Escape to Bohinj

A Winter Escape to Lake Bohinj

Things to do in winter at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

A Winter Escape to Lake Bohinj

Are you dreaming of a winter escape to Lake Bohinj? After the last year and a half, it feels like we could all do with relaxing getaway…

Here is a taste of what to expect if you visit Lake Bohinj in winter. 

Winter Wonderland

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!

Build a snowman at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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! 

vogel ski resort lifts bohinj

Of course, there is not snow every year down by the lake, but there are plenty of other activities to enjoy. 

Invigorating Walks

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.  

Winter walk around Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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.

Mist at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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.  

Other popular local walks include the Mostnica Gorge and Savica Waterfall

Winter Hiking

Mountain hiking in winter offers fabulous vistas if you are experienced and well prepared.

Winter hiking in the Julian Alps, Slovenia

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. 

Hiking up Pršivec, Julian Alps, Slovenia

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.

Sunrise over Triglav from Viševnik, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Read how we got on climbing Viševnik for a sunrise adventure here.

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. 

Pizza and Lasagna near Lake Bohinj Slovenia

Fewer restaurants are open at this time of year, however. For some tasty treats head to the chocolate shop at Hotel Krystal in Ribčev Laz and buy some of the amazing artisan truffles to take home.

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.   

Lake Bled, Slovenia in winter

Plan a Magical Winter Escape to Lake Bohinj

It is easy to see why Lake Bohinj offers a magical winter escape.

Winter at Lake Bohinj

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 last eighteen months, we could all do with a little of the restorative power of being outside and in nature.  

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5 Reasons to Love Autumn in Bohinj

5-reasons-to-love-autumn-in-bohinj

The evenings are drawing in, and the days are beginning to feel that bit cooler. Autumn is upon us in Bohinj. After the busyness of even this most unusual summer, life is slowing down, allowing you to enjoy the natural beauty that this season offers. Here are 5 reasons why we love autumn in Bohinj;

1. Amazing Colours

The reds, yellows, oranges, golds, browns and greens of the trees are stunning at this time of year, particularly when bathed in the soft evening sunlight. On a still day, you can see these amazing colours reflected in the glassy water of Lake Bohinj.

lake bohinj colours autumn

Head out in a kayak to the middle of the lake to get the ultimate vantage point, surrounded by this beautiful palette.

Hiring a kayak is a fun thing to do on Lake Bohinj Slovenia

2. Hiking & Biking Adventures

September and October are excellent months for hiking and biking in the Triglav National Park and wider Julian Alps. The weather is generally stable, with fewer storms than in the summer months, and most visitors are long gone. There is something wonderful about wrapping up warm and heading out into the crisper, cooler air. You can really soak up the peace and tranquillity of this unspoilt place and immerse yourself in the natural world. Now that the days are shorter and fewer mountain huts are open, make sure you plan your trip to ensure you are well prepared and stay safe.

lake-bohinj-autumn

3. Nature’s Bounty

Look carefully and you will see fruits, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and toadstools in a wealth of different shapes and sizes. Slovenia is a lush country and around 60% of the land is covered in forest. With the warmth of summer replaced by cooler, damper air, autumn brings a flurry of growth. In Bohinj there is a real focus on using locally sourced food, so take the opportunity to sample foraged delicacies in the local restaurants – delicious!

wild toadstool mushroom bohinj

4. Early Morning Mist

The cooler, longer nights and increased moisture in the air often wrap Lake Bohinj in an early morning blanket of mist. It is a magical and mysterious time to be at the lakeside, made all the more special as you are likely to be there by yourself. When it starts to clear, the mist is often replaced by brilliant blue skies within 10 minutes. Look out for that perfect spider’s web, dappled in the morning dew. There is beauty all around if you look for it.

lake bohinj misty morning

5. Cosy Nights In

With the cooler autumn evenings, its time to light the log burner again. Snuggle up next to the fire with a hot chocolate, or a tipple of choice. Did you know Slovenia is famous for its schnapps? Our favourite is Borovnicevec – a blueberry liquor which is delicious and particularly warming on a cold evening. After a day out exploring Lake Bohinj, there is nothing nicer than a cosy evening in next to the fire.

log-burner-holiday-house-lake-bohinj

Autumn in Bohinj

So come and enjoy an autumn break in Bohinj. Watch the golden leaves fall from the trees against blue skies, listen to them crunch underfoot in the forest, feel the warmth of the autumn sun on your back and taste the foragers’ treasure trove of goodies. It really is a season for all the senses.

bohinj colours autumn

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Swapping Screens for Screams Rafting down the Soča River

family rafting down the Soča river in Slovenia

“We’re going to hit the rock!” yelled our eldest daughter Izzy, as we were rafting down the Soča river in Slovenia. As our guide kept shouting “keep paddling forwards” a fleeting moment of panic was replaced with the realisation that was exactly what he intended!

Rafting down the Soča river in Slovenia

We all paddled harder in anticipation, and before we had time to think (or do a risk assessment!) we bounced into the rock, lifting the raft upwards and jolting us into the cold Soča water. What a hit – smiles and squeals of delight all round.

Create Family Memories Rafting in Slovenia

Teenagers are often absorbed in a virtual world, and it can be difficult to compete with a screen. However, rafting is a great activity to re-connect the family to the natural world and to each other. Jumping into icy water (don’t be fooled by the inviting turquoise colour of the Soča river) is life affirming, and looking out for each other and working as a team to navigate the rocks creates a shared family experience. Especially when it involves saving me as I unexpectedly tumbled out of the raft into the fast-flowing water!

When to Go Rafting down the Soča River?

We had been hoping to go rafting in Slovenia for some time. In the summertime, the Soča river is usually low so the rapids are fairly gentle. If you are slightly nervous about rafting, as I was, this is therefore the time to go. If you fancy a more adrenaline-fuelled rafting adventure go in early spring, when the Soča river is at its highest. You are more likely to get the full “white-water” experience – although the river is closed if the water is too high.

Adrenaline Adventure in Slovenia

The Soča river was fairly calm when we went, perfect for our first family rafting trip. But it was still fast enough to have a lot of fun riding the rapids and steering between rocks…

Family rafting down the Soča river in Slovenia

For a bit more excitement, our guide Jakob upturned the inflatable raft to make a slide. Not your conventional slide though… We were encouraged to fling ourselves headfirst into the bracing water. And as if that hadn’t caused our heart rates to increase, we tried jumping and flipping in the air.

Jumping into the Soča river in Slovenia

There was huge amounts of laughter, and this was a great opportunity to test our limits. Later, we stopped at a 7-metre high rock and the real adrenaline junkies could jump off the top. Not for the fainthearted!

Adrenaline activities on the Soča river in Slovenia

Spectacular Scenery of the Triglav National Park

As well as the rapids, you can enjoy real moments of tranquillity as you paddle down the river. The Soča river and surrounding Julian Alps are considered to be some of the most beautiful natural gems within the Triglav National Park. 

The scenery is stunning, and this part of the Soča valley was used to film scenes in the film Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2007). The first film, The Chronicles of Narnia, was filmed in New Zealand and the producers were looking for a similar landscape to shoot the second film. And that’s when they found the Soča valley in Slovenia! Andrew Adamson, director of the movie, said “The beauty of this place overwhelmed me, as a director and a tourist. It is gorgeous and the Soča river is the perfect place for filming a fairytale.”

Soča river in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia

Keeping Everyone Happy on Holiday in Slovenia

We all loved rafting down the Soča river, from the slightly nervous (me) to the teens, who were seeking more of an adrenaline experience. Often on holiday, finding an activity that everyone is enthusiastic about is a challenge in itself. Rafting was a perfect choice and one which the teens would happily exchange a screen for again!

Rafting in Slovenia

Practical Information for Rafting down the Soča River

The main centres for rafting on the Soča river are in the towns of Bovec and Kobarid. There are plenty of providers in each area. From Lake Bohinj, allow 2.5 hours in the car to get there.

 

We booked our family Soča rafting adventure with Jakob at Bovec Canyoning, who had been recommended to us by a friend. We booked via email and Jakob was flexible about dates and easy to communicate with. He speaks perfect English, which is important when you have to quickly follow instructions.

What to Expect on the Rafting Trip

We met at Jakob’s base in Čezsoča to pick up equipment  – wetsuits, shoes, life jackets, helmets. Jakob then drove us to the starting point about 10 minutes away. After getting the raft into the Soča river, we had a safety briefing and then tested the bracing water for the first time. The equipment was all new, and we were incredibly grateful to have long sleeved wetsuit tops in the water. We saw that in other groups people had their arms exposed  – it does make a difference when the water is that cold.

The first part of the trip is on calm water, perfect for testing our ability to follow instructions. You can also enjoy floating down the Soča river and can get used to the cold water. The second part of the rafting trip is more dynamic with rapids, rocks and jumping opportunities.

After about 2 hours rafting down the Soča river, we finished at Trnovo.  We carried the raft back up to the minibus, changed and were driven back Čezsoča.

We felt very safe during our family rafting adventure. Jakob clearly knows the Soča river well and has a lot of technical knowledge about rafting. The whole experience was captured on Jakob’s GoPro, which meant we could immerse ourselves in the rafting experience without worrying about taking our own shots. The videos were emailed afterwards to us and this was included in the price. The cost was €45 per person. Allow around 3.5 hours for the whole trip.

*All costs and details accurate summer 2020

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Top 10 Activities at Lake Bohinj

Top 10 activities at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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 in the mountains. 

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 swimming 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. More ideas can be found in our Blog Post here.

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. It is easy to see why this area is protected by the Triglav National Park. 

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.

Take the Lake Bohinj Boat for stunning views of the Julian Alps in Slovenia

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 trail 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.

A popular activity at Lake Bohinj is to walk around the lake

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.

A popular swimming beach at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

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.

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 Lake Bohinj 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.

Take the cable car from Lake Bohinj to Vogel for views of the Julian Alps

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!

Dramatic Sunset from Pec viewpoint over Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

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 a cooling 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
Walk the Mostnica Gorge for a family activity at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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 Kramar 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 Kramar 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.

The church at Lake Bohinj is a popular tourist site

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 in Slovenia? 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

Escape to Bohinj Holiday House

Escape to Bohinj Holiday House

Escape to Bohinj Holiday House is just 10 minutes by foot away from Lake Bohinj, and offers spacious accommodation for 6 people. It is a great base from which to try all the activities on offer at Lake Bohinj. At the end of an active day, come and relax in a lovingly restored cottage fully modernized for contemporary living.

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Bears & Bees, Caves & Trees: 10 Fun Facts about Slovenia

10 fun facts about Slovenia

Here are some quirky and interesting facts which help to make Slovenia so special.

1. sLOVEnia

Slovenia is the only country with LOVE in its name. This is particularly apt as most travellers seem to fall in love with Slovenia when they visit. Although it is only small (the size of Wales in the UK), Slovenia is incredibly diverse and packed full of natural wonders. From lush forests, emerald green rivers, picture-postcard lakes, waterfalls, castles, caves, mountains to charming towns, Slovenia offers something for everyone.

2. Forests

Over 60% of Slovenia’s land area is covered in forest. Unlike in many countries, these forests are actually expanding. Green and verdant, over 50% of land in Slovenia is protected, making it the perfect haven for nature lovers. It is home to the Triglav National Park, one of the oldest in Europe, which surrounds Mount Tiglav, Slovenia’s highest peak at 2864m. So if you enjoy pristine nature, in a country where sustainability is a top priority, then Slovenia is a must.

forest sunset slovenia

3. Bees

Speaking of nature, there are about 90,000 beekeepers in Slovenia – not bad from a population of 2 million. Slovenes take great pride in their beekeeping history and are particularly proud of their distinct “Carniolan Bee” which is only found here. This bee is a symbol of hard work and diligence and has given rise to the Slovene saying “priden kot čebela” which means “as hardworking as a bee”. Honey is a wonderful treat to try when visiting Slovenia and makes a lovely gift for family and friends back at home. 

 

Look out for the colourful wooden beehives as you travel around, or visit the museum of apiculture in the beautiful old town of Radovlijca.

honey bee slovenia

4. Bears

With such a high density of forests, it is no surprise that Slovenia has one of Europe’s largest brown bear populations, numbering over 500. If you have ever dreamed of watching bears in their natural habitat, this is the place to come!

 

There are a number of operators in the south of Slovenia: Slovenian Bears offer bear-friendly and human-friendly photo experiences whilst Bears & Wildlife offer the option to spend the night in a simulated bear cave – one for the bucket list! The best time to view bears is between May to September.

