Traveling worldwide after September can be tricky, especially if you do not know much about the country’s particularities. However, you cannot go wrong by choosing Slovenia. The country adorns its most beautiful upsides by the beginning of Fall and will offer you many memorable surprises to take home.
October travelers are lucky: this period proposes the best compromise of the year in terms of beautiful and unique landscapes and quietness with the departure of tourists. Slovenia offers the most complete Autumn experience as it provides amazing red, yellow, and orange colors but also many outstanding activities.
Let’s discover the very best 15 activities that will make your trip unforgettable. These fifteen ideas will make you discover wonders that can only be done in October or yearly round activities that are especially worth trying at this time of the year, between fantastic hikes around the Slovenian countryside from vibrant events that take place all month long.
1. Marathon of Ljubljana
When the days have started to shorten and the temperatures to get cooler, the most well-informed depart from the quiet coast and go enjoy the boiling of the cities. If you still want to enjoy the outside activities and challenge yourself with an impressive target, the famous marathon of Ljubljana is made for you.
Every year on the last Sunday of the month, the city attracts runners and curious from all around the world for the annual marathon. The streets of the capital are preparing to welcome more than 20,000 passionate athletes, which means that the population of the city, usually of 290,000 inhabitants, increases by almost 10 percent!
This very sportive adventure can suit most of the runners as many different events are organized. It actually begins on the previous Saturday with the fun run and the children’s races that should not be missed. On the D-Day, the first activity is the 10k race that starts at 8.30 in the morning, before the half-marathon, and the marathon that begins at 10.30 am.
These fun and familial events are amazing because they allow you to assist in great performances but also to discover the beautiful city of Ljubljana under a new look. The final of the marathon indeed takes place in the historic core of the capital, after a visit through the southern and eastern districts.
2. City of Women
If you pass by Ljubljana at the time of this event, do not hesitate to pay a visit to the City of Women, an unparalleled International Festival of Contemporary Arts. Also called Mesto Žensk in Slovene, this festival highlights the artistic work of female creators since 1995. It is meant to give visibility and representation to women, which face more difficulties in the fields of art to be exposed, for example.
Many events such as exhibitions, workshops, and performances take place, but also several debate times that are necessary in this context. For 10 days, performers and scholars from all around the world unite around the necessity to focus on the female gaze in culture and arts.
It offers great media exposure to these amazing creators and allows them to present at the same time contemporary, bold, and experimental art that can be critical, socially and politically engaged, and feminist art that transcends the limits of one discipline.
3. Old Vine Festival
Maribor, the home of the world’s oldest living vineyard, also offers you the amazing opportunity to discover the Slovenian winemaking and wine traditions through an amazing October festival. Gourmets and wine lovers will have the chance to assist in many tastings that spotlight the Slovene wine and culinary delicacies for a week long.
If you missed the beginning of the events in September, this month will also allow you to experience an awesome culinary marketplace that features beekeepers and cheesemakers, which are really important in Slovenia.
Furthermore, Maribor is the most important city in Slovenia: discovering the Old Vine Festival will also permit you to learn more about the story of the city and of its ancient, 450 years old vine that grows in Lent, the historic heart of the city, inside the Old Vine House.
4. Kozjansko Apple Festival
The small village of Podsreda houses every year a traditional apple festival during the second week of October. Since 2000, this major event elapses in Kozjansko park, in the heart of the Styrian region next to the Croatian border. This is a great place to go with children, as many activities are specially created and designed for them.
The Kozjansko Apple Festival features many workshops, lectures, fair activities, and exhibitions, but one of the absolute highlights of the week is the hike between the meadow orchards. Those events are meant to discover top-quality products and the importance of joint endeavors to protect nature and the region’s cultural and agricultural environment.
Many unique events take place in Kozjansko park, such as the longest apple peel, social cycling and recreational runs, presentations of juice and spirit making, but also many competitions. The most innovative and interesting counts notably an awarding for the best apple strudel and one for the best meadow orchard.
