Best places to go for a holiday in March

BEST COUNTRIES

SOUTH AFRICA

Why you should go: March is the perfect "in-between season" in South Africa – not too hot, not too cold, not too rainy, not too dry. In the south, around Cape Town, the weather is cool and pleasant, and the skies are clear. Further north in the game-viewing areas of Kruger and Sabi Sands, meanwhile, the foliage is lush, the animals well fed, and the afternoon thunderstorms have begun to abate. It's the perfect time to check out the area's amazing birdlife, as well as catch sight of the Big 5.

Don't miss: Spend a few days in the Cape winelands, around towns such as Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, to sample some extremely good drops, as well as soak up a beautiful area that's usually basking in sunshine at this time of year.

See southafrica.net

See also: Southern Africa an amazing destination Australians don't care about

INDIA

sunfeb25india Golden?Triangle?India ; text by Brian Johnston credit: Shutterstock *** EDITORIAL USE ONLY *** *** REUSE PERMITTED *** Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: You don't want to be in India when it's raining. The monsoon might sound romantic, but it can easily put an end to best-laid plans. For that reason alone, March is a great time to visit: there's pretty much no rain at all in the tourist hotspots of Kerala in the south, and Rajasthan in the north. March is also a time when temperatures are pleasant pretty much across the country, and there are also some great festivals, including the highlight: Holi.

Don't miss: You've probably seen the photos of Holi: the thousands of revellers coated in brightly coloured powder and paint. This is the Hindu festival to welcome the spring, a joyous, raucous occasion that's a must-do.

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See incredibleindia.org

See also: Travel to India for beginners: what you need to know

SWITZERLAND

View of Bern old city centre with river Aare.

City of Bern, Switzerland. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Ask any Swiss and they'll tell you: March is the best time to be there. The days are long in March, with almost 13 hours of sunlight by the end of the month. The snow is also usually excellent, which means long sunny days on the slopes, and long evenings with a few apres-ski beers and a pot of fondue. March is also shoulder season for tourism in Switzerland, meaning prices and visitor numbers are slightly lower.

Don't miss: Exploring the Bernese Oberland. This is a famous highland area, home to the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Schilthorn peaks, with excellent skiing, as well as plenty of other winter sports and activities.

See myswitzerland.com

See also: Switzerland – is it really the best country in the world?

COLOMBIA

SILVIA, POPAYAN, COLOMBIA - November, 24, 2009: Colorful chiva bus in Silvia village. Satsep9europe -?10 years of journeys - Ben Groundwater Credit: Shutterstock

Colourful chiva bus in Silvia village. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Although Colombia is a year-round destination, given its equatorial position and wide variety of micro-climates, March is when it all comes together to provide the perfect travel experience. This is dry season, which means sultry, coastal Cartagena is at its least humid and its most sunny, while cooler cities such as high-altitude Bogota, and Medellin, are warm and pleasant. March is great for all things in Colombia: relaxing on a beach, hiking through the Andes, or exploring the Amazon.

Don't miss: March is the tail-end of high season in Cartagena, which means prices are beginning to come down, but the weather is still excellent. The walled Old Town here is total charmer, and it's impossible not to feel the city's history of pirates and marauders as you wander its cobbled streets.

See colombia.travel

See also: The home of perfect coffee, but they can't make a decent cup

ICELAND

sunnov19iceland ; Eyja Guldsmeden Hotel Reykjavik Iceland ; text by Louise Southerden photo credit: Shutterstock Reykjavik?Iceland rainbow

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: March is a spectacular time to visit an already spectacular country. There's still snow on the ground. There's still the bite of cold in the air. And although the days are getting longer, with 10 hours of sunlight, there's still plenty of darkness in which to observe the famed Northern Lights. There are also several festivals in Iceland in March, plus the chance to do ice-cave tours, snowmobiling, and even snorkelling in thermal waters.

Don't miss: March is the final official month of Northern Lights viewing, and the aurora borealis can even be seen from the capital, Reykjavik. Simple wander down to the Grotta lighthouse to find the darkest viewpoint. For the best photographic backdrop, however, head 40 minutes down the road to Akranes lighthouse.

inspiredbyiceland.com

See also: How to see one of the world's coolest destinations without the crowds

BEST CITIES

MUNICH, GERMANY

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Germany.

