Top 10 March holidays

With ski slopes beckoning just as much as the beach resorts, March is a great time of year to travel just about anywhere. The days are beginning to get a little longer and warmer, and spring is starting to show its face and holiday destinations get a little less touristy. So make the most of fewer crowds, lower prices and pleasant weather – here are our top 10 destinations to visit during the month of March.

1. Venice, Italy
Spring in the city of Venice can be a magical time of year to visit as tourist season hasn’t yet kicked off and the weather is just starting to show signs of summer with warmer weather, longer days and people coming out from their winter hibernation, creating ideal conditions for cultural travel. Hire a boat and skipper yourself through the gondolas and barges around the famous waterways, take a stroll along the canal-lined walkways, or sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of Venetian wine and some local cuisine on the second Sunday of the month while watching the runners in the Suezo Peri Ponti marathon navigate the bridge route.

2. Ireland

When one thinks of Ireland, there’s only one month that springs to mind: March 17th  is St Patrick’s Day which has become synonymous the world over with all things Irish. Although the weather may not be the best, the atmosphere and energy is electric with much revelry, Guinness and craic surrounding the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations. Dublin is always heaving in March when the biggest and best St Patrick’s Day Festival sees thousands of visitors flocking to the Irish capital, while Limerick welcomes visitors for the St Patrick’s Spring Fest and Limerick International Band Festival. For a 100% authentic Irish experience, head to Galway or Cork to enjoy some traditional dancing, a single malt whiskey and a hearty meal.

3. Bhutan

OK, so it might sound a little too far off the beaten track for some, but for many visiting Bhutan is a lifelong dream and there’s no better time than the month of March. One of these reasons is of course, Paro Tsechu, a festival that is usually only witnessed by those in the know who are visiting the tiny town of Paro. This spectacular celebration lasts around five days and is part of Bhutan’s unique brand of Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, where dancers wear elaborate costumes and carved wooden masks and re-enact the life of Buddha and the history of Bhutan. Aside from the festival, Bhutan’s official policy of Gross National Happiness is another very good reason to visit this unspoiled land, not to mention its pristine green valleys, mountain monasteries, fascinating culture and comical graffiti.

4. Queensland, Australia

Dubbed the ‘Sunshine State’, Queensland is full of abundant warm rays in March. The summer rains have subsided and autumn is just around the corner, bring balmy days and pleasant evenings. This holiday playground sees a swarm of travellers and adventure seekers descending on its shores to enjoy diving off the iconic Great Barrier Reef, surfing the world-class breaks, such as the Gold Coast’s Kirra or Coolangatta, or escape it all and head for the Daintree tropical rainforest in the north to enjoy indigenous wildlife such as pythons and crocodiles, and complete untouched beauty.

5. Colorado, USA
One of the best times to go skiing in Colorado is March when most of the tourists have left for the season, and the prices are significantly reduced, not only in hotels and lodges, but also ski lifts, food and even shopping. With heavy snowfall, azure blue skies and warm temperatures, carving through the silky white powder down soft white slopes is a dream and enough to make any traveller weak at the knees. From Telluride and Steamboat to Aspen and Vail, there are plenty of resorts to enjoy some spring time snow.

6. Petra, Jordan
Petra is an unspoilt, culturally breathtaking and magnificent attraction in Jordan, named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Renowned for its rock-cut architecture, the ancient rose-red city is one of the world's most spectacular ruins set within a deep canyon in the desert near the town of Wadi Musa. The cooler spring time of March is a good time to visit this one-of-a-kind destination and you can expect lower prices and few crowds.

7. Morocco

With its exotic culture, Mediterranean climate and vibrant colours, March is the right time of year to explore the mysterious land of Morocco. Spend a day haggling in the souks, enjoy a traditional Tagine, (a delicious traditional stew), trek out into the desert on a camel and explore the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains. With so many exciting regions, attractions, restaurants and souks to explore, the spring weather in March is definitely the right time of year to take on Morocco. Trips to Marrakech and Fez are worthwhile with their medieval medinas, and be sure to take a trip to the very special blue and white city of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast where windsurfing and kite-surfing are popular sports.

8. Istanbul, Turkey

Straddling Asia and Europe and bustling with exotic cultures from both lands, what isn’t there to love about Istanbul? With its exceptional Ottoman architecture, Istanbul offers fascinating cultural attractions juxtaposed with some fantastic European-style bars and restaurants and a pumping nightlife to boot. Spend the day haggling for exotic buys at the local bazaars, soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the old city intermingled with Arabian magic and mystique, and for something completely different, why not cruise the Bosphorous Strait and soak up all the Turkish delights along the way.

9. British Columbia, Canada

British Columbia is simply heaving with attractions and activities in the month of March. Carve down powdery slopes of Whistler-Blackcomb drenched in warm winter sun, enjoy the nightlife, fine dining and culture in Vancouver, tell a tale of a whale to your friends back home or visit the paradise of Vancouver Island to enjoy the splendour of its dense rainforest, scenic coastline, rugged mountains, glistening glaciers and pristine lakes and rivers.

10. Cambodia
Cambodia’s dry season is by far the best time to visit this land off the beaten track. From majestic ruins in Angkor to temples in Phnom Penh and beautiful beaches and islands, Cambodia is a treasure trove of delights just waiting to be discovered. Spend a few days cruising the Mekong River from Phnom Penh taking in the Cambodian landscape along the way. Pass through Kompong Chhnang to visit the market and pottery village, marvel at Southeast Asia’s largest lake, Tonle Sap, and shop at the largest floating village at Kompong Luong before descending on Siem Reap and the World Heritage Site of the Temples of Angkor.

Where would you go March? Talk about it on the Word Travels Forum!