5. Spending a Slovenian Halloween
Halloween is one of the highlights of the month of October, wherever you are in the world. Slovenia makes no exception and proposes you several ways to spend an unparalleled night of the 31st. The celebrations even usually start around the 24 or 25 of October to prolong the magic moment.
One of the best places to go to is the old town of Kranj, in the north of Ljubljana. You will spend the night in the scary, horrifying, and dark tunnels of the city, and on an amazing enchanted labyrinth plunged into the dark.
You will also have the chance to assist in storytellings and walks with lanterns with gifted artists that will introduce you to Slovenian fairytales and more popular ones such as Alice in Wonderland for the delight of the children. Those events are also followed by a giant amazing party.
6. Visit the Goriška Brda Region
October in Slovenia is a time for wine lovers and travelers. What could be better than taking amazing wine routes and discovering the wine cities and regions when they adorn the beautiful colors of Fall?
The wine region of Goriška Brda, its 45 hamlets, and its 700 wineries are an absolute go-to if you are eager to learn -and taste!- more about the Slovenian tradition. In October, you can easily reserve a wonderful accommodation there like in most parts of Slovenia, since the prices are significantly lower, and the places less crowded.
The “Slovenian Tuscany”, located near the Italian border, has many tours and wine tastings to offer to the white wine lovers that come across the Vipava Valley. You will also have an opportunity to taste their amazing culinary delicacies and enjoy their beautiful landscapes.
7. Discover the Magic of a Slovenian Cave
If you come to Slovenia in October to avoid the crowds and benefit from an undiscovered and fresh look of the country, you have to consider a stop to one of the most impressive Slovenian caves, in the Karst region. You can find five very touristic caves: Postojna Cave, Škocjan Cave, Vilenica Cave, Križna Jama Cave, and Kostanjevica Cave.
The first two are the biggest and most touristic ones since they are the most impressive, but it does not really matter in October since most visitors are gone at this time of the year. Thus, I particularly recommend you take a trip to the Postojna Caves, the most picturesque caves in Slovenia.
Each year, 39 million visitors are seduced by these natural wonders that were discovered 200 years ago. There, you will find 24 kilometers of galleries through breathtaking landscapes and a full fairytale experience, completed by baby dragons and the World’s oldest railway in an underground cave.
8. Borštnik Festival Theater
October in Slovenia also marks the beginning of the cultural season, with the organization of many classical music and theater representations and festivals all around the country. In 2020, Maribor, the second most important town in Slovenia, offers one of the best samples of the Slovene cultural production through its October Festival Theater.
During two weeks every year, a Slovenian city houses the Borštnik Theatre Festival and the country’s best performances. One of the major upsides of these events is the fact that many plays are performed in English or other foreign languages, or translations are usually provided.
At the end of the festival, a panel of experts selects the best actors, directors, and performances among many other categories through an award ceremony. This festival attracts spectators and performers from all around the world with an innovative international program.
9. Experience the Jestival in Kobarid
September and October are the best months to experience the wonders of one of the most undiscovered and yet impressive areas of the country, the Soča valley and the beautiful town of Kobarid. If you do not make it in September, the following month is also a great choice.
Indeed, at the moment of the hiking festival organized in the valley, the amazing Jestival pays tribute to the local culinary tradition of the region. During two weeks in October, this food and art festival will make you learn more about the habits and customs of the inhabitants, as well as their fantastic sweet dumplings recipes.
Local manufacturers and restaurants are highlighting the merits of their delicious products such as honey or local mountain cheese. The tastings are accompanied by a full-day program that ends with a lovely evening concert.
10. Try the Surprising Chili and Chocolate Festival
The animated city of Maribor, on Leon Štukelj Square, hosts another interesting October festival that you will probably not see twice in your life. Maribor indeed presents the work of more than 40 chocolate artists and chili producers that come from all around Slovenian and abroad to spice and sweeten your visit of the country and make it memorable.
