Slovenia may not be one of the most obvious vacation destinations on the planet, but it certainly attracts many tourists. The country has a rich history and a vibrant culture. When you combine this with the beautiful Mediterranean climate, you’ve got yourself an incredible European holiday with plenty to see and do.
However, since the country isn’t one of the major tourist hotspots in the world – when you compare it to places like New York, Australia, Thailand, and India, many tourists are unsure as to the best time to visit Slovenia.
In truth, there is no wrong time to go to this incredible country, no matter when you go, you’re bound to find plenty of excellent attractions and things to keep you entertained, but, without a doubt, the best time to visit Slovenia is during the summer months. In this article, I will demonstrate why a trip to this central European country in the warmer months should be on your travel bucket list.
A Bit About Slovenia
For the most part, Slovenia is landlocked. However, there is a small opening out to the Adriatic Sea on the southwest border of the country – there aren’t many beaches here. However, the area is still one of the more popular tourism locations thanks to the oceanic climate.
The capital, Ljubljana, lies directly in the center of the country and is another of the most popular destinations for Slovenia visitors. Featuring an iconic castle and many architecturally stunning buildings, Ljubljana is a city break worth writing home about.
But what the country is most famous for are its beautiful mountains and many people come here to experience the excellent ski resorts that the country has to offer. Neighboring Italy often gets all the glory for skiing in the Alps, but lesser-known Slovenia undoubtedly has something special to offer its guests.
There are also many wooded areas throughout the country with much of the land being covered by forest. For this reason, the population is sparsely spread out and with just over 2 million inhabitants, most of whom are native to the country. There are only around 24,000 immigrants making their way to the country each year. So, if you’re looking for a European country where you can get a true feel for local life, Slovenia is a fantastic option.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Slovenia?
Earlier on, I touched on the summer months being the best time to visit Slovenia, and I’d like to expand on my reasoning a little more here.
In the Mediterranean areas of the country, the summer brings a beautifully warm climate that is perfectly fitting with what you’d expect from a vacation this time of year and there are plenty of outdoor activities that will provide you with maximum time in the sun (responsibly, of course.)
When you compare Slovenia to some of the other countries in this part of the world, it is far less crowded so ideal for a summer getaway that doesn’t involve fighting for space. June through to August are certainly the most popular months buy May and the lead up to summer is also excellent, especially if you don’t want the weather to be too warm.
The capital city comes alive during this time of year with many people emerging from the cooler winter months ready to dine in chic cafes and explore the many events that Ljubljana plays host to in the summer months.
Up in the mountains, as the ski resorts go a little quieter, there are plenty of opportunities to engage in some excellent outdoor adventures such as hiking and climbing. This is what I find truly fascinating about Slovenia – there is such a diverse range of options, for a country that isn’t that big on the tourism map, it really does have a lot to give, no matter what your tastes.
Things To Do In The Summer Months In Slovenia
If you have decided to take the leap and head across to this beautiful country in summer, you’ll find that you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding things to keep you busy during your stay.
Going between June and August will give you the chance to attend some of the most well-loved events in the country and once again, the diversity is wholly apparent.
As summer kicks off, and all the flowers come into bloom, what better time to show your appreciation for everything that mother nature has to offer? If you are a lover of flora then the wildflower festival that runs for two weeks throughout May and into June is a must.
The festival pays homage to the stunning Alpine flowers that grow throughout the mountainous regions of the country and takes advantage of the glorious Triglav National Park.
No matter what you enjoy doing, the flower-themed festival will have something to attract you, with everything from concerts to workshops, outings to art and so much more.
The Karst Lavender Festival
Staying with the theme of flowers, the lavender festival in Karst is one of the highlights of the Slovenian calendar and thousands of locals and tourists take the opportunity to get up close and personal with one of nature’s most fragrant flowers.
There are a variety of workshops and talks surrounding the growing and farming of lavender as well as tours of local plantations with the farmers themselves.
But in addition to this, you will be able to explore how the plant is used in cuisine and try out some of the, perhaps, most obscure things that have ever passed your lips – lavender ice cream, anyone?
