March marks the beginning of Spring in most of Europe, but it is particularly impressive in Slovenia. The days start to be longer, the weather gets warmer, and it stops raining and snowing too much except for the mountains. Overall, March allows you to enjoy the outdoors, the Winter activities, and all of the country’s beautiful attractions without the Summer crowds.
Slovenia in March is mostly clear and sunny, ideal to visit and experience many different places. You cannot take a swim in Piran yet, but it is still possible to ski and enjoy the snowfalls as soon as you are 1000 meters or more above sea level, and you can start to discover the country in the first glimpses of Spring.
Come to Slovenia in March to enjoy the last carnivals welcoming Spring and the country’s unique features between snow, sun, and green outdoors. This month is a perfect time to enjoy the country at its most, between several cultural and gastronomic events, and great open-air activities that make Slovenia this unique.
1. St Gregory’s Events
Slovenia, the only country with the word “Love” in its name, could not be a better place to celebrate love and couples. Aside from the traditional Valentine’s Day organized every 14th of February, lovers can also enjoy a special day in March: Saint Gregory’s Day. This ancient tradition, dating back to old folk habits and customs, celebrates the union of birds when Spring comes.
Traditionally, the maidens were supposed to look up into the sky, searching for birds on St Gregory’s Day. According to the sayings, the first bird seen by the maiden was considered to match the type of husband they would marry later. Nowadays, numerous events are still celebrated for St Gregory’s Day everywhere around Slovenia. Here is a selection of the top-notch celebrations for Gregorjovo organized every year on March 12th.
Gregorjovo Celebrations in Tržič
Saint Gregory’s Day is one of the most popular celebrations in Slovenia. In the small town of Tržič, the events start to come alive on Gregorjovo’s Eve, on March 11th. The custom can be traced back to centuries ago when the local shoemakers turned off the lights of their cobbler workshops on this day.
At this time, the cobbler’s apprentices were allowed to create miniature houses during their working hours. They used baskets, bowls, wood shavings, glue, and fire to put together these lovely little houses. Then, they had to place their creations onto the water. Now that the cobbler workshops are closed in town, it is up to the preschool and school children to keep this tradition alive and float the small houses on the Tržič Bistrica.
On the actual day of Saint Gregory, a comprehensive program of culinary tastings and arts is organized every year, that can last for several days. You can notably assist in the exhibition of the children’s houses. For more information, you can check the city’s website page about the Gregorjovo events. In March 2021, the events will start on Thursday, 11th.
Občina Tržič, Trg svobode 18, 4290 Tržič
Phone: +386 4 59 71 524
In Kropa and Kamna Gorica
The celebrations of St Gregory’s Day in these two iron-forging villages are also including wonderful floating decorations made by the local kids. It is accompanied by the illumination of thousands of candles that are fixed to their creations. These events are made to celebrate St Gregory, that was supposed to have thrown his lamp into the water, and to welcome the beginning of Spring.
The model houses of Tržič are joined with churches, hay-racks, and iron-foundries among many other creations of wood, cardboard, and paper. The castles can then dispense their lights through their beautifully colored windows. Each village has different traditions, so if you have the chance to stop in the area, try to give it an extensive visit!
Even the capital city hosts some traditional events for Gregorjevo and its Eve: the Ljubljanica becomes surrounded by miniature boats made of wood and transporting candles. These celebrations are really significant for the Slovenians, and they are also pretty magical and beautiful, so go for it and take pictures!
2. Chili and Chocolate Festival in Maribor
The beautiful city of Maribor, Slovenia’s second-biggest city, hosts another interesting March and Spring festival on Leon Štukelj Square. This is a truly original event that you may not see twice in your life.
During a weekend of celebrations, the city indeed presents the work of more than 40 chocolate producers and artists, as well as chili growers coming from all around the country and even the world to spice and sweeten your day. Your visit to the country will be memorable, and this unique experience too.
