Across the globe, March brings a change of seasons. From spring flowers in the Northern Hemisphere to autumn breezes in the Southern Hemisphere, climates, landscapes, and even customs begin to shift to accommodate the change, making March one of the best months to set off on a new adventure.
But what are the best places to visit in March? We’ve put together this guide to some of our favorite places to go in March so that you can start dreaming of your next getaway. Whether you’re chasing cherry blossoms in Japan, exploring Egypt when the busy season has quieted down, or sipping a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day in the most authentic way possible, March is a fabulous time to travel on our tours.
Egypt’s spring weather makes March the ideal time for outdoor exploration. Temperatures will begin to warm up a bit but won’t be scorching yet, making it the perfect time for a voyage down the Nile on our A Week in Egypt: Giza, Nile River Cruise & Cairo tour. You’ll see local flora and fauna as you sail down the river, stopping to explore temples, tombs, and shops along the way. March also falls at the tail end of Egypt’s busiest travel season, so major sites like the Pyramids of Giza and Temple of Karnak won’t be too crowded.
Another reason why Egypt is one of the best places to visit in March? The end of the month coincides with the beginning of Ramadan. If you visit Egypt during this time, you’ll find much of the country adorned with brightly colored decorations and lanterns for the celebration. The month-long holiday commemorates the time of year when the Prophet Muhammad was given the Qur’an. It’s observed through fasting, prayer, charity, and community. “We traveled during Ramadan, and it was a great time to experience the religion and culture of the area,” said traveler Jerrie of our Egypt & Nile River Cruise.
Travel tip: Out of respect for the locals (and, in some areas, the law), refrain from eating in public when visiting Egypt during Ramadan. Many restaurants will still be open during daylight hours to cater to non-Muslim locals and visitors, but don’t snack and walk as you explore the streets.
March 13 is National Elephant Day in Thailand, and you can mark the occasion by visiting ChangChill Elephant Sanctuary on our Thailand tours for an ethical wildlife experience. This hands-off elephant sanctuary is one of our top destinations for responsible wildlife experiences because it allows the elephants to roam free in a natural, humane environment. Visit on our Thailand Adventure: Bangkok, Chiang Mai & the Islands tour and help the mahouts, or elephant caretakers, prepare food and medicine for the animals. Afterward, enjoy a vegetarian lunch overlooking the elephants’ natural bathing spot. “The best day on tour in Thailand was the day we visited the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai, which aligns with EF’s mission to take a stand against elephant cruelty,” said traveler Maureen.
Travel tip: After a day with the elephants, be sure to check out the Chiang Mai Night Market and watch the streets come alive as you peruse the food and souvenir stalls. This market is one of the can’t-miss hidden gems to visit in Thailand, after all.
One of the best places to travel in March is Iceland because you can take advantage of the season’s overlap between winter and summer activities. When you visit Iceland in March, you’ll notice that the days are getting a little longer and warmer, but there will still be plenty of chances to catch a glimpse of the northern lights.
“I had a fantastic tour checking off a bucket list item of seeing the northern lights!” said traveler Claire of our Iceland: Reykjavik & the Northern Lights tour. “Let me tell you, they didn’t just show up—they showed off. I've never seen anything quite like it!” Float in the Blue Lagoon and explore Iceland’s lush landscapes by day, then head outside the cities at night for a chance to witness the aurora borealis for yourself.
Travel tip: As the winter ice begins to thaw, Iceland’s waterfalls become especially dramatic. Keep your camera ready as you travel from Gullfoss to Seljalandsfoss—and be sure to keep it dry around the misty, thundering falls.
4. Moab, Utah
Moab is one of the best places to visit in March on a USA tour because the weather shifts, providing perfect spring temperatures and diminishing winter cloud cover. This city in Utah is home to Arches National Park, where you’ll find thousands of towering sandstone arches and spires. It truly is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the United States. When you hop off the train in Moab on our America’s National Parks by Train: Rocky Mountains, Arches & Zion tour, be sure to keep an eye out for dinosaur tracks, rock art, and petroglyphs, which can be found in Moab and the city’s surrounding rock canyons.
Taking a tour of Moab in March not only means you’ll be able to get a springtime view of all this beauty, but you’ll also be able to add our Colorado River Raft Trip excursion. It’s a seasonal experience that kicks off in March, and is one of the top excursions to add to your trip if you’re looking for amazing group travel activities. You’ll float past sunset-colored rock formations as you make your way down the river.
“Traveling to these parks has reminded us of the beauty of our own country,” wrote traveler Linda after returning from our U.S. National Parks: The Rockies to Yellowstone tour. “Every day showed us another beautiful scene.”
Travel tip: Though days are mild, nights can be chilly in Utah in March. We recommend packing layers.
Check out these tours that will take you to Moab
5. The Galápagos Islands
March is balmy and lands at the end of the wet season in the Galápagos, making it one of the best months for snorkeling. The water is calm and warm—the ideal conditions for getting up close and personal with sea turtles and other local marine life on one of our Galápagos Islands tours. Even if you prefer to explore by land, you’ll see plenty of unique animals that you’ll only find in the Galápagos, like blue-footed boobies and Galápagos land iguanas.
