Lake Bohinj is one of the most beautiful regions in Slovenia. The valley and its surroundings are such a treasure that everyone who comes to Slovenia should see them. Beware though! Bohinj is so fascinating that many who visit want to stay forever. You cannot say goodbye to the fantastic Lake Bohinj, Bohinjska Bistrica, or Ribcev Laz easily. There are at least a thousand excellent opportunities to spend your time here.
When a couple of my friends considered visiting Slovenia and asked me for advice, I automatically recommended them Bohinj. It's less touristy than Bled, also cheaper.
The weather is very much forgiving. There are plenty of accommodation options here. And what's most important, there is not even a slight chance to get bored here.
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Let's see then what could be the most exciting things to do in Bohinj.
#1 Let's get wet!
Obviously, the first thing to check out is Lake Bohinj itself. It is the deepest and largest lake in Slovenia. It lies in the northwestern part of the country in Triglav National Park.
- Motorboat, jetski: Noway! It is strictly forbidden to use such vehicles in the lake. It wouldn't make the stay very pleasant and restful.
- Rowing: There are many ways though to explore the lake. You can rent a kayak, canoe, paddleboat, SUP, traditional boat. Lake Bohinj is very peaceful, so it's very safe to float on the water in any of these ways.
- Scuba-diving: Considering that the depth of the lake is higher than 80 meters at least 80% of the time, and it's even more than 40 meters 20% of the time, this is an excellent opportunity to explore the deep blue. Naturally, you can rent gear there. Of course, it's possible to do it without it, but I'd only recommend it to freedivers.
- Swimming: Thanks to small rivers that flow into the lake from the mountains, the water of the lake is crystal clear. But be careful! The lake deepens very fast. This may enable you to jump headfirst from the boat, but it could also be hazardous. With kids, it is recommended to visit the eastern side of the lake, where it is shallower.
#2 Lake walks
If you're visiting one of the most beautiful lakes of Slovenia, it is worth ducking out from the water and looking around the lake. It is absolutely unnecessary to talk in cliches explaining how beautiful it is walking around the lake.
First, a picture tells a thousand words; second, it is really worth it to go there and hike around it. So if perhaps the weather is not suitable to get into the water, the hiking trail around the lake shores is the perfect plan B.
The 12km long trail is easily manageable. It is a straightforward hike, and while walking around the lake, you can enjoy every part of the scenery. If you dare, you can even run around the Bohinjsko jezero (Lake Bohinj in Slovenian).
#3 Bohinjska Bistrica
Bohinjska Bistrica lies 5km from the lake, and it is the center of the Bohinj municipality. You can find plenty of accommodation offers here, 3+ stars hotels, apartment houses, depending on your needs.
The proximity of the lake makes Bohinjska Bistrica an attractive option for visitors. The many outdoor companies operating here can help you find the best outdoor activities, and they can also provide you with all kinds of gear. They do tours and courses, like rafting and canyoning.
#4 Ribcev Laz
This small town lies directly on the eastern shore of Lake Bohinj. It is also one of the stops on the hiking trail around the lake. It serves as the other center of accommodations alongside Bohinjska Bistrica.
The town is the starting point of many activities, tours, and hiking trails. The boats crossing the river also start from here.
An iconic building in town is the St. John the Baptist Church. Almost all visitors who come here take a picture of that. Also, you can find here the cultic statue of the four brave men who first climbed Mount Triglav in 1778.
Tip: The four mountaineers created a tradition by climbing the mountain. Mountaineering and rock climbing are very popular around here. In the Pod Skalco climbing center, you can take courses, rent necessary gear or attend organized climbs. Around Bohinj, there are 16 locations with almost 500 climbing trails. The season is from May to October.
The fame of the St. John the Baptist Church cannot compete though with the statue of Zlatorog (Golden Horn), the mythical golden-horned ibex.
According to the legend, the horn of Zlatorog is the key to the treasure hidden on Triglav. Its legendary character also appears in many folk tales. A selfie taken with the statue is clear evidence that you've been to Bohinj.
#6 Mount Vogel by gondola
The most popular point in the region is without question, Lake Bohinj. At the same time, you'd miss out on a lot if you'd concentrate only on the lake.
Passing Ribcev Laz along the southern shore, you could get to Ukanc. There you can get on the Bohinj-Vogel gondola. The gondola going up to Mount Vogel is offering you a fantastic perspective on the valley.
The top station is at 1663 meters. When you get to the top, you don't need to do more than to look around and get amazed by the scenery. You can look through the entire valley right from the ramp next to the station, get blown away by the beautiful blue of the lake, and explore the small villages and towns from high above.
#7 Paragliding from Vogel
What goes up must come down. The same is true with tourists who went up to Mount Vogel. The method you choose to come down is mostly up to you. If you need some adrenaline, just pick paragliding.
Mount Vogel is the most popular starting point for paragliding. Professional guides in tandem can help you glide to the lake. If you're looking for even more excitement, you can choose the "acrobatic flying" option. In this case, with the help of the guide, you can speed up to 140 km/h and probably regret this choice you made.
#8 Mount Vogel during the winter
No matter how amazing it is to paraglide from Mount Vogel, it is not the major sport one can associate with it. When the winter comes, the mountain reflects its true identity in providing one of the most popular ski resorts in Slovenia.
The slopes are perfect for beginners and advanced skiers as well. But don't get discouraged if you've never ever skied before. There are two ski schools available at your service on Vogel.
The resort also has a great fun park where you can freestyle as much as you love.
The mountain is not the highest, but it lies in a cold valley, so it is a safe choice with regard to snow levels.
