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Inspiration for March holidays

March    

March
Whereas spring has already well and truly arrived in southern Europe by March, it is still very much winter further north, so take your pick of snowy mountains or warmer climes.

 

Explore the original Canary Island
Fuerteventura
Temperature-wise, it may feel like spring all year round on Fuerteventura, earning it the sobriquet ‘the island of eternal spring’, but the best time to visit is springtime proper. Between February and April, flowers flourish across the starkly beautiful rolling desert landscapes that are the colour of burnt amber. The island, the very first of the Canary Islands to be formed some 20 million years ago, has a more African feel than the rest of the archipelago, and therein lies much of its charm.
Travel through time on two wheels in Sicily
Opulent Baroque architecture on Sicily
Cycling around Sicily’s south-east corner, you’ll be forgiven for thinking your rented bike is in fact some form of time-travelling machine, transporting you to a Bronze Age settlement, a Greek temple, a Roman amphitheatre, an ancient necropolis, a medieval town which survived the earthquake of 1693, and Baroque towns fully deserving of their World Heritage Site status. In March, ahead of the main season, you can enjoy these architectural and historical gems in all their glory, with the added bonus of spring flowers adding colour to the scenery.
Walk in Morocco with your own local guide
Cascades d'Ouzoud, Morocco
Visit Marrakesh in any month and you’ll be awed by the kaleidoscope of colours. To see the Atlas Mountains at their most colourful, though, you should travel in March. Framed by blue skies, the snow on the peaks seems all the whiter, and is mirrored by fruit blossom in the green valleys below, where temperatures are pleasant for walking and waterfalls such as the Cascades d’Ouzoud near Demnate are spectacularly full. The best way to explore is with your own Berber guide: he meets you each morning, and walks at your pace, pausing when you choose to admire the views.
Follow ancient trails linking Andalucía’s white towns
Villaluenga, Andalucia
The limestone mountains of the Grazalema Natural Park is southern Spain at its wildest and most remote – so much so that you can often walk all day along the drovers’ roads and other ancient trails without seeing another soul. The brilliant white towns (pueblos blancos) for which Andalucía is famous stand out against the surprisingly green landscape. In March, yellow is added to the palette of colours in the scenery as the gorse bushes coating the slopes burst into flower.
Pedal along quiet country lanes in central Mallorca
Almond blossom on Mallorca
With its benign Mediterranean climate, spring arrives early in Mallorca. Travel at the start of March and you’ll hopefully catch the end of the almond blossom – there are so many almond groves in central Mallorca that whole swathes of countryside seem covered in pink and white candy floss. This, and plentiful sunshine, make for relaxed days of cycling along quiet lanes, exploring the island’s lesser-known side, where a patchwork of ancient farms, apricot and cherry orchards, and slowly turning windmills lies between the sand dunes of the south and the rocky coves of the north-east.
Journey by rail between vibrant southern cities
Mezquita, Cordoba
Visit Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto, or Seville, Córdoba and Granada in March, and you’ll not only avoid the crowds (provided you don’t travel at Easter), but also summer’s excessive heat. Other reasons to travel in March include the orange blossom which scents the air in Seville, and the backdrop of snowy mountains enhancing the views of Granada’s fabulous Alhambra. You’ll gain a good feel for these captivating cities on our rail holidays – our self-guided walking tours lead you to all the main sights as well as plenty of hidden treasures.
Make the most of Norway’s excellent snow
Fefor in winter
The snow lingers in central Norway until at least mid-April, so conditions throughout March are very reliable. Sjusjøen and Fefor are both paradises for cross-country skiers, with literally hundreds of kilometres of trails for all levels, including beginners. On paper, Spidsbergseter – a superb choice for first-timers and improvers – has a smaller network, but because of its layout, with criss-crossing trails, you can make up many different routes. Geilo and Beitostølen, too, boast excellent cross-country domains, though they are also good choices for downhill skiing if that is your passion.
Experience the beauty of a frozen canyon in Norway’s highlands
A frozen canyon near Hindsaeter
For less emphasis on skiing, why not head to Hindsaeter and its eponymous hotel? This being Norway, where cross-country skiing is a national pastime, we do include an introductory lesson in this most satisfying of winter sports, but the holiday is about so much more. Enjoy a guided snowshoe excursion, a safari in search of wild elk in the forest surrounding your cosy hotel, and, best of all, a guided walk through a canyon, passing beneath huge icicles, into ice ‘caves’ and behind frozen waterfalls.