The amazing Lake Bohinj, Slovenia – why you need to visit

By |2019-01-08T20:10:38+00:00July 31st, 2015|Adventures, Cycling, Destination, Europe, Hiking, Slovenia, The Balkans|36 Comments

Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

LAKE BOHINJ, SLOVENIA

After spending time at the magical Lake Bled, my awesome guide Grega from Hike and Bike and I continued to Lake Bohinj, which is about 30 minutes drive away.

Many people, maybe most of them, go to Slovenia for Lake Bled, and they don’t explore the area around it. That is a mistake. Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE Lake Bled – no question there, and you should definitely visit for sure. However, compared to Lake Bohinj it is more crowded and honestly not as authentic. Plus, Bohinj is the place for outdoors activities such as hiking, biking, paragliding and waterfall trekking, with beautiful scenery, snow-capped mountain top views and reflective lakes as background.

If you’re in the area and have time, I hope you do make it to Lake Bohinj. It’s worth the trip.

MORE SLOVENIA TRAVEL TIPS: GET MAPS, ITINERARIES AND SLOVENIAN PHRASES

LAKE BLED TO BOHINJ

The drive from Lake Bled to Bohinj takes approximately 30 minutes or so, and it took us through some really gorgeous mountain scenery and nature. Just before Lake Bohinj, we passed this magical forest that had large rocks lying around. We stopped for a few minutes and I walked into the woods.

“This is where the fairies live,” Grega said.

I stood still between the trees, mostly shaded with filtered sunlight, and looked around me. Glints of light appeared in the canopy, on the shimmer of waxy leafs. These shimmers, sparkles, flashes of lights – could these be the fairies he was talking about?

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Fairy forest

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

A glimpse into Fairyland

BIKING AROUND LAKE BOHINJ

Arriving in Bohinj instantly made me feel like staying for a month. It was that serene.

Bohinj (after Boh, the Slovenian word for “God”) is a valley enclosed by the Lower Bohinj Mountains and the Triglav mountain range. It’s divided into the Higher and Lower valley, and there are 24 small villages there. Bohinj is probably known mostly for its glacial lake, which is popular for swimming and other water sports.

See? —> Amazing, right?

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

No motor boats are allowed, and the whole area is clean and unspoilt

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Bike selfie by Grega

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

The famous Zlatorog standing proud in front of Lake Bohinj

Any visitor to Slovenia will inevitably come across legends, statues or images of the golden-horned Zlatorog. Legend tells about this mythical mountain goat who lived on the Triglav Mountain, guarding a secret treasure. It was shot by a greedy hunter who was after the treasure, but the dying Zlatorog ate a flower which revived it. After that, it killed the hunter and destroyed the garden. Since then it left the area, never to return.

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj is 4.2 km long and 1 km at its maximum width

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj
Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj
Bohinj, Slovenia

Church of St John the Baptist

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

HIKING TO SAVICA WATERFALL

Despite its small size, Slovenia has no more than 300 waterfalls!! Three-hundred.

Can you believe that? As a devoted waterfall fan I sure couldn’t. I know I’ve said this a million times already, but Slovenia just keeps taking my breath away!

The hike to the Savica waterfall is not hard – it’s a bit steep, but those in good shape shouldn’t have a problem. It takes about 20 minutes to the top, but unfortunately you cannot get to the base of the falls. You see it from about 50 meters away.

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Fresh water from the mountains

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

No swimming allowed

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

But that only makes for better photos!

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

THE LAKE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

The magnificent Savica Waterfall cuts deep into a gorge 60 metres below and ends in Sava River, as seen below. Sava runs through Ukanc which is at the end of Lake Bohinj and in Slovene means the end of the world.

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

SLOVENIAN TRADITIONS

As we drove through the landscape, we came past these hayracks, which are the trademark of the Slovenian cultural landscape. Farmers are usually very proud of their hayracks, and their specific construction reveals the owner’s attitude to it. They are used for drying grain sheaves, clover, hay, grass and more, and they are seen throughout the fields and meadows in Slovenia.

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Hayracks are a special feature of Slovenia

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Biking in the Upper Valley

For lunch, we continued to Srednja, which is a small village in the middle of Bohinj. And guess what that means in Slovenian?

Of course… the middle village.

