Escape to Bohinj

Top 10 Activities at Lake Bohinj

top 10 activities at lake bohinj

Discover our top 10 activities at Lake Bohinj to help you make the most of your holiday in Slovenia. All our favourite activities are within a kilometre of the lake, so you can spend more time out and about and less time in the car!

1) Swimming at Lake Bohinj

Swimming and splashing about in the lake has got to be top of the list. The water is crystal clear and incredibly clean. In fact, all of the water in Lake Bohinj is replenished by mountain streams and springs three times a year. In summer you can expect the water temperature to be in the early 20s °C. So perfect for cooling off after a walk or hike. 

swimming lake bohinj

The water feels like silk on your skin and there is nothing better than swimming out into the lake and looking at the impressive Julian Alps all around you. It’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with this magical place.

relaxing lake bohinj

Even in the height of summer it is still possible to find a secluded spot to laze around, take a dip, and watch the fish dart around the shore line. There are shallow areas which are perfect for toddlers, and a floating platform for older children, whilst high rocks give bold teenagers an opportunity to fling themselves into the water.

swimming activity lake bohinj

Top Tip

Head down to the lake for a swim a sunset. You’ll probably have the lake to yourselves.

2) Kayaking or Stand Up Paddleboarding

Enjoy even more fun on the water with a kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP). Lake Bohinj is very calm, making it ideal for beginners and children.

Lake Bohinj Kayaking

Hiring is inexpensive and can be done directly from a number of operators on the lake shore. With water splashing on your body and the sun on your back, it’s easy to relax into the holiday spirit. We recommend hiring for the day (approximately €35) as then you can discover little inlets, take a picnic with you, and paddle about at your leisure.

kayaking activity lake bohinj

Head far out into the lake to get that postcard view of Lake Bohinj with the bridge and the striking Church of St John the Baptist. Soak up the peace and tranquillity and take in amazing views of the surrounding mountains.

postcard view lake bohinj

Top Tip

Remember that sunshine reflects off the surface of the water. Do take the necessary precautions – sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses.

3) Experience Lake Bohinj by Boat

One of the most delightful ways to experience Lake Bohinj is to take the tourist boat across the lake.

Lake Bohinj Tourist Boat

Go on a bright, sunny day and you will be rewarded with Instagram-worthy photos of the Julian Alps reflected in the crystal-clear water. The boat, powered by electricity, is completely silent, so you can really appreciate the natural beauty as you glide across the lake.

 

As you relax on the boat, the captain provides an interesting talk about the history of the vessel, the lake and the geology of the surrounding area.

Top Tip

For those with a little more time and energy, take the boat one way across the lake and return by foot along the northern shore line footpath.

4) Stroll around Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj is the largest and perhaps the most beautiful natural lake in Slovenia. A great way to get your bearings is to take the well-marked footpath around the lake. It takes between three and five hours to complete the 12km circuit, depending on how often you stop to admire the views or take a dip in the water.

walk around lake bohinj

We recommend you start in Ribčev Laz and head over the bridge towards Stara Fužina and around the quite side of the lake. Once you reach Ukanc at the end of the lake (great photo opportunities here), you can buy and ice-cream or drink at the campsite café.

Lake Bohinj Beach

From Ukanc, head along the roadside path or the “rougher” forest path higher up.

 

It is lovely walk, and it is hard not to feel inspired by the beautiful scenery. In fact, when Agatha Christie visited and was asked if she could use Bohinj as a location for one of her crime novels, she famously remarked that Bohinj “was too beautiful for murder”

Top Tip

For a shorter walk, from Ribčev Laz, head along the shore line towards Stara Fužina. There are lots of shallow swimming places, grassy areas and opportunities for refreshments. Return back along the same path.

swimming area lake bohinj

5) Discover the Slap Savica Waterfall

Slap Savica (“Slap” means waterfall in Slovene) is one of the most famous waterfalls in Slovenia. At 70 metres high, the water bursts through the rock and crashes down to the emerald-green pool below. It is a must-see when in Bohinj.

Having visited a number of times, I think that it is the setting which adds particular charm to this waterfall. The hike is through a lush forest, with gorgeous views out over Lake Bohinj. 

