Traffic jams in Europe are rather seasonal, with millions flooding the cities as soon as the peak starts. Still, when the peak season ends, the crowds recede and the cities are left almost empty. If you’re planning a trip to southeast Europe, you must have wondered about the best time to visit. Seeing as these parts of Europe are lovely all year round, you are very unlikely to make a mistake.
When it comes to choosing the best time to visit Croatia and Slovenia, there is no wrong time to visit, but some seasons might be better than others. It just depends on the region you want to visit and the things you want to do.
Summer Trips in Croatia and Slovenia
July and August are the top of the peak season, with buses, boats, and a lot of accommodation options that attract people to visit Croatia and Slovenia. With its seaside, Croatia is one of the increasingly popular destinations in the summer. Filled with blissfully hot days, the Croatian seaside is filled with dozens of people spending their summer days relaxing and cozying to the ideal water temperatures.
Croatia has so much beauty that is waiting for you to discover, but there is also a lot of people that are doing the same thing you are. This has been the case ever since Game of Thrones aired and people have been traveling from all around the world to see King’s Landing from up close. Travelers flock to see dozens of Game of Thrones locations, including the House of the Undying, the setting of the Purple Weddin, and the Red Keep being the most popular ones. Because of that, summer trips might be crowded, but nonetheless, it can be a great experience.
On the other hand, Slovenia has become popular for its lakes and mountains. Those who enjoy spending their summer holidays exploring beautiful lakes and mountains should go to Slovenia to see its irresistible blend of staggering scenery and folk culture. With the incredible mixture of climates, you can feel the warm Mediterranean breeze from the seaside up to the foothills of the Alps. Slovenia also has a seaside, so for those who don’t like the mountains, there is a lot of interesting places and summer activities for them to enjoy.
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Croatia in Autumn
Even though Croatia has very diverse landscapes, the Adriatic coast is what attracts most of the tourists. Still, for those who want to spend their holidays with fewer tourists, the best time to visit Croatia is in May, June, September or October. May and June’s weather is optimal for swimming as the temperatures start to rise. The temperature starts getting high in July and August providing the perfect sea temperature, which stays heated until the end of October, so you can spend your vacation on the beach with fewer tourists.
As the autumn progresses into November, you might not be able to go swimming, but there are a lot more activities to do and things to see throughout the country. The prices are much lower and you can have a luxurious holiday for a bargain anywhere in the country. You can go and enjoy skiing sojourn, a blissed-out spa stay, or a nature park.
Read more: Top Spanish Beaches to Visit in October
Slovenia in Spring
When planning a visit to Slovenia, the best time to come is in the spring. Even though Slovenia is a wonderful year-round destination and each time of year has its own perks, spring is the most beautiful season for this country. Its fairytale landscapes are breathtaking. You can visit Slovenia’s lovely rivers and lakes, but also the sea. The sea temperature in spring is perfect for swimming. You can avoid the crowds and the hot sun, and just enjoy your time in the sea. If you prefer mountain landscapes, it has moderate temperatures and stunning foliage that make it perfect to go for a hike. Some say that the foliage that you see in Slovenia can rival that of New England with its beauty.
Ljubljana, the capital city, is also one of the great places to visit. It comes alive during the spring and summer months when many go to the park and have picnics by the Ljubljanica River. The weather is also perfect for swimming in Lake Bled, where you can explore waterfalls, or even go rafting, canyoning, ziplining, and kayaking on the emerald-green Soca River.
Read more: Best Ideas for a 2-Week Holiday in Europe
Croatian Winter Adventure
Croatia is one of the countries where each season has a lot of natural and cultural attractions. The seaside might not be great to visit in winter, due to bad weather conditions and cold temperatures, but the other parts of the country have a lot to offer. Starting from the capital, Zagreb, with its month-long Advent festival that turns the city into a lively celebration of Christmas.
The Advent festival has several major locations that are decorated with wooden chalets and glittering canopies of fairy lights. Each year, some of the best Zagreb attractions are decorated with fairy lights and huge Christmas trees to make an illuminated winter wonderland, with nativity scenes and ice-rinks. On top of that, Zagreb doubles as a ski city as well. The mountain Medvednica is located very close to the city, at just a 20-minute drive. You can go to the Sjleme ski resort and enjoy some sports there.
You can also go ice-skating or just for a walk there. You can also go to Plitvice Lake and enjoy nature’s winter wonderland. With cold temperatures, the lakes freeze over with thick snow coverings which are simply spectacular in winter. You can see the lakes and waterfall in their frozen winter glory.
Slovenia in Winter
Slovenia is a great location for your winter adventure simply because it has the Alps. With many ski resorts and cabins to rent, you can enjoy the European mountains without the crowds and huge prices. Apart from the mountains, Slovenia has a lot of lakes that are beautiful to see in the winter. Lake Bohinj, located in the Julian Alps, is the largest lake in Slovenia. It is encompassed by the National Park of Triglav, so the real beauty of the lake is visible when the lake is frozen in the winter. The frozen lake creates a mirror-like surface that is breathtaking. Lake Bled can also be seen with its mirror-like surface that shows a reflection of the mountains forest located along its shores.
The Final Verdict – The Best Time to Visit Croatia and Slovenia?
Depending on your preferences, you can visit both countries during the entire year. If you are a fan of the seaside, you can go in late spring or early autumn to avoid the crowds, while the mountains are always open and crowd-free for your visit regardless of the season.