Escape to Bohinj

A Family Hike up Triglav in Slovenia

Family Hike up Triglav

Mount Triglav is the highest mountain in Slovenia at 2,864m. Triglav is more than just a mountain – it has cultural significance for Slovenes. It features on their coat of arms, flag, 50 cent coin, and was the symbol of the Slovene partisans during World War II. It’s also said that every Slovene should climb Triglav at least once in their life!

Triglav and Vodnikov Dom, Slovenia

Climbing Triglav as a Family

We climbed Triglav as a family of five in summer 2019. My daughter Izzy (then 17) and husband Danny had already climbed Triglav three years previously and were desperate to climb again with the whole family. Our sons, George (then 15) and Charlie (then 12) are both strong hikers, although somewhat less enthusiastic than Izzy!

Triglav is usually climbed in two days, utilising one of the many huts (Doms or Kocas) to stay overnight. The Alpine Association have a list of huts and their opening times. During the summer months it is important to book in advance. The huts around Triglav especially book up, as many tourists and local Slovenes alike are keen to climb. We reserved accommodation at Dom Planika, located just south of Triglav, and visible from Stara Fužina if your eyesight is good enough!

Triglav from Stara Fuzina

The Tourist Board in Bohinj is keen to encourage use of public transport rather than cars in the mountains to limit pollution. In the summer months, they provide free buses which run to various trailheads. As well as saving you the stress of finding a parking space, this means that you can start and finish your hike at different locations, without having to worry about where your car is. We utilised the Hop-on-Hop-off Pokljuka Bus, which passes through Stara Fužina (547m) and ends at Rudno Polje (1,367m). This year (2021) this service is running three times daily from 19th June to 14th September. 

An Ascent of Triglav via Viševnik

Starting at Rudno Polje saves 800m of climb from Lake Bohinj. From the starting point, our route took us over the summit of Viševnik (2,004m) after about two hours. Whilst steep in some places, it is a relatively easy route and well marked. After hiking up a ski slope, you head through a forested gully and up to a col. A zig-zagging path then climbs up the southern side until the final walk along a ridge to the summit. On a clear day the views from the top are extensive and spectacular. However, the summit was in swirling cloud when we arrived, so after a quick snack we moved on.

Family hike up Triglav Slovenia

We headed down the path on the other side to Srenjski preval (Middle Saddle), from where the path contours underneath Mali Draški Vrh. Some parts of this have cables fitted for extra security, but this was mostly easy hiking, giving plenty of time to admire the view. 

Hiking trail Triglav Slovenia

After a while, the path reaches an unexpected grassy opening, offering amazing views deep into the Krma Valley. We choose to have our lunch here, making sure we stayed away from the edge!

Krma Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

The path then contoured around Veliki Draški Vrh and Tosc, which are two mountains visible from Lake Bohinj. Veliki Draški Vrh has a distinct pyramidal shape, Tosc a large dome. The views over the Lower Bohinj mountains from this path were stunning, as were the wild flowers.

Wild Flowers Triglav Ascent
Wild Flowers Triglav Slovenia

Unfortunately, at this point Charlie took a bit of a tumble and fell onto the rocky path. With some patching up from the first aid kit (always carry one when you travel in the mountains) and some chocolate he was able to keep going. 

Family hike Julian Alps Slovenia

After rounding Tosc, we headed north towards Triglav. This marked the end of the relatively flat section, and the start of the climb up! As we emerged from a forested section, we could see the summit through the mist, still more than 1,000m above us and looking a long way off. We had a quick drink at Vodnikov Dom (and used the last flushing toilets!) before continuing our journey up to Dom Planika.

Vodnikov Dom Julian Alps Slovenia

Dom Planika

The last ascent up to Dom Planika is a series of steep zig zags, so we all arrived tired, hungry and ready for a rest. The staff who work at the mountain huts are all really friendly and accommodating. Dom Planika has a number of smaller rooms in addition to dorms, and we were able to have a private room for the five of us. 