“I had such a great time on this trip,” said traveler Hannah after returning from our Ecuador & Galápagos Islands Cruise. “The Galápagos are unique in the world. We had up-close views of the animals on land and in the ocean during the four snorkeling sessions.”
Travel tip: Bring an underwater camera to snap photos of the local marine life, but don’t use a flash, and don’t get too close. It’s important to respect the Galápagos National Park rules that are in place to protect the animals and their habitat.
March is when Ireland is at its most characteristic, which is why we consider it one of the best times to visit the Emerald Isle. The country is greener than you could possibly imagine, and the verdant landscape is strewn with vivid, multi-hued wildflowers. Explore the countryside on our Grand Tour of Ireland for a chance to see newborn lambs romping through roadside fields in places like the Burren and the Ring of Kerry.
Of course, Ireland is also the best place to visit in March for St. Patrick’s Day. Visit Ireland on our St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland: Traditions of the Emerald Isle tour to celebrate the country’s most famous holiday. Share a pint and a song with the locals at Dublin’s Temple Bar, and join in the revelry as you take in the famous St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “Being in Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day was wonderful,” said traveler Kim after returning from our A Week in Ireland: St. Patrick’s Day tour. “So many friendly people and sights to see!”
Travel tip: Temple Bar is a bar, but it is also a pub district in Dublin. If the line at Temple Bar is out the door (like it tends to be), we recommend popping over for a pint at Palace Bar or The Foggy Dew. Both iconic pubs pour a great Guinness.
In March, Amsterdam’s countryside becomes a tapestry of kaleidoscopically colored tulips. The month also marks the annual opening of the Keukenhof Gardens, one of the world’s largest flower gardens. Visit on our Amsterdam & the Keukenhof Gardens tour, one of the ten best trips to book to catch the most stunning spring flowers in bloom, and admire vibrant swaths of tulips, hyacinths, and lilies. Each autumn, dozens of gardeners plant millions of flower bulbs by hand to create the colorful yet fleeting display—the gardens are only open from March through May. “Spring is the prime season for visiting Keukenhof,” said staffer Lynne. “You see so many flowers in bloom, forming colorful rows. It’s truly a stunning sight!”
Travel tip: If you’re planning to go on one of our tours of Amsterdam, make sure to pack an umbrella. It rains about 270 days of the year—no wonder it’s one of the best places to travel in March to see spring flowers!
The Aloha State is one of the best places to travel in March for sun, sand, and sea. March in Hawaii brings humpback whales, blossoming plumeria, and pleasant, comfortable temperatures—which means the ocean will be warm enough to swim in, but the air won’t be oppressive at midday. “This time of year offered sun-and-shorts weather without the sweltering temps and crowds that the summer brings,” said staffer Emily. “Expect a bit more rain this time of year, but just know it won’t ruin your trip! I still went to the beach, hiked, and snorkeled while on Oahu in March.”
Relax on the black sand of Punaluʻu Beach on our Hawaii: Oahu, the Big Island & Maui tour, or join us on our Kealakekua Catamaran Cruise & Snorkeling excursion. It’s your chance to dive into the glittering water in search of marine life and enjoy a buffet lunch while you relax on a boat. You’ll also have the opportunity to gaze into the Kīlauea Caldera—the active volcano is rumored to be home to Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire, and visiting the site is one of our favorite things to do in Hawaii beyond the beach. Looking for more ideas? Check out our Hawaii Travel Guide to get tips for visiting the 5 major Hawaiian Islands →
Travel tip: Be sure to try the local cuisine when you visit Hawaii. From poké to shave ice to SPAM musubi, Hawaiian food combines flavors and textures in fresh and unexpected ways.
9. Kyoto, Japan
Most people will tell you that Japan is the best place to visit in March to see cherry blossoms. Japan’s short-but-sweet cherry blossom season begins in the middle of the month, and you can see it in all its cotton candy-colored glory when you join us on one of our Kyoto tours. The city has popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) spots around every turn. Stroll down the Philosopher’s Walk, a cherry blossom-lined path that follows a canal in Kyoto’s Higashiyama district, or visit the 17th-century Nijo Castle. The gardens surrounding this former royal home contain more than 400 cherry trees as well as a Japanese plum orchard that blooms from February to early March.
“We hit the jackpot with this tour,” said traveler Bob about our Cherry Blossoms in Japan: Tokyo to Kyoto tour. “The tour leader, Junko Ito, was outstanding, the cherry blossoms were at their peak, and Mount Fuji was clear of clouds.
Travel tip: Cherry blossom season isn’t just a feast for the eyes—cafes and sweet shops celebrate the season by offering pink, cherry blossom-flavored treats like mochi, chocolates, parfaits, and lattes. Be sure to taste some of these spring goodies during your adventure!