9 Most Beautiful Lakes in Europe [that aren’t Grada or Bled or Camo]

9 Most Beautiful Lakes in Europe [that aren’t Grada or Bled or Camo]

Ever seen a list of the most visited destinations in the world? Most of them in the top 10 are in Europe. Yep, Europe is one of the most touristy continents. Why do I even mention it? Read on.

When a destination becomes even mildly famous in Europe, it kind of turns into Disneyland. It is not just with destinations that have been famous for decades – such as Amsterdam, Paris or Prague – but also newly famous destinations thanks to the power of Instagram such as Bucharest.

Same happened with the most famous lakes in Europe too. Yes, I’m talking about the ever famous Lake Grada of Italy, Lake Bled of Slovenia and Lake Camo of Italy again. Yes, they are definitely lovely but it is hard to enjoy the raw natural beauty of these lakes when the area all around is so developed and busy.

If you’re anything like me, then you seek peace and raw natural beauty of a lake destination instead of the hustle bustle of an overly developed town. Moreover, you would want to see the lake without too many boats in or around it.

For me, a stunning lake is the one that’s in the wilderness – or even better mountains. It is not surrounded by developed towns but you can only see empty areas if you sit next to the water. An absence of commercial boats is definitely an added advantage because it adds to the peace element. Calm and clear water so that you can see inside. Yes, that’s what it takes for a lake to be truly stunning.

Maybe I sound like a nature snob, but the thing is exploring natural landscapes is our thing. San and I are living in Germany and we often travel within the Europe on our campervan. We avoid big cities and instead head to National Parks. And guess what, some of the most beautiful lakes in Europe are found in National Parks. Yes, we have seem many European lakes and we’d like to tell you about the most beautiful ones.

The easiest way to reach most of these lakes is by car. If you live in Europe, then you can drive your own car to these destination. Alternatively, you can fly to the nearby destination and rent a car. Traveling by car is usually cheaper and more convenient in Europe.

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Europe’s Most beautiful Lakes

1) Lake Bohinj, Slovenia (Triglav National Park)

The spectacular Bohinjsko jezero - Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

The spectacular Bohinjsko jezero – Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

Slovenian’s Lake Bled gets all the attention, but Lake Bohinj is the one that will truly take your breath away. This lake has all it takes to be on top of our list. Bohinj is the highlight of Triglav National Park so you can rest assured that the natural beauty of the area around the lake is preserved. 

So what makes Lake Bohinj so special? The water is insanely clear, it is away from the main towns and is surrounded by big mountains.  Mount Triglav is the highest peak of the Julien Alps. Yep, so Lake Bohinj is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alps. Bonus point – Lake Bohinj has some ridiculously stunning beaches.  

Mountains, clear lake and pretty beaches - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Mountains, clear lake and pretty beaches – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

You can not just sit on the side of Lake Bohinj on one of its beaches and not get stunned by the jaw dropping beauty of the mountains around it. They are so high! I wasn’t even able to capture the complete height of the mountains even with a wide angle camera except only at one spot where I walked way far back.

One of the many beaches along Lake Bohinj - Bohinjsko Jezero - Slovenia

One of the many beaches along Lake Bohinj – Bohinjsko Jezero – Slovenia

There are definitely many stunning lakes around the world but not many that you can camp right next to. Yes, you can actually put up your tent or park your camper van next to the lake in  Camp Zlatorog Bohinj. For all these reasons, Lake Bohinj is one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe.

For more information, read my post about Slovenia’s Lake Bohinj.

2) Black Lake, Montenegro (Durmitor National Park)

Black Lake - Durmitor National Park near Žabljak, Montenegro

Black Lake – Durmitor National Park near Žabljak, Montenegro

Many visit Montenegro for its beaches but in our experience this country’s mountains is so much better. Montenegro’s Durmitor Mountain range within the Dinaric Alps is a destination that will wow you over.

Within the Dinaric Alps, there’s a protected area called Durmitor National Park which has many glacier lakes. One of the most famous glacier lakes here is called Crno jezero (the Black Lake) near Zabljak, which should actually be called the Blue Lake. The water is extremely clear and is blue-green in color. 

Crno jezero or Black Lake entry area, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Crno jezero or Black Lake entry area, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Black Lake is actually a set of twin lakes that is joined by strait. There are trees and mountains around most of the lake so the resulting landscape is super stunning. There is also a walking path around the twin lakes with many benches. You can walk around both the lakes in 1,5 hours if you make a few resting stops.

You can’t swim in the Black Lake or Camp right next to it. For more information on Black Lake, read my post about Durmitor National Park.

3) Lake Zaovine, Serbia (Tara National Park) 

I was 4 to 5 months pregnant when San and I went to Serbia

Swimming in Lake Zaovine in Tara National Park, Serbia

A lot of the lakes in this list are surrounded by high mountains and pine trees but Serbia’s Lake Zaovine is a bit different. Yes, there are mountains but they aren’t as high on all the sides and we definitely did not see pine trees. As a result, there is a high visibility of the landscape around Lake Zaovine. 

Lake Zaovine is in Serbia’s Tara National Park, which is literally on the border of Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is situated in Tara National Park which is known for its mind-blowing viewpoints. 

