Map from Google - Slovenia
In Slovenia there is a clear separation between the area of the plain that extends around Nova Gorica and northern Istria, which has a mild climate, and the inland areas, which have a moderately continental climate
(in hills and valleys, and in the eastern plain) or a cold mountain climate (in the mountains).
is abundant in the western part of the country, where it varies between 40 and 60 inches per year in plains and hills, while it goes above 80 inches in the mountains, and even 120 inches in the most exposed slopes. Only in the far east, rainfall became less abundant and decreases below 35 in.
The western plains
of Slovenia, which are influenced by the sea, are not vast, because about 20 miles from the coast there is a mountain range which separates the interior from the sea. This flat area close to the coast has a climate that can be described as transitional Mediterranean. In fact, winter is quite mild in cities like Portorož, Piran, Izola, Koper, even though you cannot fully define it Mediterranean: the average temperature in January is around 41/43 °F. This area is exposed to a fearful wind: the temperature undergoes sudden drops when the Bora
makes its appearance, a cold and furious wind that may be accompanied by clear skies (light Bora) or a cloudy weather with rain or snow (dark Bora). Snowfall in this area is rare and usually not abundant, because the Bora comes from the dry plains of Eastern Europe, therefore it's usually dry.
Here are the average temperatures of Portorož.
Average temperatures - Portoroz
Rainfall in Portorož is fairly abundant, around 40 inches per year, and is well distributed throughout the year, given that even in summer there can be some rain, often in the form of thunderstorms. However, the rainiest season is autumn. Here is the average rainfall.
Average precipitation - Portoroz
The sea temperature is high enough for swimming in July and August, but all in all even in September.
Sea temperature - Portoroz
In cities that are not right on the coast, the winter is a bit colder, as is the case of Nova Gorica and Ajdovscina, but the average is still above freezing, around 39/41 °F in January.
Summer in the western plain is warm or even hot, averaging around 73.5 °F in July and August, but tempered by the breezes. The rains are frequent throughout the year, and they experience a maximum in autumn (September to November), a relative minimum in winter, and an increase between late spring and summer. This is not to say that summer is cloudy, but you have to take into account some thunderstorms in the afternoon, and even a few days in which Atlantic disturbances manage to get here, maybe followed by cool gusts of Bora.
As soon as you move forward in inland areas
, you find the elevations that block the mild influence of the Adriatic Sea. Already in Postojna, in the Karst Plateau, at 1,740 feet above sea level, winter is cold and snowy, while summer can be hot during the day, but the nights remain cool. The rains are abundant throughout the year, with a relative break only in January, February and July. In autumn, the rains can be torrential.
, at 1,000 feet above sea level, the average in January is 32 °F, that of July is 70 °F. Here, too, rainfall is abundant, about 55 inches per year, making it one of the rainiest capitals in Europe. Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Ljubljana
In winter, snow often falls, while in summer there is no shortage of rains and afternoon thunderstorms, although the sunshine amount is acceptable. In winter there are frequent fogs when the weather is stable, while cold waves from Russia can bring periods of frosts; in summer there can be short heat waves, with peaks of 95 °F. Here are the average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Ljubljana
Across the central and eastern part of Slovenia, the climate is similar to that of Ljubljana, and the differences in temperature are mainly due to the altitude. Going east, however, the annual precipitation decreases gradually: in Maribor it goes down to 34.5 in, and here especially autumn and winter are relatively less rainy, since summer has equally its load of thunderstorms. This applies to the entire easternmost area, from Maribor to the north-eastern flat area, on the border with Austria and Hungary.
In high mountains
the climate is naturally colder. Snowfalls are especially abundant in the mountains of western Slovenia, on both the northern Alpine offshoot and the southern massif which not coincidentally is called "snowy mountain" (Snežnik). In Kranjska Gora, at 2,600 feet above sea level, 68 in of rain or snow per year fall, even more so in the mountains that surround it. In summer, strong afternoon thunderstorms are possible, as well as heavy rains in autumn, especially in October. Here are the average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Kraniska Gora
When to go
The short coastline of Slovenia lends itself to beach life in summer, especially in July and August, even though there can be some cool and rainy days, or some afternoon thunderstorms.
The inland areas can be visited from June to September
, bearing in mind, however, that sometimes the rains may be heavy even in summer in the western areas, such as in Ljubljana or Postunia. In July and August, every so often, periods of intense heat may occur, so if you suffer from the heat you may prefer June and September.
In ski resorts, snow is almost always guaranteed. In February, the days are longer than in the Christmas period, so it's preferable for skiing.
What to pack
In winter: in the interior, warm clothes, sweater, down jacket, scarf, gloves, umbrella. On the coast, warm clothes, jacket, raincoat or umbrella, but also hat, scarf and gloves for the Bora.
In summer: light clothes, T-shirts and shorts, but also long pants, jacket and sweatshirt for the evening or cooler days; raincoat or umbrella. In the mountains, hiking shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses.