March marks the beginning of springtime in Europe, but for those seeking some late-winter sun, it's also the perfect time to jet off to warmer destinations. That said, "warm" can be a relative term in March in Europe!
Still, not everyone can just fly off to the Caribbean when they need sunshine. And there are some incredible European destinations to see this time of year.
For instance, countries like Spain and Portugal offer balmy temperatures and a chance to soak up the sun on the Mediterranean. And if you’re desperate for a beach holiday, the Canary Islands have sandy beaches, relatively warm temperatures, and cool, turquoise waters.
For a cultural escape, cities like Athens and Rome are the perfect spots to take in historical sights while also enjoying some much-needed warmth.
Meanwhile, island getaways such as Cyprus, Crete and Malta offer beautiful beaches and plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and exploring the local culture.
There are so many gorgeous European spots to explore in March. So why not leave the dreary UK weather behind and escape to Europe's sunny hotspots?
The Canary Islands
March in the UK may mean cold, rainy weather, but visiting the Canary Islands promises warm temperatures and sunny skies. This archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean offers plenty of sunshine year-round and lots of history and culture to explore.
Visiting during the off-season means lower-priced flights and hotels compared to the busy summer months.
Plus, with fewer tourists around compared to peak season, you'll have plenty of space to spread out on those beautiful islands.
The average temperature in the Canary Islands in March is 21°C, making it one of the hottest places on this list. You can also expect plenty of hours of sunshine, with a 67% chance of a perfect sunny day.
If you're looking for a warm, sun-filled escape in the middle of March, check out Tenerife - the biggest of the Canaries.
Tenerife offers incredible sandy beaches and crystal clear water - perfect for a day of soaking up some vitamin D or trying out water sports.
One of Tenerife's best attractions is the cable car trip to the top of Mount Teide. The views from the peak are stunning, and on a clear day, you can even see other islands in the distance.
Tenerife might be known for its beautiful beaches and stunning natural scenery, but what really sets it apart from the other islands in the archipelago is its bustling nightlife. So whether you're looking for a chic rooftop bar to sip cocktails or a lively club to dance the night away, Tenerife has it all.
Early spring is the perfect time to visit if you're on a budget - March is one of the cheapest months to visit Tenerife! As long as you’re not visiting over the Easter break, you’re sure to bag a deal.
So pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, and head off to this delightful island for some much-needed relaxation.
The white sands of Fuerteventura's beaches stretch on for miles, providing ample space for water sports enthusiasts to enjoy windsurfing and kitesurfing.
But there's more to this island than beautiful beaches. Betancuria, the island's former capital city, offers a glimpse into its rich history with its well-preserved architecture.
As you stroll through the city's cobbled streets, it's hard not to be charmed by its historic charm. So why not plan your escape to Fuerteventura in March?
March is the perfect time to visit the beautiful Lanzarote. The warm weather means sunny days spent lounging on the beach or exploring the old town of Pueblo Marinero.
And for those feeling adventurous, there is the opportunity to hike through Timanfaya National Park, where you can check out the Mountains of Fire, a breathtaking volcanic hiking route.
But whether you're looking to relax or seek new experiences, Lanzarote in March offers something for everyone. So pack your bags and head to this picturesque island for a memorable trip.
March is a beautiful time to visit La Palma, with warm weather and sunny days perfect for exploring. One must-see destination is the Roque de Los Muchachos, otherwise known as the Rock of the Boys, which offers breathtaking views of the island and beyond.
The old town of La Palma also offers charm and character, with narrow winding streets leading to quaint plazas and warm cafés. Be sure to find time to admire the colourful flower baskets hanging from the Balcones de la Avenida Maritima.
As you wander through this charming old town, you may feel as though you've stepped back in time. Whether you're seeking incredible vistas of history and tradition, La Palma has something for every traveller in March.
The east coast offers the perfect combination of wind and waves for any water sports enthusiast. Exploring the ancient town of Vegueta at the southern end of Las Palmas is a must for any history buff.
Stroll through cobbled streets lined with beautiful buildings from different periods, including the stunning Cathedral of Santa Ana with its Gothic and Moorish influences. Another sight not to be missed is the renaissance era Casa de Colón, where Christopher Columbus is said to have stayed in 1492.
