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Travel Ideas in March

Best places to travel in March 2022

As spring blossoms across the Northern Hemisphere, the American Southwest opens to a range of outdoor adventures, while lengthening days in Iceland allow for more time exploring wild, volcanic landscapes. Japan’s springtime blooms start to emerge, and milder temperatures coupled with the showings of early plum blossom make it a good-value time to travel here ahead of the peak season.

In South Africa, the wine harvests are in full swing and vibrant carnivals for the Jewish festival of Purim take place across Israel. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies show the beaches of Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives at their best. However, cooler climes in New Zealand makes this an excellent month to explore, with quieter walking trails, near-empty coastlines and a good chance of sunshine.

Festivals and events around the world in March

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1. Iceland

The best time to visit Iceland is subjective, depending on what you want to experience. For a good balance of activities, though, visit in March. After the dark days of winter, March sees daylight lengthen as spring begins, so you can spend more time outdoors exploring the country’s volcanic landscapes.

That said, there’s still a touch of winter in the air — you can continue to do activities like ice caving, and it’s possible to see the northern lights later in the evenings if skies are clear. Whenever you visit Iceland, rain is a possibility, but as long as you bring the right clothing it shouldn’t impact your experience.

Ice cave
Ice cave

2. The USA

Short days and snowfall can affect some parts of northern USA into March, but in return you’ll see fewer visitors and good value for money, with a wider choice of hotels. Visit a city like New York, Boston or Chicago and you’ll still find plenty to do thanks to their eclectic collection of museums, galleries and restaurants.

Elsewhere, the southern half of the country begins to warm, days are generally sunny and you can enjoy a mix of outdoor activities in the Southwest’s national parks without the crowds of summer. Hawaii, while having the chance of rain, also experiences pleasant temperatures.

Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire

3. South Africa

As South Africa transitions from summer to autumn, you’ll experience comfortably warm temperatures and little rain. Visit the Winelands to experience the wine harvest in full swing, and enjoy the beaches around Cape Town and along the Garden Route, where there’ll be fewer visitors than in the summer months (as long as you avoid the Easter break).

On safari in the Kruger region, the rains subside and you’ll experience the bush at its thickest and greenest, with rivers in full flow and animals at their healthiest. Some migratory bird species will still be around, and big cats will spend more time out of the shade during the day as temperatures become more comfortable.

Scenery over Stellenbosch
Scenery over Stellenbosch

4. New Zealand

As summer fades and visitor numbers thin, March makes an excellent time to visit New Zealand. Outside of Easter, you can enjoy quieter walking tracks, near-empty beaches and a wide choice of hotels while still experiencing pleasant temperatures and a good chance of sunshine.

Across the South Island, temperatures are slightly cooler. This is reflected in the dazzling displays of red and gold foliage you’ll see while driving, hiking or biking through the landscape of mountains and lakes. Wildlife is still plentiful at this time of year, including sperm whales and orcas off the coast of Kaikōura.

Kawarau River Valley, Queenstown
Kawarau River Valley, Queenstown

5. Japan

March marks the start of spring in Japan, with milder temperatures and the season’s first blooms. Visit in the first few weeks of March and you’re likely to catch the small, bright-pink flowers of plum blossom, and if you travel to Hokkaido, fields of tulips and phlox in a rainbow of colours.

It can be tricky to predict, but March also sees the start of cherry blossom season, with the first blossoms appearing in Okinawa in the south and moving slowly northward, with peak viewing around late March or early April. Japan’s gardens act as a seasonal showcase, as their protective winter coverings are removed and they sprout fresh foliage and flowers.

The Philosopher's Path in spring, Kyoto
The Philosopher's Path in spring, Kyoto

6. Sri Lanka

March sees sunny skies, calm seas and low rainfall across the south of the island, making this an excellent time to laze by the golden-sand beaches around Galle or Bentota. Lower water levels make it easier to spot animals coming out to drink in Yala National Park’s lagoons and wetlands. Sperm, blue and fin whales can be spotted from the southern coast, as well as turtles and flying fish.

Up in the central hill region, temperatures have warmed enough for you to enjoy the poolside views of a converted tea plantation hotel or an alfresco tea tasting session. To the north of the island, March is the start of the kitesurfing season on the western beaches of Kalpitiya.

Views of Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Views of Sigiriya Rock Fortress

7. Israel

As winter fades and temperatures begin to increase, March is a good time to visit Israel before visitor numbers begin to climb in spring and summer. Evenings will still be cool, but the daytime sees sunny skies with the occasional shower. This is also a very good value time to travel. However, it’s worth checking when Easter falls, as prices jump and the country is incredibly busy with visiting pilgrims. Additionally, be sure to check the dates for Passover, which sometimes falls at the end of March — Israelis often take two weeks off to celebrate.

If you’d like to experience a celebration in Israel, the Jewish holiday of Purim usually takes place in March. This week-long festival commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from a Persian plot to purge the population. It’s marked with street parties, feasts and carnivals — where people take to the streets to show off masquerade outfits made especially for the occasion.

Jerusalem old city
Jerusalem old city

8. Thailand

Warm weather can be found across Thailand in March, making it the best month to visit if you’re planning a grand tour across the country. The highlands of Chiang Rai and the surrounding hills will be temperate enough for hiking or spending the night in a remote community village. To the south, Thailand’s multitude of coastlines, islands and islets are bathed in sunshine and the clear waters calm enough for snorkelling. Off the west coast, divers stand a chance of seeing manta rays and whale sharks.

The peak season is tapering off, so larger cities like Bangkok and Chiang Mai will be quieter, although we still recommend booking early to secure your pick of the accommodation.

Limestone karst, Krabi, Thailand
Limestone karst, Krabi, Thailand

9. The Maldives

With warm temperatures, low humidity and very little rainfall, the Maldives in March is the paradise island getaway you might be dreaming of. The calm climate also results in still waters, making for great visibility for diving and snorkelling, with sightings of turtles, manta rays and reef sharks likely. Long daylight hours also mean you can make the most of your island resort’s white-sand beaches, water sports and world-class dining. This is a popular time to travel, so we suggest planning well ahead to get your choice of resort.

Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldive Island
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldive Island

10. The Galapagos Islands

One of the hottest and wettest months of the year, March is also one of the most rewarding times to visit the Galapagos. The archipelago’s marine life is incredibly active, making for some excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities in the warm waters.

There’s also plenty to see on land. Sea turtles begin to hatch and make their hazardous first journey from the beach to the sea. Frigate birds nest on the islands of North Seymour, South Seymour and Genovesa, the males inflating their bright-red throat sacs to attract a mate. And, toward the end of the month, you might see waved albatrosses returning to Espanola Island for the breeding season.

Marine Iguanas, Galapagos
Marine Iguanas, Galapagos
Last Updated: 01/09/2021 07:20:00