I love how town names almost always have a deeper meaning here in Slovenia. Nothing is left to chance.

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Veseli bohinc: a local dish

Hiking and Biking at Lake Bohinj

Bohinj, Slovenia-26

Bohinj, Slovenia

Monument of four courageous men

Before heading back to the glamping site in Bled, we passed this monument.

Mount Triglav is Slovenia’s highest mountain, and it’s a matter of national pride for Slovenians to summit the mountain at least once in their lives. This monument stands in front of Triglav and is a memorial to the first ascend in 1778, made by a group of four local men.

I asked Grega if he had climbed the mountain.

“Of course” he said. “Every Slovenian has.”

Bohinj, Slovenia-29

Bohinj, Slovenia-31

Many thanks to Spirit Slovenia for generously hosting me in Slovenia, and thanks Grega from Hike & Bike for a super fun and active day. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own, regardless of who is footing the bill.

Where’s your favorite place to hike and bike?

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Lake Bohinj, Slovenia is the place for outdoors activities such as hiking, biking, paragliding and waterfall trekking, with beautiful scenery, snow-capped mountain top views and reflective lakes as background. FInd out here why you should visit.

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36 Comments

  1. samantha July 31, 2015 at 3:21 pm - Reply

    Wow, I love waterfalls too and can’t believe there are over 300. So cool. Didn’t realize that. Slovenia was so beautiful. Thanks for the awesome pictures.

    • Miriam July 31, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Samantha! I was taken aback by the beauty of Slovenia and how much variety this small country has.

  2. Mary Calculated Traveller August 1, 2015 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I’ve only spent one day in the city of Koper Slovenia whilst travelling via cruise ship so I haven’t experienced the country fully but these photos are so beautiful they really make me want to visit the natural rural side of it. What’s in the dish Veseli bohinc? you don’t say and it looks delish.

    • Miriam August 2, 2015 at 12:07 am - Reply

      I hope you do one day and it’s definitely worth the trip. I actually don’t remember what’s in the dish, but it was pretty good 🙂

  3. Beverly Burmeier August 1, 2015 at 4:45 pm - Reply

    What an awesome adventure. Biking and hiking are the best ways to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Brianna August 1, 2015 at 11:13 pm - Reply

    Seriously, is there a part of Slovenia that isn’t gorgeous?

    • Miriam August 2, 2015 at 12:08 am - Reply

      Nope. Slovenia is gorgeous through and through.

    • Bill Marshall August 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      There used to be one place – when I first went there in the 80s the town of Jesenice, near the Austrian border, was an industrial centre with metal smelting and other nasties which meant the streets and building were covered with dust. It was an odd anomaly as it is half way between Bled and Kranjska Gora – two of the loveliest places in the country. However the last time I was there they’d cleaned it up and there are flowers everywhere, so it’s no longer a shock for first time visitors travelling from the airport to Kranjska Gora. (though they soon fogot about it when the road passed Mojstrana and Gozd Martuljek and the fabulous mountain views.)

      To show just how amazing Slovenia is; over in Kobarid in the Soca valley there’s a back road running to the south west of the town that has a number of pretty fields with trees and water features – I was walking around there just exploring and stretching my legs after a superb lunch and idly wondering what it was for, and it took me a little while to realise that I was looking at the local sewage processing system!! Even a sewage works is attractive there, and the water looked as clear as their rivers.

      • Miriam August 16, 2015 at 10:42 pm - Reply

        I am not surprised by this at all, Bill. I was in Kobarid too and I know how beautiful everything is there. It seems the Slovenian government have made it a priority to restore and keep the country clean. I really like that.

        • Tam September 5, 2015 at 3:11 pm - Reply

          OK… this I can’t let go. Our government seems to have made it a priority to ruin pretty much everything here. Planning a number of hydroplants (dams) in the upper Soča valley (from Kobarid upwards towards Bovec and Trenta). It’s NOT the government that makes this place what it is… it’s the PEOPLE who fight every day to keep our government from, basically, destroying everything.

          So please, don’t praise our government for the things people do. You’re lucky to be, as a tourist (and as a member of the press), shielded from such facts. Sorry for this splash of rain on your parade, but credit needs to go where it’s due.