Nymphenburg Palace in Munich, Germany. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Though there's never a bad time to visit Munich, March is particularly pleasant, when the air is chilly but the welcome is warm as the tourist season slowly begins to pick up. Whether you're strolling through the Englischer Garten or drinking in the Hofbrauhaus, you'll find Munich in March a fine place to be.

Don't miss: Let's say you missed Oktoberfest. Let's say you couldn't make it to that famous beer festival, and yet you still want a taste of the atmosphere that makes it such an important cultural event. There's good news, and it comes in the form of "Starkbeirzeit", or Strong Beer Festival. This annual March event is spring's answer to Oktoberfest, a carnival where the crowd is half as large, and the beer is twice as strong.

See germany.travel

See also: Why Germans are the champions of going nude in public

AUSTIN, USA

Why you should go: This Texan city is the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world, and it lives up to that billing almost any time of the year. March, however, is special: this is the time Austin hosts South by Southwest, a conference and festival of music, film, comedy and even gaming that turns the city into one giant party, with bands playing and events happening in every bar and restaurant.

Don't miss: Although there are always big international bands playing at SXSW, some of the best experiences come from hanging out in the smaller venues, the regular little bars, and catching up-and-coming acts. The music will be good, and you'll have the chance to meet plenty of locals.

See austintexas.org

See also: Is this America's hippest city?

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA

Just as Queensland's tourism industry has changed, so too have the visitors to coming here, to take in the beaches, the towns and cities and National Parks such as Lamington National Park on the Gold Coast.

Lamington National Park on the Gold Coast. Photo: Tourism and Events Queensland

Why you should go: The summer crowds have long since disappeared in the Gold Coast by March; however, the water is still warm, the sun is still shining, and this is the perfect time to enjoy the city in the same way the locals do. Check out the markets in Miami, hang out in trendy restaurants in Burleigh Heads, visit a microbrewery in Currumbin, or just stroll the promenades by your beach of choice.

Don't miss: Every March the Gold Coast plays host to the Quiksilver Pro, the opening event of surfing's Championship Tour – head to Snapper Rocks to see the best of the best in action. If Easter falls during March, this is also the time to head down the highway to Byron Bay for Bluesfest.

See destinationgoldcoast.com

See also: Twenty reasons to visit the Gold Coast

DUBLIN, IRELAND

The Temple Bar, Dublin.
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The Temple Bar, Dublin. Photo: Shutterstock

Why you should go: Dublin is fun. It's all sorts of fun. Yes, it will probably be raining – in Dublin in March it rains 24 days out of 31, on average. But that's Dublin. Fortunately, the locals have figured out ways to enjoy themselves when the weather is inclement. You'll find most of the action inside the city's many homey, friendly pubs, where traditional music is played, traditional food is eaten, and traditional beer – Guinness, of course – is consumed.

Don't miss: There's a good reason to visit Dublin in March, and it's called St Patrick's Day. This traditionally raucous celebration of Ireland's patron saint can be done in two ways: with the tourists in Temple Bar, drinking and dancing with abandon, or with the locals in the suburbs for a slightly more serious, and yet still very enjoyable celebration of national pride.

See ireland.com

See also: What are the must-see places in Dublin?

BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

Why you should go: Shoulder season is the perfect time to visit Buenos Aires. The days are warm and long, and Portenos, the citizens of the Argentinian capital, are still out and about most evenings drinking at pavement cafes in San Telmo, or shopping in the boutiques of Palermo, or eating typically late in the steakhouses that abound throughout the city.

Don't miss: Portenos share an abiding passion for football, and there are games on pretty much any time of year. However, in March, BA plays host to the Supercopa final, the culmination of a countrywide cup tournament that usually features either one or both of the city's favourite teams, Boca Juniors and River Plate. You haven't seen passion until you've seen an Argentinian football crowd.

See turismo.buenosaires.gob.ar

See also: Buenos Aries' best-kept secret

See also: Best countries and cities to visit in 2018

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