If Bled is the Crown Jewel of Northern Slovenia, then Bohinj is its hidden gem. Situated just 30km from its neighbour, this lake is longer (4.2km) and more secluded. With less tourist facilities (though there are plenty of these in the nearby towns should you require them), Bohinj is a true natural paradise, lying beneath Triglav, Slovenia’s tallest mountain, and situated within the Triglav National Park.
A Tour of the Lake
The circumference of Lake Bohinj, at 12km (7.5 miles) is a lot larger than that of Bled, so a full circuit of the lake will take around 3-4 hours to complete. It is easy walking all the way, and with the Towns of Ribcev Laz at the East end Ukanc at the West, you have the opportunity to break your journey and stop for refreshments at either end. You can also walk one way and take a boat trip back in summer, as there is a regular ferry service. If you are only walking one way, I would recommend the more secluded Northern shore, as the Southern shore path follows the road and so is less peaceful.
Activities in the Bohinj Valley
There are many opportunities for mountain sports enthusiasts, from hiking and climbing in the summer to skiing and snowboarding in winter, and Bohinj is also a popular spot for paragliding.
For an easy family adventure, try the walk up to Slap Savica (the Savica Waterfall) from the head of the valley. It takes around 40 minutes for the round trip, and the path is quite steep but well-defined all the way. The view of the hidden waterfall when you get there more than rewards the effort of the climb. Make sure you use insect repellent as there are ticks in the area, some of which carry Lyme disease. Both of my children got tick bites on this short walk so prepare before you set off.
Vogel Cable Car
Popular with skiers in winter, this cable car operates year round offering lifts up to the Vogel Ski Centre at over 1500m high. In summer, there are a great variety of hiking opportunities from this starting point, but it’s also worth taking the ride simply for the stunning views of Triglav and the surrounding high alps. If you fancy a scenic lunch, stop off at the Planinska Koča Merjasec where you can try the delicious wild boar goulash.
In conclusion, though still popular with tourists, Bohinj remains unspoilt. There are great accommodation options in the picturesque villages of the nearby valley. They all maintain a great standard of cleanliness and hospitality – you pay more for more modern facilities but you shouldn’t be disappointed whatever your budget.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Lake Bohinj. Stay tuned for more Postcards from Slovenia.