5. Caves

Slovenia is full of amazing natural wonders, and home to over 10,000 caves, with more than 100 new ones discovered each year. That’s a lot of caves! Over 20 caves are open to visitors, with a variety of tours depending on your level of adventure.  Experience the underground world by train at Postojna, or even kayak or bike through the tunnels of the Mežica Mines

 

Postojna cave is the largest and most visited in Slovenia and home to the amazing “human fish” or baby dragons which can survive for up ten years without food! 

 

Meanwhile, Škocjan Cave, a Unesco World Heritage site, has one of the largest underground canyons in the world, combining four miles of underground passages, vast chambers and waterfalls. It is a like a fantasy world – think of the “Mines of Moria” in “The Lord of the Rings…

skocjan cave slovenia

6. The Solkan Bridge

Slovenia is home to the longest stone arch railway bridge in the world. It was built at the beginning of the twentieth century from 4,533 stone blocks. The total length is 219m and the central span is 85m stretching  across the Soča river. It is marvellous piece of civil engineering, all the more beautiful with the emerald green river that flows underneath. Travel by train across the bridge or visit by car and enjoy lunch in one of the picnic areas.    

solkan arch stone bridge

7. Ski Jump

Slovenia has the second largest ski jump or ski-flying hill in the world at Planica, near the resort of Kranjska Gora. Planica is the traditional venue for the finals of the Ski Jumping World Cup, with over 60 world records being set here.

 

If you would like to experience the freedom of an elite ski jumper, then visit Planica Zipline, the steepest zip line descent in the world. It is 566m long and you will reach speeds of 85km/h! That is certainly only for the very brave! It’s open every day in July and August.

ski jump planica slovenia

8. Wine Makers

Many people are unaware that Slovenia is a superb wine producing country, with one vineyard for every 70 inhabitants. The Mediterranean and Alpine climatic influences allow 48 varieties of grape to flourish within this small country. The rich wine heritage is evident in the town centre of Maribor in the North East of Slovenia, where the world’s oldest grape vine can be found. 


Climbing around the Old Vine House, this 400 year old vine is listed in the Guinness Book of Records. Due to the age of the vine and the small number of grapes yielded, the wine produced is very rare and expensive. Only 100 miniature bottles are made each year. Slovenia has given bottles as gifts to the Pope and Queen Elizabeth II. We hope they enjoyed them!     

old grape vine slovenia

9. Narnia

Did you know that scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2007) were filmed in the Soča Valley, in the West of Slovenia? The first film, The Chronicles of Narnia, was filmed in New Zealand and the producers were looking for a similar landscape to shoot the second film. Andrew Adamson, director of the movie, said “The beauty of this place overwhelmed me, as a director and a tourist. It is gorgeous and the Soča river is the perfect place for filming a fairytale.” The stunning emerald green colour of the Soča river, combined with the huge range of outdoor activities on offer, make this part of Slovenia a popular region to visit.

soca river valley slovenia

10. The Slovene Language

Spoken by just 2.3 million people, the Slovene language has 46 different dialects and is the only EU official language recognised as having a “dual” form. This is used when referring to precisely 2 people or objects, in addition to the more conventional singular and plural forms. 

That's the end of our fun facts about Slovenia

We hope that you have discovered something new in our fact guide about Slovenia. Do let us know below if you have some interesting facts we could add to our list. 

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Discover Lake Bohinj, Slovenia’s Hidden Gem

Holiday in Slovenia

Why Lake Bohinj is the perfect base for your holiday in Slovenia.

It’s the time of year when your thoughts may have turned to the summer, to where you will go on holiday and what you will do when you get there. Different things appeal to different people, and sometimes trying to please everyone within the same group of family or friends can prove challenging. City or countryside? Relaxing or active? Beach or mountains?

Slovenia is a small country nestled between Italy, Austria and Croatia. It’s at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea and the southern end the Alps, combining a Mediterranean climate with dramatic mountain landscapes. The variety of scenery, activities and cultural & natural wonders defies its size, and there are few places in which so much beauty is so close to hand.

Dramatic mountains plunge via tortuous gorges to serene lakes, postcard villages lie dotted through farmland and along the coast. The self-confident capital city, Ljubljana, offers a myriad of cafés and restaurants interspersed between the varied architecture.

