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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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..
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
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.
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.
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.
Hike to Savica Waterfall (a.k.a. Lake Bohinj Waterfall)
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Half day rafting on Soča River: this tour starts from Bovec and is a good way to experience the stunning Soca river.
- 3 Hour rafting tour on Soca river: this tour also starts from Bovec and runs in the mornings as well as afternoons.
- Beginner Kayaking on Soca River: this is actually a little course that includes basics of kayaking and of course you get to kayak on the stunning Soca river.
- Gecko tour on Soca river: experience Soca river from a smaller one person raft on this tour that starts from Bovec.
Where to Eat near Lake Bohinj?
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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