Spring has fully sprung come May. The days are warmer and longer, the rains have subsided, and the Gulf of Trieste is warm enough for the brave to swim in (64 degrees Fahrenheit). The western side of Slovenia from Nova Gorica to northern Istria and along the Adriatic experience milder weather year-round than the rest of the country with average temperatures ranging from 55 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit. The interior of the country around Ljubljana sees a wider temperature range, lows of 48 degrees and highs of 70 degrees, while the mountains of western Slovenia remain a cool 50 degrees average.
Crowds & Costs
The last month before prices start to increase for peak season, many of the attractions closed for the winter are now open. This is the best time to snag a decent hotel rate and plane ticket while the weather is nice for outdoor activities and sightseeing. And you aren’t likely to run into as many fellow travelers as compared to June, July, and August, though Ljubljana sees thousands of Slovenes come to the capital for the annual Walk Along the Wire event.
Where to Go
May is a great time to enjoy the beautiful weather and best-loved attractions before the major crowds arrive. A classic route option is to start in Slovenia’s charming capital, Ljubljana, taking day trips to explore nearby sights, like the fairytale Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, or one of Europe’s largest shepherding settlements, Velika Planina just north of the city. Lake Bled happens to be a great jumping off point for carrying on through the hairpin turns of the Julian Alps and down through the Soča Valley and to Bovec. From Bovec, you can visit the number of wineries and hilltop communities of the bucolic Goriška Brda wine region.
A typical next stop is to explore the subterranean world of the Karst region before ending your trip in any of the historic coastal towns that line the Gulf of Trieste.
What to Do
Head to the capital and roam Ljubljana’s idyllic streets in the historic core before the hordes of tourists filter in, easily booking a reservation at any of the fine gostilnas (restaurants) you happen upon. Combine sightseeing with exercise and burn off the calories by participating in the yearly Walk Along the Wire event (see below).
Nature lovers may wish to take advantage of the spring weather, especially toward the end of the month when the seasonal melt has dried up, with a hiking excursion along the trails around Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj. Bovec, too, is another great option for decent hiking and is one of Slovenia’s top outdoor sports destinations and offers plenty of hiking and biking routes to bright turquoise pools, historic forts, river gorges, and waterfalls.
Before the summer crowds flood the medieval coastal towns, consider a trip to Piran and Portorož for a little cultural exploration. Admire the Venetian influence in the towns’ architecture, and cycle or walk the shore path that connects the two towns for a relaxing spa treatment in Portorož, known for the salt and mud found in the area.
Events in May
International Wildflower Festival. Head to Bohinj for this two-week event of guided walks, excursions, art exhibits, and birdwatching showcasing the area’s Alpine flowers.
Walk Along the Wire. This annual event sees thousands gather each year to walk the 22-mile path around Ljubljana, acknowledging the time in history when fascist occupiers encircled the city with barbed wire.
Druga Godba. Ljubljana hosts this world music festival of alternative music.
Odprta Kuhna (Open Kitchen). An outdoor food festival in Ljubljana that takes place every Friday.
Traveling to Slovenia in May? Check out these great itineraries.
Nature and Wildlife in Slovenia - 3 Days. Spend three days in southeastern Slovenia in the heart of bear country, exploring the forests, lakes, and underground cave systems of this unique region—and of course, observe wild bears in their natural habitat on this off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Hiking & Biking in Slovenia's Julian Alps - 7 Days. Starting in the romantic capital of Ljubljana, you'll make your way to Lake Bled to begin four days of trekking and biking through forested mountain scenery. Enjoy views of the national emblem Mount Triglav and its equally scenic neighbors before you descend back to the rushing blue-green river of the Soča Valley to end the adventure.