Where to go on holiday in March
That's it, folks, February is done and dusted, and March has arrived! And who doesn't love March? We've broken the back of winter, and the arrival of spring brings the promise (or hope, at least) of warmer weather and longer days ahead. If you can't wait that long, fear not - we have here a list of our top recommendations for where to go in March.
Best for a Long-Haul Holiday
Vietnam's weather system is famously complex and ever-changing. However, in general, northern Vietnam is cool and dry from November to April, while the southern region is hot and dry over the same period. In March, much of the country is at its best. On the southern coast, you’ll have perfect weather for boat cruises, hiking, lazing on idyllic beaches, riding around on a rented scooter, or just kicking back and people-watching with a cup of their finest iced coffee, served with condensed milk.
Vietnamese cuisine is something special. The food is fresh, colourful, and bursting with flavour. The country is a feast for the eyes too; it’s filled with astoundingly beautiful forests, mountains, beaches and villages, not to mention the historic architecture. If that’s not enough, it’s also one of the most affordable destinations in Southeast Asia.
Dubai is known for its luxurious style and futuristic architecture. It’s home to the world’s only 7-star hotel, the world’s tallest building, an indoor ski resort, not to mention feats of engineering such as the artificial islands. The cops drive Lamborghinis. You get the picture.
Dubai is always hot, but in March the weather is much more bearable. You could take a desert safari or go camel-riding without the oppressive heat that is common at other times of the year.
There are countless hotels to choose from, whether you want a sea or mountain view. The level of luxury is unlike anywhere else in the world, so if you’re after comfort and quality in a chic cosmopolitan setting, Dubai is the place to go.
Need more inspiration? Here's how we'd spend 48 hours in Dubai
March is the first month of autumn in New Zealand, but the weather's still mild and warm. It’s outside of peak season, so there are plenty of deals to be had on accommodation, tours, and tickets. The south gets much cooler than the north at this time of year, so be sure to pack warm clothes if you’re heading there.
The "Lord of the Rings" trilogy was filmed on location in the country, which is unsurprising considering the dramatic landscapes. March brings out the best of the scenery, as leaves appear in shades of yellow and scarlet.
It’s also a great time of year to tour the famous vineyards, awash with autumnal colours. What better way to enjoy the sunset than with a glass of local wine, overlooking the vine-covered slopes?
Check out our New Zealand travel guide for more inspiration and info
Melbourne in March is jam-packed with world-class festivities, and the weather is gorgeous: not too hot, with very little rain. There are air shows, flower shows, art exhibitions, trade fairs, music festivals, food festivals, fashion festivals… we could go on.
The biggest attraction by far is the famous Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Thousands descend on Melbourne’s river banks, underground venues, rooftops and streets to sample the best that the city has to offer. Rest assured, the bar is high - they take their food seriously here. There are even masterclasses available if you fancy yourself something of a chef. It’s a veritable feast of festivities, food and fun, and it’s well worth the trip.
March sets Japan aglow with the colours of spring. Everywhere you look, there are soft pink cherry blossoms emblazoned across blue skies.
The blossoms bring with them the first signs of spring. The days get longer and warmer, but the mountains still have some ski-friendly slopes. There are outdoor blossom-viewing parties, and many take to the parks for picnics beneath the flowering cherry trees.
There are also numerous festivals and celebrations, including the traditional White Day. In February, women give their male partners Valentine’s gifts. A month later, on 14 March, men return the favour. The St Patrick’s Day celebrations are surprisingly big, too.
Best for a City Break
How could we leave Dublin off this list? St Patrick's Day is celebrated in spectacular style in Dublin. A massive parade winds its way through the heart of the city, with a frenetic display of colour and sound in its wake. There are parties, treasure hunts, magic shows and performances, and the Guinness flows like wine. Sláinte!
Dublin is close enough to home to make for a nice short break, but remember to book in advance if you’re planning to spend St Paddy’s there. It’s a popular time to visit. The weather is unpredictable, as it is most times of year in Ireland, but it tends to be a little drier and warmer than mid-winter.
See our latest Dublin city break deals
Check out our guide to Ireland's Ancient East
Other destinations to consider:
Europe skiing destinations: If you missed out on your February ski trip, March is your last chance to get really good powdery slopes.
Cape Verde: By March, Cape Verde has shaken the "winter" weather. The days get longer and warmer and the landscape explodes with green life.
South Africa: March is the beginning of autumn, which means the weather is mild and calm throughout the country. It’s the perfect time for safari, as the animals spend more time in the open, and less time sheltering from the heat.
Malaysia: Beach resorts that closed for the winter reopen in March. It’s a perfect time to squeeze in a visit before the crowds move in.