Where to go on vacation in March

The climate usually dictates where to go on vacation in March. Finland enjoys a good balance of snowy weather and longer, lighter days for cross country skiing and husky sledding. In fact, it’s one of the best times to see the Northern Lights in any country around the Arctic Circle. Tasmania heads into autumn – an altogether more interesting season than summer, thanks to forests that turn orange. Tropical and subtropical regions that sizzle at other times of the year are comfortable for exploring – whether that’s through hiking, dancing or painting. Meanwhile, spring has sprung in the Mediterranean, where the sun is out for hikers.

1. Cuba

March is one of the best times to go to Cuba. The island is heading towards the end of dry season, so it’s not too hot for exploring. Or dancing. Some of our best vacations in Cuba include salsa classes that are much more bearable in March temperatures. Peak tourist season trails off towards the end of March, too.

2. Finland

Snow doesn’t start melting in Finland until late March, so you’ve got the whole month to seek out fresh powder for winter sports. You get a good 12-plus hours of daylight, which is great for snowshoeing and husky sledding under the sun instead of the moon (the norm in mid-winter). Light pollution is low in Finnish Lapland, so nights remain pitch-black for Northern Lights watching.

3. Italy

March is springtime in Italy – lovely for walking, cycling and wine tasting. The weather in the north can still be unpredictable, but the south – including the Amalfi Coast – is reliably mild and sunny. Cities like Florence and Rome welcome visitors, but not the droves you find in the sticky summer. Italy tends to be cheaper in March, too, so you’ll probably see lower vacation prices.

4. Jordan

If you want to explore Jordan rather than float around in a Red Sea resort for a week, then traveling in March is a good idea. Spring means not-too-hot temperatures ideal for wandering Petra and Wadi Rum. It can be a little rainy in the mountains, but that also makes for bright wildflower valleys and green mountain slopes.

5. Spain

Southern Spain is mild, sunny and uncrowded in March. In Andalucia, orange blossom blooms towards the end of the month and it’s a good time for bird watchers, as wintering birds like cranes spend their last few weeks preening under the spring sun. Valencia is the place for yoga retreats, or you can head north to the mountainous Picos de Europa National Park.

6. Tasmania

Summer is on its way out in Tasmania in March – which means that autumn is in. Beech trees start to turn red and orange in forests that perk up under rain showers. Harvest means food festivals, so you can visit apple and pear orchards and go wine tasting at vineyards where you can see how grapes are picked in real-time. Temperatures are mild, too.
Travel Team
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March vacation advice

We’ve spoken with our expert travel partners to find out where they recommend traveling in March. Here’s what they say…
Charlotte Caffrey is a marine scientist, polar guide and director at our partner Aqua-Firma. March is her favourite time to sail to Antarctica: “I really like Antarctica in March, as you see a lot of whales, the water is clearer for diving and there are less boats around. I think it’s a great time to go. Also, if you want to go across the polar circle, which a lot of people do… you need to go at the end of the season, when it’s easier to get through the melted areas to reach the southernmost point.”
Ana Rodriguez Garcia founded our Spanish language and walking partner Peak Me. She explains how traveling out of peak season supports her community: “There are no international chains here – all businesses are local – and because our season is so long we can help them. Many businesses only make money in 6-8 weeks during the summer and Easter; the rest of the year is almost dead. To have people coming from March all the way to October really makes the difference. We tell people to come outside the busy six weeks in summer because the experience is so much more real in those months.”
Bikash Sharma, from our partner Intrepid Travel, says to time your trip to Northern India for Holi: “The best time to visit Himachal Pradesh is during the summer in India (March-May). The weather during this time is pleasant and there are no issues like landslides or road blockages… During March we have the colour festival Holi. You will get an unforgettable experience in India then.”
Geraldine Westrupp, who co-owns our partner Wild Photography Vacations, thinks March is a good time to be in Iceland: “In February, March and maybe the beginning of April there’s the chance to see the aurora borealis and the landscapes are very icy and wintery, but there’s good light by then.”
Tim Winkworth, from our adventure partner Intrepid Travel, recommends the Galapagos Islands in March: “Two of the most impressive creatures that live on the Galapagos are the magnificent frigate birds and the blue-footed boobies… March to April is their mating season, so Easter is the perfect time to go because you’re not just walking round and seeing one or two birds, or a flock behaving normally. You are walking round, in and out, having to step off the path to walk around these birds in massive numbers as they do their mating rituals… I think it’s remarkable at that time, because you get everything else as well. You get sea lions, hammerheads and marine iguanas all year round, so they’re still there.”
Jeremy Spencer, from our partner OKU Japan, says you can catch the start of cherry blossom season at the end of March: “People think cherry blossom marks the beginning of spring, but I think it marks the end of winter… March/April is the cherry blossom season.”
Peter Roche co-runs our guesthouse vacations at Le Moulin du Chemin. He says that March is a favourite with local people: “The spring reawakening after winter is the favourite time for country folk – leaf buds are forming on the trees and early blossoms such as the blackthorn are exploding into life. Wildflowers are tentatively breaking out of the soil in March and early April.”
Annie Antonatou, a guide at our Greek sailing partner Mystic Blue, also looks forward to wildflowers in March: “Nature in the Cyclades is very unique compared to the rest of Greece. Although it’s very barren, in spring you have lots of wildflowers you can only find in this part of the world. There are lots of orchids all over the Cyclades. March, April and May are the best months for these.”
Photo credits: [Page banner: Kamala Saraswathi] [Cuba: Dorothea OLDANI] [Finland: Robert Tjalondo] [Italy: Giuseppe Mondì] [Jordan: Ahmad Qaisieh] [Spain: Amos from Stockphotos.com] [Tasmania: Just Emi] [Antarctica: Rod Long] [India: Debashis RC Biswas] [Japan: Sora Sagano]