With signs of spring starting to rear their heads, March is a great time to bag some Vitamin D. Temperatures may be slowly rising in the UK, but there’s still a chill in the air. With winter officially over, you’ve waited long enough for a dose of sunshine.
Parts of the Mediterranean are just beginning to heat up, while the Caribbean is experiencing its dry period – wherever you head, there is something satisfying about soaking up summer temperatures in spring. But the question is – where is hot in March?
1. Paphos, Cyprus
You will start to see a significant change in weather by the time March comes around in Paphos. Although not scorching, you can expect average highs of 19°C and minimal rain, just make sure you pack a jacket for the evening with an average minimum of just 9°C – a stark contrast compared to its comfortable days.
If you want to take a dip in the sea, make sure it’s a short one. The water is still a cool 17°C, which isn’t warm enough for long swims. However, you’ll be happy to discover most hotels come with a heated pool or two, so you can also enjoy heated soaks. The sun doesn’t set until around 6pm either so you can enjoy around seven hours of daylight.
Blending UNESCO-listed sites and beach days perfectly, Paphos is a place of diverse offerings. As the birthplace of the Goddess Aphrodite, this coastal city has a lot to show for itself in terms of history including a temple named after the mythical figure, sites dating back to the 3rd century BC and a medieval fort found in its harbour.
Away from its history, Paphos has a string of sandy shores where you can kick back away from its busy cobbled streets. In the heart of the Old Town you’ll find quaint pavement cafes offering an authentic dining experience, while its modern waterside restaurants can be found in its harbour area. For some late-night action, Bar Street is on hand with its endless stream of drinking spots.
Best things to do?
Tombs of the Kings
Temple of Aphrodite
Paphos Old Town
Sun fact: Rainfall in March can vary based on the jet stream and low pressure systems which comes from the Atlantic Ocean.
Flight time: 4 hours and 40 minutes
Best for? Beaches and history
King Evelthon Beach Hotel: When you’re not admiring your seafront location, there’s an aqua park ideal for little ones. Rooms are beautifully designed and offer some much-needed privacy with your own balcony and an en suite bathroom. It doesn’t get more inviting than its lagoon style swimming pool, while its choice of international fare is bound to keep the whole family happy.
Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos: Overlooking the beach, this premium All Inclusive comes with four a la cartes and an epic pool scene with a spot to suit everyone, from a splash-filled number for kids to and adults-only option complete with waiter service. When you’re not out enjoying the nightlife offerings of Paphos, the onsite entertainment invites you to watch West-End style performances.
2. Valletta, Malta
March typically sees comfortable temperatures with average highs of 17°C, perfect for exploring the city’s biggest sites. When the sun goes down it will feel a lot cooler, so jackets are recommended on an evening. Although mostly sunny, this month sees 41mm of rain.
The sea water may not be warm enough to swim in at just 15°C, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit the beach for a spot of sunbathing on its warmest days.
Built by the Knights of St John, Valletta is a historic masterpiece with century-old fortified walls. Baroque buildings and limestone streets offer a grand welcome. One of its biggest landmarks is St. John’s Co-Cathedral, which has become the city’s religious jewel. When you’re not admiring its ancient relics, head to the spot’s gardens where panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the Grand Harbour will mesmerise you.
This Maltese hotspot also has a modern side with alfresco dining spots and wine bars scattered along its waterfront. Days on the sand are easy to come by too, with a number of stretches sitting close to the capital. And did we mention it’s been named the European City of Culture?
St. George’s Bay
Best things to do?
Saint John’s Co-Cathedral
Grand Master’s Palace
Upper Barrakka Gardens
National War Museum
Sun fact: Although cooler than the summer months, from time to time spring will witness Scirocco wind from Africa which results in freak weather conditions with unusually high temperatures and humidity.
Flight time: 3 hours and 10 minutes
Best for: Culture, history, beaches and city breaks
66 Saint Paul’s & Spa: Set in a renovated palazzo in the heart of Valletta’s historical core sits this luxurious stay. Rooms have a contemporary design with soft furnishings and neutral colours set off by beautiful lighting, while your bathroom comes equipped with Molton Brown products. The spa is also worth a visit with its unique cellar location which has been transformed by candlelight – cappuccino body scrub is a must for coffee lovers. When the sun is out there’s a pool on the rooftop anticipating your arrival.
