Plan your next vacation with the 9 best places to visit in March

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March is an incredible month for those with a wanderlust itch. It's that sweet spot when the buzz of travel starts picking up, with solo adventurers leading the charge. Around the globe, temperatures are on the move—some regions see the mercury rise, teasing the onset of summer, while others are enjoying the last cool whispers of winter. It's a month where you can truly have the best of both worlds, so let's dive into some of the most alluring destinations that come alive in March.

1. Costa Rica

Irazú Volcano National Park in Costa Rica

Costa Rica, the Central American paradise, enters the dry season in March. This period is marked by clear, sunny skies and a festive atmosphere as the country shakes off the rain of the wetter months. Beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts become prime spots for sunbathing, surfing, and wildlife spotting. Inland, the forests and volcanic landscapes offer breathtaking adventures, making Costa Rica an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike.

Must-visit places in Costa Rica

  • Irazú Volcano National Park: The Irazú Volcano is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica and offers a unique opportunity to walk along the lunar-like landscape. On a rare and clear day you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts from the top of Monteverde, making it an extraordinary sight.
  • Fortuna Waterfall: The Fortuna Waterfall near the Arenal Volcano, cascades spectacularly into a crystal-clear pool. It's nestled within a lush rainforest teeming with the sounds of nature.
  • Playa Chiquita: Playa Chiquita is an idyllic, secluded beach perfect for those seeking to spend some time away from the crowded tourist spots. With its golden sands and lush tropical backdrop, it offers a peaceful retreat.

2. Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

Egypt in March is a bustling time as the weather is pleasant and historical sites are not as crowded. You can explore the ancient pyramids of Giza, marvel at the treasures of the pharaohs in the Egyptian Museum, or take a memorable cruise down the Nile River. The mild climate is perfect for sightseeing the majestic temples of Luxor and Aswan, where the crisp air carries whispers of one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

Must-see in Egypt

  • Cairo: The bustling capital, Cairo is home to the iconic Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. Check out the Egyptian Museum to discover ancient artifacts, including the gold mask of Tutankhamun. A stroll through Khan el-Khalili bazaar is a must for those eager to experience local culture and pick up traditional souvenirs.
  • Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut: The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut in Luxor stands as an architectural marvel, honoring one of Egypt's most extraordinary female pharaohs. The unique terraced structure and the statues of Hatshepsut that line the path to the sanctuary are must-sees.
  • Karnak: The Karnak Temple complex is one of the largest ancient religious sites in the world. Its vast array of decayed temples, chapels, and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amun, truly showcases the grandeur of Theban heritage. The experience of walking through these historic pillars and statues is unparalleled.

3. Spain

Seville, Spain

While not all parts of Spain are great to visit in March, the southern regions, particularly Andalusia, exhibit pleasant weather perfect for outdoor activities and festivals. It's an excellent time to visit iconic cities like Barcelona and Madrid without the swaths of summer tourists. Also, Andalusia celebrates the early signs of spring with blooming orange trees perfuming the air, creating a truly magical atmosphere. The season also brings the festivities of Semana Santa, the Holy Week, which is known for its moving religious processions and deeply rooted traditions.

Must-see in Spain

  • Madrid: Madrid, the vibrant capital of Spain, is animated with rich history and culture. Visit the Prado Museum to witness some of Europe's finest art. Be sure to also explore the grand Royal Palace and of course, the Flamenco shows which offer an authentic and passionate glimpse into Spanish culture.
  • Barcelona: Barcelona is a city where the works of Antoni Gaudí come to life. The Sagrada Familia, with its towering spires and intricate facades, is a masterpiece not to be missed. Wander the mosaic-covered pathways of Park Güell for an imaginative outdoor experience.
  • Seville: Being the largest city in Andalusia, Seville bursts into life with the celebration of Semana Santa, showcasing a rich tapestry of cultural heritage. Visit the Alcázar Palace, an exquisite example of Mudéjar architecture, and stroll through the charming Santa Cruz quarter.

4. Greece

Greece in March

The allure of Greece in March is the quietness of its streets. The hordes of summer tourists have yet to arrive, leaving ancient sites like the Acropolis in Athens and the fabled ruins of Delphi open for more peaceful exploration. The weather is mild, perfect for leisurely strolls along the charming streets of Santorini with its iconic white-washed buildings and azure domes.

Must-see places in Greece

  • Acropolis: No visit to Greece is complete without a trip to the Acropolis, the ancient citadel dominating the skyline of Athens. Here, you'll find the magnificent Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion with its famous Caryatids.
  • Delphi: The sacred site of Delphi, set against the slopes of Mount Parnassus, provides a spectacular historical journey. It was once home to the oracle of Apollo. Delve into the Temple of Apollo and the Athenian Treasury among the ruins.
  • Santorini: The island of Santorini is a world-famous destination revered for its stunning sunsets, cliff-top villages, and panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. A walk through the narrow streets of Oia is a highlight.

5. Italy

Gondola ride in Venice, Italy

Italy in March marks the tail end of winter and the cusp of spring. This is an ideal time to explore the rich Renaissance art in Florence, savor authentic Italian cuisine, and meander through the canals of Venice. The Dolomites offer a picturesque backdrop for skiing and snowboarding. The crowds are fewer this time of year, making it easier to visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum in Rome, or the Vatican Museums without the long waits typical of peak tourist season.

