Best time to go on a Julian Alps holiday

There’s no snow this year in Ljubljana, it's just too warm. They used to get constant snow in the capital from January to April but not any more. The Julian Alps are a different setting. They’re at a higher altitude and people can still expect snow there in the winter.
The winter season in the Julian Alps runs from December to April and turns alpine villages like Kranjska Gora into ski resorts. As the snow melts in May you can expect to find the Soca River flowing with more force (grade II and III rapids), whilst high above the wild meadows of the Pokljuka Plateau become blanketed in spring daffodils, dandelions and purple flowering crocuses. June to September is the best time to go hiking or cycling in warmer temperatures, although Lake Bled, especially, can get busy in the summer holidays, so it’s best to avoid there in favour of lesser-visited Bohinj.

Julian Alps Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
-6
1
94
FEB
-5
3
90
MAR
-3
6
109
APR
1
10
136
MAY
5
16
139
JUN
9
19
159
JUL
10
21
153
AUG
10
21
156
SEP
8
17
148
OCT
4
12
135
NOV
-1
6
167
DEC
-5
2
104

The Julian Alps, month by month

As the snow begins to fall in December, high mountain passes, such as the Vrsic Pass, get set to close until the end of April. It’s the winter activity season in the valleys and around the lakes, and even in Ljubljana you’ll find local folk busily dusting off their Nordic skis and snowshoes in readiness for the trails around alpine ski resorts such as Krvavec, Cerkno and Vodel. January, February, March and April in the Julian Alps are all about the white stuff with some resorts, including the high altitude Kanin-Sella Nevea (2,000m), said to stay open for skiing until as late as June. January is also the best month for a winter photography holiday in Slovenia, with all of those frozen waterfalls and magical misty mornings making uncrowded Lake Bled a brilliant base to begin. May is a good month for white water rafting and kayaking down the Soca River, and both activities are really popular in the Slovenian springtime. A slightly more sedate springtime pace can be had cycling and hiking on many of the mountain and lakeside trails in Triglav National Park. Solar-powered chairlifts are still running to whisk walkers up into the 2,000m-plus peaks surrounding the forested trails stretching over the Pokljuka Plateau. Although spring temperatures are starting to creep above zero in the Julian Alps, the higher you go the colder it’s going to get. Night-times, especially, can be very chilly even in May. Layers are the key, as are a pair of hand-knitted Slovenian socks available in all good local markets. Summer season in the Julian Alps kicks off in June, with lakeside festivities and traditional concerts taking place all the way through July, and to the end of August. Expect the bypass between Bled and Bohinj to be very busy; weekends especially so. Prices rise with the water temperature, but swimming or boating on both lakes is still worthwhile, especially in Bohinj where it’s not as crowded as Bled. September sees the summer crowds creep back from whence they came and the temperatures dip down to a very bike- and hike-friendly 22°C in the alpine foothills and shaded spruce forest trails. Activity trips wind to a halt in October – along with the forest bears, who duck into hibernation. November can be foggy and damp, whilst locals wait for snow to lighten the gloom.

Our top Julian Alps Holiday

Slovenia holidays, Lakes & Mountains

Slovenia holidays, Lakes & Mountains

Beautiful walks, lakes and mountains

From £1299 to £1449 8 days inc UK flights
Small group travel:
2021: 6 Jun, 13 Jun, 27 Jun, 4 Jul, 25 Jul, 29 Aug, 5 Sep
Travel Team
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Written by Chris Owen
Photo credits: [Page banner: NH53] [Intro: Dreamy Pixel]
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