Discovering the country at this time of the year will guarantee you a quality trip. May is not the best Spring month to visit Slovenia, but it still has some exciting and unique highlights. Be prepared to assist in the numerous cultural, artistic, and historical events that are held annually in May.
In May, Slovenia adorns the beautiful colours of the Spring and allows you to enjoy its vast and wonderful green outdoors. When the weather gets a bit chilly and rainy, you can enjoy the diverse cultural program organized throughout this incredible month in the whole country. You cannot be bored in Slovenia in May!
This month will offer you a representative experience of Slovenia, permitting you to discover its numerous different sides and highlights. The mountains summits will not be empty of snow yet, the flowers will be blossoming, and you will have some calm days to spend inside excellent museums and cafés. Here is a list of the best things you could do.
1. Walk Along the Wire through Ljubljana’s History
In 2021, Ljubljana will hold the 65th edition of its event, “Walk along the wire,” in the famous remembrance path called Pot ob žici in Slovene. Numerous events are organized during a long weekend every year in May as a tradition. Since 1957, the celebrations commemorate the liberation of the city in 1945 on the closest weekend to May 9th.
Indeed, the Liberation of Ljubljana’s province from Fascist Italian occupation was on May 9th, 1945. The pot of remembrance that surrounds the city of Ljubljana is one of the most important memories of this time. The Municipality of Ljubljana has created it, and this event, to represent the path of barbed-wire that surrounded the city at the time.
This day is internationally recognized as a time of remembrance: May 9th is also the Day of Peace, which was formerly called Victory Day, and Europe Day as well since Slovenia’s entrance into the European Union. The event is also made to promote healthy lifestyles with sports and exercise activities that are already very popular in Slovenia. This march is a great occasion to train and exercise beforehand.
The events also include the reception of a badge and a medal if you manage to collect stamps at the eight checkpoints scattered all along the trail. It makes a beautiful souvenir and gives you the opportunity to have a small memorial to bring back with you.
The number of participants increases every year, especially for the second day of the events, on Saturday. The race begins on Friday, with the preschool children’s march, which is followed by primary and secondary school pupils.
Saturday is the busiest day of events since people are more available on weekends. Families, friends, and individuals can all participate in this March, and in a three-member team run as well for groups. Everyone can do the most popular March: it can go from 3 kilometers to 35, depending on the inhabitants’ abilities.
You can begin your walk at 6 in the morning and end it at 5 pm, and you have the ability to register at any of the eight checkpoints (Vič, Šiška, Bežigrad, Jarše, Polje, Fužine, Rudnik, and Livada). These checkpoints are also points of interest that will highlight your walk.
2. Discover the Amazing and Historical Druga Godba Music Festival
Tourists who have the chance to visit Slovenia in May should make sure to be there for one of the capital’s most significant artistic and cultural events of the whole year. Druga Godba, or “That Other Music Festival” in proper English, is known for proposing a vast scene of artists coming from the “Third World.”
The festival was launched during the end of the Yugoslav era, in 1984, with the aim of showcasing popular music of different styles, such as reggaeton and various African kinds of music. Since 1990 and the end of Yugoslavia, Duga Gobda has become part of the European Forum of Worldwide Music Festivals (EFWMF) network.
Organized every year at the end of May, this unique festival also allows us to visit numerous local artistic and cultural venues from a different perspective, like Metelkova, Cankar Hall, Kino Šiška, or again Stara Mestna Elektrarna. Some international artists who are well known in Europe also performed at this great festival, such as the Pixies, or Slovenia’s most popular band, Laibach.
However, this festival also makes an excellent opportunity to discover the best Slovenian and underground bands. Music enthusiasts will love the mixing of genres: you will be able to listen to alternative rock, Slovenian folk music, rock in opposition, unique new jazz, as well as improvised and experimental music. This is one of the biggest festivals in Central Europe, so do not miss this fantastic occasion!
3. Participate in or Assist in the Radenci Marathon
If you pass by the northeastern side of Slovenia or are an athlete or again a sports enthusiast, the Radenci Marathon should definitely be added to your list of memorable events to assist in. The tradition of this marathon, also called the “Three Hears Marathon,” dates back to 1981, the year of the first edition.