Lake Zaovine in Tara National Park, Mokra Gora, Serbia

Lake Zaovine in Tara National Park, Mokra Gora, Serbia

Talking about touristy, this place definitely isn’t. It is perhaps the least touristy destinations that are mentioned on this list. As a result, you can have the gorgeousness of this lake to yourself like we did. You can swim in it, spend a few hours around it, click endless photos without bothering about other tourists. For us, Zaovine is one of the best lakes in Europe for swimming.

For more information about Lake Zaovine, read my post about Tara National Park, Serbia.

4) Lago di Tovel, Italy

Lago di Tovel in Trentino, Italy

Lago di Tovel in Trentino, Italy

Yes, Italy’s lakes are super famous and touristy, but Lago di Tovel isn’t. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t gorgeous. It has the bluest water and was semi frozen when we visited in spring. It is surrounded by snowy mountains and has everything you imagine in a typical alpine lake. The best part, you can usually see a reflection of the snowy mountains on the surface. 

Lake Tovel is in Italy’s Trentino region which is known for the Dolomites. As with most of the lakes on this list, it is in a protected area – Adamello-Brenta nature park. As per the legends, this lake was once red in color. Spooky!

Lago do Tovel - the stunning lake in Val di Non, Trentino - Italy

Lago do Tovel – the stunning lake in Val di Non, Trentino – Italy

It is possible to walk al around Lago di Tovel in 1.5 – 2 hours to discovered other scenic spots. We couldn’t because I was pregnant when we visited and I wasn’t in a mood for so much exercise. The lake is triangular in shape. No, you can not swim in Lake Tovel.

In order to get to Lago di Tovel, you need to visit Italy’s Trentino region. Stay in Val di Non to enjoy its romantic beauty and drive to Lago di Tovel. 

For more information about Lake Tovel, read my post – Lago di Tovel, Italy or read about Val di Non.

5) Plitvice Lakes, Croatia (Plitvice Lakes National Park)

Crystal Clear Water - Plitvice Lakes Croatia

Water so clear that you can see the bottom of the lake – Plitvice Lakes Croatia

How can I write a post about the most beautiful lakes in Europe and not mention the Plitvice Lakes? It is a National Park in Croatia with 16 lakes that are formed on different levels that are interconnected. They are on different levels and as a result there are waterfalls and cascades. These lakes are stunning with insanely clear water.  This area is truly a natural wonderland.

The 16 lakes of the Plitvice Lakes complex are divided in two segments – the Upper Lakes and the Lower Lakes. Some of the lakes are really big but in my experience the smaller lakes were better than the bigger ones because you could really see the clarity. 

Plitvice Lakes National Park has 7 hiking routes that vary in length. Because of the size of the national park, not all trails cover all the lakes but just 1 of them does. That’s the hiking route we took but it took us all day and we ended up walking for 15-20 kilometers in total. You can also pick one of the smaller trails. I mention all of the Plitvice Lakes’ hiking routes in detail in my post. Be sure to read it before you go. 

San and I in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

San and I in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Maybe you were only looking for Europe’s most beautiful lakes but for me it is an added bonus when you get to enjoy the beauty of the waterfalls too. Yes, you will find a lot of them in this national park.

Sadly you can not swim in the Plitvice Lakes but it is really a good thing because that’s how the water is so clean and the biodiversity is truly protected. These lakes collectively are some of the cleanest lakes in Europe. The water is so clean that you can actually see the bottom of the smaller lakes.

Perhaps the Plitvice Lakes are the most touristy lakes on this list and the crowd peaks in the months of August and July. But you can visit them in other months and that will help you avoid crowds.

For more information, read my post about the Plitvice Lakes where I also mention how to avoid crowds.

6) Seealpsee, Switzerland

Recommended by Continent Hop

Seealpsee Switzerland - Most Beautiful Lakes in Europe

Seealpsee Switzerland – Most Beautiful Lakes in Europe

Switzerland’s Seealpsee that’s sat at an altitude of 1141 meters above sea level, is one of the prettiest lakes in Europe. The lake is located amongst the Appenzell Alps in Switzerland and reflects the nearby surroundings like a glass mirror.

To add to the magic, this alpine lake doesn’t get a lot of visitors. The only ones to be found here are ones that head off on the Wasserauen -Seealpsee hike.

You could take a picnic here and in summer possibly go for a boat ride; however, the postcard-perfect location is best enjoyed by taking a walk around it and admiring the dense trees and the glass reflections in the lake while the cows lazily graze around. On some days, the clouds almost descend on the lake, making it look unbelievably stunning.

There’s numerous options for stay here if you’d rather not spend just a single day at the lake.

 

7) Xhema’s Lake, Valbonë, Albania

Valbona Lake in Albania - Travel the Balkans - by Robert Figgen

Xhema’s Lake in Valbona, Albania – Travel the Balkans – by Robert Figgen

Albania’s Valbonë River and the Albanian Alps create a stunning natural landscape in Valbonë Valley National Park. The most famous lake in national park is Shkodër (Lake Skadar) and that’s massive. But there is a smaller lake in Valbonë village called Xhema’s Lake which is stunning. 

It is easy to reach Xhema’s Lake from Valbona village. You will see the signboards in the village itself and from there it is a 30 minute walk. The lake is super clear and blue. The water is icy cold. It is surrounded by limestone cliffs that adds to a strange rugged beauty to this spot.

