Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

"Перед тем как карабкаться на лестницу успеха, убедитесь, что она прислонена к стене того здания, что вам нужно." Стивен Кови ©
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Spring has sprung, but it isn’t all twittering birds and sunshine yet – and not quite time to tuck away the winter coat. And it’s not just the British who are staying stubbornly crisp, with much of Europe still chilling below the 20°C. Time to retreat to a land far, far away, then, where sapphire seas, lush landscapes and blissed-out beaches are heating up. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, you could opt for a heavy hitter in the Caribbean or an off-the-radar archipelago in the Andaman Sea. There are sunny cities, too, and a few far-flung festivities to put a proper spring in your step.

  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    1. LA PALMA, CANARY ISLANDS

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 19°C


    This is the Canaries’ greenest and most unspoiled spot, with pristine night skies ideal for star-gazing, and pine-scented air that clears the mind as much as the lungs. It’s also a walkers’ island, where signposts for footpaths outnumber those for cars. Rock pools and waterfalls refresh flagging travellers, and the boutique-hotel scene is surprisingly sharp. Lighthouse-turned-hotel Faro Punta Cumplida is dressed up with a swimming pool and silk bed linens; in the capital, Santa Cruz de La Palma, Hotel San Telmo, a restored 17th-century building, sets delightful sun-filled rooms around a garden and rooftop terrace.

  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    2. CYPRUS

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 19°C


    It’s shoulder season in one of Europe’s most reliable winter-holiday spots as it’s calm before Easter, and has a good eight hours of sunshine a day. Temperatures can be mild enough for beach trips, but get out of Paphos and there’s plenty more to quicken the pulse. There are sensational dive spots in and around Larnaca, particularly the MS Zenobia, a ferry that sank on her 1980 maiden voyage, often ranked in the world’s top 10 wreck dives. Travellers can also disappear into the Troodos Mountains in search of its incredible frescoed Byzantine churches, best reached from capital Nicosia, then head to the Limassol foothills for vineyards and micro-wineries, grape terraces spreading prettily across the slopes.

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  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    3. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 19°C


    For a taste of sunny southern California without the crowds, San Diego can’t be beaten. It’s an eternal beach-bum city with a temperament permanently set to ‘chill’. Join the surfer dudes and VW vans at Ocean Beach, or cycle past perennial volleyball games along the Pacific Beach boardwalk, stopping now and then to sip a homespun brew (AleSmith, Green Flash, Ballast Point). It’s laid-back, yes, but not lazy: there’s plenty of energy in the city’s exploding street art-scene (try North Park, where even utility boxes have been given a paint job). Or get experimental at restaurants such as Wrench and Rodent (‘unorthodox nigiri and sashimi’) and the Gaslamp Quarter’s craft cocktail bars (find Noble Experiment behind a wall of kegs).

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  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    4. WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS, AUSTRALIA

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 22°C


    It’s peak season here, but with good reason. Longer, sunnier days are ideal for sailing, the best way to explore what are among the world’s clearest waters and whitest beaches. Living up to its name, Whitehaven, in the Great Barrier Reef and only accessible by boat, is covered in bone-white sand. The Whitsundays’ newest, most secluded retreat, Elysian, only has 10 rooms, so even at the busiest time of year, guests have their own piece of Eden. And by rooms, we really mean oceanfront villas, with Australian hardwood interiors and rainforest views. It’s almost impossible to leave, but do try, or you’ll miss out on twilight-yoga classes and swimming in the retreat’s private cove.

  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    5. GARDEN ROUTE, SOUTH AFRICA

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 23°C

    There’s no better time than spring to meander the Garden Route. We’ve described driving the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape as South Africa’s greatest-hits compilation and it’s true: absurdly beautiful beaches; ragged mountains; wine country; virgin forests; inland lakes and amazing wildlife, from whales and dolphins to the Big Five. March is blissfully temperate, and falls neatly outside the high seasons. Do it right, and do it slow: the best bits aren’t in the driving, but exploring outside the car, whether that’s canoeing through Garden Route National Park, or hiking Robberg Nature Reserve’s wild and wonderful cliffs.

