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Where To Go Next Month: The March Edit

Whether your idea of holiday heaven is skiing in the snow or basking in the sunshine, March is the ideal time to escape as the seasons change back home.

Read on to find out where in the world is best for your bucket list in March. From cross-country skiing in Arosa to surfing down an active volcano in Nicaragua (yes, really), here’s where to go next month…

Istanbul, Turkey

A city with one foot in Europe and one foot in Asia with the mighty Bosphorus Strait dividing the city in two makes for a fascinating mix of cultures. While the Asian side is well worth a visit you’ll find most of the cultural attractions in the European part, from the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar to the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. Mild temperatures and manageable crowds make March an ideal time to explore as you listen to the sound of müezzins duelling from the minarets and watch the sun set over the bustling skyline. Experience the buzz of local life in favourite Istanbul haunts – çay bahçesis (tea gardens), kahvehans (coffeehouses), meyhanes (Turkish taverns) and kebapçıs (kebap restaurants).

Arosa, Switzerland

If you’re into the snowy outdoors and mountain resorts, Arosa is the ticket. Framed by the peaks of Weisshorn, Hörnli and moraine-streaked Schiesshorn, it’s the ultimate Alpine all-rounder that’s perfect for downhill and cross-country skiers in March. Nestled in the beautiful Schanfigg Valley, Arosa is a quintessential Alps village with charming wooden houses and an impressive range of mountain peaks. Because of its location at the bottom of a wide valley, you can usually expect March sunshine, plus shelter from any strong winds. If you want to swap your skis for walking boots, it’s possible to hike over to the neighbouring resort of Lenzerheide, over the mountains to the west – or a cable car will whisk you from Arosa Hörnli to Lenzerheide Urdenfürggli in just three minutes flat.

Nicaragua

If you want to experience nature as it’s intended, Nicaragua’s great outdoors are relatively untamed making this so-called ‘land of lakes and volcanoes’ ideal for an independent adventure. Expect beaches aplenty, whether it’s the calm, crystalline Caribbean ocean or roaring waves of the Pacific – while surfers flocks to the Pacific coast, the clear waters of the Corn Islands are perfect for snorkelling. Nicaragua’s diverse landscape lends itself to outdoorsy pursuits, like surfing down an active volcano, diving into underwater caves, canoeing through alligator-infested wetlands, or swimming across sea channels between tiny white sand islands. Look out for the rebirth of Mukul, the luxurious mega-resort on the Emerald Coast which is scheduled for a relaunch this year.

Jamaica

Head to this laidback Caribbean isle in March when both the hurricane season and tourist crowds have died down a little. With guaranteed sunshine, unspoilt coastlines and a lot of spicy jerk cuisine, you’ll find everything from natural wonders to raging dancehalls. Relax in the refreshing turquoise pools that surround Mayfield Falls, hike through lush mountains to the top of Blue Mountain Peak, and watch brave divers plummet from the cliffs at Negril. Jamaica is a country that comes with its own soundtrack with roots that reach back to the folk songs of West Africa and forward to the electronic beats of contemporary dancehall – be sure to sip on rum cocktails in the local beachside bars to find your music jam.

Cape Town, South Africa

March marks the last days of summer in South Africa when the weather is warm, dry and perfect for hiking up to Table Mountain to catch the ultimate view of the city from above. The magnificent Table Mountain National Park defines the city and while the flat-topped mountain is the headline act, there are other natural landscapes within the park’s extensive boundaries. Make a visit to the cultivated Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden where you can watch classical movies under the stars, or head to Green Point Urban Park where you’ll find outdoor markets and al fresco concerts. Cape Town’s location means you’re just an hour away from the charming villages and bucolic estates of Winelands destinations, like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

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