 

There are 550 steps (yes, we have counted!), but there are plenty of resting places. As you near the waterfall, you can hear the water thundering down.

Top Tip

In summer it can get quite busy, so go early to avoid the crowds.

slap savica waterfall bohinj slovenia

6) Ride the Cable Car to Vogel

For the ultimate panoramic views of Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps, head up to Vogel on the cable car. In just 4 minutes you glide up to an altitude of 1,535m. It’s really exciting, especially for children. This is the quickest and easiest way to experience the pure mountain air of the high alpine world.

vogel cable car bohinj

At the top, on a clear day, you can enjoy breath-taking views, watch sheep amble about, and observe beautiful alpine flowers bursting out from rock crevices.

Relax in the café or take advantage of the ski chairlifts, some of which also operate in summer, to start one of the numerous, well-marked, high-altitude hiking trails.

alpine flowers vogel

For the more energetic, try the zip line or mountain bike park; for the fearless, paragliding offers an unforgettable experience.

Top Tip

The café at the top does amazing hot chocolate!

7) Hike to a Viewpoint over Lake Bohinj

Heading up to one of the viewpoints overlooking Lake Bohinj is a real treat, and is well worth the time and effort. We recommend Pec viewpoint for a picture-perfect view of Lake Bohinj.

It is about a 40-minute round trip from the village of Stara Fužina. You never get more than 200m above the water, but the views over Lake Bohinj, and the meadows along the way are superb. The final view is beautiful, with the Church of St John the Baptist and bridge acting as gatekeepers to the lake.

pec viewpoint lake bohinj

Top Tip

Head up to the Peč viewpoint for sunset and watch Lake Bohinj on fire!

sunset pec lake bohinj

8) Immerse yourself in Nature at the Mostnica Gorge

One of our favourites walks when we visit Lake Bohinj is to head up the Mostnica Gorge. The moss-carpeted forest floor, impressive rock formations and refreshing breeze from the cold mountain water combine to make it beautiful and atmospheric – imagine the perfect home for pixies and elves. It is the perfect haven on a hot summer’s day.

 

Water has gushed down the gorge for millennia, carving striking pools, crevices and waterfalls into the rock. In places, the gorge is only 1 metre wide, with the bottom looking impossibly distant below.

As you go through this enchanting gorge, look out for the rock formation, below, said to resemble the head and trunk of an elephant.

mostnica gorge trees
mostnica gorge elephant bohinj

It takes about 1.5 hours to reach the top of the gorge from Stara Fužina. Here you will find Koča na Vojah, a mountain hut offering refreshments.

Top Tip

Stop at the Koča na Vojah for a delicious slice of blueberry strudel.

9) Devour a Banana Split Overlooking Lake Bohinj

Indulge in a delicious banana split at Kramer café overlooking Lake Bohinj. Or if that’s not your thing, try a Nutella-filled pancake or one of the locally crafted beers. You can’t get a better view.

banana split lake bohinj

The café is situated next to a small pier. Wander along to watch the trout swimming in the clear water, or run and jump off into the lake. A very popular activity for children, and indeed with our own!

Top Tip

Café Kramer only accept cash. There is a cash point in Ribčev Laz by the tourist information.

jumping lake bohinj

10) Visit the Church of St John the Baptist

To add a little culture to your stay in Lake Bohinj, visit the beautiful medieval Church of St John the Baptist.

church lake bohinj

This church is considered to be one of the most brilliantly frescoed churches in all of Slovenia. 

The simple, plain style of the white exterior belies the detailed and vivid artwork inside the church. If you decide to view the art inside, be prepared for a few gory surprises!

Top Tip

For a small fee, you can climb up the tower for a superb view of the lake.

fresco church lake bohinj

Top 10 Activities at Lake Bohinj

Ready to start planning your visit to Lake Bohinj? Hopefully by now you will have a flavour of the types of activities you can try here in summer. You can explore the local area by foot, boat, cable car, as well as by bike, horse and even electric scooter! So much to do… I hope you have time to try all 10!

lake bohinj garden

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Top 3 Hikes to Lake Bohinj Viewpoints

top 3 hikes to lake bohinj viewpoints

There are lots of hikes that give wonderful viewpoints over Lake Bohinj. So many that sometimes it can be hard to choose between them! Some are major, full-day expeditions, serious outings that climb to over 2,000m. But the hikes described below are our top 3 for fantastic views with relatively little climbing.