Dom Planika Slovenia

Dinner was hearty Slovenian mountain food: we all opted goulash, bread and polenta. George and I are Coeliac and therefore must eat a gluten-free diet. Although our options were rather limited, the hut was able provide gluten-free food for us, and were eager to accommodate our dietary needs. With our stomachs full, we headed to bed early, tired from a long day of walking and wanting to rest in anticipation of the day ahead. 

Sunrise Ascent of Mount Triglav

We opted for an early ascent to make the summit at sunrise. This meant waking up at 4am and heading off in the darkness. We were able to leave some of our equipment behind at Dom Planika, so could travel lighter with only the essentials we needed. It was amazing how quickly our eyes became adjusted to the darkness: we could turn off our headtorches fairly quickly.

 

The path from Dom Planika heads north towards the main ridgeline, which we reached after around an hour. Once on the ridge, the views were breath-taking, with the sun just starting to come up. 

Sunrise ascent of Triglav Slovenia

The path follows the ridge to the west, first over Mali Triglav (little Triglav) and then on to the main summit. This section requires a good head for heights as the north wall of Triglav drops a mighty 2,000m down to the Vrata Valley. The route is well protected with cables, so it is possible to clip on using via ferrata equipment. It certainly feels like an adventure! 

Triglav ascent for sunrise

Arriving at the Top of Triglav

We arrived on the top at 6:45 am in brilliant early morning sunshine. The clear skies meant we could see far into the distance, taking in the rugged beauty of the Julian Alps.

Views from Triglav Slovenia

Lots of photos followed, and we were briefly the only people on top, and therefore the highest 5 people in the whole of Slovenia!

Triglav summit in Slovenia

The small shelter on the top is called Aljažev Stolp (Aljaz Tower). It was erected in 1895 by Jakob Aljaz, a Slovenian Priest, who at the time owned the land which makes up the summit. There is a replica of the tower located in Stara Fužina, just outside the Mercartor shop – easier to get to if you’re curious to see what the tower is like!

Aljazev Stolp Triglav Slovenia

Descending Triglav

We opted to take a different path down, completing the horseshoe. This was a similar technical difficulty to the way up: a few exposed sections, but well protected. This meant we avoided having to cross over with people climbing up the ridge that we had ascended earlier. 

Hike down Triglav Slovenia

Back  at Dom Planika, breakfast had never tasted so good! With our stomachs full of eggs, bread and strong coffee, we picked up the rest of our stuff and started our descent. We followed the signposts for Triglav Lakes Valley. The landscape was barren, and we had to gain height as well as lose it.

Triglav descent in Slovenia

A final steep ascent over a scree slope brought us to Cez Hribarice pass, which sits at the very top of the Triglav Lakes Valley. Instead of going down past the lakes, we took the valley to the East, Za Kopico. By this point, we had descended into the clouds, and partway down, the heavens finally opened, drenching us with rain. A reminder of how quickly the weather can change in the mountains – we were all grateful of our waterproofs!

The bad weather did nothing to take away from the stunning scenery, and picking a quieter route gave us a few hours without seeing any other hikers.

Our end destination was Blato, an alpine pasture where some locals have weekend houses. It is accessible by a (very twisty) toll road up from Stara Fužina, and another of the Hop-on-Hop-off buses. The bus saves you the toll, and the stress of a twisty drive and finding a parking space. We arrived at Blato at 4.30pm, giving us plenty of time to wait for the 5pm bus. We were all tired by this point: it had been a long day of hiking.

Slovene pasture in the Julian Alps Slovenia

A Sting in the Tail

5pm came and went. There was no sign of a bus. After waiting an additional 15 minutes, we decided it would be best to start walking down the road back home to Stara Fužina. Ten minutes into our walk, we got to a junction in the road and saw a bus stop: we had been waiting for the bus in the wrong place! A lesson learnt for next time, and a mistake we won’t repeat…

Missing the bus meant an extra 7km and 600m of descent back down to the valley, a prospect which made Charlie’s face drop dramatically. However, once we got going again after a snack and some water, he powered along, and we all arrived back in the valley at 7pm. By this point, the weather had cleared again, and as we walked over the bridge outside Escape to Bohinj House we could see all the way up to the summit of Triglav. We all felt elated to think we had been all the way up there just that morning, and the energy and excitement made up for the tiredness of our legs.

