The month of March means winter is over and signs of spring are breaking through. As Easter is late this year, there are no school holidays until the end of the month - so travellers without children can make the most of more competitive prices. Sun seekers might catch the odd balmy day in the Mediterranean - Europe's southern cities are a great choice for a short break right now.
This can be lovely time to take a break in the UK and admire the signs of spring: stretch your legs in the great outdoors on a walking or cycling holiday. But if you still feel the chill in the air, keep it cosy with some drive-by sightseeing.
For guaranteed rays, you'll need to travel a little further: consider holidays in the Canary Islands, northern Africa and the Middle East. On the long-haul scene, the Caribbean offers hot, sunny days, while the Seychelles is your best bet weather-wise in the Indian Ocean. And if you just can't leave the snow behind? Well, there's still plenty of time to hit the pistes.
And our fave idea for a March holiday? Ratchet up the excitement with a road trip along America's west coast.
Check out the best places to go in March below.
Where to go in March
Where to go in March
Shake off the winter blues with a short hop across the channel to see spring awaken in the French countryside. Add a little sparkle to your travels with a trip the Champagne region to take in the historic cities of Epernay and Reims and tour the towns and villages of the Marne River, calling by vineyards for a glass of fizz or two.UTracks offers a self-guided Champagne Trails cycling tour which includes a visit to the underground cellars of Moët & Chandon. The seven-day tour starts from £1,020 per person.
Hit the road on the north-east coast of Spain for a chance of an early blast of Mediterranean sun. The Costa Brava, from Girona to Blanes, is quiet at this time of year. It’s the ideal time to explore the pretty coves and bays, while the winding country roads aren’t choked with traffic.WeDubYou has a fleet of psychedelic Seventies vehicles that you can rent in Girona from £595 per week, including insurance, bedding, towels and kitchen equipment.
The west coast of America may be on the cool side this month, but it still notches up sunshine hours in double figures. Head to Los Angeles just in time to join in the St Patrick’s Day party. For those who fancy visiting California's Disneyland and Universal Studios, there are also fewer crowds at this time of year. The first LA Performs takes place in 2016 to grow awareness and appreciation of the city as one of the world’s premier cultural destinations, with highlights including the Los Angeles Ballet, LA Opera, CITY OF LIGHT series. What's more, UK travellers can enjoy cheaper-than-usual flights to LA in March with Air New Zealand offering fares from just £505 return.
Tiny Gozo, Malta’s little sister, sees many sunny days in March when you can take to the byways of the quiet island to see its rugged coast, turquoise waters and historic fortresses. You’ll also stumble across the island’s rich landscape of megaliths, the oldest freestanding structures in the world.Headwater offers a Highlights of Gozo Cycling holiday, taking in the scenic coastal tracks, baroque churches and colourful fishing villages, from £767 per person.
Take advantage of the start of spring in Jordan when temperatures are more bearable. You can take inspiration for your travels from the epic work of TE Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia's, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, about his experiences in the Arab Revolt. Head for Wadi Rum, which Lawrence often visited, a haunting valley of dunes and granite and sandstone canyons and peaks. Explore offers a Discover Jordan adventure holiday taking in Petra, Jerash, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea. The trip, which costs from £650 without flights, includes snorkelling in the Red Sea and a chance to experience the Bedouin lifestyle.
March is a great time to see the Northern Lights. Why? First, Earth's orbit is in a zone of maximum solar activity during these months, and secondly, the month of March combines sufficiently dark skies with milder temperatures for more comfortable viewing. If you're looking for an exciting icy adventure, the hot ticket right now is undoubtedly the Svalbard archipelago. Discover the World's Tromso and Svalbard holiday includes a stay in Longyearbyen, snowmobiling and sledding. A six-night trip starts from £986.
Take a well-earned break from the chilly weather in Britain on the sun-drenched beaches of the Canary Islands. Amid the lively resorts of Gran Canaria is a spectacular desert of dunes at Maspalomas. It’s just the place to roll out a towel, open a good book, and soak up some sun.First Choice offers a seven-night all-inclusive holiday at the five-star Hotel Tabaiba Princess with return flights from Luton for £640 per person in March 2016.
Head south to Palermo in Sicily for a city break in the sun. Browse the faded splendour of the palaces, castles and churches built in Byzantine, Arab, Norman and Renaissance times, revealing this ancient community’s multicultural roots. Stop for a panelle - a vegetable fritter - at a street stall and brush shoulders with the locals in the lively Ballaro, Vucciria and Capo markets. Expedia offers a three-night break staying at the Grand Hotel Et Des Palmes and including flights from £266 per person in March.
Ski conditions are good in Europe in March, yet tour operators often have problems filling beds this month, so take your pick of the resorts. For good skiing and a very lively après-ski scene, St Anton in the Austrian Tyrol has it all.Book the four-bedroom Chalet Maroi with Supertravel from £1,199 per person in March, including chalet board accommodation for seven nights.
Visit the cradle of democracy just in time to see the Aegean regain its sparkle and the wildflowers bloom - in March the temperature in Athens can hit a very pleasant 16C. This intense city, with its own brand of anarchic wit (apparent in the graffitied responses to the country's ongoing economic woes), comes alive again at this time of year. Take a crash course in classical civilisation, smug in the knowledge that you've avoided the crowds that invade the historical sites in summer. Skyscanner.net is currently showing flights from Stansted to Athens from just £70 return in March.
March is the perfect time to visit Hawaii as it still whale watching season. The activity can take place off any of the Hawaiian Islands, however one of the best spots is the shallow ‘Au‘au Channel between Maui and Lana‘i, and Moloka‘i. Hawaii is known around the world for its warm temperatures and it is a favourite spot for the humpback whale. It is estimated that two thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population returns to Hawai‘i to breed, calve and nurse their young between December and March/April. Hayes & Jarvis offers seven-night holidays in Maui from £1,196 per person.
Spring in Japan can only mean one thing: cherry blossom. Sweeping along the length of the country each year, the cherry blossom season begins with Okinawa in the far south in February and works its way to northern Hokkaido in May. In spring it is de rigueur to head out into the local parks and gardens, bringing a selection of picnic food and drinks to join the locals for a hanami - or flower-viewing. Steppes Travel offers a 13-day Highlights of Japan Adventure from £3,795 per person, taking in the Japanese Alps, Bullet trains and Tokyo.
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are the perfect destination for March with an average temperature of a comfortable 28C making it ideal for relaxation and getting away from the dull British weather. Bask on some of the 365 glorious beaches, explore the rich colonial history and get to know the captivating culture. Swimming with stingrays at Stingray City, snorkelling in azure waters on a tour of the island and taking in the cultural history of St John’s, Antigua’s historic capital, are some of the best activities. Kuoni offers a seven-night all-inclusive holiday to Antigua's Keyonna Beach starting from £1,982 per person in March, including flights and transfers.