Lake Bohinj is a beautiful hidden gem located in the Bohinj Valley of the Julian Alps in Slovenia. The lake is part of the well known Triglav National Park, a wonderful place for nature and hiking lovers. We visited Lake Bohinj in May and we can tell you that it was gorgeous, making it perfect for those who are looking for a relaxing holiday in the mountains, with access to a gorgeous lake.
Of course, May was still quite cold, as we saw snow on the peaks of the mountains, which means it wasn't possible for us to swim in the lake. Summers are much better for that if you are looking for water sports activities like swimming, kayaking or paddleboarding.
Lake Bohinj is a glacial lake, 4.2 km long and 1 km at its maximum width. Its maximum depth is 45 metres. There are some species of fish, molluscs and algae living in the lake. Lake Bohinj is especially popular with day-trippers who want to enjoy some time away from Lake Bled or Ljubljana.
Now that you want to visit Lake Bohinj, here's everything you need to know about your trip!
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How to get to Lake Bohinj
It takes just over an hour to get from the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, to Lake Bohinj. Take the E61 which will take you straight to Ukanc. We recommend Ukanc as a destination for the Lake as you will be close to the cable cars, hotels and amenities, as well as the lake shores. Plus it's easiest to navigate, in our opinion.
En route, you will pass Bled. We stayed in Lake Bled for our holiday so we drove from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj for our day trip. It took us just 30 minutes by car.
By public transport
Don't want to drive? No problem. There is public transport from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj and it takes just 44 minutes to reach your destination. You can check the bus schedule here.
If you are travelling from Ljubljana to Lake Bohinj, you can take a train that takes you to Lake Bled, then change for the bus. The total journey takes around. 1 hour and 45 minutes. Check the train schedule here.
Of course, if possible, we recommend renting a car for the day. It will work out so much easier for you. Driving in Slovenia is actually easy. We found it very relaxing with good roads and excellent infrastructure.
What to do in Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is visually stunning and just by being there, you will feel recharged and happy. As it is a mountainous destination, we recommend hiking there. We took the cable car to the top of the mountain, admired the landscape, and hiked for a couple of hours. At the top of the mountain there is also a ski resort so if you arrive during winter, make sure to spend some time enjoying the slopes. The vistas are simply fabulous and I cannot imagine a better way to enjoy winter for skiing enthusiasts.
Let's see all the options of what you can do at Lake Bohinj.
Ride the Cable Car
Irrespective of the season, we suggest you take the Vogel cable car. The ride itself is surreal, as you will enjoy some of the most incredible landscapes. Lake Bohinj would look even more splendid, surrounded by tall and mighty peaks. This is nature at its finest.
You can take the cable car one-way or round trip. Most people purchase a round trip ticket so they have more time to spend at the top of the mountain. This is what we did as well. We wanted to hike at the top.
The round trip fare for adults is around €20 and for children (up to 15 years old) is €10. You can always check the latest prices and timetables here.
Once you are at the top of the mountain, make sure to spend some time on the viewing platform to admire the vistas. They sure feel unreal, they are so beautiful!
At the station, you will also find a restaurant where you can grab an apple pie and a coffee and information on hiking trails. We arrived in May so the skiing resort was closed, but we could still hike around the snow which was pretty cool.
Super important! Make sure to grab a jacket for the top of the mountain as the weather is much cooler up there! As I mentioned, there was snow at the top of the mountain so we definitely needed more than just a t-shirt.
Vogel Ski Resort
If you love skiing and want an affordable option, then the Julian Alps are for you. Not only you will enjoy the landscape at the top of the mountains here, but you can have so much fun on a budget. The ski passes are well priced and you can pre-order them already on the official site here.
Vogel is a true paradise for skiing, snowboarding, freestyle, cross-country skiing, off-piste skiing, freeskiing, sledging and more! Also, the slopes are open from December until the end of April.
Learn how to ski
Don't know how to ski? No worries, as you can actually learn how to ski right here, as there's a dedicated ski school at the resort. There's also accommodation available, so you can have it all in one place.
It takes roughly 3 hours to learn how to ski as a recreational slope user. This is the official school on Vogel and their prices are very reasonable: €35 per hour per adult or €44 per hour for two adults. So it would take around €105 for one single person to learn how to ski or €132 for a couple. That's a great bargain for a life long skill you can put to practice every single winter.
Photograph the Zlatorog
On the shore of Lake Bohinj, there is a statue of the legendary Goldhorn (Zlatorog) chamois. In Slovene folklore, the Zlatorog is a legendary white chamois that had his realm in the heights of Mount Triglav.
The story of the Goldhorn is as follows. It was believed that the Goldhorns were the key to a hidden treasure in the mountains. A young and brave hunter decided to pursue the treasure. Together with another hunter, they found the animal and shot it. The animal dragged itself onto a rocky ledge, where healing flowers were said to grow. The hunter tried to catch the dying animal before eating the magical healing flower but to no avail. The Goldhorn had already eaten a flower and came back to its full powers. It ran towards the hunter who, blinded by the shiny horns lost balance and fell off the mountain.
If you visit Lake Bohinj during the summer when the weather is excellent, then you will want to spend some time swimming and enjoying all the water sports you can do on the lake. You can rent a canoe, a kayak or a paddleboard for the day. It's a beautiful way to spend the day at the lake.
You can find rentals by the stone bridge near St. John the Baptist Church. That's on the Eastern side of the lake, at the Ribčev Laz settlement.
If you love nature, then you are going to enjoy a trip to the Mostnica Gorge. You can travel there by car (just 10 minutes drive from the Ribčev Laz) or you can walk (50 minute walk from Ribčev Laz).
It's a beautiful way to spend half a day exploring the natural landscapes around Lake Bohinj.
Very important: make sure to check with the locals if the path is open. Sometimes, due to heavy snow, the paths are impassable. Usually, the paths reopen on the 1st of April.
Walk around the Lake Bohinj
Love hiking? Then you are going to love walking around the lake. The whole trail is 12 km long and it can be easily done in a few hours. You can stop along the way, rest, swim and eat. The trail itself will take around 4 hours but with all the stops and enjoyment along the way, you can easily make it into a full-day experience.
There are several options for your accommodation depending on how you want to organise your holiday. You can stay in the capital or in Bled and take day trips to Lake Bohinj. That's what we did and it worked out for the best.
If you want to spend a few days around Lake Bohinj (and you should because it is amazing) you can decide on finding accommodation in either Ukanc or Ribčev Laz.
If you want to spend time skiing, then your best bet is to find accommodation in Vogel, close to the ski slopes.
We did some research for you, so here are our recommendations. For a nice hotel with breakfast included we recommend Hotel Gasperin Bohinj. This accommodation is perfect for the whole family. It's clean, wonderful and cosy.
For something a little more upscale you can go to this 4-star accommodation called Hotel Majerca. A double room starts from €125 a night.
You are now ready for your awesome trip to the Slovenian Lake Bohinj and I've no doubt you are going to absolutely love your time there. You can hike, enjoy the lake, ski and just relax in nature. That's a holiday in the mountains at its finest. Slovenia really is a hidden gem in Europe.