Finally

Now that we were all safely back, the only things left to do were unpack our rucksacks, shower and drive to Pr Košnik for the obligatory post-hike pizza. Our hike up Triglav was certainly an adventure, and a great two days to share together as a family.

Have you climbed Triglav? Are you planning to climb it? Get in touch if you have any questions!

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5 Top Spots for Swimming at Lake Bohinj

5 Top Spots for Swimming at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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.

Relaxing by the lake is a popular thing to do at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

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.

swimming lake bohinj

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.

lake-bohinj-swimming

We swim between June and September, but the water is cooler; you have to keep moving!

Map of Swimming Spots at Lake Bohinj

map lake bohinj swimming spots

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.

Shallow swimming beach at Lake Bohinj perfect for families with young children

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.

Swimming pier at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

Our kids like to alternate between the café and the pier!  

cafe kramer lake bohinj slovenia

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 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.

Teenagers love to swim at the floating platform at Lake Bohinj

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.

lake bohinj swimming beach

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.

romantic swimming places lake bohinj slovenia

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!

A popular swimming beach at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

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.

wild swimming lake bohinj slovenia

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. 

jumping rocks lake bohinj
rocks lake bohinj slovenia

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.

More ideas for places to swim at Lake Bohinj can be found here.

Finally

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.

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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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Viševnik Hike – A Sunrise Adventure

viševnik-hike

Despite its height of 2,050m, Viševnik is an accessible peak to hike which offers majestic views of the Julian Alps in Slovenia, including the highest mountain, Triglav. Whilst ascents of many peaks require a full day of walking, Viševnik takes around 2 hours to summit from the car park at Rudno Polje. Having climbed Visevnik in summer and in snow on Christmas Day, we decided to hike up for sunrise.

 

Winter Hike of Viševnik

Viševnik sunrise

One advantage of the shorter days in winter is that the sun rises later, giving more time to reach the top. And, of course, a slightly more bearable wake up time! We left Stara Fužina with our neighbour Scott (check out his Blog) at 4.45am and rapidly gained height as we took the twisting road up to Rudno Polje.

 

After parking, we put on our crampons, fixed our head-torches and headed through the woods, with the mountains looming eerily above us and the sky a carpet of stars. 10 minutes of brisk walking took us to the bottom of the ski slopes to begin the ascent. The low temperature meant the snow was firm and easy for our crampons to grip in to. 45 minutes of climbing up a second ski slope and a narrow-forested section got us to a col. From here, the vista started to open up as we continued to climb to the summit, still in almost complete darkness. 

Reaching the Summit of Viševnik

We reached the summit at 7am, 30 minutes before sunrise and our anticipated arrival time, which meant a very cold wait! The temperature was around -15°C, which combined with gusty winds left us feeling rather chilled. This was a moment where we felt so grateful to have brought tea to drink in our flasks. A number of other climbers joined us at the top, including a group of skiers who took sips from hip flasks before disappearing on an exhilarating decent. 

Sunrise from Viševnik in the Julian Alps Slovenia

The weather was perfect: clear skies stretched as far as we could see and the crisp winter air gave amazing visibility. As the sun rose the snowy south faces glowed a range of pinks and oranges, with Triglav looking particularly magnificent. 

Sunrise over Triglav from Viševnik, Julian Alps, Slovenia

The Hike down Viševnik

With the sun risen and offering some warmth to our frozen bodies, we started to head down, with a new spring in our step. Once again, we made good progress and before we knew it we were back to the ski slopes. We had brought some plastic sledges with us and this was the ideal spot to whizz down.  We passed many other hikers who were also taking on the peak that day. When we got back to the car park we found it packed with skiers ready to enjoy the sun. This was a stark contrast to the dark and deserted place we had left 3 and a half hours earlier.

 

All that remained was to drive back down to the valley and enjoy a well deserved breakfast. It’s not every day you climb a 2050m mountain by 9am! 