And don't forget to visit Sioux City Park, originally built as a movie set and now converted into a Wild West-themed park filled with cacti and cowboy shows. Gran Canaria truly offers something for everyone!
How to get to the Canary Islands from the UK
It takes just over four hours to get to the Canary Islands from London if you opt for a direct flight. easyJet has multiple flights flying to the Canary Islands, but airlines like Ryanair, Jet2, and British Airways also fly there.
If you’re planning on visiting multiple islands while you’re there, bear in mind that travelling between the different islands does take time. There are ferries and flights available to connect you but expect to spend a few hours each way regardless of the mode of transport.
However, if you’re hoping to visit multiple islands in the archipelago, you may wish to consider an organised cruise setting off from the UK.
Are you looking for a city break in March? Desperate for some warm weather and beautiful beaches? Seville might be the way to go.
The city is steeped in history, from its Moorish influences to its important role as a port during the colonial era.
And, of course, it's also home to some beautiful architecture - be sure to check out the impressively ornate Seville Cathedral, a UNESCO heritage site.
And don't forget the tantalising gastronomy - enjoy some tapas and a refreshing glass of sangria while soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.
If the beach is your thing, you're in luck!
Whether you want to soak in the city's heritage or bask in its sun-drenched charm, Seville is the perfect gateway destination for exploring the rest of Andalusia.
Seville is also one of the warmest places on this list, with average highs of 21°C in March.
How to get to Seville from the UK
There are plenty of direct flights from the UK to Seville. Low airfare airlines like Ryanair, easyJet and Vueling offer cheap options for the budget-conscious traveller. A direct flight from London to Seville takes just under three hours.
Málaga may be Spain's oldest Mediterranean port, but it's certainly not stuck in the past. The birthplace of Picasso is a cultural hotspot. The city boasts a vibrant modern art scene, with the iconic Museo Picasso Málaga and stunning collections at the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo exhibiting art by international and Spanish artists making a name for themselves.
And let's not forget about the delicious food and wine- tapas bars line the streets, and Málaga's sweet muscatel wines are some of Spain's finest. But as you indulge in all of Málaga's contemporary delights, don't forget to take a step back and appreciate its ancient history.
Wander through Roman ruins, climb the walls of the Moorish castle, and marvel at the grandeur of the renaissance cathedral. Malaga truly has it all.
And that’s not all - expect highs of 19°C in Malaga, making it the perfect weather for sightseeing.
How to get to Malaga from the UK
Getting to Malaga from the UK is simple, with non-stop flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Bristol. The maximum flight time is just over three hours, so it's not a long trip either.
If you're looking for a sunny break filled with ancient history and stunning landscapes, look no further than Malta. The old capital city of Valletta is teeming with historical sites, from the stunning St. John's Co-Cathedral to the fortified walls of the City Gate. Meanwhile, the Upper Barrakka Gardens offer breathtaking views of Valletta's harbour.
If you're seeking adventure, go cave diving in Comino or explore the Neolithic Ggantija Temples on Gozo island.
And let's not forget Malta's claim to fame as a filming location for HBO's Game of Thrones. You can tour popular spots like King's Landing or head over to Azure Window, otherwise known as Daenerys and Khal Drogo's wedding venue. Any way you slice it, Malta has something for everyone.
How to get to Malta from the UK
Malta is just a short three-hour flight away from the UK, with frequent direct flights from London, Birmingham, Bristol, and Manchester. Airlines like Air Malta, Ryanair and easyJet operate daily flights to suit all budgets.
This region of Portugal boasts sunny weather, quiet beaches, and historical sites. Don't miss Cidade Velha in Faro to step back in time and explore the old town. Or, journey to the border village of Alcoutim to see traditional whitewashed houses framed against bright blue skies. This would make for a perfect day trip.
And don't forget the Bone Chapel, where skeletal remains adorn the walls in a macabre yet fascinating display.
Algarve has it all - relaxation, history, and even a touch of the eerie – making it the perfect destination for a March getaway.
The average highs in March sit at around 18°C, making it another warm destination to visit during the shoulder season.