 

They’re nice at any time of day, but there is something special about an amazing sunrise or sunset.

 

The first walk, to Peč, is the quickest and easiest. If you have time, why not try all three?!

#1 - Peč

  • Altitude 640m
  • 2km
  • 40-minute round trip from Stara Fužina
pec sunset lake bohinj

This picture-perfect view of Lake Bohinj (see above) is taken from Peč, a promontory on the lower slopes of Rudnica. It is about a 40-minute round trip from the village of Stara Fužina, an hour if you take it slowly. You never get much more than 100m higher than the water, but the views over Lake Bohinj, and the meadows along the way, are superb. The final view is beautiful, with the church and bridge acting as gatekeeper to the lake. 

Directions

From the centre of Stara Fužina, cross the bridge over the river, heading east. Turn right down the small road after the wooden barn, following the flow of the river. After a while, you’ll cross the smaller Ribnica river and join a cycle path. After about 500m, the path rises gently to a road crossing the river from the right. Turn left here and follow the signs to Peč. You won’t be disappointed! Once you have seen the view it is easy to see why this is one of the most popular Lake Bohinj viewpoints.   

 

You can extend the walk by following the marked trail to the summit of Rudnica (946m, 3hr round trip). This hill splits the Bohinj valley into its upper and lower halves and forms the southern side of the U-shaped valley. The ascent up Rudnica from Stara Fužina is lovely, gentler than Vogar or Studor (see below), and passes through forest, pastures and flower meadows.

 

Close to the summit, a large clearing provides beautiful views to the lake below and high mountain summits further afield. 

rudnica hike bohinj slovenia

There are few more lovely spots for a picnic, and because so few people venture up here (there are no facilities & nowhere to buy refreshments) you and the resident deer will probably have the hill to yourselves. The far side of the hill is steeper, the paths more challenging, so it’s best to descend the same way.

#2 - Vogar

  • Altitude 950m
  • 6km
  • 2-3 hours round trip

Vogar provides a wonderful viewpoint high above the north-eastern end of the lake. It is the spot from which many paragliders take off in summer. 

vogar viewpoint lake bohinj

Directions

From the bridge in the middle of Stara Fužina, follow the road uphill to the west. Beyond the children’s play area is a car-park, from which Vogar is signposted as 1 hour 15 minutes.

It’s a steep climb up through the forest, marked by the typical red circles surrounding a white spot, and signposts. The path was previously roughly paved by large boulder slabs. Although some of these are still in place, it is quite bumpy where they have become dislodged.

vogar julian alps hike

As you get close to the top, you will see a sign post to the paragliding launch site on the left. The view appears quite suddenly, with a panorama over Lake Bohinj and Stara Fužina below. You may even get to watch some brave souls launch themselves off the mountain under their parachutes. If you have ever want to fly like a bird, this must be one of the best places to try. What an amazing view!

 

If you’re still feeling energetic, head a little further up the path to the Kosijev dom na Vogarju. This mountain hut offers refreshments, and you can sit down, relax and enjoy the wonderful views all around. Walk through the grassy area by the hut to head to discover another fabulous Lake Bohinj Viewpoint.

#3 - Studor

  • Altitude 980m
  • 5km
  • 2-3 hours round trip

The hill of Studor forms the northern side of the U-shaped valley. The walk to the top is steep enough to get your heart beating, but the views are worth it. You can see along the entire length of Lake Bohinj from the top – a worthy reward.  

studor viewpoint lake bohinj

Directions

Start in Stara Fužina and follow the path towards the Mostnica gorge. Just before the Devil’s Bridge (Hudičev most), turn right to follow the path to Uskovnica, through a beech forest. When the path splits, keep right and follow the trail up, contouring across the southern face.  

studor hike bohinj slovenia

There is a small clearing near the summit which gives fantastic views along the lake. This clearing is a much less-used paraglider take-off point – it’s quite a climb from the nearest road.