- Season: December - April
- Size: 22 km
- Blue: 9.5 km
- Red: 12.5 km
- Elevation difference: 1230 meter
- Lifts: 9
#9 Savica Waterfall
Besides Vogel, there is another great option to explore from Ukanc. A hiking trail starts directly from here. At the end of the trail, you'll find the most impressive waterfall in Slovenia.
The Savica Waterfall is A-shaped. Its shorter leg is 25 meters, its longer leg is 78 meters tall. After the fall, first, the water becomes a stream and then expands into a river flowing into the lake. This is a trendy spot in the region, so don't get disappointed that there are plenty of visitors, almost all the time.
Good to know: if you're arriving by car, you need to pay a fee in the closeby parking lot and also for getting up to the waterfall.
#10 Mostnica Gorge
Besides many natural wonders, Slovenia is also famous for its canyons. Right next to Lake Bohinj, you can find the Mostnica Gorge. This canyon, with its exceptional beauty, stands out from the otherwise powerful set of wonders you can find in the country. The 2 km-long canyons is carved by the Mostnica River.
You can easily access it, starting from the small town called Stara Fuzina, which lies in the northeastern corner of the lake.
The canyon is famous for the many geological forms carved by the river, including the one that can remind us of a Little Elephant sucking water from the river. There is a trail on both sides of the gorge, and it's perfect for hiking.
- Good to know: During the summer there is an entrance fee you need to pay to enter the gorge
- Story: The canyon reaches it's maximum deep under the famous Devil Bridge. The legend says that the bridge was built by the Devil, in exchange for the soul of the first one who crosses it. In the end, he got outwitted by having a dog cross the bridge first.
- Pro tip: Part of the canyon can be explored via a canyoning tour.
#11 Voje Valley
"To infinity and beyond" - said Buzz Lightyear and how right he was! You shouldn't stop at the end of the gorge either. It is worth continuing the journey. Where the canyon ends, there starts the Voje Valley, which is a real gem in the region.
The atmosphere of the entire valley is like walking into a scenic landscape. Greenfields, colorful flowers, small houses. All this is protected by huge rocks and mountains on the sides. Why would you leave it out?
Tip: if you're not reluctant to walk through the valley, your prize will be the Mostnica Waterfall. The 30-meter tall waterfall can be heard from the distance. Also, the high level of humidity from 30-40 meters away clearly indicates the place. It is worth visiting it during the spring since it has the most water then.
One of the most popular hiking destinations of the northeastern side of Lake Bohinj is Mount Vogar. The fantastic scenery from the top and alpine atmosphere enchant the soul. A slightly steeper walking trail starting from Stara Fužina leads up to the top.
To make sure to have a great experience, put on sturdy shoes, and look in front of your legs, not to trip. The second one won't be easy, considering the colorful natural environment that surrounds the trail leading to the cottage on the top.
Then you'll be rewarded with the ultimate prize: the fantastic panorama, that encapsulates the Bohinj Valley and Lake Bohinj.
Tip: Mount Vogar is also very popular amongst paragliders, and in the winter, many people go sledding on the slopes.
#13 Bohinj by bike
The valley is not only loved by hikers but also by bikers. Thousands of people come here for biking. There are myriads of trails with various lengths and difficulty you can choose from.
- Vogel Mountain Bike Park: the 1.4 km long trail doesn't seem to be very long, but it is tricky indeed. Various ramps offer challenges for both beginner and intermedia bikers. You can get to the bike park by the Bohinj-Vogel gondola. Bike helmets and proper protective clothing are mandatory.
- Fat biking: Fat bikes are invented for riding during the winter on ice and snow. And there is plenty of snow here! You can freely design and change the tours by length and stops if you talk with the guides. Sitting on a fat bike enables you to discover the beauty of the Triglav National Park off roads.
- Mountain biking in the Julian Alps: if you want everything, then this is for you! You'll have 4 days to explore the Julian Alps and the Triglav National Park with professional guides, airport transfer, accommodation, and breakfast in the package. The tours are available from May to October, and bikes can be rented too.
#14 Rafting on the Sava Bohinjka
In contrast to the peacefulness of Lake Bohinj, Sava Bohinjka offers plenty of wildness. There are rafting tours on both the upper and lower half of the river.
The two sections differ by difficulty. The lower part is recommended for more experienced rafters, while the upper part is for beginners.
Good to know: Tours start from Ribcev Laz, and the season is from May to September.
#15 Eating around Bohinj
Nobody likes walking around with an empty stomach. Thankfully in the Bohinj Valley, there are many culinary options to try. Besides tourism, the region's second income source is agriculture. So you can be sure that everything you eat here will be prepared using fresh ingredients.
- Recommended: cheese, milk, cottage cheese are very famous around Bohinj. It's also worth having a taste of the Slovenian sausage, Kranjska klobasa. Smoked beef tongue with apple and horseradish is also a traditional appetiser. After a full day of walking, jota, the Slovenian soup is a true elixir. Its main ingredients are sausage, beans, and sauerkraut. You should also try gibanica as a dessert.
Where to eat: It's worth paying a visit to the restaurant on Vogel, it won't disappoint you. You also won't regret it if you go to Soriska Planina around Bohinjska Bistrica. A couple of km away in the valley, Spodnja Sorica can also be an excellent choice for a tasty lunch or dinner.
How to get to Bohinj?
It depends on where you're coming from, of course.
If you are arriving from Ljubljana, you'll need to exit from the highway before Bled at Lesce (Exit 3) and drive a bit to get to Ribcev Laz.
If you are arriving from the other direction, it is still likely that you are going to use highway A2. In that case, you need to take the same exit.
Well, do you feel the urge to visit Bohinj already? You'll have every opportunity to have a wonderful time in this Paradise, no matter what activities you are looking for. Don't hesitate, visit Bohinj!
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