A guide to spending a day around Lake Bohinj. With its lovely waterfalls, awesome viewpoints and turquoise waters Lake Bohinj is the perfect day trip.
If you’re travelling to Slovenia, Lake Bohinj should definitely be on your itinerary. If not, we sure after seeing the stunning Lake Bled, it will have whet your appetite for Slovenia’s spectacular lakes. At the very least, you’ll want to squeeze Lake Bohinj in as a day trip from Bled.
Often overshadowed by Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj is just as beautiful and less busy. In fact, there’s a saying we heard on our travels; ‘Bled is for tourists, Bohinj is for travellers’. Situated in the Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps, this lake is actually is bigger than Bled. It holds the title of biggest permanent lake in Slovenia.
Given its proximity to Bled (a 40 minute bus ride), it’s the ideal spot for an active day trip. Here’s our perfect way to spend a day around Lake Bohinj.
Don’t miss our Best Views of Lake Bled Guide HERE.
Hike to Savica Falls
A few kilometres west of the lake is Savica Falls, aka Slap Savica. If travelling to Lake Bohinj by bus, you can get off and start your hike from lakeside village of Ukanc. From Ukanc, there’s a couple of hiking routes you can take to Savica Falls. Due to time constraints we took the quickest route along a quiet road, which took about 40 minutes. There are some pretty nice spots to stop along the way which are worth a photo. Alternatively, there’s a carpark right by the falls for those who have a car or don’t fancy hiking!
Once you reach the carpark, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee of €3, before climbing several hundred stairs to the waterfall, which takes around 20 minutes. It’s worth noting that the waterfall is actually fenced off, meaning you can’t get too close, creating a bottleneck along the path directly in front of them.
From the falls the most scenic lake experience is to walk along the trail skirting its northern edge. Click HERE for a trail map. But, the quickest way is to take a bus from either Savica Fall car park (summer months only) or back at Ukanc.
TIP: Our reason for doing the hike first, was to avoid worst of the crowds as the small viewing area by the falls can get very busy.
Head up to a viewpoint
As with Lake Bled, there’s a few viewpoints worth visiting to admire the lake and surround area. They all have their pro’s and con’s and if you’re just spending a day around Lake Bohinj, you’ll probably only have time to do one.
- Peč Viewpoint – (*1 on below map) – Commencing from Ribčev Laz, (the main town by the lake), this short 40 minute round trip walk gives you full length views of the lake, from east to west. It’s a perfect quick and easy option and is particularly nice with the easterly rising sun backlighting the lake.
- Vogel Viewpoint (*2 on below map, via Cable Car) – Close to Ukanc is the highest of the viewpoints. At over 1500m above sea level, this spot arguably offers the best views. However, these views come at a cost, literally, and it’s busy. For current pricing click HERE. There’s a plethora of trails up here, so it worth spending the entire day here if you like hiking. And, getting on one of the hiking trails means you can escape the crowds. If you have a second day around Lake Bohinj this would be the place to spend it in our opinion.
- Vogar Viewpoint (*3 on below map) – For a day trip viewpoint, Vogar was the standout option for us. Time appropriate with great views and without the tourists, though it does involve a bit of hustle and effort. If you want to get off the beaten path this is the viewpoint for you.
Hiking Vogar Viewpoint
The 6km round hike to Vogar viewpoint, starts in the north east section of the lake just to the west of Stara Fuzina, by the carpark. For the trail map click HERE.
The hike to the viewpoint is steep and scenic through forest, marked by red and white trail markers along the way. This little-trafficked hike really does feel like you’re get a little off track and away from the crowds.
The first of the viewpoints is by a para-gliders launching strip. The lake views are awesome and there’s even a little bench to enjoy them from.
As well as the awesome lake views you can also get some lovely photo’s of picturesque village Stara Fužina.
But don’t end your hike here. Return to the trail and walk a little further up to Kosijev dom na Vogarju restaurant to rehydrate. Just in front of this is a short track to a second viewpoint. Yet again there is a little bench to kick back on. The views from here are stunning.