A Fantastic Start to the Day

We had a great morning, blessed with clear skies in spite of the cold. There is something so magical and uplifting about watching the sunrise, particularly in winter when the snowy peaks provide a perfect canvas for nature’s colours. 

5 Tips for Sunrise Hikes in Winter

  • Make sure you have done the route before in daylight; makes navigation a lot easier

 

  • Ensure you have adequate equipment. A head-torch is essential, as are warm layers due to cooler temperatures. If you’re going to be in snowy conditions crampons, poles and an ice axe are also necessary.  

 

  • Check what time sunrise is and plan to arrive 10 minutes before that time: any longer and you’ll get cold waiting like we did.

 

  • Bring food and a flask with a hot drink.

 

  • Bring a camera. Although smartphones can take incredible photos, they require you to take your gloves off to take pictures: not ideal if it’s -15°C like it was when we climbed. Most cameras can be operated with gloves on, meaning you can get all your shots without sacrificing hand warmth. 

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Winter Hiking in Bohinj – Pršivec

Hiking up Pršivec, Julian Alps, Slovenia

From the north shore of Lake Bohinj, rocky cliffs rise dramatically to the 1,761m summit of Pršivec. The views from the top across the Julian Alps and down to the lake are spectacular. Having hiked up Pršivec in summer and autumn, we wanted to try a winter visit. This year’s winter has been unusually mild. Heavy snow has fallen on the high peaks, but only short-lived flurries have made it lower down into the valley. This meant much of the approach would be clear, with only the higher, north-facing slopes likely to be under snow.

 

There are three main routes up Pršivec and we linked two of them to perform a traverse. Our ascent would be from the Slap Savica hut (653m) at the western end of Lake Bohinj. This offers the quickest ascent, a key consideration with the short winter days. The descent would be along the ridge to the east, via Vogar and home to Stara Fužina.

The Climb

From the car park at Slap Savica, the hike climbs up the Komarča wall, signposted to Črno jezero (Black Lake). As you gaze up at the imposing rock, it is hard to imagine a path could cut a way up. However, it is a well-marked route, with red-white dots showing the way. You quickly gain height… and tired thighs! Teasing views of the lake and the hamlet of Ukanc through the trees give a
taste of what will follow.

 

The Komarča path has recently been repaired and there are steel ropes and pegs to help you in exposed areas. It is not advisable to climb this route in snow – it is steep and exposed, and accidents do happen. The warmth of this winter had melted the snow and ice, so our ascent was completely clear.

hiking-lake-bohinj

Črno Jezero

After 1.5 hours, we reached the top of the climb. From here, the path headed through a snowy forest to the lowest of the Triglav Lakes, Črno jezero (1,294m).

 

The Triglav Lakes Valley, protected since 1924, is considered one of the most beautiful parts of the Julian Alps. Although there are ten lakes, it is generally called the Seven Lakes Valley as three dry up during the year.

 

Črno jezero is the warmest of the Seven Lakes, being shallow and at a lower altitude. It is 150m long, 80m wide and its depth varies considerably with rainfall. Despite its name, the water is not black, but it reflects the dark pine forest which encircles it. The Alpine Newt, endemic to the Alps, lives here – they clearly don’t mind the cold water! Water from the lake drains through underground passages, feeding Slap Savica (waterfall), from where it flows into Lake Bohinj.

 

Because no river flows out of Črno jezero, there is no river bed to set the height of the water. We have visited at different times of year and it is noticeable how much the water level changes. On this visit, the winter conditions strikingly highlighted the fluctuation. Collapsed slabs of ice, formed on a full lake, surrounded the now lower, shrunken, surface of ice in the middle.

winter-crno-jezero

In the solitude of the mountains, it looked and felt otherworldly. Leaving Črno jezero, the next stop was Planina Viševnic (1,615m), a beautiful alpine pasture that in summer feels like a scene from Heidi. Log cabins are dotted among lush meadows, with high mountains all around, making it a popular hike in summer. There is a charming alpine hut here, open in summer for refreshments and lunch.