Grand Hotel Excelsior: Just outside the city’s striking entrance is this beautiful hotel. You can enjoy views of the harbour from the stylish pool scene whose surrounding gardens make for tranquil sunbathing sessions. When you’re not seeing what Valletta has to offer, your stay comes equipped with a choice of restaurants, from an extensive buffet eatery to an a la carte showcasing the hotel’s sensational location.
3. Funchal, Madeira
Wondering where is hot March for a short haul holiday? Funchal is known for its year-round Mediterranean climate, making it fantastic options for spring getaways. With the island’s beautiful fauna and flora starting to bloom and subtropical temperatures promising averages of 16°C and highs of 18°C, this Madeira favourite encourages you to shed those layers.
There is a lot less rainfall too with 60mm expected over an average of 10 days, so if anything, you may experience a quick shower. With so much to explore, you’ll be happy to know that Funchal has around eight hours of sunshine in March, so the days are gradually getting longer.
Facing the Atlantic Ocean with verdant mountains providing the backdrop, it’s not your average capital. Dubbed a ‘Floating Garden’ due to its vast collection of fauna and flora with six gardens showcasing its tropical plant life, there’s nowhere quite like it.
For the best views, there’s a cable car on hand waiting to take you high above the city, while its surrounding black sand beaches are perfect when you want to escape the hustle and bustle. Everything about this city is charming from its rustic Old Town to its quaint tapas bars and unique wine tours. And you can’t come to Funchal without riding its Toboggan Run, where you’ll be pulled through the streets in wicker basket sledges by two traditionally dressed men.
Praia de Barreirinha
Praia do Gorgulho
Doca do Cavacas (Gomes Pools)
Praia de Sao Tiago
Best things to do?
Old Town (Zona Velha)
Monte Cable Car
Monte Toboggan Run
Sun fact: Funchal has its own microclimate, meaning it usually has more sunshine than the rest of the island. However, it also experiences lighter winds.
Flight time: 3 hours and 40 minutes
Best for: Scenery, short haul and luxury hotels
VidaMar Resort Madeira: With ocean views on tap and a choice of infinity pools in which you can gaze on the Atlantic from, this hotel is a top pick in Funchal. Its modern design can’t be faulted with slick glass balconies, spacious walkways and well thought out room designs. There’s plenty going on too, whether you choose to get stuck into its above average dining scene or sample its exciting activities.
Pestana Royal Premium Ocean & Spa Resort: This All Inclusive property not only comes with direct beach access, but it also comes with unbeatable views with Cabo Girão, Europe’s tallest sea cliff sitting in the distance. You’ve got a choice of outdoor pools to soak up the sun from, while kids will love the onsite playground and mini golf course.
4. Maspalomas, Gran Canaria
Maspalomas is one of the best places to head in March, mainly due to its extremely low rainfall with just 18mm over four days. You’re almost guaranteed sunshine too with daily averages of 18°C, which have been known to peak at a toasty 22°C. Spring also means longer daylight hours with the sun shining almost 10 hours!
At 19°C the sea is a little cooler than it is in the summer months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a dip, it just might not be great for swimming. This means, the spot’s watersports aren’t off limits either.
As one of Gran Canaria’s most thriving resorts, you can’t come to these Spanish islands without hitting Maspalomas. Lined with luxury hotels and a beach that stretches for six kilometres, there’s no wonder it’s so popular. But nothing will prepare you for its sloping sand dunes, whose Sahara-like appearance is a sight to behold, especially at sunset.
You can’t miss its starring attraction either. El Faro is a century-old lighthouse which sits high above the landscape and close to a bustling boulevard packed with restaurants. It’s also famed for its party credentials, with commercial centres providing the best nights, while Playa del Ingles is just a short taxi drive away if you’re craving something livelier. It’s also home to its fair share of family attractions from waterparks to fun fairs and wildlife encounters.
Playa de las Meloneras
Playa de Triana
Playa de Pasito Blanco
Playa de las Mujeres
Best things to do?
Sand Dune Maspalomas
Sun fact: By the time March comes around, the rainfall will be half that of winter in Maspalomas.
Flight time: 4 hours and 40 minutes
Best for: Short haul, beaches and All Inclusive
Salobre Hotel Resort & Serenity: With 5 stars to its name, every inch of this hotel has been designed with extravagance in mind from its plasma TV in your room to its spa complete with a hammam and its seven outdoor pools surrounded by stylish sunloungers. When you fancy something a little more active, you’re also close to two golf courses.