Must-see in Italy

  • Cortina: Cortina d'Ampezzo, nestled within the Dolomites, is a haven for winter sports enthusiasts looking to hit the slopes. Its alpine scenery is breathtaking, and the town offers a charming mix of Italian style and traditional mountain culture.
  • Venice: In Venice, embrace the chance to explore the quieter canals, or witness the artistry of glassblowing on Murano Island. The famous St. Mark's Basilica is a jewel of Italo-Byzantine architecture. Traditional Gondola rides through the Grand Canal remain a timeless experience. For a truly Venetian treat, try the local Cicchetti in a traditional Bacaro.
  • Florence: Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, is a treasure trove for art-lovers. Marvel at the works of Michelangelo at the Galleria dell'Accademia and the priceless collections housed in the Uffizi Gallery. Enjoy a leisurely walk across the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge lined with jewelry shops, or indulge in the culinary delights of Tuscany, known for its exquisite wine and olive oil.

6. India

Golden Temple in Amristar, India

March in India signifies the onset of Summer and presents a wonderful opportunity to witness the colorful festival of Holi, known for its vibrant displays of color and joyous celebrations. It's a perfect time to go on a multi-city tour throughout the country. Travelers can explore the Golden Triangle, comprising Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, to experience a blend of Mughal and Rajput cultures. South India offers a contrast with its lush landscapes and temple towns like Thanjavur. On the western coast, Mumbai is a bustling metropolis offering a unique mix of glamour, history, and traditional bazaars.

Must-see places in India

  • Bir: Bir, in Himachal Pradesh, is renowned as a paragliding hub, offering spectacular views of the Himalayas. It's also a center for ecotourism and spiritual studies. The place has pleasant weather throughout the year and features Tibetan monasteries spread across the region.
  • Jaipur: In Jaipur, the Pink City, you can explore the majestic Amber Fort and the ornate Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds. Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory with remarkable stone instruments, is a testament to the scientific advancement of Rajput rulers.
  • Meghalaya: Meghalaya, often referred to as the 'abode of clouds', is a state that boasts lush, rolling hills and numerous waterfalls, including the awe-inspiring Nohkalikai Falls. It's also home to the unique living root bridges, ingeniously fashioned by the Khasi people. The capital, Shillong, provides a mix of old-world charm and modernity, while Cherrapunji holds the record for the rainiest place on Earth.

7. Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal

Portugal is among the few European countries with pleasant weather in March. Wander the historic streets of Lisbon, admiring the Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Tower of Belém. Porto, known for its stately bridges and port wine cellars, offers a charming atmosphere with its cobbled streets and traditional Rabelo boats gliding along the Douro River. The coastal town of Cascais is a hidden gem, boasting beautiful beaches and a quaint town center.

Must-see places in Portugal

  • Lisbon: Lisbon captivates with its historic charm and vibrant street life. The city's soul is echoed in the melancholic tunes of Fado music, particularly in the Alfama district. Jerónimos Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site, exemplifies Portuguese Late Gothic Manueline style of architecture and is a must-visit.
  • Faro District: The Faro District in the Algarve region is known for its sunny Mediterranean climate, golden beaches, and historic old towns. Albufeira and Lagos draw beach lovers and history buffs alike, with their beautiful coastlines and remnants of ancient fortifications. Visit the Ria Formosa Natural Park, a haven for birdlife and a place of serene natural beauty.
  • Sintra: Sintra is known for its 19th-century Romanticist architecture, regal palaces, and verdant hills. The Pena Palace stands out with its colorful tiles and gothic towers, offering panoramic views. The Moorish Castle's ancient ruins provide a glimpse into Portugal's past. Don't miss Quinta da Regaleira with its enchanting gardens, intricate Gothic façades, and mysterious underground tunnels.

8. South Africa

Kruger National Park, South Africa

South Africa is by far the best place to go in March. March marks the transition from summer to autumn in South Africa, offering a milder climate perfect for outdoor activities. You can embark on a safari in the famous Kruger National Park to witness the Big Five in their natural habitat. Cape Town draws travelers with its iconic Table Mountain and the historic Robben Island, while the Cape Winelands are ideal for wine tasting tours amid stunning landscapes.

Must-see places in South Africa

  • Durban: Durban, with its subtropical climate, expansive beaches, and vibrant culinary scene, is a melting pot of cultures. Here you can indulge in a diverse array of flavors, including traditional Zulu dishes, Indian curries, and local seafood. The uShaka Marine World offers a thrilling combination of aquariums, water parks, and entertainment venues.
  • Hermanus: Hermanus is famed for its whale-watching opportunities, particularly the Southern Right Whales that migrate here annually. The town provides several vantage points for observing these majestic creatures, including the scenic Hermanus Cliff Path. Wine enthusiasts can also explore the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley, known for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

9. Japan

Cherry Blossom in Japan

Japan in March is synonymous with the awe-inspiring cherry blossom season. Cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka are transformed with pink and white blooms, creating a mesmerizing spectacle against ancient temples and modern structures. Hanami, the cherry blossom viewing parties, are a cultural tradition where people gather under the blooming sakura trees. Beyond the blossoms, it's also an ideal time to visit Hokkaido for the tail-end of the ski season, with its renowned powder snow.

Must-see places in Japan

  • Tokyo: Tokyo offers a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity. The bustling Shibuya Crossing and the serene Meiji Shrine exemplify this contrast. Take time to visit the Tsukiji Fish Market for fresh sushi and browse the electronic town of Akihabara.
  • Kyoto: Kyoto is the heart of traditional Japan, with its well-preserved temples, sublime gardens, and geisha district of Gion. Here, the historic Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavilion, shimmers beside a peaceful pond, while the Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine features vermillion torii gates that lead up a mountain path.
  • Nara: The city of Nara is significant for its historic monuments and temples which are part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Todai-ji Temple houses a giant Buddha statue, and the Nara Park, where friendly deer roam freely.

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