Lake Bohinj, Slovenia is one of the most beautiful places you will see in Europe. From the moment I visited it for the first time, some 15 years ago, I can’t stop thinking about the place and every time I visit Slovenia I try to sneak at least a short trip to Bohinj into my itinerary. It never disappoints.
The crystal-clear waters of the pristine lake and the surrounding Slovenian Alps coming all the way to the water surface create one of the most breathtaking views you will see in the Balkans. While the majority of tourists visiting Slovenia go to Lake Bled (which is beautiful too), only part of them ventures a bit further, to Lake Bohinj.
Even if these two popular destinations in Slovenia are only 25 km and a short ride away from each other, they couldn’t be any more different and I recommend visiting both places. On Lake Bohinj, you feel like you are in the heart of mountains, surrounded by spectacular nature from each side. It is also a bit wilder than on Lake Bled, feels like mass tourism hasn’t reached the place yet (although it can get busy).
You can easily spend one day on Lake Bohinj as a detour from Bled or even one of the day trips from Ljubljana but I recommend staying there a bit longer so you can enjoy all the amazing things to do in Bohinj. The place is perfect for numerous different outdoor activities but even if you are not a very active person, you will still appreciate the beautiful views and panorama of the Alps you can admire around.
After all my trips to stunning places (I can’t count how many times I’ve been there) I put together this Lake Bohinj guide to share with you all the best things to do in Bohinj and more. Read on, get inspired by this marvelous destination, and plan your own trip to Lake Bohinj!
Where is Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Lake Bohinj is located within Triglav National Park in the Julian Alps, in the northwest part of Slovenia. The main settlement on the lake is Ribcev Laz, in the southeast corner of the reservoir. Bled, one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia, is only 25km away from Lake Bohinj and Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is 80 km away.
How to get to Lake Bohinj
Even if Lake Bohinj is a pristine, nature getaway, the place is actually really easy to get to, also by public transport. There are frequent direct buses (at least once an hour throughout the whole day) from Ljubljana to Ribcev Laz via Bled. The journey takes around 2 hours and the ticket is 7,90€ (cheaper on the weekends) from Ljubljana and 3,60€ from Bled, purchased at the station or from the driver. You can check the current itinerary here.
If you plan to visit Lake Bohinj by car keep in mind that it can get busy, especially during summertime and warm weekends, and the parking space there is limited. There are a few parking spots but sometimes they are not enough to accommodate all the visitors.
You can also visit Lake Bohinj on a tour from Ljubljana and combine it with a few other attractions. This is an efficient way to see more places in a short time (and Slovenia really is a crazy beautiful country with so much to offer). Here are some recommended tours to Lake Bohinj:
- Lakes Bled & Bohinj and Vintgar Gorge Small-Group Day Trip from Ljubljana
- Lake Bled and Bohinj – Beyond the Alpine Lakes – Vintgar Ticket Included
- From Ljubljana: Triglav National Park Tour
- From Ljubljana: Lake Bled and Bohinj Trip with Vintgar Gorge
Where to stay in Lake Bohinj
While many of the people visiting Lake Bohinj decide to spend only one day here, I still think it’s worth staying here a bit longer to fully enjoy the place and its peaceful atmosphere.
Here are some recommended places to stay on Lake Bohinj:
- Hotel Jezero (8.4/10 on Booking)
- Art Hotel Kristal (8.5/10 on Booking)
- Sobe Ćuskić (9.4/10 on Booking)
- TD Bohinj Apartments
- and many more!
Things to do in Bohinj
And finally, here are the best things to do in Bohinj. Most of the attractions are located directly at the lake but some are a bit away but still easily reachable.
Visit Ribcev Laz
Ribcev Laz is the main settlement on Lake Bohinj and that’s where you should start your trip to the area. The village dates back to the 13th century when it was founded by the German settlers but today it is a vibrant place, popular among tourists. That’s also where you will find numerous accommodation and dining options, making Ribcev Laz a perfect base to discover Lake Bohinj and its surroundings.
The main attraction of the village is the Saint John the Baptist Church, picturesquely located at the shore of the lake (the view of the church with the stone bridge is probably one of the most frequently taken pictures from this area). Even if the church originally was built in the Romanesque style, the structure you can see today is from the 15th century when it was rebuilt in the Gothic style. While the church looks a bit inconspicuous, it’s worth visiting it inside too as you can see their valuable 16-th century frescoes pained by Jernej of Loka.
Take photos with iconic sculptures
When visiting Ribcev Laz don’t miss two iconic sculptures that you need to take pictures of. The first one is goldenhorn (zlatorog), located at the edge of the lake, with dramatic mountains beside and not far from the stone bridge. This mythical animal was very important in the region, starring in the local legend (you can read about it here) and the picturesque statue is a tribute to its presence in the Slovenian culture.