Please keep in mind that Xhema’s Lake dries up in late summer heat and it is a better idea to see it in spring or early summer. The above picture was clicked in late June. The locals say that the lake is at it’s best in spring because that’s when the winter ice freshly melts and as a result the water is clear blue.

Here’s more information about Valbona Valley National Park.

 

8) Eibsee, Bavaria, Germany

Recommended by Happy to Wander

Eibsee =, Bavaria, Germany by Happy to Wander

Eibsee, Bavaria, Germany by Happy to Wander

When it comes to lakes, Germany doesn’t have a shortage of them and some of the best ones are in Bavaria. While Bavaria’s Königssee is definitely a more famous one, we’d like to mention Eibsee on this list, which is smaller.

Eibsee is special because not only it has crystal clear water but you can also see the Zugspitze (the highest mountain peak in Germany). It is said to be one of the purest and most beautiful lakes in Bavarian Alps.

You can visit Eibsee in all the seasons, each has something unique to offer. This lovely alpine lake freezes in winter and the water starts melting in spring. Summer is a very good time to visit with a family because the weather is warm. Bonus: you can swim in Eibsee in summer. Autumn can be a really interesting time to visit because of the contrast of warm red leaves against the cold blue water. 

Autumn Foliage around Eibsee, Germany

Autumn Foliage around Eibsee, Germany [Pixabay]

The landscape around Eibsee is rocky and you should take some time out to walk around the lake. You can reach Eibsee from Munich. We suggest you read Bayern Ticket Guide by Germany’s travel specialist – Happy to Wander.

 

9) Lago di Braies, Italy

Lago di Braies or The Pragser Wildsee, or Lake Prags, Lake Braies in north Italy

Lago di Braies or The Pragser Wildsee, or Lake Prags, Lake Braies in North Italy

Did we save the best for the last? Maybe. Yes, it is the second one from Italy on our list and totally deserves to be here because Lago di Braies is one of most beautiful lakes in the Alps. It is also called the Pragser Wildsee.  

Lago di Braies is often called the “pearl among the Dolomite lakes”. As with most of the alpine lakes on this list, you can enjoy a surreal landscape of mountains too.

Lago di Braies suddenly became extremely famous because of Instagram. This resulted in a massive spike of visitors and traffic jams. Thankfully there is now a restriction on the number of visitors from 10 am to 3 pm. If you arrive by car, you can only visit if you get a parking place in one of the valley car parks in Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park. Another way of visiting would be by booking a bus ticket to the lake in advance from Dobbiaco or Monguelfo. Another option would be to hike from Ferrara to the lake.

During your visit to Lago di Braies, you can take some time out to walk around the lake. The walking path is 4 kms and this way you can get to enjoy the surreal beauty of this lake from different perspectives.

Did something catch your eye? Let us know which one of the above mentioned European lakes you have visited already or are planning on visiting next. Comment and let us know.

Triglav National Park Hiking Guide: Top Trails + Tips + Camping Sites [Slovenia]

Triglav National Park Hiking Guide: Top Trails + Tips + Camping Sites [Slovenia]

Slovenia isn’t short of natural beauty, there are mountains, alpine lakes, gorges, clear rivers and waterfalls. During our road trip in Slovenia one place that really stood out was Triglav National Park with its stunning Lake Bohinj and multiple hikes all around.

We’re not sure how it happened but somehow we turned into a National Park couple. Honestly we did not see it coming because we started as a music festival couple. Triglav National Park was our seventh National Park in the Balkans and was Karma’s second National Park. At the time of the visit, she was around 8 months old. 

Hiking Trails in Triglav National Park, Slovenia

The Soča Trail

Soča Trail, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Soča Trail, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

This 25km trail has a TON of things to see. It is an excellent choice for families or solo hiking enthusiasts alike. The Soča Trail (or Soška pot as it is known locally) follows the picturesque turquoise alpine river of the same name from Trenta to Bovec. This is definitely one of Europe’s hidden gems.

It takes an estimated seven hours to hike the whole trail but if you are limited on time, you can choose a section of the river that interests you the most and spend the day at the amenities surrounding it. There are maps and information boards sprinkled around the trail to guide you on all of the attractions that are located in your area of the river.

Mostnica Gorge Trail

Mostnica Gorge train, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Mostnica Gorge train, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

If you are looking for a scenic and relaxing trail, head towards Mostnica Gorge. This relatively short 2 hour hike will take you on a mild trip through Voje Valley to Mostnica Falls. Consider taking this hike in autumn as it is especially beautiful due to the leaves changing colour from green to their warmer hues.

This hike can be started at Stara Fužina near Lake Bohinj and has a handful of detours to customize your visit to the Mostnica Gorge. Voje Valley itself is a glorious example of the natural beauty of Slovenia and you can continue on through to view the 21m waterfall. 

A lot of people also highly recommend a stop at the Voje Waterfall Alpine Hut to have a short rest and refuel on delicious local dishes before retracing your steps back home.

Suggested: The Spectacular Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia

Triglavska Bistrica Trail 

Triglavska Bistrica River Trail, Triglav National Park

Triglavska Bistrica River Trail, Triglav National Park

The Triglavska Bistrica Trail is another mellow hiking trail that allows you to tour the breathtaking alpine terrain of Triglav National Park. The path lies parallel to the Triglavska Bistrica River and leads you from the Slovenian Alpine Museum to the Vrata Valley.

