Go diving in Egypt this March

Whether you're craving your next beach break or want to venture into the wild, there are plenty of options for a March getaway. We've picked six destinations perfect for sun, festivals and adventure.

March holidays for beach bums…

Short haul: Marsa Alam, Egypt

Thanks to an international airport, this former fishing village located on the western banks of the Gulf of Aqaba in southern Egypt has been transformed into a growing beach destination, but minus the crowds who typically flock to the more touristy Sinai Peninsula. Temperatures in March rise to a pleasant 27°C (81°F). Port Ghalib is the place to be, a purpose-built resort of upmarket hotels and villas, with a bustling marina, various eating and nightlife options and tons of activities from diving and snorkelling to camel safaris. Of course, if all this sounds too energetic, golden beaches beckon.

Long haul: Baja California Sur, Mexico

March 2014 holidays - MexicoLap up the sun on Mexico's Baja California Sur
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Dangling southwards from the US border between the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California is the long, lean Mexican limb of Baja California. Temperatures in the extreme south of the peninsula in March hover around a warm 20°C (68°F), making this an attractive destination for those who want to lap up the sun without breaking into a sweat. Beach lovers will be spoilt for choice: enjoy blankets of soft, white sand and rolling surf breaks around the resorts of Los Cabos, Cerritos and La Paz. Wildlife enthusiasts should also book whale-watching trips – March is the best time to spot humpbacks, blue and grey whales plus orcas.

March holidays for festival goers…

Short haul: Las Fallas, Valencia

March 2014 holidays - ValenciaJoin Europe’s wildest spring party in Valencia
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One of Spain's most spectacular festivals, Las Fallas is a massive gunpowder-laced, fire festival. Larger-than-life figures are created from wood and papier mâché and paraded all over Valencia during the week leading to the Fallas. Round-the-clock festivities include daily firework displays, street parties, parades, open-air concerts and bullfights. On the last day of the festival (19 March), the giant figures are set on fire, lighting up the city in blazing heat. Europe’s wildest spring party attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors so make sure you book your flights early and don't expect to get much sleep over the festival!

Long haul: Mardi Gras, New Orleans

March 2014 holidays - New OrleansMardi Gras is a day of flamboyant costumes and big parades
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New Orleans' Mardi Gras is an unstoppable wave of celebration culminating on 4 March with one of the world’s best street parties. More than two weeks of all-out merriment involves lavish balls, street parties and over 70 extravagant parades in what's unabashedly billed as the greatest free show on Earth. Mardi Gras itself is the final day and the climax of celebrations. It is a day of flamboyant costumes and big parades, with a King and Queen elected each year to ride on the largest float.

March holidays for adventure seekers…

Short haul: Dolomites, Italy

March 2014 holidays - DolomitesHead to the Italian Dolomites for fantastic trekking trails
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Fancy going trekking but want something more strenuous than a scenic mountain hike? Try the next best thing: Via Ferrata, aka the Iron Way. Ideal for anyone who wants to climb but doesn’t have the technical know-how (Italian troops used them during WWI), routes are marked out by a steel cable that is fixed to a series of metal handholds and ladders driven into the rock. Head to the Italian Dolomites in northeastern Italy to try the most well-known trails, ranging from easy-peasy ascents that can be tackled in an hour or two, to seriously difficult hikes that will take a few days and reach altitudes of 3,000m (10,000ft).

Long haul: Patagonia, Chile

March 2014 holidays - PatagoniaPatagonia is the ultimate adventure playground
Jakob Florian Radlgruber / Thinkstock
For adventure seekers, chances are Patagonia is probably on your bucket list; how could it not? For this wild, rugged landscape at the tip of South America is the ultimate adventure playground. Take the road less travelled, and head to the Chilean side, where travellers can explore the magic of the Lake District while cruising the fjords, go white-water rafting around Futaleufú River, or try kayaking through the Andes, down the Yelcho River, stopping off at hotsprings and admiring the glaciers along the way. Alternatively, venture deeper south, into the majestic reaches of Torres del Paine National Park, where the monstrous peaks of the Paine Massif will have you feeling like you’ve reach the end of the earth.

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