Another monument, located a short walk into the village, is dedicated to the four brave men who were first to climb Mount Triglav (the highest peak of Slovenia), in 1776. All four men were from the local settlements and the monument was erected on the 200th anniversary of their achievement, to commemorate their bravery. What makes the monument even more interesting is the perfect view of Mount Triglav right behind the men.
Take the boat across the lake
The best way to admire the beauty of Lake Bohinj is from the water. And you can easily do it!
There are panoramic boats from Ribcev Laz to Ukanc, on the other side of the lake, running from 15th April to 1st November. The trip takes around 25 minutes and along the way the local guide will tell you more about Lake Bohinj and its surroundings. There are a few departures per day and the ticket costs 9€/one way or 12€/return. You can find the current schedule here.
You can also rent a boat in Ribcev Laz and spend as much time as you need exploring the waters of Lake Bohinj and enjoying the spectacular scenery around.
See Savica Waterfall
One of the biggest Lake Bohinj attractions is Savica Waterfall, located a bit off the lake shore. The best way to get there is by car, in the summer months there is also a bus running to the waterfall. You can also hike there, it should take you around 1 hour from Ukanc. There is a small entrance fee to reach the waterfall.
From the parking lot, you need to walk up over 500 stairs to reach the waterfall but it’s definitely worth the effort as this place is simply spectacular. As soon as you get closer to the narrow gorge with the Savica waterfall the trembling sound of the falling water will get overwhelming. It’s a great indication of what is waiting for you around the corner.
Savica Waterfall is in fact a double waterfall as when you look closely you will see a smaller one on the side of the large one that goes almost 80 meters down. This is actually kind of unique as the watercourse is divided into two parts in the hidden undergrounds. Together they create a real natural masterpiece often portrayed in the Slovenian culture.
This is also the spring of the largest Slovenian river – Sava. From the hike up to the waterfall, you can admire some fine views over the Lake Bohinj area.
Take the cable car to Vogel Mountain
At the edge of Lake Bohinj, near Ukanc, you will find the cable car that in a few minutes only will take you to Vogel Ski Center, in the heart of Triglav National Park. You can find the schedule and current prices here.
Even if this is a popular winter sports destination, it’s worth coming here all year long as the views from the top are breathtaking. You can see the whole of Lake Bohinj with its surroundings as well the spectacular panorama of the Julian Alps, with Triglav – the highest peak of Slovenia, right in front of you.
While the views are a very solid reason to go all the way up to Vogel, the place is also a good starting point for hiking around. And, of course, in the wintertime, this is a perfect location for skiing.
Thanks to its location in the mountains, the area around Lake Bohinj is also a great destination for hiking. You can choose from numerous trails, with various lengths and difficulty levels. You can even reach Triglav from Lake Bohinj, although that would be a multi-day hike. But no matter where you go, you are in for a treat as Lake Bohinj and its surroundings are a real wonderland.
Relax at the beach
Once you are done with all the active things to do in Lake Bohinj you can take it easy and relax a bit on a beach. There are a few nice spots along the lake where you can lie down and relax or even go swimming in the crystal-clear waters of the lake. In fact, Lake Bohinj was recently named by Lonely Planet as one of the best wild swimming spots in Europe and this is a very well-deserved title.
My personal favorite beach at Lake Bohinj is in Ukanc, near the camping site, as you have a feeling that mountains literally meet the water there and the panorama of the lake here is truly breathtaking.
Final thoughts on visiting Lake Bohinj
As you can see above, Lake Bohinj is a truly spectacular place that is so easy to fall in love with. No matter if you spend here a few hours or a few days, you will not be disappointed as this is a true gem of Slovenia and Europe. Make sure to put it in your itinerary too so you can enjoy this beauty yourself and admire the amazing views that Lake Bohinj and surroundings are so full of.
If you plan a trip to Slovenia, I have more articles about this wonderful country that you might enjoy:
- Slovenia Travel Guide – All About Visiting Slovenia
- 30 Best things to do in Slovenia, according to travel bloggers
- Slovenia itinerary – places to visit in Slovenia in 3 – 10 days
- 21 Amazing Things to Do in Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 17 Perfect Day Trips from Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 13 Best Things to Do in Lake Bled, Slovenia
- 15 Great Things to Do in Maribor, Slovenia
- Velika Planina – the Underrated Highlight of Slovenia
- 9 Wonderful Things to Do in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia
- A Complete Guide to Visiting Skocjan Caves, Slovenia
- and more!
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