With the end of winter finally on the horizon, March is the time to welcome the spring with a European break or an exhilarating hike somewhere warm. Then again, the ski season is still going strong, especially with fresh dumps of snow in the Alps. Wherever you decide to take a holiday in March, here are a few ideas to inspire you.
Spring comes early to Madeira, and this Atlantic island will be bursting with blossom – best appreciated on a walking holiday with Inntravel. Hike up luxuriant mountain slopes after exploring some of the levadas (aqueducts) that characterise this Portuguese outpost. This seven-night self-guided holiday takes you to the quieter western side, where you’ll have a choice of easy, medium and challenging walks. You’ll be based in the peaceful, 17th-century Quinta das Vinhas, which has an outdoor pool set in fragrant gardens. Prices in March start at £720pp and include car hire, breakfast, three picnics and three dinners. Flights are extra but can be arranged.
Indulge in some late-season skiing in the Tarentaise resort of La Rosière, whose south-facing slopes soak up the sun. Its ski area has enough to keep all levels of skiers happy, and there’s the irresistible thought of being able to ski into Italy for lunch in La Thuile. Peak Retreats has seven nights’ self-catering in a one-bedroom apartment at Lodge Hemera, which also features an indoor swimming pool and spa, from £1,589. This includes a Eurotunnel crossing for one car with a free FlexiPlus upgrade. Book before 6 March and save 20 per cent, or £376.
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Backed by mountains smothered in rainforests and looking out over the Strait of Malacca, Berjaya Langkawi Resort is in a handy spot to explore some of western Langkawi’s most popular sights. Once you’ve ridden the cable car to the Langkawi Sky Bridge and marvelled at the mountains, relax on the beach or in the outdoor pool. Away Holidays has six nights at Berjaya Langkawi Resort from £1,737pp, departing 12 March and including flights and breakfast.
Live like a laird for a few days in Dunesk Lodge, an elegant three-bedroom period cottage set in four acres near the village of Lasswade five miles south of Edinburgh. It’s decked out beautifully in traditional Scottish style, with open fireplaces, beamed ceilings, an Aga and an enclosed garden that’s very dog friendly. Available through Canine Cottages, it sleeps six and costs £979 for four nights in March. Up to two dogs are welcome at £20 each.
Shake off the effects of a long winter by trying one of the retreats in Cortijo Romero in the hills of Andalusia south of Granada. You’ll be staying in one of the Alpujarran-style whitewashed houses surrounded by tropical gardens and a swimming pool, where relaxation is a major part of the agenda. Visit on 25 March for a Discovery Week, which includes yoga, tai chi and excursions to Andalusian’s white villages as well as Granada. Prices start at £880pp and include accommodation, meals, snacks and soft drinks.
The beauty of the Stour Valley and nearby Dedham Vale are on your doorstep when you stay at Bell Tower Cottage, a romantic one-bedroom bolthole. Go for rambles in the surrounding woodland when you’re not lounging by the wood-burning stove. The bathroom features a roll-top bath as well as a walk-in shower. There’s a large enclosed garden, which is perfect for up two dogs. Booked through Rural Retreats, Bell Tower Cottage costs from £584 for a three-night break in March.
Mary Novakovich is editor at large at 101holidays.co.uk
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