Something, perhaps, for everyone then. In which case you may be wondering why you’ve never thought of going there before? Or have maybe never even heard of it? Shhh – don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret…

The perfect base from which to explore this wonderful country is Bohinj, just a 45-minute drive from Ljubljana International Airport. In the heart of the Julian Alp Mountains and with a stunning lake for summer swimming, Bohinj is a quiet escape from the pressures of everyday life, yet is still within easy reach of the rest of the country. You can combine chilling in the sun, walking through forests and high-altitude hiking with time in Ljubljana and trips to coast and caves.

Relaxing

beach lake bohinj

The scenery is so stunning around Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps that it’s hard not to stop and stare, soaking up the beauty of this magical place. Take a gentle stroll through the meadows down to the lake to sunbathe, swim or paddle. Unwind, relax, breathe in the pure alpine air and disconnect yourself from the daily routines at home.

Exploring

Take the Lake Bohinj Boat for stunning views of the Julian Alps in Slovenia

Locally

The area around Lake Bohinj can be explored by foot, bike, horse, boat, cable car… Hike up the Mostnica Gorge and marvel at the incredible power of water to carve deep channels into the rock, or take one of the many hiking trails higher up. Bike or ride along the lake’s southern shore, through the Bohinj valley or up into the mountains. Take the panoramic tourist boat across the lake and walk up to Slap Savica – the most famous waterfall in Sovenia.

Experience the high alpine world with a trip up to Vogel on the cable car. From here you can head out of one of the countless hiking trails or just relax in the café with a hot chocolate. The views are breath taking on a clear day, with Lake Bohinj surrounded by the Julian Alps with the magnificent Triglav in the background.

Further Afield

Visit Lake Bled Slovenia

From Lake Bohinj there is wonderful array of excursions close at hand. Hiring a car in Slovenia is inexpensive, and because Slovenia is a small country it is possible to access many of the main tourist sites quickly. Slovenia is incredibly diverse, with snow-topped mountains, turquoise rivers, spectacular underground caves, an historic Mediterranean coastline, vineyards, spas and castles. Take your pick… Maybe a day at Lake Bled, swimming in the lake there, visiting the castle and tasting the famous “Bled cake”? Or maybe you fancy the magnificent caves at Postojna or Škocjan? Or a trip to Planica, the home of the Ski Jumping World Cup? These day trips are all easily accessible from Bohinj.

After a day at a tourist site there is nothing nicer than returning to tranquillity of Lake Bohinj. Once the day-trippers have gone, head down to the lake for that sunset swim. You’ll probably have the place to yourself!

Building Lasting Memories

family canyoning bohinj slovenia

Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps provide the perfect holiday destination for sharing experiences and creating lasting memories with family and friends. Whether it is sunbathing, swimming, walking, canyoning, rafting, kayaking, rock-climbing or paragliding, there is a wealth of activities for everyone to enjoy together. Help children and teenagers to escape the allure of screens and technology by spending time together in the natural world outside.

Holidays are the ideal time to strengthen bonds; you cannot help but grow closer together when you try something new for the first time, relying on each other for support and encouragement as you test your limits and embrace your fears.

For those who want an active, but less adrenaline-filled holiday, there are endless hiking trails, from short walks to multi-day treks. Enjoy immersing yourself in nature; take time to stop and look at the wildflowers and gorgeous butterflies, watch the fish swim about in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Bohinj, and keep your eyes peeled to the sky for golden eagles.

Bohinj is a place which makes you want to hold yourself in the present moment, and gives you the space to create shared experiences with the ones you love. A holiday in Bohinj is not only enjoyable at the time, but one that provides building blocks for your future family life together.

Hiking to Suit all Abilities

hiking julian alps skrlatica

Lake Bohinj is surrounded by the magnificent Julian Alps, which are protected inside the Triglav National Park, one of the oldest national parks in Europe. There are endless hikes to suit walkers of all abilities, from gentle strolls around Lake Bohinj or Lake Bled, to multi-day climbs culminating in the ascent of Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak at 2864m. 

Lush alpine meadows, valleys and mountains paths are easily navigated by following the Slovenia “target” trail-mark. The tourist information centres are a great source of knowledge for all local walks, providing leaflets, expert guidance and a chance to buy local maps. Mountain huts scatter the Julian Alps so there are plenty of opportunities for a pit-stop to take in the fabulous views or stay a night for an unforgettable alpine experience.

