Whether you fancy an Aussie music festival, a literary break in England or sake and sakura in Japan, March is an excellent month to travel. Spring breathes new life into the northern hemisphere, while riotous festivals take place everywhere from Ireland to Brazil. Here are our tips on the best places to visit in March.
See the start of the cherry blossom season on Honshu, Japan
Japan blushes at the start of each year when its cherry trees blossom. The subtropical province of Okinawa takes the lead, turning pinkish-white like candyfloss at some point in early January. But it usually takes until the end of March for cities like Tokyo and Kyoto to follow suit. Take your camera with you for some seriously kawaii ("cute") photos, and make the most of the sweet-smelling air; within a few short weeks, the blossoms will have disappeared altogether.
Learn the ropes on quiet slopes in Åre, Sweden
For downhill thrills, there’s nowhere in Europe that can compete with the Alps. But if you’re just getting to grips with skiing or snowboarding and want to avoid the crowds, why not try Sweden? Åre, a top-class resort tucked away near Norway on the edge of an ice-white lake, has had a chance to warm up slightly by March – and there’s a good mix of short runs to get you progressing quickly. Even if you end up too bruised to keep skiing after the first few days, there are off-piste activities like ice fishing and dogsledding to keep you entertained.
Meet the Pacific in Auckland, New Zealand
Each March, in a flurry of hula skirts and floral garlands, islanders from across the Pacific converge on Auckland for Pasifika Festival. At the huge two-day cultural extravaganza, held in Western Springs, you can wander through markets full of intricate carvings, watch live bands, or eat pork that’s been roasted over hot rocks, Samoan style. Islanders wanting a lasting reminder of the event aren’t disappointed, either; traditional Polynesian tattoos are also available.