Vista Oasis: This bungalow style stay screams great value for money with its contemporary style accommodation and artificial grass pool areas. There’s a kitchenette in your room if you want to whip up your own meals, or you can head to the buffet style restaurant where a lengthy spread awaits. You’re also just a bus ride away from the beach when you fancy a day on the coast.
5. Las Vegas
Located in the Mojave Desert, temperatures are on the rise when spring approaches in Las Vegas. Holidaymakers can enjoy pleasant conditions with days peaking at 21°C, while the hottest day ever recorded in March reached a staggering 33°C. Evenings are cool at this time of year, so you may want to spend most of your time in its hotels.
You don’t have to worry about getting caught in shower either with rainfall at a minimal with just 10mm over five days thanks to the city’s dry climate. Plus, with 10 hours of sunshine there’s plenty of time to squeeze in its daytime attractions.
This illuminated city certainly has the wow-factor, when you’re not trying your luck in some of the world’s most famous casinos, you could be watching star-studded shows or experiencing its biggest thrill rides.
And its hotels have become an attraction in themselves, from The Luxor where a giant Sphinx dominates the entrance to The Venetian which is home to gondola rides and New York New York, whose exterior is a scaled down version of the city’s famous skyline. You’re also within reach of two of America’s most enchanting wonders – Hoover Dam and the almighty Grand Canyon.
Best things to do?
The Venetian’s canals
Sun fact: Las Vegas has some of the sunniest weather in the world with an annual average of over 3,800 hours, so good weather is a given.
Flight time: 10 hours and 15 minutes
Best for: City breaks, sightseeing, long haul and nightlife
The D Las Vegas: Found on Fremont Street, this hotel promises a traditional Las Vegas experience. The outdoor pool is a good size as is its terrace, but its casino has to be the star of the show considering it is split across three of its floors. Rooms are typical of Vegas with carpeted floors, large windows and giant beds, while its choice of restaurants includes a steakhouse.
Hampton Inn Tropicana: Just minutes from the neon-lit strip, Hampton Inn Tropicana comes with an exotic-looking pool area, where you can soak up the sun from ones of its cosy cabana loungers. As for rooms, you can expect generous-sized beds and a good-sized bathroom with an illuminated mirror. You can also take advantage of the hotel’s free Wi-Fi – a great addition when you need to keep in contact with friends and family back home
6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
As one of the most popular times to visit Punta Cana, you won’t be disappointed by the weather. This is also when you will witness spring breakers seeking spring tans. Thanks to its tropical year-round climate, March is a great time to visit with lows as high as 23°C and some days rising to 29°C.
However, the month marks the end of the dry season so there will be a slight increase in rain. But don’t let this put you off, in true Caribbean style they usually come in short bursts and disappear in no time. Beach days are a must at this time of year with a combination of clear days and warm sea waters of 26°C.
Celebrated for its huge collection of All Inclusive hotels and lengthy stretches of golden sand fronted by the Caribbean Sea, Punta Cana is a world-class resort. Lazy days on the beach are to be expected with coconut palms surrounding you and mellow music providing the background noise, while there’s plenty of excursions when you’re seeking some adventure, from eco parks to natural wonders and snorkeling explorations.
It’s also home to one of the country’s most beautiful sand spots, Bavaro Beach which comes with the whitest blanket of sand. When it comes to evenings, you can’t miss out on a trip to Coco Bongo the famous nightclub meets show which has made a name for itself for its Las Vegas style performances.
Best things to do?
ChocoMuseo Punta Cana
Sun fact: With a yearly average high of 30°C, the weather doesn’t fluctuate much from season to season.
Flight time: 9 hours
Best for: Long haul, beaches and All Inclusive
Punta Cana Princess All Inclusive: This 5 star All Inclusive comes with an adults only status, so you can relax without any kids jumping in the pool. Best of all, you’re just inches away from one of Dominican’s finest shores, Bavaro Beach. It’s lagoon style pools have been designed to reflect its Caribbean setting with a scattering of palms and thatched umbrellas. On the dining front, you have a buffet eatery alongside a choice of international a la cartes – tuck in.
Whala! Bávaro Hotel: Just minutes away from the idyllic white sands of Bavaro Beach with an infinity edge positioned on its rooftop, this hotel has some nice touches. You’ve got five pools to choose from when you want to kick-back alongside two restaurants and a beach shack serving snacks when you’re feeling peckish in between mealtimes. There’s also a spa on hand with exfoliating scrubs on the menu when you require some pampering.