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10 Day Vacation in March-- Advice??

Hi everyone, my mother (55) and I (25) are planning a 10 day vacation in Europe in mid-March. I know that it's not very warm at this time and we are not looking for hot temps, but would like a slight escape from NYC/Boston winter. We've already been to a lot of the big cities (Paris, Rome, Florence, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest) and are thinking of the following options. Can anyone provide insight on what might be best in mid-March? And any itinerary recommendations? Greatly appreciated!

  1. Barcelona & Madrid (with 1 or 2 day trips)

  2. Amalfi Coast/Sorrento/Naples ?

  3. Southern France?

Posted by
16762 posts

The mistral may blow at that time of year in part of southern France, so some destinations in that area would be too risky for me. (Refer to the map on the linked Wikipedia page.) On the other hand, Menton and other places over near Italy should not get the heavy winds, even if more western places do, and will probably be pleasant. There are lots of gardens to enjoy, plus quite a lot of small art museums scattered around for weather protection (though typically not open every day at that time of year).

Madrid and Barcelona have similar average high temperatures in March, but Madrid's average low temp is about nine degrees F. below Barcelona's (43F vs. 52F). Madrid and Barcelona both has lots of museums and other indoor sights, which would be handy if the weather turned challenging.

You can check out actual day-by-day temperatures in recent years, and precipitation levels, by going to wunderground.com and choosing "History", then "Monthly". I've linked to Barcelona's data for March 2017 as an example. Fifteen or twenty years' data is available for most large cities.

Posted by
2310 posts

If you truly have 10 days you could visit Barcelona, Madrid and Sevilla. We liked Madrid but did not love it. The Prado is wonderful as was our visit to Toledo. But we loved Barcelona and Sevilla.

Posted by
21 posts

Hi, I think either Spain or Italy would be a terrific choice in March. Both offer lots of opportunities for side trips and although the weather may not be hot it will likely be warmer and sunnier than NYC/Boston. I loved my visit to Naples in March/April it was not too hot or too crowded and you can take many side trips to Vesuvius etc. Amalfi should not be too busy either. Just make sure you are avoiding the easter holidays because everything shuts down in the cities and lots of locals travel so trains will be packed. But I think easter is April 1 this year.

Barcelona and Madrid offer lots of sightseeing opportunities and you can also easily take side trips to other places on the trains. You could visit Toledo as a day trip from Madrid and maybe do an overnight or weekend in Andalucia in Cordoba, Sevilla, Malaga, or Granada (by bus). You can easily get around in Spain by train or bus or book short flights if you prefer that.

I'm not so familiar with southern France but I'm sure that would be lovely as well.

Another idea is Portugal - visit Lisbon and Porto and smaller places in between.