If you want to experience swimming in crystal-clear water surrounded by majestic mountains, then come to Lake Bohinj in Slovenia. In fact, Lonely Planet have recently highlighted Lake Bohinj as one of the best wild swimming spots in Europe, and we can see why.
5 Top Spots for Swimming at Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia and is protected by its location inside the Triglav National Park. Only a few electric boats are allowed on the lake, making it a quiet haven for wild swimming, kayaking, walking and enjoying the natural world.
The lake is replenished by mountain streams and springs three times a year, so the water is incredibly clean and refreshing. It’s an idyllic setting for anyone who loves to swim – wilder and more tranquil than the more famous Lake Bled.
Look how clear and clean the water is!
Best Time of Year to Swim in Lake Bohinj
The water is warmest in July and August, with the temperature rising well above 20°C. At this time of year, the water temperature is comfortable for paddling and lounging about.
We swim between June and September, but the water is cooler; you have to keep moving!
Map of Swimming Spots at Lake Bohinj
1) Best Swimming Spot for Small Children
If you have small children, we recommend swimming at Lake Bohinj along the shore line between Ribčev Laz and Stara Fužina. The best place to park is P4 Stara Fužina, from where it is just a short walk to the lake shore. This is useful if you have to carry a lot of stuff, or need to keep popping back to the car.
The water along this stretch of the lake is quite shallow, so is warmer and safer for small children. There is also a lot of grass to run and crawl over, and some trees for shade. Children take great delight in watching the fish dart about along the water’s edge. Friendly ducks often come visiting too.
There are toilets here (always good to know), and café Kramar serves food, drinks and ice creams. Next to the café there is a small pier which is popular with young and old for jumping off. Kramar is pretty much the only building actually on the lake shore.
Our kids like to alternate between the café and the pier!
Should you need to pop to a shop, or hire a kayak or paddleboard, Ribčev Laz is only a 10-minute walk away.
With all your amenities close at hand, this is a great spot for a lazy, family day, chilling by the lake.
2) Best Swimming Spot for Older Children
Our teenagers love to swim in the area of the lake closest to our holiday home, Escape to Bohinj Holiday House, in Staža Fuzina. It’s only a 10-minute walk from the house, making it quick to get to whenever you fancy a dip. In the summer months there is a floating platform in the water which is perfect for jumping and diving. The platform is far enough out that you can dive safely – the lake gets deep quickly here.
It is a lovely spot for watching the world go by – admire the paragliders soaring overhead, kids playing in the water, paddleboarders gliding past. Or maybe fall in, but with a smile.
There is also a small kiosk selling drinks and ice-creams.
3) Best Swimming Spot for Couples
For a quieter, more romantic spot, head around the north shore of the lake. Here you will find small, secluded coves and strips of shoreline. It’s easy to find a private spot, especially at the start and end of the day. If you want to go skinny dipping, this is the best place! The water is silky soft on your skin.
4) Best Swimming Spot for Tropical Beach Vibe
Can a lake look like a tropical paradise? Take a look at the photos below and decide for yourself!
Head to the west end of Lake Bohinj to the hamlet of Ukanc. There is a large car-park near the camping ground – P6 Ukanc. A short walk from here, you will find a small peninsula jutting into the lake which has an amazing tropical beach feel. Think light coloured shingle, shimmering water, sunshine… you just need a piña colada!
The Savica river flows in to Lake Bohinj at this point. The river flows down from the high mountains via the Savica Waterfall, so the water to the right (south) of the peninsula is usually quite a bit cooler. We therefore recommend swimming on the other (left, north) side. As you gaze along the length of the lake, notice the U-shaped valley at the far end. This is a remnant of the glacial period that formed the lake.
5) Best Swimming Spot for Daredevils
Maybe a jumping spot isn’t strictly a swimming spot… but we thought this should be included as many people don’t know about it. As you leave Ribčev Laz on the road towards Ukanc (walk, as there is no parking), there are some cliffs above the lake. In summer, this is a popular spot for local adrenaline junkies who jump and dive off the rocks.
To find the cliffs, look for a building with a small (private) car park on the righthand side of the road. It’s about 200m beyond the sailing club, just as the road reaches a high point and starts to drop again. Head through the trees and bushes and you will get to the spot.
There is danger involved in jumping from height into water. The lowest jumping spot is about 5m up, and some are closer to 10m. You jump at your own risk.
Good to Know
There are no lifeguards around the lake – wild swimming means just that. You need to be aware of your own limitations and those of children in particular. In most places, the water gets deep quite quickly – 10m out from the shore you will be out of your depth almost everywhere. If you are a strong swimmer, there is nothing nicer than swimming further from the shore where you will be on your own, able to soak up the mountains, forest and sky.
You must only park in the designated car parks or you will be heavily fined. If you purchase the Julian Alps Card, parking in the car parks is free. Alternatively, if you stay at Escape to Bohinj Holiday House, you can walk to all of these swimming spots.
As of 2021, there is a ban on large inflatables on the lake.
Have fun on the lake! We hope you are inspired to go swimming at Lake Bohinj. Getting outside, connecting with nature and doing some exercise is great for wellbeing. Head down to Lake Bohinj for sunrise or sunset and you will have the place virtually to yourself.
Do you have a favourite swimming spot at Lake Bohinj? Let us know in the comments below.