Sunrises and sunsets in the mountains are notoriously beautiful, and those in Bohinj are no exception. Lake Bohinj lies in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia, one of the oldest national parks in Europe. The area is renowned for its crystal-clear lake, stunning views over the Julian Alps and pristine nature. It makes a dramatic backdrop to experience a magical sunset or sunrise.
At a time when life is dominated by Coronavirus, getting outside and connecting with the natural world is a real antidote. Waking up early to catch the dawn of a new day is life-affirming and invigorating. Similarly, taking time out to watch the sun disappear, bathing the skies in a glow of oranges and reds, is a great way to escape the stresses of everyday life and focus on the present. You can’t come away from witnessing a beautiful sunrise or sunset and not feel better about life.
Favourite Spots for Sunrise & Sunset
We’ve put together a list of our five favourite spots for a sunrise or sunset, all accessible from Lake Bohinj. Some are easy walks suitable for all the family whilst others, like climbing Triglav for sunrise, are much more demanding. Whichever spot temps your fancy, the view won’t disappoint.
Things to Consider for your Sunrise or Sunset Hike
Winter can be an excellent time of the year to watch the sunrise. With longer nights, the sun rises later, giving you more time to hike to your viewpoint (or extra time in bed!). It is much colder though, so requires experience if you plan to hike to a viewpoint high up in the mountains.
It can be hard to predict a good sunrise, so check the weather forecast – the clearer the better. Clear skies are also great for sunsets, but a scattering of clouds make it even more impressive as they reflect the vibrant colours.
Also remember to check the time of the sunset or sunrise and allow enough time to hike to and from the viewpoint. Without sunlight, the mountains are cold and dark, even in summer. Make sure you wear appropriate clothing and have a torch with you.
1) Lake Bohinj
Watching the sunrise over Lake Bohinj may require the least effort, but it is by no means the least impressive. Sunrise is best viewed from the village of Ukanc at the west end of the lake, looking east back towards Stara Fužina. Here you can watch the sun peek up behind the U-shaped upper Bohinj valley, with the mist rising off the lake.
There is something incredibly uplifting about being present at the start of a new day, particularly in such a picturesque spot, before anyone else has surfaced. Feeling energised, why not take a dip in the lake to set you up for the day? You’ll definitely leave with your own special glow!
In contrast, sunset is best viewed from Stara Fužina looking west towards Ukanc. Watch as Lake Bohinj’s blue waters slowly turn into vibrant pinks as the sun disappears behind the Julian Alps. A perfect way to end a summer’s day.
Alternatively, head to café Kramar which has tables just above the shore of Lake Bohinj. Treat yourself to dessert or a drink as you gaze out at the incredible view. We’d recommend the pancakes – they are delicious!
2) Sunset at the Peč Viewpoint
Peč is a popular viewpoint just above Lake Bohinj and a great destination for sunset. You get fabulous and extensive views down the entire length of Lake Bohinj, with the church and bridge acting as gatekeepers to the lake. The viewpoint is a 30-minute walk from Stara Fužina, making it a lovely after-dinner stroll to make the most of the evening light. There is a bench where you can sit down and soak up the picture-postcard view.
It’s a lovely spot to rest a while, watching the white clouds reflect the shimmering light. One thing you begin to notice is that each sunset is unique. The water is fantastic for reflecting the colours of the sky – it looks like Lake Bohinj is on fire!
3) Vogar – Ideal for both Sunrise or Sunset over Lake Bohinj
Vogar is a wonderful viewpoint high above the north-eastern end of Lake Bohinj. It is one of the take-off points for the paragliders you see soaring in the sky. Here you get superb views of the Lower Bohinj mountains, Lake Bohinj itself and the village of Stara Fužina, making it an ideal spot for both a sunrise or sunset.
Reaching Vogar from Stara Fužina is about an hour’s walk. Don’t let the short distance (3km each way) deceive you though – the viewpoint is over 400m vertically above the village, which makes for a steep (but rewarding) hike! As you approach the top, take the little path to the left signposted to the paragliding launch site. Here, a grassy opening and bench provide an inviting spot to take in the evening rays or morning pastel hues.
In the morning, the sunlight kisses the tops of the lower Bohinj mountains, making them glow. There is often a layer of cloud in the valley, creating a mysterious and dynamic spectacle.
Sunset is equally radiant.
To experience a sunrise or sunset in the high Julian Alps, we recommend climbing Viševnik. Compared to other peaks over 2,000m, Viševnik is a shorter hike, and is therefore a more accessible location to reach in the dark.
Starting at Rudno Polje (around 45 minutes’ drive from Bohinj up onto the Pokljuka Plateau) allow around 2 hours each way to the summit. Read how we got on hiking up Viševnik for sunrise in our Blog.
From here, you get impressive panoramic views over Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak, as the new day dawns or fades.
The summit of Viševnik is a terrific place to be to watch the sun slowly rise up behind the mountains, creating a radiant glow over the Julian Alps.
5) Climbing Triglav for Sunrise
There’s no better place to watch the sun rise than the highest point in the country! Triglav (2,864m) is the majestic peak in the centre of the Triglav National Park and makes a challenging, but amazing climb. There are many welcoming mountain huts (Dom or Koča in Slovene) in the Julian Alps, providing an opportunity to stay high up in the mountains. This means you can summit high peaks for sunrise without having to hike for hours through the night. Much safer!
From Dom Planika, it is a 2-hour hike to the summit of Triglav. The first half gets you up to the ridgeline and the second follows an exposed ridge along to the summit: definitely not a hike for the faint hearted!
The views are absolutely breath-taking, with the whole of the Julian Alps becoming lit up by the morning sun. As you summit Triglav, you feel on top of the world gazing out across Slovenia. The mornings are often the clearest time of day in the mountains, so by getting up early you maximise your chances of uninterrupted views, which can go as far as the Adriatic Sea. After admiring the panorama, descend back down to Dom Planika and enjoy a hearty mountain breakfast before continuing your hike.
We hope you feel inspired to get out of bed and catch a stunning sunrise near Lake Bohinj. An early morning hike and a magical sunrise really do set you up for the day ahead. Watching the sun illuminate Triglav and the Julian Alps as you hike high into the mountains is a memorable adventure.
At the other end of the day, sunsets often require less effort, and are more about being in the right place at the right time. Certainly, the glassy water of Lake Bohinj provides a superb reflection for the vivid colours as the day comes to an end. Maybe try to experience both!