As the UK eases into spring, there are places across the world whose travel season is entering full bloom. March is one of the best times to visit Japan – temperate and pretty in pink during cherry blossom season (late March to early April). The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan sees its own bloom of wildflowers at this time of year, just as it celebrates the Paro Tshechu festival; as does the island nation of Taiwan, which affords comfortable conditions for admiring the coastal and mountain scenery. Nature haven Costa Rica is warm year-round and in the midst of its dry season. Meanwhile, March to April is the last opportunity to visit Oman before the height of the summer heat sets in; peak tourist season has passed, so you may enjoy uncrowded sightseeing.
Best destinations to visit in March
The dry season of Costa Rica runs from December through to April, so you can expect clear skies and warm weather for journeying into the lush, green national parks. This Central American country is one of the world’s most ecologically diverse destinations. March is an excellent time to experience its golden beaches, and to sample the adventure activities – from zip-lining and cycling to hiking – in the Central Valley and Arenal Volcano Park. As this is a busy season, we recommend booking ahead.
The best months to visit Oman are between October and April, while temperatures are typically between 20–30 degrees Celsius, and cooler in the mountains. March is also less busy than the winter months and is the end of the rose-blooming season in the Jabel Akhdar mountains, near Muscat. A conservative country, Oman’s culture remains steeped in tradition and its cities have yet to be transformed by ostentatious displays of wealth, promising a more authentic experience of the region.
Late March is the perfect time to visit Japan for Hanami – the ancient custom of celebrating the arrival of cherry blossom season. Both tourists and locals alike enjoy picnics underneath the pink and white trees that are in full bloom across the country. Lanterns illuminate the night, allowing festivities to continue into the evening. In Tokyo and Kyoto, the best time to visit for the blossom is in early April. While the festival begins in the southern islands of Okinawa in January, it spreads through the central islands between March and May, ending in Hokkaido in early May.
March is the first month of spring in Bhutan. The country is sprinkled with colourful wildflowers and the skies are mostly clear – ideal for photographing the dramatic mountainscapes. The weather is cool but comfortable; Punakha sees average temperatures of between 11 and 22 degrees Celsius, while Thimphu is typically 4 to 16 degrees Celsius. This happy Himalayan kingdom is deeply religious, and its calendar is full of Buddhist festivals called tshechu. Paro Tsechu usually takes place in either late march or early April, and is a chance to witness the colourful celebrations and masked dances. It is especially popular and falls in peak tourist season for the area, so be sure to book early.
March in Taiwan comes after the winter chill and before the summer showers. Wildflowers and cherry blossom add more colour to the island’s emerald-green national parks, botanical gardens and valleys. The scenic east coast is especially beautiful, and where you can learn about Taiwanese indigenous traditions. Tea connoisseurs may be drawn to the highlands of central Taiwan, where plantations grow delicate oolong teas in the shadow of the Alishan Mountains.