Your culinary creativity will be boosted by the inspiring productions showcased during the festival, and you will even be allowed to try new experiences that will not leave you indifferent. In only two days, you will discover a whole new culinary world and its many secrets.
You will be taught about why opposites attract so well, but most of all taste as many interesting mixes as you can so you can try to reproduce it at home. What delight will it be to be able to teach your friends and family!
You can also expect a wonderful DJ set usually at the end of the weekend, to mark the last event of the celebrations, and leaving you wanting to come back next year. Check the event’s website for more information.
3. Assist in the First Odprta Kuhna (Ljubljana’s Open Kitchen)
One of the things you cannot miss in Ljubljana is the amazing outdoor food festival that is organized every Friday in the middle of the town, during a large period going from March through October. Visiting Slovenia in March will offer you the unique opportunity to be part of the first open kitchen, also called Odprta Kuhna.
This is one of the most famous attractions in the country since it mixes the Slovenian open way of life and offers a taste of Slovenia’s most mouth-watering culinary specialties, the whole taking place on the beautiful and busy Pogačarjev trg.
During your visit, you will have the chance to come across about fifty stands. Here, you will be allowed to try every local dish you can think of. The stalls offer numerous meat dishes, such as cevapcici, and also fish, but also many other specialties and street foods like several kinds of burek, the Yugoslav specialty that can be filled with spinach, cheese, or meat.
Slovenian drinks also have a prime location on the menu, allowing you to complete your discovery of Slovenia’s culinary tradition. Plus, the food will be cooked right behind your eyes, which is always extremely impressive and satisfying. You can also enjoy dishes from many different types of cuisine, so come on and give it a try!
Nevertheless, be careful and make sure to check the weather first: if it is a rainy Friday, the open-air food market will probably not take place. So, just to be sure, book a two weeks trip to Slovenia!
4. Be Blown Away by the Pokal Vitranc Cup
If you are around Slovenia in the middle of March, note that the beautiful ski resort of Kranjska Gora hosts annually a wonderful men Slalom and Giant Slalom Competition, in the extreme north-western part of the country. In 2021, the edition will take place on March 13th and 14th.
You will have the chance to see the Kranjska Gora station and its Vitanc Mountain slopes come alive thanks to the presence of numerous winter sports enthusiasts, sponsors, and brands. Be ready for snow and parties!
You can buy tickets for the races on the day of the event, at the ski resort. The prices usually start from €10 for adults and €8 for children as long as the standing area is concerned, while the seats of the grandstand can cost you about €25/20. For the full VIP treatment, expect to spend around 150 euros for the best experience possible. Check the Competition website for more information.
5. Cerknica Festival
Each year, the lovely traditional town of Cerknica is replaced by the town of Butale, inhabited by the curious hillbillies called “Butalci”. The end of February or the beginning of March marks a week of festival and carnival celebrations in the area. The yearly events of carnival celebrations in Cerknica always attract thousands of locals and tourists every time.
In Butale, the round party lasts from Fat Thursday till Ash Wednesday. The inhabitants turn into the Butalci, the name given to the massive local carnival figures who wear unique large masks. During this week of events, you can come across the witch Ursula, the giant pike Fish, the lake man Jezrquo, and the famous Butalci.
Those figures are made to be really impressive, and most of all, outrageously comical. They always first appear at the beginning of the celebrations, for the sawing of the witch, and disappear at the time of a symbolical burial which symbolizes the end of Winter.
If you do not have much time there, it would be particularly wise to visit the town on Sunday, since this is when there is more to see. Make sure to get a moment to admire the diversity of floats and paper-mâché sculptures, and to come across many satyrical costumes that represent specific recent social events or politics.
Visiting the country at this time of the year also means that you will be able to enjoy the traditional carnival features, some delicious treats like donuts (called krof), and great mulled wine (kuhano vino).
6. Discover the Amazing Planica Ski Jumping
Slovenia is an amazing country for athletes and sports enthusiasts, but those who only want to watch and support will be pleased in March. Winter sports aficionados will be able to assist in a fantastic spectator event, the Ski Jumping World Cup that is held every year in Planica.