  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    6. SARASOTA, FLORIDA

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 25°C

    Heading to Florida for winter sun isn’t the most unique suggestion, but Sarasota might be a new city for many; it’s not as high maintenance as Miami, but has a pleasing sweep of aspirational gloss. There’s marvellous mid-century-modern architecture, such as Paul Rudolph’s 1953 cube house; waterside tiki bars, including Casey Key Fish House, which plies a mixed crowd of yachting multi-millionaires and hippie-surfer-yogis with frozen drinks; and more than 35 miles of powdery beaches lapped by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Rest up at the recently renovated Ritz-Carlton, which has its own private beach club where open-air Lido Key Tiki Bar is the place to see dolphins at sunset.

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  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    7. HAVANA, CUBA

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 28°C

    What is it about Havana that’s so enchanting? Is it really just cigars and classic cars? Or is it the sensually rag-tag mix of weathered Spanish mansions, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, punchy food and grande dame hotels? It’s all of it, of course. Tick off old-school experiences, such as sipping Daiquiris in Hemingway’s hangouts, salsa dancing and relaxing in the cigar room at Brando’s favourite, the Grand Packard; then hit up the newer spots: Salchipizza, a bakery from Michelin-starred chef Alberto González; pulled-pork crepes at Belview Art Café.

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    Travel guide to Havana, Cuba

  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    8. MERGUI ARCHIPELAGO, MYANMAR

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 33°C


    There are around 800 islands in Myanmar’s Andaman Sea archipelago, and no places to stay. And that’s exactly what makes it special: it’s accessible, close to the border of Thailand, and yet completely remote. Populated only by the Moken people — or ‘sea gypsies’ — settlements are few. Instead, there are just empty beaches, clumps of thick, primeval jungle and untouched coral reefs. The yachties’ version of Shangri-La, one can only visit by boat. With steady winds, clear waters and balmy temperatures, March is a great time for diving, particularly at the ominously named Shark Cave. Others can stick to trekking, getting up close to civets and crab-eating macaques.

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  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    9. ST MARTIN, CARIBBEAN

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 28°C


    One island, two nations. That’s the appeal of St Martin, or St Maarten. The Dutch side is the party-hearty bit: casinos, the cruise-ship dock, duty-free malls. Amble to the French side, though, and things get more refined. There’s the pretty town of Marigot, and fine food (L’Auberge Gourmande, in a vintage Creole cottage, is the spot for escargot and veal). Most of the island’s buildings were flattened by 2017’s Hurricane Irma, but it’s been quick to rebuild. Capital Philipsburg is fully restored, and most of the big-ticket retreats have been revamped and reopened. (Belmond La Samanna’s new retro-chic look is a triumph.) Early March sees the Heineken Regatta blow into town with food stalls, bars and live concerts bringing the party to a specially constructed Regatta Village.





    The best time to visit the Caribbean

    The best time to visit the Caribbean

  • Where is hot in March? Our top 10 destinations

    10. JAIPUR, INDIA

    AVERAGE MARCH TEMPERATURE: 32°C


    The Pink City is a must-visit anyway, but come March it’s also the yellow city, the red city, the blue city and every-other-coloured city, due to the Holi festivities. Though you’ll certainly get covered in rainbow powder paint, breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not quite as wild here as in Delhi. In Jaipur, the vibe is more local gathering than en masse mania. Despite India’s signature chaos, there’s always been something very regal about Jaipur – the palaces, the temples, the forts – and you can add hotels to that list, too. Suján Rajmahal Palace just might be the last word in opulence, an actual palace that’s hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Jackie Onassis. It was recently refurbished with lavish, custom-designed wallpaper and fabrics.

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    Lucia Silvestri on her favourite places in Jaipur

    For where’s hot in other months, see our guides below:


    WHERE IS HOT IN JANUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN FEBRUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN MARCH | WHERE IS HOT IN APRIL | WHERE IS NOT TOO HOT IN AUGUST | WHERE IS HOT IN MAY | WHERE IS HOT IN SEPTEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN OCTOBER | WHERE IS HOT IN NOVEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN DECEMBER

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