          Here, to scratch at the surface of the problem: http://www.savethesoca.com/en/about-soca/threats

          • Miriam September 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm - Reply

            I’m really sorry to hear that, Tam. And you’re right; credit needs to go to the right people! As a traveler I only scratch the surface and I was genuinely impressed how the whole country is preserved and kept clean. I obviously don’t know what’s going on behind the curtains, so thanks for enlightening me. All the best.

  5. Karilyn August 2, 2015 at 6:29 am - Reply

    You have just put Slovenia on my short travel wishlist! Wow!! Just gorgeous. I didn’t realize the beauty and opportunities for hiking!

    • Miriam August 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

      I’m glad to hear that! Slovenia is definitely worth a visit.

  6. Anne Klien ( MeAnne) August 2, 2015 at 11:05 am - Reply

    Wow Ive been dreaming to see lake bled but this place is also stunning. Slovenia is calling me!

    • Miriam August 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      Most people don’t know about it although it’s so close to Bled. I hope you visit someday.

  7. Natalie - From Tourist 2 Local August 2, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Wow, the pictures are great and it looks so beautiful there. I would love to go to Slovenia and this article makes me want to go there even more! I also agree with you about getting off the beaten path. A lot of times we just visit the most popular places and, therefore, miss the beauty around them.

    • Miriam August 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Natalie. Traveling off the beaten track is definitely the best way to explore a country. I always make it a priority to do that.

  8. Jenna August 2, 2015 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    So beautiful. I can’t wait to go there someday!

    • Miriam August 3, 2015 at 12:32 am - Reply

      I was taken aback by its beauty. I can honestly say that Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

  9. Wandering Carol August 2, 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Oh, now I want to go to Lake Bohinj – I’ve been to Bled and it was fabulous, but I wasn’t there long enough. The photos of Lake Bohinj are gorgeous!!! And I want to go glamping! Fun post.

    • Miriam August 3, 2015 at 12:35 am - Reply

      Thanks, Carol! Now you have a reason to return 😉

  10. Carol Colborn August 2, 2015 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    I have two friends who live in Slovenia and they have been telling me that the country is beautiful.Your photos of Lake Bohinj nailed the point.By the way,what camera are you using?

    • Miriam August 3, 2015 at 12:36 am - Reply

      I’m glad to hear that, Carol! I’m using a Canon 500d.

  11. Elena August 3, 2015 at 4:32 am - Reply

    I have never been to Slovenia…I had no idea it was so scenic! And what a perfect way to explore.

    • Miriam August 3, 2015 at 11:40 am - Reply

      I was surprised too at how scenic it is. No wonder Slovenia has so much poetry.

  12. Vicky and Buddy August 3, 2015 at 6:09 am - Reply

    That water looked so clear and beautiful! I like the no swimming and no motor boat rules, it means the area will stay preserved longer.

    • Miriam August 3, 2015 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Exactly, and that’s why the Slovenian government made these rules. I really like how clean and well-preserved everything is here.

  13. Dave from Daves Travel Pages August 3, 2015 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Some great pictures there, that really show the beauty of the area. And of course, cycling is ALWAYS the best way to get around! 😀

    • Miriam August 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Dave! YES, I love cycling, too 🙂

  14. Amin (TravelBlogger) August 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Oh Wow! The lakes and waterfalls really are scenic and your photos mesmerising. You’ve just upped Slovenia on my bucket list.

    • Miriam August 28, 2015 at 12:05 pm - Reply

      I’m glad to hear that, Amin. Slovenia really is amazing.

  15. John Gentry November 25, 2015 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Slovenia is not a well traveled place, and you did a great job describing each place you visited. I’m sold and now want a trip there, and cannot wait to do a Eastern Europe tour. I also love your wonderful photographs. Thank you for sharing such a special place.

    • Miriam November 26, 2015 at 11:55 pm - Reply

      That means a lot to hear, John! Thank you, really. I absolutely love Slovenia and I hope you get to experience it too one day. It’s definitely worth the trip!

  16. Denise May 25, 2016 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful post! We’re actually renting a house right at Lake Bohinj for a week next month and your beautiful pictures just really inspired me! Very excited! Thanks for the tips! 🙂

    • Miriam May 25, 2016 at 11:44 pm - Reply

      You’ll love it there! Bohinj is such a lovely area, especially the small villages surrounding the lake. Have a great trip! 🙂

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