Slovenia is a country filled with stunning natural beauty, from the snow-capped peaks of the Julian Alps to the pristine waters of the Adriatic Sea. And nestled in the heart of the Julian Alps is Lake Bohinj, one of Slovenia's best-kept secrets.
While Lake Bled may be the more famous of the two, Lake Bohinj offers a tranquil escape from the crowds and a chance to explore the natural beauty of Slovenia.
Introduction to Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia, situated in the Bohinj Valley of the Julian Alps. The lake is approximately 4.2 kilometers long and 1 kilometer wide, with a maximum depth of 45 meters. The lake is fed by the Savica River and surrounded by lush forests and snow-capped mountains, making it a breathtaking sight to behold.
The history and geography of Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj was formed during the last Ice Age, over 20,000 years ago. The Bohinj Valley was carved out by glaciers, leaving behind a deep basin that eventually filled with water to form the lake. The lake has played an important role in the history of the area, serving as a trade route for salt and other goods during the Middle Ages.
Why Lake Bohinj is Slovenia's hidden gem
While Lake Bled may be more famous, Lake Bohinj offers a more authentic Slovenian experience. The lake is less developed and less crowded than Lake Bled, allowing visitors to truly connect with nature and enjoy the serenity of the area. Despite its natural beauty, Lake Bohinj remains relatively unknown to tourists, making it a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.
The best time to visit Lake Bohinj
The best time to visit Lake Bohinj is during the summer months, from June to September. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, and the lake is perfect for swimming and water sports. The surrounding mountains also offer excellent hiking and biking opportunities. However, if you prefer a more peaceful experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May or October, when the crowds have thinned out and the scenery is still spectacular.
How to get to Lake Bohinj
The easiest way to get to Lake Bohinj is by car, as public transportation in the area can be limited. If you're coming from Ljubljana, the drive takes about an hour and a half. You can also take a bus from Ljubljana or the nearby town of Bled, but be aware that the bus schedules can be infrequent. If you're flying into Slovenia, the closest airport is Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport, which is about a 45-minute drive from Lake Bohinj.
Things to do at Lake Bohinj
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy at Lake Bohinj, whether you're an adventure seeker or a nature lover. Some of the top things to do include:
The area around Lake Bohinj is a hiker's paradise, with numerous trails leading through the surrounding forests and up into the mountains. One of the most popular hikes is the trail up to Mount Vogel, which offers stunning views of the lake and the surrounding peaks. There are also several easier walks around the lake itself, including a lovely trail that follows the Savica River.
Wildlife and nature at Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is home to a variety of wildlife, including brown bears, chamois, and red deer. You can also see a variety of bird species, including the endangered Dalmatian pelican. The lake and surrounding forests are a nature lover's dream, with plenty of opportunities for birdwatching, photography, and just enjoying the peaceful surroundings.
Water sports on Lake Bohinj
If you're looking for some adventure, Lake Bohinj is the perfect place to try out a variety of water sports. You can rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards from several locations around the lake, or try your hand at windsurfing or sailing. The lake is also a popular spot for fishing, with several species of fish to be caught.
Accommodation options around Lake Bohinj
There are plenty of accommodation options in the area around Lake Bohinj, from campsites and budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels and apartments. Some of the top options include:
This four-star hotel is located just steps from the lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel has a restaurant, bar, and spa, and offers a range of outdoor activities.
If you're on a budget, Camp Danica offers a variety of camping options, from tents to RVs. The campsite is located just a short walk from the lake and offers plenty of amenities, including a restaurant and bar.
These modern apartments are located in the village of Ribčev Laz, just a short walk from the lake. The apartments are spacious and well-equipped, with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Lake Bled vs Lake Bohinj - Which one to choose?
While both Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj offer stunning natural beauty, they offer very different experiences. Lake Bled is more developed and more crowded, with more tourist amenities and attractions. Lake Bohinj, on the other hand, is less developed and less crowded, offering a more authentic Slovenian experience. Ultimately, the choice comes down to what you're looking for. If you're looking for a more peaceful, nature-focused experience, Lake Bohinj is the way to go. If you're looking for more tourist amenities and attractions, Lake Bled is the better choice.
If you're looking to escape the crowds and explore the natural beauty of Slovenia, Lake Bohinj is the perfect destination. With its tranquil waters, lush forests, and snow-capped mountains, Lake Bohinj offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you're hiking through the mountains, exploring the wildlife, or just relaxing by the lake, Lake Bohinj is sure to leave you feeling rejuvenated and inspired. So pack your bags and head to Lake Bohinj – Slovenia's hidden gem.