Lake Bohinj Slovenia is magical and here are 10 reasons to visit asap
Discover 10 fun things to do in Lake Bohinj, including hiking, biking, swimming and much more.
Many people visit 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.
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Introduction to Lake Bohinj Slovenia
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 dotted with 24 small villages and 5,118 inhabitants.
Bohinj is probably known mostly for its glacial lake, Lake Bohinj, which is the largest lake in Slovenia. In the summer, people come here for swimming and other water sports. In the winter, the area becomes a hotspot for skiing, snowboarding and ice climbing.
Get a Julian Alps card
Price: 3 days: 19 € / 5 days: 26 € / 10 days: 29 €
When: Available from 1 April to 31 October
If you’re visiting in summer or shoulder season, plan to spend two nights and want to experience just a few of the fun things to do in Lake Bohinj, then you should get a Julian Alps card. The card covers all public transport, parking fees and entrance fees to gorges, museums, waterfalls and much more.
How to get from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj
You’ve got three ways of getting from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj: by car, by bus and by train.
The drive from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj takes 30 minutes, and it’s very scenic. Think really gorgeous mountain scenery and nature. You can either rent a car or go for a private transfer.
Another good option is taking the bus. It takes 45 minutes and runs on an hourly schedule. It’s free with the Julian Alps card.
A less convenient option is the train. The journey is 35 minutes, but it doesn’t take you all the way to Lake Bohinj. It’s an option, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
1. St John the Baptist church
Entrance fee: €3 (free with the Julian Alps card)
Aside from the lake itself, St John the Baptist church is the hallmark of Bohinj.
This postcard-worthy medieval church and stone bridge are more than 700 years old, covering time periods from Romanticism to Baroque. Be sure to walk around the church to look at the frescoes.
2. Zlatorog at 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.
3. Swim in Lake Bohinj
If you’re visiting during the summer, swimming is a fantastic way to spend a day at the lake. Lake Bohinj is 4.2 km long and 1 km at its maximum width so there’s plenty of places to go for a swim.
4. Bohinj cycle trail
- Length: 11km circular trail
- Route: Bohinjska Bistrica – Brod – Ribčev Laz – Stara Fužina – Studor – Srednja Vas.
I went on a bike trip with Grega from Hike & Bike and had a super fun day!
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.
We had lunch in 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.
5. Magical forests
Bohinj Slovenia is a beautiful forested area where you can go hiking, biking and strolling.
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?
Either way, the forest was beautiful and I saw what he meant.
6. Lake Bohinj hikes
Hiking is one of the most popular things to do in Lake Bohinj.
The most popular trails around the lake require little planning and they’re well-marked. Just make sure to bring water and a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots.
The most popular Lake Bohinj hiking trails are:
- Savica waterfall hike (see details below)
- Mostnica Gorge Hike (super beautiful hike – takes around 3 hours)
- Trail around Lake Bohinj (12 km and takes about 3-4 hours)
- Vogel Ski Center hikes (see details below)
7. Savica Waterfall
Entrance fee: €3 (free with the Julian Alps card)
Despite its small size, Slovenia has no less 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.
8. 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.
9. Take the Vogel cable car
- Price: 15€ – return / 11€ one-way (free with the Julian Alps card)
- When: From 08:00 to 18:00 (daily, every half an hour) in summer and winter
One of the must-do activities in Bohinj is taking the Vogel Cable Car! In a 3-4 minutes ride, you’ll be lifted from Bohinj lake (569m) to Vogel ski center (1533m) and get the most stunning view of it all.
The top offers you beautiful viewpoints and several hiking trails. Find the trails here.
10. Triglav memorial in Bohinj
Before leaving Lake Bohinj, notice 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.”
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.
Before you go – don’t miss these posts:
- Slovenia Travel Guide: Ultimate Tips for Your Slovenia Holidays
- Cities in Slovenia: 10 Most Beautiful Cities in Slovenia
- How to get around: 3 best ways to get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled
- Bucket list: 20 unique things to do in Slovenia that will truly amaze you
- Soca Valley: Soca Valley: A road trip through the real-life Narnia
- Lake Bled: 10 magical things to do in Lake Bled
- Ljubljana: 10 amazing things to do in Ljubljana
- Kozjak waterfall: How to visit Kozjak Waterfall step-by-step
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.
Thanks, Samantha! I was taken aback by the beauty of Slovenia and how much variety this small country has.
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.
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 🙂
What an awesome adventure. Biking and hiking are the best ways to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing.
Seriously, is there a part of Slovenia that isn’t gorgeous?
Nope. Slovenia is gorgeous through and through.
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.
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.
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: https://www.savethesoca.com/en/about-soca/threats
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.
You have just put Slovenia on my short travel wishlist! Wow!! Just gorgeous. I didn’t realize the beauty and opportunities for hiking!
I’m glad to hear that! Slovenia is definitely worth a visit.
Wow Ive been dreaming to see lake bled but this place is also stunning. Slovenia is calling me!
Most people don’t know about it although it’s so close to Bled. I hope you visit someday.
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.
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.
So beautiful. I can’t wait to go there someday!
I was taken aback by its beauty. I can honestly say that Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.
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.
Thanks, Carol! Now you have a reason to return 😉
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?
I’m glad to hear that, Carol! I’m using a Canon 500d.
I have never been to Slovenia…I had no idea it was so scenic! And what a perfect way to explore.
I was surprised too at how scenic it is. No wonder Slovenia has so much poetry.
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.
Exactly, and that’s why the Slovenian government made these rules. I really like how clean and well-preserved everything is here.
Some great pictures there, that really show the beauty of the area. And of course, cycling is ALWAYS the best way to get around! 😀
Thanks, Dave! YES, I love cycling, too 🙂
Oh Wow! The lakes and waterfalls really are scenic and your photos mesmerising. You’ve just upped Slovenia on my bucket list.
I’m glad to hear that, Amin. Slovenia really is amazing.
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.
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!
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! 🙂
You’ll love it there! Bohinj is such a lovely area, especially the small villages surrounding the lake. Have a great trip! 🙂
Great post! Everybody is just so focused into Lake Bled when they get to Slovenia, Bohinj is so overlooked.
And just a local suggestion for the next time you’re in Slovenia – lake Bohinj is also a start point to the most amazing hiking trail through Slovenian Alps – 7 Triglav lakes. You can start from 3 different points around lake Bohinj and then continue into the heart of Triglav National Park. The hike can be done in a day, but I’d recommend 2, it’s really beautiful and you can really enjoy it 🙂
Thanks, Tjasa! I’ll remember that for my next visit 🙂