Top Things To Do In Bohinj Slovenia
Are you planning a trip to Slovenia and looking for more things to see than Ljubliana and Lake Bled? Well, let me tell you now that you must add Lake Bohinj to your itinerary. Bohinj, pronounced with a silent ‘j’, is a region in the western part of Slovenia, situated in the stunning Triglav National Park. There are so many things to do in Bohinj and the surrounding area that you could stay here for weeks alone.
We spent 3 weeks living shoreside of the lake while volunteering at a scout camp through Workaway. During our time here we only touched on the things to do in Bohinj and would love to go back another summer to do and explore more. As a side note, the scout camp Workaway was incredible and I would urge you to check it out if you enjoy travelling this way.
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Why Lake Bohinj?
Sure, Lake Bled is beautiful but it is also very touristy. We took a day trip to Bled and loved it, but there are fewer things to do in Lake Bled than there are things to do in Bohinj.
If you are more into the outdoors, nature and adventure sports you will much prefer Bohinj. Plus, for the budget traveller, prices are more enticing the 25km southeast of Bled.
Where is Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is in the foothills of the Julian Alps, around 500m above sea level. The main lakeside town in called Ribčev Laz and is the perfect getaway for camping and access to Triglav NationalPark. Bohinjska Bistrica is a larger town, 5-minutes drive from the lake. You can find a larger variety of accommodation options here.
To drive from Ljubliana it will take you just over an hour, or you can take the hourly Arriva buses for €8 and it will take 2 hours.
To get from Bled to Bohinj, it will take 36 mins by bus and costs €3.60. No need to book tickets online, just wait for the bus to come past.
Top things to do in Bohinj
See Savica Waterfall (Slap Savica)
The first thing to do in Lake Bohinj is to check out the beautiful Savica waterfall. This is Slovenia’s most popular waterfall but surprisingly wasn’t too busy when we went to visit.
It seems like on this trip we have visited so many waterfalls. Everywhere we go, we plan a trip to the falls, like Plitvice and Krka in Croatia and Turgut Falls in Turkey. However, they’re all so beautiful it’s hard to pass them up.
From Ukanc, the town at the western end of the lake you can follow a trail for an hour to reach the fall. Start at the closed Zlatorog Hotel and follow the signs.
You can also bike along the 4km stretch of road like we did. However, bear in mind there is a 124m of ascent ina relatively short distance. Which will make coming back a lot of fun for you! For us, we had to ride through a summer storm, eek. We tried waiting for the rain to stop for half-hour before starting the ride and when it finally subsided we jumped on our bikes. Then no less than 30 seconds later it was just as heavy again, and cold!
Entry is €3 entry to see the waterfall.
Lake views with St. John the Baptist Church in the foreground
Now, you will see time and time again the view of the lake with the church in the foreground when looking up Lake Bohinj. We saw pictures of it so many times that we decided we had to find the lookout point. It is a fairly easy hike and worth it for the unobstructed lake views.
Starting in Ribčev Laz head across the stone bridge towards Stara Fužina. Follow the footpath until you come to the first right-hand turn (about 650m). Next, walk until there is a meadow on your left, straight after this take the trail heading left up the hill. You can follow the trail signs leading towards Pec. From the main road, it should take you around 15 minutes to reach the viewpoint.
Visit Mostnica Gorge
The next thing to do in Bohinj is to visit Mostnica Gorge. Combine a trip to the gorge with the viewpoint above as the entry to the gorge is in Stara Fužina. The gorge itself is 2km long and then flattens out into the Voje Valley which in total is 6km each way. If you choose to hike the entire length of the valley it will take you around 3.5 hours.
We didn’t go the whole way due to lack of time, but if you choose to you will be rewarded with a waterfall at the end. Also, keep an eye out in the beginning for the rock named ‘little elephant’.
Entry to the gorge is €3 during the summer months.
Walk around Lake Bohinj
There’s no better way to experience Lake Bohinj than by walking around its perimeter. The entire trail is mostly flat and will take about 2.5 hours.
Ride the cable car to Vogel Mountain
Are you after phenomenal views without the effort? Then this is for you! The cable car station is near the western end of the lake. Take a left instead of turning right to Ukanc and the car park is further up this road. A round trip ticket will cost you €24 and departs every half hour.
Once at the top there is a viewing platform looking out over the beautiful Lake Bohinj. Make sure to allow a few hours up here if not more as there are plenty of hiking trails waiting to be explored. You can pop into the information centre to get advice on which trail to take based on your ability and time.
If you’re a hiker you won’t be able to pass up summiting Mount Vogel. With a total elevation of 1,923m, this hike is accessible for most and will take just over 2 hours from the cable car top station.
While we spent the winter skiing in Jasna, Slovakia, Vogel Mountain is one of Slovenia’s largest ski resorts.
Relax at the Lake
A ‘things to do in Bohinj’ list would not be complete without having some R&R by the lake. If you’re like me, you’ll happily take a book and sit on the edge of the water for hours. However, if you’re like Ben he’s bored within 10 minutes.
Most of the lake areas with some beachfront offer watersport equipment for hire. Prices do vary but expect to pay about €10 per hour for kayaks and paddleboards.
Hike to Black Lake (Crno Jezero)
I saved my favourite thing to do in Bohinj until last. During a visit to Lake Bohinj, you cannot pass up the opportunity to hike to Black Lake. You’ll get a chance to experience hiking the Julian Alps and in the Triglav National Park.
The valley behind Lake Bohinj is home to 7 gorgeous lakes, which depending on how much time you have, you can plan a hike to visit all of them. Black Lake is the closest but not to be underestimated.
You can begin the hike from Ukanc or from the Savica waterfall carpark. Follow signs towards Crno Jezero. The hike ascends steeply so should only be attempted by those with at least a moderate level of fitness. From the Savica waterfall carpark, the distance is 2.4km with a 684m elevation gain.
When Ben and I were here this trail was officially closed. We still hiked to the Black Lake but took a longer back way from the eastern side of the lake, near Voger. This could be an option for you if you would like to extend your hiking time, but there are still a lot of steep sections which are unavoidable.
When you get to Lake Bohinj you will understand why this is. Looking up behind the lake is a large cliff which funnily enough seems like it would be unpassable.
Getting around Lake Bohinj
As the lake is relatively small the best way to get around is with a bicycle. Otherwise, there is a bus which continually laps the lake or the Arriva buses to go further distances and to the Savica waterfall.
Getting around by foot is also acceptable and there is a footpath the entire way around to save you walking on the road.
If you have a car, ONLY park is designated car parks. Every single day we saw tens of cars that had been fined for parking on the side of the road. There is a tiny sign saying no parking for 4km as you leave Ribcev Laz, which is easily missed.
Where to stay in Lake Bohinj
Halfway along the lake and right across from the water is Hostel Pod Voglom. Rated 9.2/10 on Hostelworld this is the perfect place to stay for budget travellers. 4-bed dorm rooms are €16 a night and include a free breakfast.
Hostel Pod Voglom has boats, canoes, kayaks and mountain bikes for hire. Next door you can arrange paragliding, rafting and canyoning trips through the Pac sports centre.
Camping is also a great option for staying around the lake. There are multiple campsites nearby but Camp Zlatorog Bohinj is right on the waterfront.
Whiles these glamping options may not be around Bohinj, if you are in Slovenia you should check them out. I found these too late and wish I could wind back the clock and check into one.