We have never had to share the summit of Studor with anyone else – it’s beautifully quiet.

Which Lake Bohinj Viewpoint will it be?

So, will it be viewpoint number 1, a quick scamper up Peč for the picture-perfect view over church and lake? Or will you choose viewpoint number 2, a steep climb up Vogar, joining the paragliders as they soar into the sky? Or maybe it’ll be viewpoint number 3, secluded Studor, the quieter option that will take your breath away?

 

The decision is yours… 

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Family Canyoning Adventure near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

family canyoning bohinj slovenia

“Just keep your arms in and legs together.” These were the instructions from the lovely Luka as I sat at the top of a boulder and tentatively peered down at the pool beneath. “That’s a long way down”, I thought nervously… And that was the start of our family canyoning adventure near Lake Bohinj in Slovenia.

 

After watching the kids whizz down without batting an eyelid, I somehow summoned up the courage to tip myself over the edge. I survived (I had been a little concerned that I might not), and I actually quite enjoyed it. “If it continues like this”, I thought, “I should be fine!” Of course, that was just the beginning, the easy bit. More challenges were to come!

canyoning slide bohinj slovenia

What is Canyoning?

Canyoning involves getting from the top of a river canyon to the bottom, wearing a wetsuit, rubber shoes, harness and helmet to keep you safe. An expert guide is on hand at all times – thankfully! You abseil down waterfalls, jump off boulders into pools, and whizz down slides formed naturally in the rock that have been carved out by water rushing downhill over millennia. Often, it is the only way to visit such inaccessible places and appreciate the unspoiled nature. There are quite a few canyons in the Bohinj/Bled region, some easy and some harder for those who really want to push themselves to the limit.

canyoning abseil bohinj slovenia

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am not an adrenaline junky. I like my feet on the ground, able to change my mind if I don’t like something. So why did we sign up for canyoning? With three children aged 16, 14 and 11, I thought it would be a great family activity. And, after all, how hard could it be? The blurb said no experience was needed and that children over the age of 8 can have a go.

 

Family time can often feel squeezed, and sometimes it is hard to compete against the allure of a screen. Holidays can provide the ideal time to try something new and spend some quality time together. And it is good to get out of your comfort zone every now and again too. Or so I am always told!

Jerečica Canyon

The canyon that we descended is considered suitable for beginners, and we were in a group of 12 people, mostly adults and teens. Our guides, Luke & Miha, who spoke excellent English, were reassuring, friendly and funny, helping us all enjoy the activity to the full, even those of us who were a bit scared. This was especially important for the higher jumps. In fact, for the biggest jump, if anyone had any doubts or concerns they were advised not to do it. Safety was certainly the number one priority.

 

The biggest jump involved jumping over a rock into a pool 8m below you – certainly not for the faint-hearted! Our two teens gave this a go and came bubbling to the surface of the water with huge grins on their faces. There is something incredibly empowering doing something that you thought you might not be able to do, and our family canyoning experience offered that to each of us at our own level. We could see our children grow in confidence before our eyes.

canyoning bohinj slovenia

Family Bonding

I opted for a lower jump of ‘just’ 5m – I could have skipped that too if I’d wanted to. With the kids cheering me on with “you can do it Mum!”, I looked at the pool beneath me and made the leap. It is such a weird sensation falling through the air, having the time to think “I haven’t hit the water yet”.  Yet I did it! There were huge cheers for everyone as they did their jump. Roles are reversed as the kids offer the adults support and encouragement, and you cannot help but feel more connected as a family as you help each other through each of the challenges. There was lots of laughter too as you emerge from descents into pools looking slightly shell-shocked but with smiles and sparkly eyes.

 

Canyoning is certainly an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. With each challenge you grow in confidence, so that by the end of the session you have a real sense of accomplishment; the kids are buzzing with confidence and there is a great feeling amongst the group not just of having survived, but of actually having thrived. As soon as we had finished, the kids said “can we go again – now?” and they meant it. They have a lot more energy and stamina than us adults, that’s for sure! Next summer we may have to try the next level up of canyoning. I think, for me, though, Jerečica offered enough of a challenge and excitement…

canyoning jump bohinj slovenia

Practical Information

We went to the Jerečica canyon with Sport4fun. Maruša, the owner, was really helpful via email before our trip, explaining what we could do and what the canyoning involved. You need to make a reservation at peak times, so we booked at Sport4fun’s hut at Camp Danica in Bohinjska Bistrica once we had a better idea of our holiday plans and the weather forecast.