Unspoilt Nature

ibex julian alps slovenia

BecauseTriglav National Park is a protected area, it is home to a wonderful array of plant and animal life. Some of the plants are unique to the park, whilst traditional Alpine flowers such as edelweiss, orchids and gentians are found in abundance. This biodiversity is celebrated in late May/early June with the International Wildflower Festival. The event offers activities the whole family can enjoy, including guided walks, botanical excursions, floral cuisine, embroidery workshops, folk dancing, lakeside yoga, concerts and exhibitions. The Festival uniquely celebrates the impressive displays of flowers in the alpine meadows in conjunction with the skills and knowledge of local people.

The park is also home to the revered chamois, a gorgeous mammal found roaming the alpine pastures. In fact, around Lake Bohinj you will see many references to the Zlatorog, the golden-horned chamois who was believed to guard his treasure on the Komna Plateau to the west of the lake. Wolves, lynx, marmots, ibex, red deer and golden eagles are also to be found, and Slovenia also hosts a wild brown bear population, although they are seldom seen.

Slovenia’s unspoilt nature is one of the major draws of Lake Bohinj. The soaring peaks of the Julian Alps, the crystal clear waters of the lake, the emerald colour of the rivers, impressive gorges, beautiful waterfalls and the lush green forests all contribute to this mesmerising landscape.

Slovene Culture

A warm welcome awaits you in Bohinj. Slovenes are keen to share their rich history, culture and culinary delights. English is widely spoken, so it is an easy country to navigate, and although tourism is on the increase, there is strong focus on sustainability. At the heart of this philosophy is the protection of the natural and cultural heritage so that for many more years to come, people will be able to experience the power of the natural world and the magic of Bohinj.

So come and discover Lake Bohinj, Slovenia’s hidden gem, for an unforgettable holiday.

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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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Building for the Future

house renovation bohinj

It was great to see all the progress that has been made at Pr Méžnarjo on our visit just before Christmas. The main, open-plan living space has been plastered and painted in limewash white, and the floor tiles are all laid. Antique oak transforms the windowsills, and the tabernacles have been beautifully renovated. I wonder what used to be kept in those?

After taking delivery of the kitchen, we set to work fitting it into the new space. After watching months of progress from afar, it was great to actually be doing some work on our house ourselves. The old stone walls, reassuringly wonky as they are, definitely provided a challenge, but we were really pleased to complete all of the cabinetry ready for the granite worktop to be fitted in January.


Up in the master suite on the third floor, we now have a stunning restored wooden gable wall, and roof windows flood the room with natural light and offer views up to the mountains. We can’t wait to be able to sleep and relax in this gorgeous space.

house renovation stara fuzina
tosc snow julian alps
vogar julian alps hike

You cannot visit Bohinj without taking a walk somewhere. One of the things we love about our house is the location; from Pr Méžnarjo you can walk to Lake Bohinj in 10 minutes, or choose a longer hike among the surrounding mountains. We decided to go up Vogar, the well-known launch site for paragliders in summer. Heading up the path, we quickly reached the snowline, passing charming mountain huts for the reward of a great view of the lake. A quick cuppa in the Kosijev dom na Vogarju refuge at 1054m refuelled us for the walk back down.

mountain hut vogar bohinj snow

Our visit to Bohinj felt so short, but it is not be long before we will be back, next time sleeping at Pr Méžnarjo for the very first time. It is so exciting to be able to restore this house to its former glory, and we can’t wait to get started on the interior in earnest.

Lonely Planet features Slovenia in its top 10 best value destinations

beach lake bohinj

Often, when planning a holiday, we want to make sure we are getting the best value for money from our trip. Slovenia, a small country the size of Wales and unknown by many, has now made the Best Value List for 2019 published by Lonely Planet; “in a single day you can tour a Venetian-tinged seaside town, cross Alpine passes and dine by the river in the heart of Ljubljana”.

Lonely Planet highlight that “this is the land of outdoor activities available for much less than you’ll pay in other Alpine countries” and specifically mention that even in summer when Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj are at their busiest, you can still find a quiet spot to relax.

Getting around is cheap and easy, often an event in itself as you travel through stunning landscapes. Finally, it is a place of “world-class restaurants and wineries, and undiscovered small towns”.

So why not consider Slovenia for your next holiday? Come and Escape to Bohinj for an affordable adventure.