Northern Lights, Thingvellir, Iceland (Arnar Valdimarsson)

Where to go in March

A paint-fest in India, Patagonian hiking, or long nights under the Northern Lights? March is a month of tough choices...

In the northern hemisphere, we all have a spring in our step come March. With the dark evenings over and warmer temperatures on their way it is the perfect time to plan your next adventure.

And where better to start than your own backyard? Europe is a great place to hike during the spring months with a pleasant climate and affordable prices. Avid skiers and snowboarders can opt for a trip to France or Austria. The Alps are still knee-deep in snow and easily accessible for short ski-breaks.

This time of year is exciting for marine life enthusiasts. In Western Australia and Mexico there are fantastic opportunities to observe the migration patterns of the world’s largest mammals.

Events & festivals

HOLI FESTIVAL – To mark the end of winter and the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘bad’, Hindus and Sikhs bring colour to the streets of India. The highlights of the Holi festival include water and paint fights and a bonfire. For the most boisterous celebrations head to Mathura and Vrindavan: just be prepared to duck…     

PADDY POWER – On March 17th, the Irish celebrate their patron saint and heritage. It may only be a public holiday in Ireland but that doesn't stop the Irish dotted around the globe partying for a day… or two. Head to any Irish pub for guaranteed ‘craic’.

SEVENTH HEAVENHong Kong is always lively. But during the Rugby Sevens, the city is electric. At the end of March, rugby enthusiasts enjoy a weekend of tries scored in the shadows of Hong Kong’s towering skyscrapers.

CARNIVAL CAPERS – Colour, noise and sparkle – yes, it’s Mardi Gras. Sydney’s Mardi Gras falls during February and March, kicking off with a street parade. New Orleans also holds its Mardi Gras festivities.

DESCENT OF KUKULCÁN – Each year thousands of locals and tourists congregate at El Castillo, a massive pyramid in the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá to witness the descent of Kukulcán. Sculptures of the Feathered Serpents that run down the sides of the northern staircase, are set off by shadows from the corner tiers on the Spring equinox making it appear as though the snake has come to life.

Wildlife

MARINE LIFE – The world’s largest shark – the whale shark – starts its migration to the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. On the other side of the globe, grey whales bob through the waters of Baja California along the coast of Mexico. In Costa Rica, leatherback turtles crawl ashore to lay their eggs on the sands of Playa Grande.

EAGLE SPOTTING – The Harpy Eagle is one of the largest species of eagle in the world. Travel to Panama to spot the magnificent eagle nesting. The Parque Nacional Darien is where the early bird catches the… err, bird.

Activities

SKI SEASON – The Alps is still in its peak season. Tignes gets plenty of snow for skiing and snow-boarding. If you want to head further a field, there’s always ski heaven - Whistler.

HIKING AT HOME – Watch the flora and fauna burst into life with a walk through England’s ‘green and pleasant land.’ Head to Norfolk and explore miles of footpaths along historic waterways.

WARM UP IN CHILE – March is the perfect time of year to trek the mountains of Patagonia. There are fewer tourists, dry weather and the autumn colours are breathtaking.

Natural phenomena

PENITENTES – The adventurous hiker could marvel for hours at this snow formation found in the snowfields of the Dry Andes. The shards of ice point to the sun like blades of grass and can grow as tall as a person.

CHERRY AID – The indigenous cherry blossoms of Eastern Asia have come to represent spring. South Korea is a cheaper alternative to Japan and the pink clouds of blossom are just as spectacular.

NORTHERN LIGHTS – Longer days and warmer temperatures makes March the ideal time to see this natural phenomenon at its best. So if an Arctic destination is on your hit-list, pack your thermals and wait for the Aurora Borealis to prick the northern skies with its spectacular light show.

The weather is nice in...

YUCATAN, Mexico 19-31°C

CAPE TOWN, South Africa 15-26°C

MALE, Maldives 26-31°C

MANILA, Philippines 22-32°C

MIAMI, USA 19-27°C

Join in the festivities in Barsana, India with a sunny climate complimenting the bursts of colour on the streets. Alternatively, go diving or snorkelling in the Maldives or off the coast of Malaysia – at this time of year, the water temperatures are just right for corals teeming with marine life.

Conventional wisdom says:

A fixed price is set in stone.

Wanderlust says:

A 'fixed price' can always be haggled in Berlin's unmissable antique spring market.

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