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Short trip: March 14-22...Where is the "best" place to go? (Climate, festival, flowers, etc)

My husband has traveled in Europe and I never have. My 40th birthday is in May and we were thinking we might go for a "Spring Break" trip in mid March...it is also our wedding anniversary (I am a teacher). I love travel and would be happy going anywhere. We spoke with a couple from Norway over Christmas who advised that "the weather will be wet and lousy" there in March, and we should go in either summer or winter instead. This got us thinking about where we SHOULD go, in which it won't be considered some of the worst weather of the year...or even if the weather is bad, there's a unique cultural or natural event that will make for a fantastic experience.

Our interests are broad: beer, unique local food (we are not "let's go to McDonald's" travelers), natural parks, cultural sites, festivals, live music (from concert halls to tiny pubs), architecture. We tend to gravitate towards local spots rather than tourist traps. We go on big road trips in the USA to the National Parks to hike and take photos.

Thank you for any insight you are able to provide about either "This great thing happens that week in ___!" or "Don't go to __ in mid-March...it'll be a flooded muddy mess, some of the shops even close." It's sincerely appreciated.

Posted by
23412 posts

Keukenhof opens on March 21. If you are in Amsterdam you may be able to catch the opening day.

I don't think you will get many other flowers in March until you are on the Riviera or south of there.

Posted by
1864 posts

Your dates almost perfectly line up with Las Fallas (fire festival) in Valencia, on Spain's Mediterranean coast. It's still mostly locals who enjoy this unique festival, but it's quickly becoming popular with foreigners outside of Spain, you should probably see it sooner rather than later, before it turns into another "running of the bulls" type thing.

Weather, food/wine, music will all be great during Las Fallas. The festival is set from March 15-19 with the 19th being the main day of spectacle and fire, they build many giant figures all very detailed and then burn them all down at once, it's quite the sight.

Posted by
10924 posts
Posted by
1514 posts

BrittaLou - Andalusia Spain, Sicily Italy , and Portugal would be your best bet in mid March as these locations will be a lot warmer then most European areas. Also , the south of France is another destination that maybe feasible to do in mid March.

Posted by
11680 posts

We will be in Italy in mid-March ourselves, going to Naples and Matera (UNESCO world heritage site). This town is famous for its caves where people lived, and now are hotels. But we are prepared for the weather to be "iffy", as in rainy. I have noticed that the adventure travel companies do not start their hiking trips in Sicily or the Amalfi Coast areas until April.

Might you consider Patagonia instead of Europe? Were were there in March in 2017 and the weather was great. It was autumn, not spring, and really beautiful. This well-regarded company offers hiking and other active themed tours, some for 5-6 days. The flight from Miami to Santiago is about 8 hours, then you make a short hop south to Punta Arenas or Puerto Natales.

http://www.ecocamp.travel/en/Tours

I would also suggest Japan, but that is a long flight from Florida.

Posted by
347 posts

Another vote for Spain - specifically Granada. We were there in November and the weather was great for touring - in the 60s. Probably warmer in March but not hot yet.

The British Society for Parasitology is meeting in Granada in March. I would skip that!

Posted by
641 posts

Spring flowers - Valencia had tons last March, the whole city smelled wonderful. Anywhere in Andalucia (Seville, Granada, Cordoba, etc.) will have tons of flowers. Italy in March - again, lots of flowers. All of Italy, even the north. But even London and Paris will have 'early' flowers like tulips, daffodils, forsythia. There's a memorial marker in Hyde Park in London to the person who gave his name to forsythia. I have a photo of it, taken in March, in front of a huge forsythia bush.

But that's flowers - you can still get some rainy weather. For best bet on sunny weather I'd go to Spain (Valencia or Andalucia). However, places like London, Paris and Rome will all have not only flowers, but tons of stuff to do inside if you should hit a rainy or cool snap.

Posted by
13933 posts

I was on the French Riviera last March, wonderful. Menton has a lemon festival around then. Check the dates. My first thought was Las Fallas in Valencia, easily combined with some time in Barcelona. Weather is very mild, citrus trees in bloom (wonderful scent). You may want to be in Valencia for just part of the festival. It gets more crowded day by day. I was there for the beginning, left on the 17th and was satisfied, though I missed the last night with all the bonfires which must be something really special to see. Anywhere in Andalucia is good in March. . . . Italy too.

Posted by
3133 posts

“Short”? Just over one week is hardly short! It sounds wonderful.

Most of my life, many of my European visits have been in mid March as that is when spring vacation was both in school and college. What a perfect time to travel because you also won’t have mobs of tourists one finds in the summer and holidays.

Peruse locales that truly interest and inspire you — only what excites YOU is what is “the best“. Have fun doing some reading and then look online for the historical weather averages during the dates you want to travel which you can find on Weather.com and other weather websites.

In mid March, I have been to Salzburg including skiing in the area, northern Italy, England, Ibiza, Barcelona and the German state of Bavaria. Loved them all.

Posted by
4073 posts

Embrace the fact that you will visit during winter and consider spending some time in a ski resort in the Alps. It is a great time of year to ski as the school crowds are done and the snow is plentiful.

Posted by
23412 posts

This is BrittaLou's first post here and she hasn't been back since posting it on Thursday.

Welcome to the Forums.

Are any of these ideas sounding good?

Posted by
396 posts

If you do go to Japan do try the French Fries at McDonalds. They are so delicious. They’re made the way McDonalds use use to make them in the US.

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you so much for all the helpful replies! We ended up booking a trip to Hawaii (Oahu and Big Island), as neither of us have ever been there and I realized my new passport might not arrive by March (last time I renewed it took 3 months to get to me). We are tentatively planning Europe for next year, either winter and spring or winter and summer...since I'll have my passport in hand for sure. Thank you again. :)

Posted by
5019 posts

spammer's post directly above (below BrittaLou's post @ 01/19/20 07:28 PM) reported to webmaster.

Posted by
1431 posts

hey hey Britta
where you staying on Oahu and big island? I’m from the big island and lived in Honolulu for about 10+ years.
if you want some ideas or things to do and see, just ask.
aloha
yeah yeah NINERS

Posted by
11704 posts

My vote would be for Spain and Las Fallas. I spent an entire April in Spain, Semana Santa and the Seville April Faire were great cultural experiences. I'd like to get back one March for Las Fallas.