A trip to the Vrata Valley is not one that you want to miss. The trail up to Triglav from the Vrata Valley is a challenge but that doesn’t mean you have to skip a hike through this magnificent karst plain, which is possibly the most stunning plain in Slovenia.

Tolmin Gorges of Tolminka River

Tolmin Gorge, Triglav National Park Hiking Trails, Slovenia

Tolmin Gorge, Triglav National Park Hiking Trails, Slovenia

While in Triglav National Park, a visit to the natural wonder or the Tolmin Gorges is a must. The short circuit around the canyon allows visitors to safely view some of Trigalv’s most unique sites. Some say that Dante’s Inferno was influenced by a visit to the area around Tolminka River and there is even a cave that you can stop at that is named after him.

Tolmin Gorges Hiking trail, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Tolmin Gorges Hiking trail, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Tolmin Gorge is often compared to other canyons such as the Vintgar Gorge near Bled. Much like other sites in Triglav and the charming Lake Bohinj, the Tolmin Gorges are often much less crowded. Giving you and your family more space to discover all the secrets that they hold.

Goreljek Bog Nature Trail

The Pokljuka forests are a protected wetland that is located atop a karst plateau in Triglav. This area draws visitors to it due to its incredible scenery which has resulted in some serious damage to the bog itself. You can now hike the trail that has been made in order to protect the ecosystem in these parts.

Goreljek bog is now the site of a trail that lets you experience this environment without risking more damage to the rest of the boglands that are in Triglav National Park. The short, 1km, circular trail is equipped with sturdy passages and information boards in order to educate its passengers about the peat boglands and the factors that put them in danger.

Planica Tamar

Planica Tamar, Slovenia

Planica Tamar, Slovenia

If you are looking for a breezy hike with sublime views, then you should consider taking the Planica Tamar trail. Expect a pleasant, gravel-laid trail to take you through a remarkable glacial u-shaped valley.

Throughout the trail, you will find information boards depicting the process in which the Planica was created. In the Pleistocene Period; which ended almost 12,000 years ago; they believe that a slow-moving glacier carved out the valley that you can now see today. 

Mount Triglav Hiking Trails

Mount Triglav, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Mount Triglav, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

There are many ways to go about hiking the highest peak of the Julian Alps and the namesake of Triglav National Park. Each route ranges in difficulty level and offers their own unique journey to the peak of Mt. Triglav. 

Most of these trails can be reached by connecting with a few of the other routes that we have already spoken about. This makes it easy to link your hiking trails and make the most out of your trip to Triglav. 

Climbing Mount Triglav is not a task that should be taken lightly, so please make sure to choose the best trail for your abilities and timeframe. All of these generally include needing to stay the night at a mountain hut or dom, which we speak a bit more about later on.

Climbing Triglav from Krma Valley

Krma Valley, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Krma Valley, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

The trail led from Krma Valley is the most popular trail and arguably the most undemanding way to get to the top of Triglav. It takes an average of 14 hours to reach the summit which should be split into two days. This hike is recommended for travellers wanting to hike with their family or those that are less experienced hikers.

You will need very basic technical equipment which you can rent on site and is used to ensure your safety when traversing the via ferrata to the peak. Climbing Triglav from Krma Valley is also a first choice for those wanting to ascend the mountain in the wintertime due to its low technicality which means that choosing this trail is one of the safest and ideal for any time of year.

Climbing Triglav from Vrata Valley

The Mountains above Vrata Valley, Slovenia

The Mountains above Vrata Valley, Slovenia

From the easiest to the hardest Triglav mountain trail, the route from Vrata Valley is not for the faint of heart. The Vrata Valley trail is deemed the most difficult due to the steep ascension and the task of navigating a 1500 m via ferrata.

Again, it is recommended that you take the hike in two days with a night spent in a comfortable dom to help you regain the energy to take on the second day. The average time that it takes to get to the top of Mount Triglav is approximately 16 hours.

The hard work and stamina that you would put into this trail wouldn’t be for nothing as the Vrata Valley is one of the most impressive and picturesque valleys in Slovenia.

Climbing Triglav from Blato Meadow (Seven Lakes)

Most people know this as the Valley of the Seven Lakes and often travel on this route just to see the gorgeous emerald pools. This path extends off of the trail to the Savica Waterfall which we have spoken about in our post about Lake Bohinj.

As far as using this trail to get to the Mount Triglav’s summit, it is great for those wanting a longer, more scenic hike. Many travelers choose to hike through Blato Meadow in order to get those epic views throughout the adventure with a variety of different terrain the more elevated you go.

Climbing Triglav from the Valley of the Seven lakes is no easy feat and takes up to 19 hours to complete. It is recommended to split this hike into two days and even three if you are wanting to really take you time to appreciate the natural wonders that this hiking trail has in store.

Climbing Triglav from Zadnjica Valley

Zadnjica Valley, Slovenia

Zadnjica Valley, Slovenia

Taking the route starting from Zadnjica Valley is considered an excellent choice for beginner hikers. This trail is easy strolling until the last hour which can be a bit intense but safe for any level. It is much shorter than the others, taking only about 10 hours to complete. 

This trail is loaded with some incredible views of the Zadnjica Valley. History buffs however, will also enjoy learning about some of the paths on this trail that were built during the first World War. 