Seeing ski jumpers fly through the air is always impressive, but it becomes even more magic when you are in Slovenia. The wonderful Planica Nordic Center, located in the northwest of Slovenia, has the largest ski jump in the country but it is also the place where numerous records have been made.
If you are like a true Slovenian, know that it is also possible to ski in this amazing ski resort. When snow falls in Slovenia, everyone runs to the mountains to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. In March, it is still possible to ski in Slovenia, so if you are looking for a ski holiday, this is the perfect place to go. At this time of the year, ski resorts are especially cheap and the landscapes and views are still breathtaking.
7. Discover the Drežnica Carnival
Whether you are fond of carnivals and odd traditions or a desperate unmarried boy, you absolutely have to assist in Drežnica Carnival. The tradition of this unique carnival originates from pagan customs and has been passed on from generation to generation until today. This wonderful living cultural heritage especially features handmade wooden masks that are carved and worn by the boys and unmarried men.
They are divided into two groups, the Pretty Ones and the Ugly Ones. They all entertain the locals and numerous foreign visitors thanks to a procession including many other masks. The tradition tells that it will bring joy and happiness to the inhabitants of Drežnica.
The Pretty Ones roam the streets dancing and making music. The locals give them gifts treats and money in return. Many different traditions are celebrated during these events, so you have to go to Drežnica and see it by yourself. Until then, you can try to learn the anthem sung by men on the carnival’s eve, Bleda Luna:
8. Threat Yourself During the Spring Restaurant Week
Since 2019, you can enjoy a wonderful new culinary experience in Ljubljana that will allow you to try the best restaurants in town. During a week of events (more like ten days) at the end of March, you can taste the menu of the 110 restaurants and inns that are taking part in this amazing Spring Restaurant Week.
To try most of the venues, you will only have to spend 19 euros for a full menu. For the best-rated restaurants, that have the best evaluation according to šola okusov, it will cost you 25 euros.
If you want to learn more about the event or know which restaurants are joining this fun experiment, you can see more on their new website: www.tedenrestavracij.si
9. Enjoy the Food: European Food Summit in Ljubljana
About food again, let’s learn more about Slovenia’s European Food Summit. If you come to Ljubljana anytime soon, you will discover that the country is doing its very best to obtain the prestigious 2021 European Region of Gastronomy award. This very important event allows Slovenia to put the highlight on the impact of food since 2019.
It showcases many Slovenian and European star chefs like Ana Roš, the 2017 World’s Best Female Chef, and others like Andrea Petrini. These three days of events are really important for the country and entire Europe since it encourages to act in a more sustainable way, but it is also great for tourist who can experience amazing dinners and wonderful culinary walks.
10. Go Explore the Burgeoning Slovenian Outdoors
The awakening of Spring could not be better to go wandering everywhere around Slovenia for the first hikes of the year. You have many options if you want to discover the green outdoors, the wonderful lakes, the amazing landscapes of castles nestled in magical sceneries, among many others.
March is especially great if you want to enjoy the quietness of the country and its beautiful colors while managing to beat the crowds. You can particularly put the emphasis on hikes around Ljubljana, as it is a great period to leave town and enjoy the mountains: make sure to pass by Velika Planina, it will be amazing at this time of the year!
Say Welcome to Spring in Beautiful Slovenia
March is an awesome month to visit Slovenia since it will offer you a great overall view of the country’s wonders. It is a great time to enjoy the uncrowded outdoors and attractions, and to benefit from attractive accommodation and activities prices. You cannot be disappointed by a March trip, since Slovenia can suit everyone’s needs: those who want to discover the culture and gastronomy will be as pleased as the open-air enthusiasts.
If you come to Slovenia in March, make sure to read everything there is to know about Bled Lake and enjoy it when you can still beat the crowds! You can check our dedicated article right here.