Are you dreaming of a winter escape to Lake Bohinj? We have now had our first drop of snow in Bohinj. The dusting of white makes the area even more beautiful as we leave the golden autumnal days behind and embrace the colder weather.
Here is a taste of what to expect if you visit Lake Bohinj in winter.
Last year, we had an abundance of snow, making the area around Lake Bohinj a Winter Wonderland. Just take a look at this video to see how beautiful Lake Bohinj is under a blanket of snow.
Snow brings stillness and peace to the mountains – even the air smells different! Do you want to build a snowman, ice-skate, have fun sledging, get energetic on the slopes or try some cross-country skiing? There are even opportunities for nighttime sledging and skiing!
Lonely Planet has recently recognised Vogel Ski Resort (just above Lake Bohinj) as one of the most affordable ski resorts in Europe with “unforgettable views of the Julian Alps.” If you are after a low-key resort, where you can give skiing a try, then Vogel is the place to go. And it won’t break the bank either!
Set in the Triglav National Park, Vogel Ski Resort offers 22km of blue and red runs, and also has a snow park. The resort is ideal for families and beginners. You won’t feel overwhelmed here and can focus on learning to ski. That’s if you can keep your eyes off the amazing views, of course!
There is not always snow every year down by the lake, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy.
One of our favourite activities is to wrap up warm and head around Lake Bohinj for a refreshing walk. The walk around the lake is 12km and takes about 3-4 hours. Bright blue skies, with the snow-capped Julian Alps reflected in the water, make this walk particularly stunning during the winter time. You will hardly see a soul – just you, the lake and the mountains all around. Bliss.
When you are half-way around the lake, why not stop at Restavracija Ukanc for some lunch or a warming hot chocolate? Best to check opening hours before you head out though as the restaurant is usually only open at weekends in winter.
Even on misty, foggy days, Lake Bohinj has an ethereal quality which makes it incredibly atmospheric and beautiful.
Another option is to try snowshoeing – imagine giant trays on your feet spreading your weight as you traverse the snow. Experienced guide, Grega at Hike & Bike, offers snowshoeing hikes around Lake Bohinj and has an abundance of local knowledge he is keen to share. Or maybe you’d like to try the Full Moon Walk at Vogel Ski Centre for an unforgettable evening.
Cold Water Swimming
As cold-water swimming has increased in popularity, many people come to Lake Bohinj even in winter.
These two photos were taken on consecutive days in February!
There are many health benefits to cold water swimming, including an increased metabolism, reduction in inflammation, improved circulation, as well as giving your body a boost of happy hormones. Do take adequate precautions and be aware of your limits before immersing yourself into Lake Bohinj in winter though.
Mountain hiking in winter offers fabulous vistas if you are experienced and well prepared. Lake Bohinj is in the Triglav National Park and so offers a good base for exploring the Julian Alps in Slovenia.
A favourite hike of ours is the mountain Pršivec, on the north shore of Lake Bohinj. At 1,761m, you get amazing views over the lake and the Julian Alps.
This is a hike that is perfect when the winter is mild, as otherwise there is too much snow. Read about our winter ascent of Pršivec here.
Moreover, with the sun rising later, winter is the perfect time of the year to get up for that spectacular sunrise over the mountains. The summit of Viševnik is a terrific place to watch the sun slowly rising up, creating a radiant glow over the Julian Alps. Compared to other peaks over 2,000m, Viševnik is a shorter hike, and is therefore a more accessible location to reach in the dark.
After a day out walking there is nothing nicer than returning to an open fire and some local food. Old favourites such as pizza and pasta are easily available too.
Fewer restaurants are open at this time of year, however. So always best to check opening hours before heading out.
Rest & Relaxation
A winter holiday isn’t complete without an opportunity to rest those tired muscles after a day out exploring. The Aquapark in Bohinjska Bistrica (8km from Lake Bohinj) offers a wealth of therapies to help you relax.
For adults, pamper yourself with a massage (including chocolate and fruit!) or a facial, zone out in the saunas or try the salt room. Children love the swimming pool, with whirlpools, water jets, the wild river, a rock-climbing wall over the water and slides. Buy a day ticket and hang out for some rest and relaxation… remember to take a good book too!
The weather in winter can be unpredictable, so the Aquapark is a great wet weather option too. Alternatively, take a day trip to Bled (stunning with a dusting of snow), Ljubljana or explore one of the amazing caves at Postojna or Škocjan.
Plan a Magical Winter Escape to Lake Bohinj
It is easy to see why Lake Bohinj offers a magical winter escape.
A visit here offers a tranquil escape from the hustle & bustle of life, a place to slow down and reconnect with family and friends. After the difficulties of the past few years we could all do with a little of the restorative power of being outside and in nature.