Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: In search of a sunny holiday in March


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The Independent Travel

Q. We are seeking the sun in March. Would you recommend Marawila in Sri Lanka, or Sinai in Egypt - or should we look elsewhere? We want a hot climate but we don't want high humidity or high winds.

Hillie MacLaren

A. After a miserable winter in the UK, it's natural to seek some sun. And with your added stipulation about no high humidity or high winds, then Egypt wins hands-down (the Canaries, which I would normally highly recommend in March, can be windy). But don't automatically head for the seaside resorts of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada or Taba; Luxor is, in my experience, the most reliably sunny location within a short-haul flight from Gatwick. It is also the archaeological heartland of Egypt, steeped in antiquity.

Despite the increasing rumblings of discontent elsewhere in Egypt, Luxor has remained peaceful - hitting the headlines only through last month's tragic balloon crash, in which 19 tourists died; all balloon flights in the province of Luxor are currently suspended.

There are some great hotels with excellent facilities, as well as some cheap-and-cheerful hotels if you are keen to stretch your holiday cash. Booking a package is the best plan, and Thomson ( has some amazing deals - as low as £327 for flights from Gatwick plus week in a reasonable hotel.

One other thought: you might get lucky with the weather in Israel, and certainly down by the Dead Sea neither humidity nor high winds is a problem.

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