According to global travellers, these are the best places to head off the beaten track in March, alongside the highlights of each destination.*
Morro de São Paulo, Brazil
March in Morro de São Paulo means sunshine and quiet beaches
This relatively obscure, car-free village on Brazil’s Tinharé Island is paradisiacal in March – this is the end of the summer season so the weather is sunny and hot but the streets are quiet. Visit the town’s pretty church, wandering past boxy houses with terracotta-tiled roofs and stone walls featuring brightly-painted graffiti that looks like a painting of Japanese origami. Spend an evening in Aureliano Lima Square when the craft fair is on and live Brazilian music is playing. And, of course, snorkel and surf before relaxing on the village’s white sandy beach under the shade of the coconut palms. Stay at Pousada Bahia Bella, with hammocks on the balcony outside each suite and just a one-minute walk to the beach.
Killarney National Park contains some of the Emerald Isle's most verdant scenery
The small town of Killarney in Ireland’s County Kerry is a popular tourist destination but March is low season and prime time to go. On the shores of Lough Leane, the town looks out onto the kind of verdant scenery that earned Ireland the Emerald Isle moniker – all still lakes, mossy woodland and waterfalls. Within the town you’ll find cobbled alleyways, carts drawn by Clydesdale horses, friendly locals and Irish pubs belting out live Celtic music. Just outside the town, there’s Killarney National Park – 26,000 acres of mountains, forest, caves and castles. Just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of Killarney, Guaire House has bedrooms decorated with antique furniture and Toile de Jouy fabric.
Follow hiking trails through red rock canyons and scented pine forests in Arizona
In the middle of the Upper Sonoran Desert, Sedona is surrounded by some of the USA’s most magnificent landscapes. Red rock canyons that glow golden in the blazing Arizona sun. And scented pine forests criss-crossed with hiking trails; a particularly special one is the Cathedral Rock trail which – though pretty steep – takes you to an extraordinary lookout over the arid, dusty orange landscape. But Sedona isn’t just a destination for outdoors-ey types. It’s also renowned for possessing a sacred energy. One that draws punters in for healing spa treatments, mindfulness retreats and yoga courses. Cool off after a strenuous hike in the outdoor pool at central Sedona B&B, A Sunset Chateau.
Flowers and cobblestones in Lviv's beautiful Market Square
Ukraine’s cosmopolitan Lviv is an underrated beauty. Its historical position on the intersection of two lucrative medieval trade routes meant that the city flourished and accumulated a wealth of Italian, Austrian and Slavic architecture. It’s all centred around the Old Town’s Market Square – or Ploshcha Rynok – as well as the Prospekt Svobody. The latter is a short promenade that’s perfect for people-watching, filled with street performers, children playing and locals chatting. If you’re competent at chess (or simply enthusiastic), don’t miss the opportunity to join in with the old men playing on the street benches. With huge, mid-century style bedrooms, Svobody Ave Apartment is located just seconds from the city’s key sights.
Start a tour of Wroclaw's hidden gnomes, starting in the 13th-century Market Square
Most city-breakers heading to Poland tend to go for Krakow or Warsaw, but little do they know that Wroclaw has a very similar appeal and fewer tourists. There’s a medieval Old Town, a 13th-century Market Square lined with magenta and mustard yellow gabled houses, a cityscape of Gothic church spires and some of the best-value restaurants in Europe; here, you can gorge on locally-brewed beer and pierogi (dumplings stuffed with sauerkraut, potato, meat and cheese) for the same price as a coffee in most European cities. Wroclaw also has a resident gnome population, with hundreds hidden around the city. These cheeky, bronze figurines are meant to commemorate an anti-Soviet group in the 1980s known as the Orange Alternative, who protested the authoritarian regime with gleeful, non-violent tactics, such as painting mischievous gnomes over Communist propaganda. Stay in a 19th-century villa in the centre of town at the Grape Hotel.
**These destinations had the highest growth in bookings by Booking.com customers for the month of March.