Of course, going to a festival wouldn’t be the same without coming home with a keepsake and the variety of lavender products on offer will spoil you for choice – soaps, lotions, and balms are just a few of the things you can expect to be able to purchase.
Anyone with a passion for cycling will love the Franja marathon. One of the most notable things about this event is how it caters to all levels of ability. Whether you are a pro-cyclist who has been taking part in marathons your entire life or someone who likes to take a gentle trundle, you’ll be welcome to take part. However, if you think that a full 26 miles will be too much of a stretch, there are plenty of mini-events to sign up to.
The marathon is a circular race that begins and ends at the BTC shopping center in the capital, Ljubljana and there is plenty of room for spectators if you’d prefer to sit back and watch the action as it happens.
The Jazz Festival
The Jazz festival in Ljubljana has been running for 50 years and is still as popular as it was when it first happened in 1960. In the early days, the festival enabled jazz musicians and bands to come together from all over the former Yugoslavia and unite in their passion for the genre.
Today, the reach of the festival is far wider and some of the most well-loved and renowned jazz musicians from around the globe are desperate to perform here. If you’re a true jazz fan, this is one not to be missed.
The Lent Festival
This festival begins in June and crosses over into July over a period of two weeks. If you’re looking to get the best of everything that Slovenian culture has to offer then the Lent festival is likely the best choice for you.
Over the two week period, there is a wealth of different performances across many genres. Music concerts, theater, magic shows, acrobats, mime, and comedy are all things that you can expect to see here. If you’re traveling in a large group and are looking for something that will entertain everyone, stopping by the Lent festival will surely satisfy.
Grossman Fantastical Film And Wine Festival
Every July, this unique film festival dedicates a few days to the wonderful world of fantasy and horror. It is held in the same town that produced the very first Slovenian movie way back in the early 1900s and is named after the man who created it – Karol Grossman.
Alongside the obvious screening of many lesser-known movies, visitors will also find wine tasting events, art exhibitions, and music concerts amongst other things.
The Tartini Festival
Music lovers will fall in love with chamber music all over again when visiting the Tartini festival in the quaint town of Piran which is set against the beautiful backdrop of the Adriatic sea.
The town has some very unique buildings, some of which date back to medieval times. Furthermore, there is nowhere else in the world quite as romantic and scenic as Piran at sunset, watching as the water turns golden as the sun dips down below the horizon.
In terms of the festival, you’ll hear a variety of concerts that play the works of the great Slovenian composer, Tartini as well as music from other notable native composers.
There are also some wonderful displays including the opportunity to see the violin that the master himself used to play.
The Days Of Poetry And Wine
Held in the often sleepy medieval town of Ptuj, each August the Days of poetry and wine festival brings the town to life.
Who doesn’t love a nice glass of wine whilst listening to some of the most notable poetry, both old and new? You’ll have an opportunity to explore it all here with visual displays, wine-making masterclasses, and of course, no end of beautiful poetry.
The quaint alleyways and quiet streets of the town are the perfect settings for this extremely popular festival that many Europeans flock to each year.
I have already mentioned that summer makes for the best time to visit Slovenia thanks to the lovely weather and one of the must-do things during the summer months is to pay a visit to Lake Bled.
This stunning blue lake is located in the Alpine region of the country, just 35km from the airport in Ljubljana, making it very accessible. It attracts a lot of visitors each year thanks to the stunning scenery and the bounty of activities and I could not have written a guide about Slovenia in the summer without including it.
After attending the array of festivals that this country is famed for, kicking back and relaxing at Lake Bled makes the perfect end to your trip.
Here, there are plenty of places to eat and drink as well as boat trips, fishing, swimming, hiking and much more.
It is worth mentioning that whilst summer is, by far the best time to visit, other people will have a similar idea so prepare yourself for some crowds. But when you compare these to the crowds seen at other European destinations, you’ll appreciate just how small they are.
When traveling to Europe, many people omit to include this forgotten little gem of a country. But Slovenia has a lot to offer anyone who goes there but it is important to choose the right time of year to go.
Winter is a great time to head to the country if you are looking at taking advantage of one of the many small ski resorts here, however, if you want to make the most of the wonderful climate and the plentiful activities, summer is the best time to visit Slovenia, without a doubt.