Weather in March 2016
The weather in March in the Northern Hemisphere is paired with longer, lighter days and the first shoots of spring, which is enough to convince many British holidaymakers that this is a good month to go away - after the depths of winter and before the crowds of summer. The tide is just starting to turn on the seasons, so you will find a few places close to home that enjoy very pleasant weather in March, while beach lovers will still have to fly a little further.
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Weather in March 2016: Top destinations
We've scoured the globe to bring you our highlights of destinations which offer something for everyone, be it a bustling culture-rich city, an outdoorsy sort's paradise, or that sandy beach just calling for a sunlounger - read on to see if you could be tempted to jet off somewhere exciting that has truly inviting weather in March:
Short haul: Algarve, Tunisia, Gambia and more
We may not be short of places close to home with warm and sunny weather in March, but we are still a little light on seriously hot beach holiday destinations. The following resorts and countries all offer some fabulous spring conditions, but are best viewed as places to investigate and discover instead of necessarily working on the tan and swimming in the sea.
While March is the first month of the year when we can mention the Algarve with any real conviction, there's still a big caveat: the weather in March, specifically around the resort of Albufeira, is certainly the sunniest in mainland Europe with over seven hours per day, but temperatures still peak at about 18°C, and the sea is a definite no-no for swimming, maxing out at just under 16°C.
The weather in March in southern Portugal is actually very similar to the eastern Med island of Cyprus at this time. While you may not find yourself lying on the beach, both destinations are great for those who fancy a spot of hiking, cycling, and simply want to feel some warming rays.
By comparison, year-round favourite the Canary Islands, located just under 800 miles to the southwest of the Algarve, also has about seven hours of sunshine each day, with Lanzarote and Fuerteventura being the sunniest of the lot - just. The weather in March sees pretty consistent temperatures across the islands, reaching 21°C, so it is that bit warmer, although you'll need to add an extra hour and half on to your journey compared with flying to the Algarve.
Hopping east to the continent of Africa, you're presented with a variety of different options when it comes to places with the best weather in March. Not far from the archipelago of the Canaries is Morocco, which has around eight hours of sunshine in the likes of Agadir and Marrakech, and temperatures in the low twenties (21°C in Agadir and 22°C in Marrakech). In the case of Agadir, the sea is also far too cold for any water based activities, sitting at no more than 17°C, so a heated pool would be required for swimmers.
Heading east to the sliver of Tunisia, Djerba and Sousse both have pleasant weather in March, with conditions similar to Morocco, if a degree cooler. It's unlikely you'd encounter any rain, and it is the sunniest place in the Med with no less than eight hours per day.
Looking further east still, Egypt is starting to warm up nicely with the weather in March seeing temperatures on the rise, especially in the southern Nile regions. While the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada are permitted temperatures up to 25°C, Luxor revels in the warmth of 29°C. There's no chance of any rain in Egypt in March, and you're guaranteed some good sunshine with up to 10 hours each day.
While the Red Sea is far warmer than the Med or Atlantic at this time, it too is likely to be a little on the chilly side for most at 21°C. While some may find this ok for certain water sports, sunbathers and those who like a dip should seek out accommodation with a heated pool.
Our last stop on the continent is the increasingly popular country of Gambia, which rests some 1,350 miles southwest of Morocco. It's the destination with the best warm and sunny weather in March within an easy flight of the UK. Here you'll enjoy temperatures up to 35°C by day with over nine hours of sunshine, and high heat and humidity.
Things to watch out for in Gambia, however, include the the cooler evenings which can drop by more than half to around 15°C, and the perhaps surprisingly brisk ocean which never rises above 21°C.
Long haul - up to 10 hours: Florida, Dominican Republic and Dubai
If you're happy to travel a little further to find great weather in March, turn your attention to the southeastern coast of the USA, and the Caribbean. It's no coincidence that Florida is known as the Sunshine State, and March is great time to find out why.
This is because the weather in March sees long, clear, sunny days with temperatures up to 25°C, resulting in thoroughly pleasant conditions. At this time, Florida is even sunnier than its neighbouring region, the Caribbean, if a few degrees cooler than some islands.
From Miami north up the coast to Palm Beach, the sea temperature is more than pleasant at 24°C (although still not a patch on summer when it reaches a positively bath-like 30°C), although you'll find it's a degree or two cooler on the Gulf Coast as there's no warming influence from the Gulf Stream. March is also a top time to hit the theme parks of Orlando, where you can make the most of the sunshine without the unbearable heat and extreme queues of summer.
Turning southeast, sandwiched between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, the Bahamas has very similar weather in March. Here you'll be greeted by around eight hours of sunshine each day and temperatures up to 25°C, but if you head even further south, to the likes of Cuba, the Dominican Republic or St Lucia, everything is on the up.
The Dominican Republic really stands out as the weather in March here is quite exceptional. It has the perfect blend of high temperatures (up to 31°C on land, 26°C in the sea) and hours of sunshine (around nine per day) to create ideal holiday conditions. Just be prepared for a little heat and humidity, and high UV.
Although the weather in March may be idyllic in the Caribbean, it's also spring break in the US during this time, which sees popular destinations flooded with party people. Mexico's Cancun is particularly wild during this period, and wouldn't necessarily suit those after some peaceful R&R.
You could look east instead to spots in the UAE such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi. These holiday favourites will become more prevalent from March onwards until the end of May when it really becomes too hot for most, and the sun too ferocious.
The weather in March in Dubai includes temperatures up to 28°C by day, although they do drop to around 17°C by night - think layers. However, with eight hours of sunshine and only moderate heat and humidity, March is a tempting time to experience this hive of beaches and activities in the Middle East before the increase in visitors and heat of coming months.
Long haul - 10 hours or more: Kerala, Maldives and Sri Lanka
It's fair to say that some of the world's most wonderful beach weather in March can be found in the northern part of the Indian Ocean - so if you've been looking for an excuse to book that long haul flight, this is it.
From India's leading beach resort, Goa, down to Kerala, Sri Lanka and the Maldives, the weather in March is quite simply exceptional. It is, in fact, one of the best months of the year to visit the Maldives, not to mention the sunniest month for those exploring Sri Lanka.
The weather in March is quite consistent across these destinations, with temperatures in the low thirties, around nine hours of sunshine each day, and toasty sea temperatures between 28°C and 29°C. Naturally, there's a very high level of heat and humidity, and UV is also aggressive, but that's to be expected in and around the tropics at this time.
If you're looking for a beach holiday destination with a difference, consider Kerala with its intriguing blend of lovely weather in March, culture, history, cuisine and stunning coastline. Temperatures sit at around 32°C by day, dropping to a comfortable 24°C at night. There's high heat and humidity, but warm seas and a truly exotic vibe.
In comparison, a glance over the equator at destinations such as the Seychelles or Mauritius shows a markedly different picture, as they're well into their wet seasons, which bring high temperatures (up to 30°C), high heat and humidity and plenty of - you guessed it - rain.
Finally, Thailand is worthy of a mention as it's just before its rains arrive. The high, mountainous city of Chiang Mai is hot and humid, with daytime temperatures in the mid thirties, while Phuket and the other coastal destinations to the south are even sweatier thanks to the presence very high heat and humidity. These conditions, however, fail to put off holidaymakers who are keen to make the most of Thailand's affordability and typically good weather in March.
Want to read more about the weather in March 2016? Head over to our detailed where to go on holiday in March guide before checking out the latest travel deals and discounts to see if you could get away for less.
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