Ever since this 42 kilometers, long circuit attracts passionate people from all around the country and beyond. Thousands of participants choose to challenge themselves and the others in Radenci. The main piste is made of two laps on a wide flat ground with beautiful views on numerous and vast fields.
One of the highlights of the place is the welcomed proximity to the start and finish line with the fantastic Radenci Spa, the town’s famous thermal baths. If you wish to participate in this great challenge, a day or two in the spa will surely help you relax from all of the efforts!
If you do not feel ready for this big competition yet, you can still sign up for the other runs organized on the same day in Radenci, such as the half-marathon. Some sports activities are also designed especially for children and teenagers: everyone is warmly welcomed in Radenci!
4. Hike in the Pohorje Hills in Northeastern Slovenia
It is great to visit Slovenia’s most touristic spots such as Bled Lake or the Adriatic Coast, but it is also a blast to discover less crowded places to enjoy the outdoors peacefully. Do not miss visiting Maribor, Slovenia’s second-biggest city, and especially its beautiful surroundings.
Indeed, Maribor is also the capital of the lovely Štajerska region. In this relatively undiscovered but very popular among Slovenians area, you will the beautiful Pohorje Hills, nestled alongside the River Drava. It has incredible green forests at this time of the year when hiking becomes the inhabitants’ favorite hobby.
Mountain and downhill hikers will surely enjoy this wonderful spot, while less dedicated walkers will prefer other parts of Maribor’s surroundings. I especially recommend you try to get lost in the city’s fabulous vineyards and gentle hills. Have fun hiking in May!
5. Go See the Sun Rise or Set in Smarna Gora (Mount Saint Mary)
If you wish to find nature in Ljubljana’s immediate surroundings, you will be pleased with a trip to Smarna Gora. The beautiful Mount Saint Mary, the highest hill of the district, is a very popular hiking point, accessible with a 30-minutes ride by city bus, or even less by car. From there, count about an hour and a half to make the journey back and forth.
This beautiful camel shaped mountain has another high peak, Grmada, but Smarna Gora should be your first choice. Mount Saint Mary culminates at 669 meters (or 2,195 ft) and offers fantastic views when the weather allows it. You will probably not be bothered anymore with these considerations in May, except during the few rainy days.
From there, you can even see Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak, as well as the impressive Mount Krim, Mount Snežnik, and Trdina Peak, and many other smaller and nearer hills. From the mountain, you can also admire the surrounding adorable towns located further down.
The days are quite long in May, so you can enjoy a hike there at any time of the day, but the most impressive would be to get there on time to see the sun rising. The sunset in Mount Saint Mary can also be gorgeous but be prepared for a return walk in the dark. Have you ever noticed Mount Saint Mary from Ljubljana’s Castle Hill?
6. Enjoy Amazing Colors and Sights at the International Wild Flower Festival in Bohinj
The adorable town of Bohinj will hold its 15 edition of the International Flower Festival from May 20th to June 5th. In this incredible region of Slovenia, blessed with more than a thousand wildflower species, you will have the chance to admire the beauty of nature everywhere. The area is so wonderful, to the point that people used to come on foot to visit it before the implementation of the railway in the region, about a hundred years ago.
Even if you do not make it to Bohinj during the period of the festival, Spring and especially May is the best time to appreciate the picturesque and fabulous Slovenian alpine flowers. Whenever you come during the month, there are so many activities to do and landscapes to see in the Bohinj area that you can definitely consider coming at least three days. It is essential for such a touristic region to organize events like this festival to raise awareness about the necessity to respect the environment and preserve nature.
Once you are aware of the possible impact of your visit, you can enjoy respectfully the fantastic natural attractions in the area, such as, obviously, Bohinj’s magnificent lake, but also the incredible Savinca Waterfall, the surprising Mostnica Gorge, or again the breathtaking Voje Valley. In May, you will be able to enjoy them all in dry weather and hike everywhere around the numerous beautiful mountain lakes, and get postal card pictures!