In total, the return hike from the Stara Fužina carpark is about 6km so allow 2-3 hours. If you’re without a car, factor in additional 2km walk each way to/from Ribčev Laz (or a return taxi ride).
Tip: If you’re coming directly from Savica Falls and are without a car you have two options. 1. Walk along the 6km trail to the north of the lake (the southern trail is all roadside) or get a bus from Ukanc and get dropped off at Ribčev Laz, and walk/taxi to Stara Fužina.
As we said all 3 of these viewpoints offer great views so you could pick any and be happy.
Explore the lake
After all that hiking it’s probably time to relax. If you fancy a dip, the north and north east sections of the lake are popular places to swim. In our opinion, the crystal clear water was even more appealing than Lake Bled. If you want something a little more active, rent a paddle board or kayak and float around the lake.
If you can’t sit still for long, you can also hike part or the full way around the lake. There’s an 11km Lake Bohinj circuit, click HERE for map. As previously mentioned, the north section of the circuit is nice and quiet. So if you’re looking for a secluded spot to chill, just head along here and you should find what you’re looking for.
The photogenic old stone bridge, St John the Baptist Church and the statue of the lakes guardian the Zlatorog, aka Golden Horn, are all located in Ribčev Laz in the south east corner of the lake. This is a pretty area of the lake which we really enjoyed visiting.
For us, the perfect way to finish the day was with a couple of well earned cold beers. We found a conveniently located bar/cafe opposite the bus stop, making our decision even easier. With the Golden Horn statue so close, it seemed rude to have anything but the it’s namesake, a Laško Zlatorog beer!
Getting to/from and around
Local buses operate between Bled and Lake Bohinj. The journey takes about 40 minutes each way. For bus info click HERE. If you only have one day to spend around Lake Bohinj, take the earliest bus possible to maximise your time there.
When booking bus tickets to Lake Bohinj, there isn’t a stop called ‘Lake Bohinj.’ You have a few choices as to where to get off:
- If you want the east end of the lake get off at Ribčev Laz
- For Vogel Cable Car get off at Vogel križišče
- For Savica Falls get off at Bohinj Ukanc
- In the high season (1st July to 31 August) the bus goes all the way to Savica Falls carpark. For more info click HERE.
Purchasing return bus tickets can often be cheaper than one way fares. This is ideal if you are for example travelling from Bled-Bohinj-Bled.
It is also worth considering renting a car. This will give you the freedom to explore without being dependent on public transport and can help you make the most of your time.
A lot of people visit Lake Bohinj as a day trip from Bled, where there is plenty of accommodation options to choose from. If you want to stay by Lake Bohinj overnight, there is of course accommodation options available there too. Check out Booking.com or HotelsCombined for deals.
Best time to visit
It is possible to visit Lake Bohinj all year round. The peak season falls over the summer months of June-August. These are the hottest months with temperatures rising over 30°. These are also the busiest months, so expect big crowds and higher prices (especially accommodation).
We personally feel the best time to visit is during the shoulder season. The months of May and September generally offer warm sunny days, with smaller crowds and cheaper prices. We visited mid September which was perfect for us.
During the winter months, the days are shorter, temperatures drop to -5°, the lake freezes and snow covers the surroundings. Hiking is still possible, however an element of experience and snowshoes are required.
Try to avoid the weekends, particularly in peak season, as they will be busy!
- We recommend wring or taking sturdy shoes, especially if you plan on hiking. If it has been raining, the trails WILL be muddy and slippery.
- Head out early to avoid when it’s a little quieter.
- Charge you camera batteries, you don’t want reach those viewpoints and have nothing to show for it!
- Tap water in Slovenia is drinkable. Bring a refillable water bottle and do your bit to minimise plastic waste as well as saving the pennies.
- If you like wildlife, keep an eye out for the Chamois whilst hiking. These goat-antelope can be found here and throughout many of the mountains in Europe.
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