 

The canyoning cost us €69 per person, with discounts available for families. The price includes all of your equipment, transport to and from the canyon, plus English speaking guides and a drink and a snack afterwards. Unusually for us, we paid the optional €15 extra for the photos at the end of the trip; you’ve just been looking at some of them, and I hope you agree that the guides clearly know when to click the button to brilliantly capture the experience.

 

You need to be over 8 years old and be able to swim. Wear your own swimsuit (you are provided with wetsuits to change in to at the office before you depart in the minibus), and bring a towel for drying off afterwards.

 

Canyoning runs daily at 9am and 3pm between May and September, and there is a wealth of providers in the Bohinj/Bled region.

* All costs and details accurate summer 2018

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Wild Flower Festival, Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

lake bohinj walk

We are delighted to see all the wonderful events listed for the Wild Flower Festival (24th May-9th June 2019) around Lake Bohinj. For anyone who loves nature and botany, this is an event not to be missed. There will be guided walks, family activities, botanical excursions, floral cuisine, embroidery workshops, folk dancing, lakeside yoga, concerts and exhibitions. This huge variety of activities, many of which are free of charge, means that there is something of interest for everyone.

edelweiss bohinj flower festival

Cultural Heritage

The aim of the Wild Flower Festival is to promote and raise awareness of the unique cultural heritage in the Bohinj region of Slovenia. It is an opportunity to celebrate the beautiful displays of flowers in the alpine meadows in conjunction with the skills and knowledge of local people. So why not come along and learn how to make unique flower arrangements from the flowers gathered in the meadow? Or visit one of the oldest working Mills in the valley where they grind flowers? Under the expertise of local people you can learn about the traditional methods that have been used for centuries.

bohinj wild flowers

Floral Cuisine

Let your taste buds experience new flavours for the first time here in Bohinj.  Local businesses such as Gostilna DanicaGostilna Pri Hrvatu, and Restaurant Reste, all offer a special menu during the festival so you try foods flavoured by the mountain plants. Hotel Krystal, renowned for its chocolate shop, will be offering chocolate tasting as well. A speciality is their chocolate flavoured with the local Mohant cheese and hemp seeds! If that sounds a bit exotic you can always try their delicious strawberries and raspberries dipped in chocolate.    

wild flowers bohinj
flowers bohinj meadow

Mountain Hiking

Springtime is one of the quieter times to visit Lake Bohinj and you will be rewarded with walks and hikes where you will see hardly another person. You can enjoy the meadows in full bloom, spot Orchids (did you know that there are 40 Orchids native to the Bohinj area alone?), Lilies, Dianthus, Arnica, Lunaria, Edelweiss and Gentian to name but a few. 

Further Information

For a complete timetable for the Wild Flower Festival, please click here.

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Family Skiing at Vogel

vogel ski bohinj lift

We are just back from our first family skiing at Vogel Ski Centre. Our motivation to buy and renovate a house near Lake Bohinj was our love hiking, swimming and general ‘normal’ outdoor activities. We had never skied before, so the fact that the Vogel Ski Centre is so close was a potential bonus rather than a deciding factor. Having now just returned from our first ever family ski trip, that perspective has changed!

It takes less than 10 minutes to drive from Stara Fužina to the car park (free in winter) at the cable car base station in Ukanc. You can buy a myriad of ski pass options, ranging from half a day to the whole season, with discounts for kids and families. The cable car runs as often as needed, so it rarely takes more than 10-15 minutes to get on board for the 4-minute, 1000m climb up to the top. There are amazing views over Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps as you ascend.

vogel cable car lake bohinj

Ski Hire & Lessons

Once on the mountain, we hired equipment from Ski Finžgar, with whom we had also arranged a couple of family ski lessons. Our instructor Luka was great – he was very patient with us! His English was perfect, and his explanations of what to do were very clear. As complete novices, actually doing what he asked of us was easier said than done – the kids learnt very quickly, we adults a little more slowly – but with quiet slopes and his watchful guidance, we had plenty of space & time to practise our snowploughs & turns, and by the end we were all doing parallel turns on the lovely pistes.

