Located on the sunny side of the Alps, the small country of Slovenia offers endless hiking and walking possibilities on trails of all difficulties. Each new visitor is surprised by the all-surrounding beautiful nature and rich cultural heritage.
Slovenia is also one of the few countries on Earth, where there is so much diversity packed into its small area. With a little over 20,000 square kilometres of land, it offers every kind of landscape and climate – from the Mediterranean to the Alps. Even if you take a particular landscape, like the mountainous region of the Julian Alps, it is so full of natural and cultural wonders, you can spend a long time exploring it and every day would still surprise you. Its size is also a logistical advantage, as everything is so well connected and close together.
The country could divide into four major geographical regions: The high mountain Alps in the north and northwest, the karstic Dinarides in the south and southeast, the Pannonian lowlands in the east and northeast and the Mediterranean coast in its southwest.
Between the Triglav National Park and numerous regional and natural parks, natural monuments and NATURA 2000 areas, 32 % of Slovenia’s territory is covered by “specially protected areas”. All of that nature is open for exploration, and there is no more natural way to explore it than walking. The memories you can collect on one of your hikes range from magical waterfalls, hidden gorges, pristine lakes, colourful rivers and mysterious caves to panoramic ridges, rolling hills, peaceful forests and majestic peaks.
And as rich as is our nature, some say our culture surpasses it. On the crossroads of Europe, where East meets West and both meet South, Slovenia’s history is full of cultural heritage. It has been under the reign of different empires, kingdoms and states until 1991 when it finally became an independent country. Between exploring our wild outdoors, visit the numerous castles, churches, museums, monasteries and galleries that are a window into our past, present and future.
Slovenia is a destination you can visit all year round. Because of the geographical diversity, everyone can find a climate that suits them. Though if you are keen to visit us for a walking holiday, there are a few considerations about different seasons to take in mind.
To get things out of the way, if you’re not an extra adventurous person, coming here to walk around the natural and cultural sights of Slovenia in the winter months from December to February is a no go. That especially holds for anything at a high elevation but also rings true for many top destinations in the valley. Some years are an exception, but snowfall makes most trails disappear and walking on them more difficult, if not impossible.
A lot of hiking opportunities open up in spring, beginning in March. While there might still be a lot of snow high up in the mountains, it mostly melts in the valley. Nature is waking up and becoming green again, making April and May perfect for walking holidays in the valley surrounded by white peaks. Just don’t forget to check the forecast, as the weather can be very unpredictable, with wet and colder days interchanging with the warm and sunny.
The closer we are to summer, the more snow disappears from the mountains, making hiking them possible for the wider public. From June to August, the weather becomes more stable, except for an afternoon storm here or there. While the temperatures in spring rise up to 20°C, summer temperatures are around 25°C and even higher. That means it is the best time to go walking at higher elevations or along lakes and rivers, where the air is usually a little bit fresh. But be aware summer is also the busiest time of the year and all of your activities need to be booked in advance.
In autumn, when nature starts preparing for winter, the crowds start dispersing, and temperatures drop. September weather could be even more stable than summer, making it a perfect month for hiking in the Julian Alps. In October and November, rain and even some first snowflakes enter the equation, with lower elevations again becoming the prime destination of your walking tours.
Walking and hiking require energy, and we get that energy from food. Of course, we could make it simple, but we shouldn’t waste such a wonderful opportunity to also get to know this important part of Slovenia’s culture, the food.
Slovenia’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscape and history, with some similarities to its neighbouring countries, especially Italy, Austria and the Balkans. It is divided into 24 gastronomic regions, each having its traditional dishes, characterized by the local ingredients. The most popular soup is the beef noodle soup, but it gets more complicated when we get to the main course. Some of the most popular traditional dishes are the Carniolan Sausage, stews like Jota or buckwheat Žganci. The versatile Štruklji also come to mind, with Potica being the most famous of the deserts.
A full stomach makes a happy person. During your walking holidays, we also care about your experience of delighting in different tastes of Slovenian cuisine. Our mission here is to always recommend a diverse set of top restaurants, that will enable you to fully explore our food. On our hikes in the valley, our meals will be a healthy mix of authentic countryside food and some more fancy meals of Slovenian specialities in between. When the hikes take place in the high mountains, there are fewer options, but the ones left are delicious. The food will mostly consist of homemade stews and sausages or tasty Štruklji for the sweet-toothed, typical for the authentic mountain huts we will stay at.
The last essential thing that makes your walking holidays complete is the right accommodation. It’s the place where you return each day for a well-deserved rest. It has to be cosy and comfortable, with the least amount of distance between it and your walking destinations.
There are plenty of options in Slovenia to choose from, so everyone can find their perfect place. In some cases, these are more limited. For example, when on a hike in the mountains, you’ll be staying in cosy mountain huts. When our holidays have a base in one of the picturesque Slovenian towns and villages, we swear on authentic BnB’s or boutique hotels, all conveniently located.
We understand that there is so much stuff to see, it is difficult to plan your holiday. For an easier time, check out our Walking Tours Slovenia we have picked out for you. If you’re still not sure, contact our team so we can organize the perfect walking holiday in Slovenia together.