

For some seriously hot holiday beach bathing the Indian Ocean Maldives islands are literally glowing in March, as are the Seychelles further south.

In general when considering where to go on holiday in March be aware that it is still wintry in the far north, chilly early spring in the northern latitudes, stable and mild in between monsoon seasons in the tropics, and sunny autumn in the southern hemisphere.