Once again, despite it being such a short journey, it is recommended to rest at one of the mountain huts along your way so that you can have the best possible experience on this hike.

Cycling in Triglav National Park

There are numerous epic mountain biking trails around Triglav but very few cycling routes. This might be the result of Triglav being the epicenter of the mountainous Julian Alps but there are a couple of  trips worth checking out for any cycling enthusiasts.

Radovna Cycle Route

The Radovna Cycle Route is proudly named the first route in Triglav National Park. It spans a total of 16km one way and ranges in terrain as you travel through the Radovna Valley. This route also allows you to reach and connect to the Krma Valley. 

Planning a trip on the Radovna Cycle route is a perfect plan for a day during a family vacation. You can stop in Radovna for lunch and effortlessly bike the trail, enjoying the magnificent landscapes around Triglav.

Bohinj Cycle Route

There are many cycling routes around Lake Bohinj but the most popular one takes you from  Bohinjska Bistrica alongside the Sava River to Stara Fužina and furthermore to Srednja vas. This 11km trail offers a diverse track that is easy enough for a family and an enjoyable trail to follow to do some sightseeing around Lake Bohinj.

Camping in Triglav National Park

A caravan parked next to a lake in Slovenia

A caravan parked next to Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

You might think it would be a fun time to camp in the wild while exploring all the trails that Triglav National Park has to offer. Wild camping is actually forbidden in an effort to preserve the natural beauty of the park but you do have a few other options.

Camp Bohinj Zlatorog

Small pier at Camp Zlatorog Bohinj - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Small pier at Camp Zlatorog Bohinj – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

The first option is to camp in a campsite around Lake Bohinj. We camped at Camp Zlatorog Bohinj and had such a great experience there because you get to camp next to one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. At the site, they have spots set up for trailers and vans like we had or tent camping if you would prefer. They also have clean facilities, a restaurant, and even a park for children to safely play at.

Many of the trails around Lake Bohinj are accessible from Camp Zlatorog Bohinj, specifically being a great starting point for Savica Waterfalls, the Mostnica Gorge, and the Valley of the Seven Lakes Trail. 

The Mountain Hut System

While this doesn’t necessarily include camping, it is an option if you find yourself stuck on a trail within the park during sunset. There are multiple huts (or doms) scattered around Triglav National Park where you can stop at to take a break, grab a warm coffee and shower, and even rest for the night.

Some people have reported being able to sleep in their sleeping bag outside the huts but do this at your own discretion. We recommend either pre-booking a bed in one of the huts or staying in a mandated camping area.

Hiking Safety while in Triglav National Park

A lot of these tips are no-brainers but we want to reiterate the importance of safe practices while hiking the incredible trails in and around Triglav National Park. The last thing you want is to have your vacation ruined because you might not have been aware of a few of these things.

Check the weather 

Most of the trails are closed or not recommended to visit during the colder season that occurs from December to February. You also want to be aware of any rain that might create a hazardous hiking experience and pack accordingly to the change in temperatures as you ascend to the peaks.

Be cautious about the trails you are taking

Make sure you are staying on well-known, established trails. Going off the beaten path is fun but in Triglav, it can be incredibly dangerous the more elevated you are. Along with this, ensure you have all the proper equipment you may need for your hike. Climbing shoes are a must but some more advanced trails may also require a specific amount of hiking and climbing gear to assist you.

Think smart about your health

There are numerous exhilarating trails around Triglav National Park with a range of difficulties. Be honest with yourself about how mentally and physically capable you are and choose a trail on par with your capacity. Equip yourself with a sufficient amount of water for yourself, especially in the warmer months.

Did follow our hiking recommendations for Triglav National Park?

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The Spectacular Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, Slovenia [Bohinjsko Jezero]

The Spectacular Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, Slovenia [Bohinjsko Jezero]

Imagine a lake with clear blue-green water that’s surrounded by mountains. To make things even better, there are multiple beaches where one can chill and enjoy the magic of Mother Nature. Yes, that’s exactly what Slovenia’s Lake Bohinj is – paradisiacal. It is called Bohinjsko jezero in Slovenian.

Bohinjsko jezero - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Bohinjsko jezero – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

We ended up visiting and camping next to Lake Bohinj by just chance. Honestly, we did not even know about this awesome lake but we were looking for a place to camp in Slovenia. At that time, we were on our camper van and driving to Croatia. We saw a big lake marked as “Bohinjsko jezero” on Google Maps, saw the pictures and immediately decided to check it out. 

Clear blue water of Lake Bohinj and the Mountains, Slovenia

Clear blue water of Lake Bohinj and the Mountains, Slovenia

The area around Bohinjso jazero is mountainous and full of trees, so we did not see the lake till the time our van was parked in Camp Zlatorog Bohinj. Our jaws fell as soon as we reached close to the lake and stood on one of its many beaches. The landscape was right out of a travel movie, and we were in it! Of course, we decided to stay here longer than just one day. After all, it is one of Europe’s most beautiful lakes.

Where is Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj Map by Camp Zlatorog Bohinj

Lake Bohinj Map by Camp Zlatorog Bohinj

Most of Lake Bohinj is located in Triglav National Park; the only national park within Slovenia. It is often overshadowed by its more popular cousin Lake Bled which is a short, 30-minute drive away. 