How to get to Portugal from the UK
You can fly to Faro, Algarve, from the UK with multiple flights each day from most airports within the UK. You could also fly to Lisbon, Portugal's capital, and transfer to Algarve from there. With flights lasting just under three hours, you can arrive in plenty of time to enjoy a full first day in Portugal if you catch an early flight.
Italy is home to many famous destinations, but its largest island, Sicily, often flies under the radar.
However, March is a great time to visit as it is before peak tourist season, and the weather is still pleasant.
One must-see attraction is the world-famous Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes. Hiking on its black gravelly slopes or taking a cable car to its summit offers fantastic views of the surrounding region.
For those looking for a unique activity, there are even excursions that allow you to sample volcanic wines produced from vineyards near the volcano's base.
The average highs in Sicily can reach 15˚C in March, making it the perfect weather for hiking and sightseeing.
How to get to Sicily from the UK
Non-stop flights from London and Edinburgh, with plenty of connecting flights through Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham, make Sicily an accessible destination for all. Non-stop flights last three hours, while connecting flights can be over seven hours.
Croatia is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes, from turquoise lakes and waterfalls to ancient cities and idyllic islands.
Visiting Croatia in the springtime allows for the perfect combination of outdoor activities and cultural exploration. The weather is warm and dry from mid-March to mid-May – ideal for cycling, hiking, and sightseeing.
And with the tourism season just starting to pick up again after the winter, popular tourist spots are likely to be less busy than usual.
Croatia's fascinating history can be seen in its architecture, from Roman ruins to Venetian influences in old towns like Dubrovnik. Plus, Croatia's national parks offer stunning views and plenty of opportunities for adventure.
Croatia sees highs of 15°C in March, making it one of the cooler destinations on this list. But it’s still great weather for sightseeing.
How to get to Croatia from the UK
There are plenty of non-stop flights to Croatia from London and multiple flights from Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and Newcastle. Direct flights last around two hours, while flights with stopovers can range from four to six hours.
Greece may be famous for its sunshine and pristine beaches, but the island of Crete offers much more to explore in March.
Visiting during this time means avoiding the crowds of peak tourist season while still getting to experience warm weather and vibrant blue waters.
And with its myriad ancient ruins, bustling cities, and stunning natural landscape, there is no shortage of things to do on Crete.
From wandering through the Minoan palaces of Knossos and Phaistos to exploring the Venetian harbour town of Chania, every corner of the island is steeped in history and culture.
And let's not forget those beautiful beaches - including Balos Lagoon and Elafonisi beach with their picture-perfect pink sand. March may not be the hottest month on Crete, but it offers a perfect balance of sun, history, culture, and adventure.
So why not add this spectacular Greek island to your itinerary? It's sure to leave you feeling like an ancient god or goddess.
And with average highs of 17ºC in March, it's the perfect place to escape Britain's cold and gloomy weather.
How to get to Crete from the UK
Crete is a bit further away, with direct flights from London lasting just over four hours. You can catch a direct flight from London or a connecting flight from one of the other major airports, such as Manchester and Birmingham. Connecting flights can be a little longer, with durations of up to eight hours.
Istanbul in March is a feast for the senses, with its streets bursting with vibrant colours and tantalising scents. You can also visit Istanbul's iconic Blue Mosque, admiring its elegant blue tiles and soaring minarets.
Then, head to the historic Hagia Sophia - once a cathedral, then a mosque, and now a museum - and be awed by its stunning Byzantine mosaics.
Take advantage of the chance to visit Topkapi Palace, where you can imagine life as an Ottoman sultan amid opulent courtyards and dazzling jewels.
And for a taste of Istanbul's famed Bosphorus strait, take a cruise along its shimmering waters to admire Istanbul's skyline from afar.
Of course, no trip to Istanbul would be complete without strolling through bustling Taksim Square and indulging in the city's famous Turkish delicacies - don't forget to sample some freshly made baklava! So whether you seek culture or cuisine, Istanbul in March offers it all.
Istanbul is cooler in March than other spots on this list but still offers highs of 12°C. As a result, March is one of the best times to visit this city, with great deals to be found and fewer tourists than usual.
How to get to Turkey from the UK
Getting to Istanbul from the UK is pretty easy, with multiple non-stop flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh. You could set off in the morning and be eating baklava in the afternoon, with flights lasting just four hours.