7. Appreciate the View from Bled’s Cafe Belvedere
The visit to Bled Lake is a compulsory stop for any visitor, but May is a particularly great time to do it. The sun will likely be there and provide amazing sights on the lake, the Island, and the impressive medieval castle perched on its cliff. The cool weather and the absence of rain will allow you to go to the best viewpoints of the area, such as Mala Ojosnica, that you can access after a small hike in the forest.
The month of May might be a little too chill to enjoy a swim in the lake yet, but you can suit yourself with many outdoor activities in Bled. Hike to the three different main view sights, and then offer yourself a visit to the castle and a nice drink with a view. However, if you want to discover the lake’s most unique place, you have to climb some stairs up to the Cafe Belvedere.
This impressive building is located right to Tito’s Summer Mansion, Vila Bled. It was indeed the man’s favorite café in Bled, where he liked to smoke cigars and drink whisky. If you want to enjoy the place at its most, you have to ask for a seat at the café’s terrace, the one you access by entering the building, not the one on its left side.
The terrace is covered so that you can enjoy it no matter the weather, and very intimate. Do not worry, this fantastic place is, nevertheless, never too crowded. It will make the perfect spot to taste the famous Bled Cream Cake, also known as Kremna rezina. This fantastic layered cake is the specialty of the town, and the best one in Slovenia can be found at Cafe Belvedere. So enjoy your sweets with the prettiest view on the Lake’s island!
8. Visit some Picturesque Towns in Ljubljana’s Surroundings
If you want to discover the most authentic and picturesque Slovenian towns, you do not have to go further than the adorable small towns nestled in the Ljubljana Marshes. Enjoy the quietness and green beauty of Ig and its beautiful Iski Vintgar, or head to the beautiful village of Jezero (literally “Lake” in English) to discover the town’s lovely church (Sveta Ana). With short hikes or bike trips, you can admire the subtle beauty of Slovenia’s countryside.
While heading north to Ljubljana, you will probably come across Kamnik, a wonderful town gifted with amazing mountain sceneries and attractions. Visit at least one of the village’s three wonderful castles and get the most impressive views of the old city and its red roofs. The ancient capital of Carniola has many things to offer, so get lost in its narrow alleys, and do not forget to take pictures!
You can drive to Skofja Loka for another sight of Slovenia in only 30 minutes from Ljubljana and found yourself in a totally different place. Skofja Loka is a unique gem in Slovenia, with its beautiful colorful houses, its impressive bridges crossing a crystal clear river, and its beautiful sights on the Julian Alps. There are many other towns to see in the area, but Skofja Loka is the one that will make you feel like you are straight out of a fairytale!
9. Enjoy the Sun in the Wonderful Soca Valley
While planning your trip to Slovenia and deciding on the date, you probably heard of the beautiful Soca valley and its wonders. It happens that the wonderful emerald green river, the Soca, gets its unique colors from different factors, but also from the shining sun. By visiting Slovenia in May, you will be able to see its fantastic color at its most, and also to avoid the crowd.
The Soca Valley also has its fair share of lovely picturesque villages, like Kobarid or Tolmin, but you should definitely focus on visiting the outdoors and hiking. In May, you can discover the Soca river and its surroundings while doing water sports: excellent kayak and rafting sessions await you in the valley! The river is too cold to swim all year long, so you do not have to worry about missing something by going there in Spring.
You can also enjoy the dry weather and the lovely light to hike in the area’s numerous forests and hiking trails. Some of them will allow you to come across natural wonders and attractions.
For example, you can stop for a while at Boka Waterfall (Slap Boka), at the beautiful Tolmin Gorge, or the Zelenci Nature reserve and its fantastic lake. Since the Vrsic Pass is already open in May, you can also pay a visit to the wonderful Jasna Lake, located in the heart of Kranjska Gora.
Make the Most of your Slovenian Trip
Spring is a fantastic time to visit Slovenia and discover all of its beautiful aspects, landscapes, and features. When the weather allows it, you should definitely focus on touring the main outdoor attractions of the country, especially the ones that are usually crowded in Summer, like Bled, Bohinj, or even Piran. However, do not miss to visit the Slovenian capital to impregnate its great Spring energy.
If you want to discover Ljubljana and its surroundings in Spring, your best and the most suitable option is to visit Ljubljana’s pot by bike on a sunny day. Check out our article for more information!