Triglav National Park sits in the northwestern part of Slovenia. It is named after it’s primary peak; Triglav; which is the highest mountain in the Julian Alps. The glacial Lake Bohinj is located south of Mount Triglav.

Bled is the closest major city, however, Lake Bohinj is surrounded by many small villages that are highly worth a visit. Each village around Lake Bohinj can offer you a different way to experience the grand lake and Triglav National Park.

How to reach Lake Bohinj

A couple on the beach by Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

A couple on the beach by Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Getting to Lake Bohinj is not too difficult as many visitors enjoy travelling into Triglav National Park for a day or two while visiting Bled. In fact, Lake Bohinj is only a quick 30 minute drive from the popular Lake Bled. If you are travelling from the capital Ljubljana, expect an hour and 45 minute drive.

The closest train station is in Bohinjska Bistrica which is a large settlement near Ribcev Laz; a small village that lies on the eastern side of Lake Bohinj. Despite it being fairly close, you will still need to take a cab to get to Ribcev Laz.

There are buses that will shuttle you from Bled to Lake Bohinj all year round. They run less frequently during the wintertime so make sure to check out the schedule before planning your trip.

If you’re flying to Ljubljana or any other part of Slovenia and if you don’t intend to rent a car, then booking a tour to Lake Bohinj may make more sense. This way, you can visit both Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj as well as Savica waterfall without the hassle of finding out and booking your public transport. Of course, we only recommend this “short cut” experience if you don’t have much time on your hands.

Book Lake Bled + Lake Bohinj + Savica Here

As mentioned at the top of this post, we arrived here on our camper van. We highly recommend you to drive here on your own whether you live in Europe or not. You can land in Ljubljana (or anywhere else in Slovenia) and rent a car from there. (you can rent one for cheap

Renting a car to explore Slovenia (and Eastern Europe in general) is highly recommended as it gives you more freedom to explore all the small towns and natural sites that are off the typical tourist trail. Despite being able to get around Europe quite easily by trains and buses, driving yourself will give you the time to stop whenever and wherever you are drawn to; because Slovenia has a lot to offer.

The Julian Alps Card Bohinj

Lake Bohinj surrounded by mountains, Triglav, Slovenia

Lake Bohinj surrounded by mountains, Triglav, Slovenia

Planning to spend a few days around Lake Bohinj? Consider getting a Julian Alps Card; also referred to as the Bohinj Tourist Card; to save on the many attractions around Lake Bohinj.

This pass is only available from April to October and only travellers staying at least two nights within Bohinj are eligible to purchase one. They can be purchased from any of the Bohinj Tourist centres around the lake. You can choose one of three options depending on how long you are wanting to stay in the area; they have you covered for 3 days, 5 days, and 10 days.

Not only does this card grant you free admission into sites such as the Savica Waterfall and Mostnica Gorge, but it also covers parking at most car parks around Bohinj. It also offers discounts on other activities and transport around the Lake and you are sure to get your money’s worth if you are wanting to see as much as possible during your visit.

Lake Bohinj Things to do

Lake Bohinj Camping

A caravan parked next to a lake in Slovenia

A caravan parked next to a lake in Slovenia

The best way to enjoy this Slovenian beauty is by camping next to it. If you have a camper van, you can take it right next to the lake and camp – we did too. Look for “Camp Zlatorog Bohinj” on Google Maps and just drive to it.

We talk a little more about Camp Zlatorog further down in our Lake Bohinj accommodations section but we can’t urge you enough to give them a go!

If you are like us and love being surrounded by nature, then you won’t be disappointed by waking up from your tent or camper in the midst of Bohinj. The Lake Bohinj camping sites also give you easy access to the numerous trails around the lake so you can start surveying the land around Triglav National Park as soon as you wake up.

Kayaking on Lake Bohinj

Kayaking on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Kayaking on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

One of the most popular activities to take part in at Lake Bohinj is kayaking. You can rent your kayak for an hour if you’re a beginner or for half a day. This way, you can take your kayak to some of the other beaches that you can’t easily reach by walking. But it all depends on your kayaking skills. 

Relaxing on our rented kayak on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Relaxing on our rented kayak on Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Kayaking is one of the easier adventure sport activities as compared to many. I have kayaked a lot in my life but for some reason I wasn’t so good at it here. My good friend Isi and I rented a kayak together. For some reason, we kept kayaking around in a circle instead of going towards the distant beach. It may have been because our coordination was disastrous but it made us giggle like little girls. 

Lake Bohinj Kayaking - Slovenia

Lake Bohinj Kayaking – Slovenia

If you are looking to go on some kayaking adventures, you can actually do it directly from Camp Zlatorog Bohinj. That’s how we did it. In case you’re not camping, then the best village to stay in is Ribcev Laz. You can choose from a few rental places that are situated right on the lake to rent canoes and kayaks. 

Kayak rental - Camp Zlatorog Bohinj - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Kayak rental – Camp Zlatorog Bohinj – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

The cost of renting a kayak for one hour from Camp Zlatorog Bohinj was just 10 Euros for one hour in summer of 2019. If you are looking for a little more guidance, sign up for a tour that will take you around the lake! For the more avid kayakers, book a tour down the Sava Bohinjka River to explore some of the gorges that tower above Lake Bohinj.

