The fall might be the best season for hiking in Slovenia © Natalia Deriabina / Shutterstock
Slovenia has something to offer visitors every month of the year.
This full calendar of discoverable moments stems largely from the geography of the country, which is wedged in between the Alps, the Adriatic and the Pannonian Basin and which allows for gorgeous vistas all year long.
But Slovenia’s ability to please in every season is about more than just topography. Slovenes have a hearty, can-do swagger, and the country’s culture is epitomized by vigorous outdoor activities in every season. Read out for our guide to the best times to visit Slovenia.
High Season: May to October
Best time to discover Slovenia’s diverse landscapes
Slovenia’s weather is ideal from late spring to early autumn. The high mountains provide relief from the heat in lower-lying areas; this is a great time to swim in rivers like the Soča. Higher elevations are also gorgeous in September and October, when the fall brings blue-sky days and a spectrum of changing leaves. The Adriatic coast is wonderful during July and August, when temperatures can reach into the 80s Fahrenheit – though this small but delightful region can get crowded. The shore is far more peaceful during the fall, when the vacation period ends for many but the warm days persist.
Shoulder Season: April and November
Best time to be a gastronome
Slovenian chefs take an “eat what nature gives you” approach in every season – yet the gastronomic delights here are perhaps most delicious at harvest time and during the first signs of spring. From the mountains to the Karst to eastern Pannonia, it’s a joy to taste your way across the country’s array of slow food and regional fare.
After a winter of delicious stews, a new litany of seasonal delights becomes available as the snow melts and spring blossoms. This is a good time to visit the southwestern coastal area to take in some sun and enjoy fresh seafood. In November, as the grape and olive harvests conclude, it seems the entire country stops to toast Mother Nature for another bumper year of superior wine.
Low season: December to March
Best time to enjoy snowy delights
Fewer visitors means winter is technically low season in Slovenia in. For locals, however, this third of the year is anything but a break. Rare is the Slovene who doesn’t partake in some (or a lot of) winter activity.
In a moment when people everywhere are seeking out distanced crowds and outdoor attractions, Slovenia’s ski scene is only becoming more popular. Complementing the action on the slopes is a well-developed wellness and spa culture. And on the more rugged end of the spectrum, wildlife-watching journeys – such as wolf-tracking tours – provide photographers and nature lovers a chance to enjoy a rare view of this wintry world.
Slovenes hibernate after the busy holidays – but only a bit. There are plenty of opportunities for enjoying winter festivals, skiing and relaxing at spas across the country.
Key events: The snow castles of King Matjaž, when teams from around the country compete to build the most elaborate structure out of snow.
Local traditions live on during carnival season, especially at Kurentovanje in Ptuj © Ivan Smuk / Shutterstock
It’s Carnival season in this traditionally Catholic country – which means meeting up with neighbors and having some fun with costumes, mulled wine, music and dancing.
Key events: International Carnival Kurentovanje in Ptuj; Kranček's Carnival in Kranj
As the final weeks of the season loom, skiers – professional and otherwise – hit the slopes with renewed vigor.
Key events: FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in Kranjska Gora, FIS Ski Jumping World Cup in Planica
Slovenes can already see the green of spring coming back and are planning their next hiking and cycling adventures. In addition to the big Easter holiday, the country is gearing up for new mountain and coastal celebrations. This is also a good time to visit the charming capital, Ljubljana, to drink coffee in the fresh sunshine.
Key events: International Elvis Festival in Portorož; St. George’s Day Folklore Festival in Črnomelj
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As spring fully takes hold, the month starts with the region’s typical May Day (Labor Day) holiday and carries on with music and theater celebrations. The calendar of events grows crowded in the country’s two largest cities, Ljubljana and Maribor.
Key events: Druga Godba International World Music Festival in Ljubljana; Maribor Theatre Festival; Vinska vigred Wine Festival in Metlika.
Foreign travelers start to flock to Slovenia, and varied festivals pepper the national calendar every weekend – culminating in festivities around Statehood Day, June 25. One of the best weather months, June is an ideal (if slightly crowded) month in cities, the coast and the mountains alike.
Key events: Wellbe Festival (yoga and wellness) festival in Bled, Ljubljana Jazz Festival, Lace Festival in Idrija
Higher elevations in Slovenia provide for all sorts of outdoor activities – and an escape from the summer heat © Saro17 / Getty Images
Excitement revs up all over the country for festivals that take place under open skies and in delightful temperatures. Embodying Slovene culture, outdoor events weave together races, music, drink and food.
Key events: Soča Outdoor Festival in Tolmin; Festival of Beer and Flowers in Laško; Kranfest in Kranj
Though this is the hottest month in Slovenia, the temperatures stay mostly pleasant (averaging between 75° to 83°F). Summer has happily set in, and everyone’s dance card is filled with parties and celebrations – like the Ljubljana Summer Festival – taking place in every corner of the country.
Key events: International Puppet Festival in Maribor; Ljubljana Summer Festival; Dance without Borders at Ljubelj Pass in Tržič
Family holidays conclude and school resumes as the summer “ends” – but insiders know this is actually one of the best times to be in Slovenia. The weather will remain warm with stable blue-sky days for the next two months.
Key events: Days of National Costumes and Clothing Heritage in Kamnik; Old Vine Festival in Maribor
As autumn sets in, orange, yellow and red hues paint the mountains and hills. This is perhaps the best time to cycle and hike, as cooler temperatures and warm lighting make the adventure more invigorating and the photographs richer. As produce is gathered for the last time, food also starts to take the spotlight.
Key events: Oldest Vine Grape Harvest in Maribor, Ljubljana Marathon
After the grape harvest, the late fall might be the best time to sample Slovenia’s famously fine wines © photoflorenzo / Alamy Stock Photos
The wine harvest is in and the olives have been gathered; now is the time to enjoy the rewards of all the hard work and get ready for shorter days and chillier weather. This month’s suggestion: drink wine.
Key events: Celebrations across the country for St. Martin’s Day, November 11
As another year comes to an end, there’s no reason to let up. Advent and holiday celebrations abound and families across the country have started waxing their skis for another glorious winter in Slovenia’s Alps.
Key events: Ljubljana Christmas Markets