 

Vogel, as with many ski centres in Slovenia, caters brilliantly for family and beginner skiers, and the nursery and blue slopes are very easily accessible. For those who are more advanced, there are red routes and off-piste options.

ski vogel triglav view

There are plenty of cafés and places to eat, and we really enjoyed learning in such a beautiful environment. We took some time to look around, and loved watching the snowboarders doing their flips and jumps – certainly not for the faint hearted!


At the end of each day, we left our hired equipment in a locker and descended back down to Stara Fužina for a hearty supper and good night’s sleep.


So, after our three “taster” days skiing, everyone wants to come back and do more. We found it to be excellent value for money, with equipment hire, ski pass and two hours’ tuition working out at about €55 per person per day.


We have hiked at Vogel in the summer, so it was lovely to see the same area covered in snow. It turns out that chair-lifts aren’t just for walkers!

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Bohinj Steam Train – A stunning railway journey through the Julian Alps

steam train bohinj railway

The Bohinj steam train is one of the most magnificent rail journeys you can do in a day, according to the Telegraph Travel.

 

There is something uniquely special about travelling on a steam train. The feel and smell, the other enthusiastic travellers… And the dedicated staff committed to maintaining the engine and celebrating its history. It is a time to stop and stare, soak up the views and atmosphere and enjoy being on holiday.

 

The steam train adventure takes three hours. Scenery highlights include views of Lake Bled, numerous gorges, the incredible Bohinj tunnel (6,339 metres long – not for those afraid of the dark!) and the longest stone arch bridge in the world. The Solkan bridge, with its 85 metre wide arch, crosses the stunning, emerald coloured, Soča River. The “museum train” also provides historical entertainment, with a special appearance from “Franz Ferdinand” and his wife to open the journey. Train guards are immaculately dressed and an accordion player comes through the carriages playing nationally-known songs creating a lovely atmosphere.

 

The Bohinj Railway was built in the early 1900s as part of a strategic railway to connect Western Austria and Southern Germany with the then Austro-Hungarian port of Trieste. The line starts in Jesenice, crosses the Julian Alps through the Bohinj tunnel and then continues to Nova Gorica, crossing the Italian border to reach Trieste. After World War I, the train line lost its importance as political divisions increased in Europe. It wasn’t until 2004 when Slovenia joined the European Union that the railway was brought back to life.

 

The Bohinj steam train stops at a number of stations along the route where you can get off and explore small museums or grab a snack. Just outside the final stop in Nova Gorica, you can head to Europe Square where you can stand with one foot in Italy and one in Slovenia! A great photo opportunity.

 

Watch the video to get a real flavour of the trip: 

As of 2019, a return train ticket costs €40 for Adults and €29 for children aged 6-12 years. With the Bohinj Tourist Card you can get a discount, usually 50%.


For more information or to book, please visit https://www.abc-tourism.si/


So next time you are in Bohinj, why not take a day to enjoy this historic train excursion?


Have you enjoyed this train ride? We would love to hear about it so feel free to comment below!

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Vogel Ski Centre – Affordable Skiing in Europe

vogel ski bohinj slovenia

With the arrival of winter we are delighted to see that European Best Destinations have recognised Vogel Ski Centre (just above Lake Bohinj) as one of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe and that “It is a dream destination for winter sports”.

Surrounded by the stunning Julian Alps, Vogel offers 22 kilometres of slopes and a snowboard park, both suitable for beginners. With affordable accommodation and ski passes, “you can enjoy a very nice week holiday in the resort for an average of €600 for two people in high season”. Ski lessons are available in English, (widely spoken), and Slovenes offer warm and friendly hospitality.

skiing vogel bohinj slovenia

Lake Bohinj and Vogel Ski Centre are just under 1 hour’s drive from Ljubljana airport so it is a quick resort to reach. Hire car is inexpensive at easy to arrange in advance at the airport. 

So come and Escape to Bohinj and have fun in the snow.

vogel ski resort slovenia