Lake Bohinj Swimming

Lake Bohinj Swimming,Triglav National Park Slovenia

Lake Bohinj Swimming,Triglav National Park Slovenia

The best way to enjoy Lake Bohinj is by swimming in it. Much like the more popular Lake Bled, the water of Lake Bohinj is especially inviting during the warm, summer months in Slovenia. Since Lake Bohinj is not as well travelled, you will have no problems finding your own space to take a dip.

Lake Bohinj is a glacial lake which means that it is constantly being replenished with water from the mountains. Due to this, the crystal clear lake is often fresh which makes it a blissful and safe place to go swimming in Slovenia..

Swimming in Lake Bohinj's cold water - Slovenia

Swimming in Lake Bohinj’s cold water – Slovenia

As an extra note, there are motorized boats that travel within the lake. This should not cause any problems in your Lake Bohinj swimming experience as the lake is big enough for everyone’s adventures.

Walk Around Lake Bohinj + See the Beaches

One of the many beaches along Lake Bohinj - Bohinjsko Jezero - Slovenia

One of the many beaches along Lake Bohinj – Bohinjsko Jezero – Slovenia

An amazing way to experience Lake Bohinj is by walking on the path that goes along the shore. No, you won’t be able to go completely around it but you can experience the beauty by walking along it for some part and reaching a few scenic spots. 

Mountains, clear lake and pretty beaches - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Mountains, clear lake and pretty beaches – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

To make things more interesting, carry a mat, some food and drinks and set up a picnic if you reach a nice spot. Swim in the lake and then hang your towels to dry as you relax on the mat. Be sure to carry a bag for your trash and pick up everything before you leave the spot to leave no trace. 

Picnic next to Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Picnic next to Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, Slovenia

San and I did this with our friends and we also managed to get our baby to sleep on her pram along the lake. Yes, you should check out our tips for traveling with baby.

Baby sleeping in her pram in Slovenia

Baby sleeping in her pram in Slovenia

Hike to Savica Waterfall (a.k.a. Lake Bohinj Waterfall)

Savica Waterfall near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Savica Waterfall near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia by Frerk Meyer CC BY SA 2.0 via Flickr

Savica waterfall is close to Camp Zlatorog Bohinj, but if you’re not staying here then you can consider staying in Ukanc village to have access to the lake as well as the stunning Savica Waterfall; also known as the Lake Bohinj waterfall. In Slovenian language, it is marked as Slap Savica on Google Maps. There are a few ways you can get to the falls, but the easiest way is to drive right to the Savica Hut; which is the starting point for a few hikes around Triglav National Park.

Savica Waterfall, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Savica Waterfall, Triglav National Park, Slovenia by cpandmd (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

If you are up to it, you can also hike from Ukanc village to Savica Waterfall via a scenic circular trail that takes an average of three hours to hike. During the summer, you can also get on the hop-on hop-off bus from Ukanc that will take you to the entrance. If you’re an experienced bikers, you should consider renting a mountain bike. This way, you can take the cycling tour loop to get to and from Savica Falls.

Once you get to the entrance and pay your 3 euro to get in, there is a slightly steep hike up to the majestic Lake Bohinj waterfall. After about 20 minutes of hiking, you will be rewarded with the stunning view of the cascade pouring into its emerald green basin underneath. 

View from Prsivec

Lake Bohinj view from Pršivec, Slovenia

Lake Bohinj view from Pršivec, Slovenia by Anna & Michal (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Searching for that panoramic postcard-photo view of Lake Bohinj? Then consider climbing to the highest peak around the lake called Prsivec. There are two directions that you could tackle Prsivec from, the west and the east. 

Coming from the east makes for a more leisurely hike with the pleasant sights of the alpine meadows accompanying you on the journey up. The best village to stay near here is Stara Fuzina as you can directly access the road that takes you to the beginning of the loop.

From the westside of Lake Bohinj; next to the trail up to the Savica Waterfall; is a path that leads you to the challenging Komarča wall. This trail should only be attempted by experienced hikers but if you decide to go this way, you won’t be disappointed by all the site-seeing along the way.

Hiking to Savica waterfall from Lake Bohinj is a very small hike. If you’re a serious hiker, then you will love our post about hiking in Triglav National Park. This post details almost all the fun hiking trails and some of them even cross scenic gorges. 

See Mostnica Gorge

Mostnica Gorge near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Mostnica Gorge near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia – Julie Mac (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

While staying in Stara Fuzina, spend a day exploring Mostnica Gorge. Flowing through the centre of the city is the Mostnica River which has carved the impressive gorge just north of the town. 

To get there you can drive up to one of the car parks located near the main entrance to the gorge or you can walk up from Stara Fuzina. There is an entrance fee of 3 euros per person which allows you to visit the gorge for as long as you would like.

Mostnica gorge itself is a gem of Slovenia that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition. There are so many things to discover within the 2 kilometres that the gorge spans including interesting flora and fauna, spectacular views of the gorge and the river, as well as some incredible natural marvels like the “Little Elephant” rock.

If you have time, don’t stop at the gorge! Continue on the trail through Voje Valley until you reach Voje Waterfall. Voje Valley will reward you with more breathtaking views featuring Mostnica river and rolling wildflower meadows. Once you make it to the falls; also known as Mostnica Waterfall; there is a food hut there serving traditional Slovenian dishes.