It will boost your culinary creativity and allow you to try unprecedented experiences that will not leave any of you indifferent. On a short weekend, you will discover all of the secrets to explain why opposites attract so well and taste many interesting mixes that you will have to try at home and teach your friends and family!
At the end of the weekend, an amazing DJ set usually marks the last event of the festival, and leaves you wanting to come back next year.
11. Assist in a Classical Concert or a Ballet in Ljubljana
The month of October marks the start of the season of spectacles and art festivals in Ljubljana when the Summer crush finally ends in the country. You can choose one ballet or concert amongst the wide range of the capital to assist in for a reasonable amount of money.
The Philharmonic of Ljubljana and the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet Ljubljana offer a complete and interesting annual program that also includes more contemporary theater and music works.
The Programmation changes annually but there is always something for everyone, which means that the most renowned classical works are also performed in Ljubljana.
12. Hike to See the Autumnal Colors of Bled or Bohinj
October is one of the best times of the year to go for a hike in places like the Triglav National Park and its beautiful Bohinj Lake at the core of the Julian Alps. This is a heaven for every nature lover and it is also suitable for all levels, with paths and trails of various difficulties.
You cannot go wrong by hiking in Slovenia in October: every place is beautiful, especially with these amazing warm colors. It is then the perfect moment to explore the beautiful Vintgar Gorges around Bled Lake, or simply go up to one of the lake’s best viewpoints that will give you the best picturesque spots of the island that looks like straight out of a fairytale.
13. Discover the Slovenian October Beer & Burger Fest
You should not miss the Pivo and Burger Fest, which usually takes place between September and October in the capital of Slovenia. This Slovenian version of the Oktober fest is housed every year in Pogačarjev trg.
It will give you the chance to try the renowned Slovenian beers and the top-notch names of craft beer, but also the Slovenian culinary tradition put into the shape of a burger. More than twenty beer producers, such as Reservoir Dogs and Pelicon, and as many restaurants will be featured during this festival. It is the perfect occasion to try as much local street food as you can in one day only.
14. Have a taste of the last Open Kitchen
If you did not have enough with the Beer and Burger Fest, you will like the opportunity to try for the last time Ljubljana’s open kitchen. Every year from mid-March to October, the square of the central market at Pogačarjev in Ljubljana hosts every Friday the Open Kitchen event, called Odprta Kuhna in Slovene.
There, you can find there more than fifty street food stands that will give you a taste of the Slovenian culinary tradition but also what is the best to taste of the world cuisine. Discovering this attraction in October will let you to enjoy this mouth-watering street food program without having to queue at every stand because of a crowd.
I recommend you try the local fish or meat dishes and many easy-to-eat Yugoslav or Slovenian specialties like the burek. You can also choose from a large offer of Slovenian drinks and vegetarian or vegan options that will not leave you indifferent.
15. Visit a Medieval Castle in Ljubljana, Predjama, or again Ptuj,…
The kind of gloomy atmosphere that starts to appear at the end of Summer combined to the not to cool temperatures of October make it the perfect month to visit the medieval monuments that Slovenia has in abundance. You will have the feeling of slipping into a true Fall fairytale with magical castles as the Bled Castle, perched on a cliff above the beautiful lake.
If you pass by a Slovenian city like Ljubljana or Ptuj, you also have to stop for a visit to their impressive castles. The Predjama Castle is also a great highlight after or before a visit to the Postojna caves.
Overall, there is something mystic and magical about visiting a Slovenian castle at this time of the year: plus, it allows you to avoid the crowds and the freezing temperatures. I guarantee these conditions will offer you the best set up for amazing souvenir photos.
Everything you will choose to do and visit during your Fall trip to Slovenia will be worth the sight, and will eventually convince you to come back to discover the wonders of the other seasons. No matter what events you assist in, the beautiful colors of the country and the quiet atmosphere of this period of the year will please and amaze you.
If you are coming to Slovenia in October, you are probably interested in discovering the natural wonders of the country. In this case, why not booking a trip to discover the beauties of the Triglav national park at the best time of the year?