Every summer more and more people visit Slovenia. No wonder, because it’s a gorgeous country with such a versatile nature. And: it’s still quite cheap! But if you’re visiting in summer, you might have to share all the beauty the country has to offer, with hundreds of other people. Want to avoid the crowds? Visit Slovenia in winter!
Visiting Slovenia during the winter has been on our wishlist for a while, but somehow it never happened. That changed last winter when we decided to go to Slovenia in December! Before that, we’ve spent one month together in Slovenia and I have worked there as an outdoor guide for seven years prior to that. I was dying to see how that gorgeous nature would look like during winter. Spoiler alert: it looks like a completely new destination and it has definitely exceeded our expectations.
Slovenia during wintertime: peace and quiet
Hotspots like Lake Bled, the Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj have become so popular over the last few years that in summer it’s flocked with busses and tourists. And that makes sense because the sights are beautiful. Nevertheless, all of these crowds do take away much of the charm of those magical places. Around the holidays Bled is a popular destination to enjoy some Christmas lights, but other than that you won’t find too many people in these hotspots. You’ll probably be able to enjoy all those beautiful sights and viewpoints, and then you really understand why these hotspots are called hotspots!
Lake Bled during winter
No traffic jams
During the high season, traffic can be a real pain in the *ss! It can take hours before you can enter the country through the Karawankentunnel if you’re driving into Slovenia through Austria. The highways are fine, but the local roads often aren’t ready for the number of cars wanting to use them. And during winter? You don’t even have to worry about this! Some roads might be closed due to snow, but it’s mainly high mountain passes and other small mountain roads. Which makes it perfect to explore those roads on foot! Just park the car by the side of the road, put on your hiking boots and start walking! You’ll be amazed by the beautiful places you’ll come across. And chances are you’ll be completely by yourself!
We parked the car and started hiking!
Skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia!
In the northwestern part of Slovenia, you’ll find the Julian Alps, bordering Austria and Italy. And just like in those countries, you can go skiing and snowboarding in Slovenia in winter! Don’t expect the same facilities as some areas in Austria and Italy offer, but there’re plenty of tracks to please both beginner and slightly advanced skiers or boarders. If you’re interested, make sure to check out Krajnska Gora or Vogel and hit the slopes! Also, you’ll enjoy the prices if you order a hot chocolate, beer, mulled wine or a portion of French fries close to the slopes, as prices aren’t as crazy as they are in some neighboring countries.
Slovenia is known for its gorgeous nature. And the emerald water of theSoča river or Lake Zelenci appear to be even bluer when surrounded by a thick layer of snow! If you enjoy a short winter hike, you might like to see the Savica and Martuljek waterfalls. The snowy hiking trails are not maintained, but you should be able to manage with a pair of sturdy mountain boots. Especially the hike towards the Martuljek waterfall takes you through a fairytale landscape! If you’re visiting the Savica waterfall, another benefit of doing so in winter is that you don’t have to pay the entry fee. Or have to wait in line to take a photo for that matter 🙂 Savica is quite accessible, and even in winter, you might still see some crowds here. But it’s not nearly as busy as it is in summer.
If you fancy a bit more adventure, just park your car at the edge of a nature reserve, record where you parked it (you can use GPS), just go for a walk and let yourself be amazed by nature!
No fully booked accommodation in the winter in Slovenia
Some hotels or hostels are closed during winter, but aside from the holidays you never have to worry about fully booked accommodations. And that means you’ll have the ultimate freedom to explore the country! We wanted to stay close to Lake Bled and stayed in the 1A Adventure Hostel in Lesce. A great hostel where you can book all kinds of activities if you stay in summer. In winter, it’s a perfect base from which to explore the area. Within 15 minutes or so you’ll find some awesome sights.
- Check out our photo blog about Slovenia in winter!
- Want to travel in summer and up for a challenge? Climb the highest mountain of the country!
Don’t forget to explore the capital city Ljubljana! Especially in December, it’s such a festive place.