Soca River

The Turqouise Soca River in Slovenia

The Turquoise Soca River in Slovenia – Aiva (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Since you have already made the trip out this far west of Slovenia, you should take a peek at Soca River; a 138-kilometre long alpine river that intersects through Western Slovenia to Northeastern Italy. There are many quaint villages that the Soca River runs through but if you are driving, the settlement of Soča is not too far from Ukanc and is well worth a stop if time permits.

Soca River swimming, Slovenia

Soca River swimming, Slovenia by Erik Paakspuu – (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

Soča River is a picturesque river that starts in the Trenta Valley and reaches all the way to the Adriatic Sea. It draws visitors to it with its icy aquamarine colour and lush forest that lines both sides of it. The river itself is refreshing and provides many activities that you can do in and around the valley such as swimming, kayaking, and white water rafting. 

Soča River in Autumn, Slovenia

Soča River in Autumn, Slovenia – by Bernhard Latzko – (CC BY-ND 2.0) via Flickr

If you are loving the area around Soca, you can also visit some of the well known villages that it passes through such as Kanal, Bovec, and Nova Gorica.

There are many types of adventure activities that you can experience on Soca river.  Consider booking a tour with an adventure activity – these tours usually also include back and forth transport from Bovec. Below are a few that we have handpicked for you:

Where to Eat near Lake Bohinj?

Our burger in Camp Zlatorog Bohinj, Slovenia

Our burger in Camp Zlatorog Bohinj, Slovenia

Camp Zlatorog Bohinj has an amazing restaurant that’s near the lake. Drink the beer from the tap and eat the Zlatorog burger here.

Lake Bohinj Accommodation

Camp Zlatorog Bohinj

Small pier at Camp Zlatorog Bohinj - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

Small pier at Camp Zlatorog Bohinj – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

We love camping! It gives us the opportunity to really experience the natural beauty of a place and Camp Zlatorog Bohinj is an excellent choice if you are looking for a campground. If you stay here, you don’t have to go anywhere else because you have access to a few beaches along the lake and many other scenic spots. 

Located in Ukanc on the shore of the lake itself, the grounds are protected by the shade of the forest and are equipped with everything you need to make your stay here comfortable.

The beach next to Camp Zlatorog Bohinj - Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

The beach next to Camp Zlatorog Bohinj – Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

The location is superb and in close proximity to Savica Waterfall and the trail leading to the Valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes. Camp Zlatorog Bohinj also offers resources and can help you book rentals for all kinds of exhilarating activities and sports around Lake Bohinj.

After Sunset at Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

After Sunset at Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

For us, the best part of our Lake Bohinj experience was staying next to it. This way, we saw the lake literally all the time for two days and appreciated how the colors changed as the sun went down. We did not feel a need to get out because our campground had an amazing restaurant, a bar and we had access to many different scenic spots along the lake.

Hostel pod Voglom

This cozy Lake Bohinj accommodation option is located in the small village of Ribcev Laz; the watersport hub of the lake. Hostel pod Voglom provides both shared dorm rooms and private rooms. Many guests boast about the incredible staff that take care of the hostel who go above and beyond to make your stay at Lake Bohinj memorable.

Hostel pod Voglom is a great option if you are wanting to kayak around the lake and the Sava Bohinjka River. The best part about this hostel is that you get lakeside accommodations at an affordable price.

Bohinj Apartments

If you are looking for a more private and romantic setting, why not rent an apartment on the lake? Most Bohinj apartments start at $50 a night and are often set in homey lakeside cottages. You have many different options sprinkled around the shore of Lake Bohinj from Ukanc to Ribcev Laz and you cannot go wrong with choosing any of them.

We recommend a place called TD Bohinj Apartments, which is just 50 meters from the lake. These apartments feature a bedroom, kitchen, dining area and a small sitting area. You can make your own breakfast and coffee before starting your day.

Lake Bohinj Weather and When to Go

The region of Triglav National Park and Lake Bohinj sees warm summer days and cold winters. During the months of March to September, Lake Bohinj greets the most visitors. Lake Bohinj’s warmest months are from July to August where it can get to 30 degrees celsius.

The dreamy Bohinjsko jezero - Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, Slovenia

The dreamy Bohinjsko jezero – Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park, Slovenia

In summer you can relish in the warm temperatures of the season and it is the best time to enjoy all of the watersports around Lake Bohinj. If you love kayaking, make time to also check out the other rivers that run off from the lake!

The romantic Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

The romantic Lake Bohinj, Triglav National Park, Slovenia

Triglav National Park in the fall season turns into a cozy vacation with a mild climate and trees that are sporting red and orange leaves. Much like the springtime, this is the ideal season to explore all of the trails around the park. Autumn is also considered a low season for the Bohinj area which means that activities are affordable and crowds are minimal. 

Bohinj is an idyllic setting if you are looking for a winter holiday escape. With the renowned Vogel Ski Resort in Triglav National Park and maple snowshoe trails, you can enjoy the natural beauty that the region of Bohinj has to show in the wintertime.

Lastly, spring is when you will be able to see all the life growing in the rolling meadows. Go trekking to Voje Valley through Mostnica Gorge for the most picturesque views of the wildflowers and other fauna as they wake from their winter slumber. You will find all the info on the tourism board website here.

Did follow our travel recommendations for Lake Bohinj?

Tag @drifterplanet on Instagram and hashtag it #drifterplanet. We will be happy to share your journey with our audience.

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