Spring is in the air. The daffs are blooming, bright green buds are popping out, and holing up at home with a boxset just seems wrong now the evenings are brightening up. There’s still a way to go before the mercury rises back at home, so this is the time to seek out sunnier spots in far-flung climes. Where to go in March? Mauritius – a serious player on the international beachy scene – is an all-round crowd-pleaser with its blissful beaches, super-luxe hotels and fiery foodie scene. And, if you play your cards right, you can even swim with wild dolphins offshore. Closer to home, the waters off of Tunisia are warm and mellow, and over in Vietnam, it’s not too stifling for an Asian adventure before the monsoon sweeps in with its sticky humidity. Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka, a green wave of new life is sweeping across the country's tea terraces while in Cuba, you can still find a good ole party as carnival comes to a riotous end.
BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN MARCH
Think of Vietnam – vibrant cities, low-key beachy hideaways, serene hill towns – and it’ll fill you with wanderlust. But what you don’t want is torrents of rain or stifling heat to hamper the action. Go in March, when the temperatures are bang-on and sunny days put a pretty spin on every single sight: the limestone karsts of Halong Bay, the misty mountains around Sapa, the Spring Festival at Lao Cai, and the serene pockets of the Mekong Delta where travellers wax euphoric over beers and boat rides. When it comes to cities, you’ve got two goodies on your hands: Hanoi offers an unbeatable blend of history and urban cool; and Ho Chi Minh is a baffling, chaotic city that’s a cultural hotspot.
It’s mind-boggling that Morocco is just four hours from the UK. The country is undeniably exotic, yet there’s also plenty of home-comforts – swish hotels, twinkly rooftop bars and designer stores. There are wild beaches with cool surfer vibes, the Atlas Mountains drawing adventure seekers, plush Bedouin camps and the orange dunes of the Sahara with incredible starry skies. The best month to revel in all of this? March – when it’s not too hot but still blissfully sunny.
South Africa basks in gorgeous temperatures in March with long, sunny days that are perfect for exploring. And as a wonderfully diverse country, there’s a hell of a lot to seek out. Cape Town keeps it classy with dapper hotels, inventive restaurants and a new creative energy fluttering around its galleries, spaces of local enterprise and pop-up stores – all lorded over by Table Mountain. Talking of mountains, there are some eye-popping landscapes, from the Drakensberg to the Blyde River Canyon; the acres of wine country to the knockout beaches ebbed by the Indian Ocean. And we haven’t even mentioned wildlife yet. South Africa has perfected the art of safaris, from once-in-a-lifetime Big Five jaunts to great white shark spotting along the coast.
India is ablaze with festivals and parties as spring shifts into gear. The biggest and brightest of them all is Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, where partygoers smash each other with rainbow powders, transforming Delhi’s corners into a technicolour mishmash of revelry. If your idea of a perfect getaway is a break from the bustle, escape into central Somalia and to the tiger reserves of Madhya Prad – a region of immense natural beauty – with a sprinkling of to-die-for lodges.
Spring signals the end of the busy tourist season in the Maldives before the rains move in and lashes the archipelago for several months. Go in March, however, and you’ve still got the superb weather but with dwindling visitor numbers. Spend your days diving over kaleidoscopic reefs, wandering along white-sand beaches, lazing under breezy palms, slumbering in super-luxe hotels and feasting on knockout seafood. And for those who dare to venture beyond the resort, a sprinkling of beaches where barely a footprint marks the sand await.