INSPIRATION • February 2020
The winter drizzle may still be lingering in the UK, but take flight around the world this March and you'll find balmy climes and new adventures, says travel writer Alicia Miller
Winter frost is slowly melting away to springtime sunshine, but the busy tourist season, which kicks off in late spring, hasn’t yet arrived – March in Rome is special. Take advantage of the quieter streets and crisp, blue-sky days to snap must-see sights – the Vatican, the Colosseum – amid less of a crowd. If you need to warm up, a steaming bowlful of creamy cacio e pepe pasta or a wood-panelled wine bar pouring rich reds is never far away.
Dream flight: Take BA558 from Heathrow at 18:20 on Friday and arrive into Rome at 21:55.
Summers can be foggy; winters are chilly and damp, but spring in San Francisco means orca and gray whale watching, sunny (though not overly busy) cable car rides, and quiet sip sessions in the nearby Napa wine region. If you’re an active type – think exploring Alcatraz Island prison, scaling the city’s legendary steep streets or hiking the rugged coastline around Golden Gate Bridge – this mild month is ideal for you.
Dream flight: Take BA287 from Heathrow at 15:00 on Friday and arrive into San Francisco at 19:20.
If you’re looking for an excuse to party, there’s nowhere like Dublin next month – St Patrick’s Day celebrations roll into town from 13-17 March, bringing with them frothy pints of Guinness, elaborate parades and cheery revellers. But there’s highbrow stuff too: the annual St Patrick’s Festival sees music, theatre, film and family-friendly events take to the city’s stages to share Irish culture, while many of Dublin’s historic buildings are illuminated in green to get passers-by into the spirit.
Dream flight: Take BA4470 from London City Airport at 20:30 on Friday and arrive into Dublin at 21:50.
Is a sultry beach break what you’re dreaming of? Seychelles sizzles in March, when temperatures on this collection of paradisiacal Indian Ocean islands hover around 30°C. And if things ever get too much, it’s easy to cool off: this is also top diving season, with calmer waters allowing deep or remote dives, and the chance to spot sharks and manta rays in the turquoise depths. What’s more, high season is still a couple of months away, so stays at glam resorts can be had at reduced rates.
Dream flight: Take BA63 from Heathrow at 17:55 on Saturday and arrive into Seychelles at 08:00 the next morning.
Need a dose of short-haul sun? Athens is the answer. The Greek capital is sun-kissed from mid-March, and yet the tourist crowds, which come with the opening up of the Greek islands after Easter, haven’t yet landed. Athens is brimming with sights, and the fresh spring air is perfect for exploring: scale the Acropolis without breaking into a heat-induced sweat; wander around atmospheric Plaka without succumbing to visitor throngs, and say cheers in a cocktail bar full of locals in trendy Gazi.
Dream flight: Take BA0632 from Heathrow at 12:15 on Friday and arrive into Athens at 17:55.
March sees prime weather in South Africa’s pin-up seaside city – the too-hot temperatures and fierce winds of summer are dwindling, but it’s not yet sweater weather. Now’s the time to get active – hike iconic Table Mountain (clouds are minimal in March, so you’ll get wowza views), hit the still-warm beach at swanky Camps Bay, or day-trip into the city’s neighbouring winelands, where harvests have wrapped up and zippy Chardonnays and complex Shirazes are being uncorked for tastings.
Dream flight: Take BA43 from Heathrow at 18:15 on Friday and arrive into Cape Town at 07:50 the next morning.