 

In winter, it is a different story. The red-white blazes, often painted on low rocks, were blanketed by thick snow, slowing our progress. Our prior knowledge of the area, having hiked the trail before, was invaluable in helping us establish the route. The ground turned from earth to snow and then to ice, so we put on our crampons.

winter-hiking-bohinj

On Top of Pršivec

From Viševnik, a path winds up through the forest, opening quite suddenly onto to the summit of Pršivec (1,761m). Here you get panoramic views of the Bohinj Valley and Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak at 2,864m, seen on the right in the photo below.

winter julian alps

It is a challenging climb to the top of Pršivec, but the reward is fabulous, with views up to Triglav and down to Lake Bohinj, glistening in the sunshine 1,250m below. 

prsivec lake bohinj

As with most Slovenian mountains, there is a visitors’ box here with a rubber stamp. Bring your own inkpad and paper to make a souvenir of the occasion!

 

We could have spent more time admiring the amazing views, spotting other peaks and breathing in the crisp mountain air. However, in February, the daylight hours are limited, so we had to start the descent. The path down the eastern side is quite steep in places, but our crampons dug in securely, keeping us safe. Here again, it was hard to find the path, so knowing the route was very helpful.

The Descent to Stara Fužina

45 minutes after leaving the summit, the snow thinned and the path became clearer as we headed towards Vogar.

Vogar  (1,054m) provides another super viewpoint over Lake Bohinj. It is a popular hiking point, detailed in our Blog post here. On clear days, it is also a paragliding take-off point. There is a mountain hut where you can get a coffee or beer, depending on your need! In winter it is usually open only at weekends, so best to check in advance if you are relying on it for food. From here, we watched the sun set over the mountains before heading down to Stara Fužina on the clear path.

Sunset from Vogar, Julian Alps, Slovenia

We had a wonderful hike up Pršivec, grateful that the warm spell provided an opportunity to hike up high. There is something completely wonderful about the solitude and stillness of hiking in winter. You can feel the warmth of the sun on your back, yet snow covers the peaks all around. We did not meet a single other person between leaving the Savica hut and returning to our home, Pr Méžnarjo. It was just us, and the mountains.

Need to Know

Start:                   Slap Savica car park, Ukanc

Distance:          14km

Ascent:              1,070m

Highest Alt:    1,761m

Need to Know

Finish:                 Stara Fužina

Time:                   9hrs in snow (7hrs in summer)

Descent:           1,190m

Name:                 Pršivec (pur-shee-vetz)

map prsivec

Route map from Komoot

Hiking in Winter

Mountain hiking at any time of year can be dangerous, and winter brings additional risks. Always make sure that you are prepared and do not exceed your own abilities and experience. Remember:

  • always check the mountain weather forecast and keep an eye on the conditions throughout the day. Conditions can change very quickly high up
  • plan the hike in advance. Trails can be covered in snow even if it all looks clear from below, so make sure you know the route. Consider escape routes just in case the weather closes in
  • days are shorter in winter and distances take more time to cover in snow, so set off early and don’t be too ambitious
  • always carry the right equipment. As a minimum, you will need: multiple spare clothing layers; waterproof, gloves & hat; strong walking boots; crampons & trekking poles or ice-axes if there is a risk of snow; mobile phone; map & compass (technology is more likely to fail when it’s cold); torch (it gets dark quickly, especially under trees); bivouac or survival bag; sunglasses & sun screen; first-aid kit; lots of food and drink

This is not a definitive list – you are responsible for your own safety in the mountains.

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Juliana Trail – Hiking in the Julian Alps, Slovenia

Hiking trails are often focused on summiting mountains, standing on the very top. Search for #hiking on Instagram and you’ll be flooded with photos of the ultimate sunrise from some amazing climb or other. And whilst there is something deeply satisfying about reaching the high points of a mountain range, it can be at the expense of missing what lies a little lower down the slopes.

family walk hike slovenia

Juliana Trail

To address this, a new trail has just been launched through the Julian Alps. The Juliana Trail delves right into the Slovene alpine world. Hike through valleys, forests, lush meadows and along emerald rivers, learning about the rich natural and cultural heritage of Slovenia as you go.

 

Owen Clarke, writer for Outside Magazine and one of the first hikers to complete the trail, commented “The Juliana Trail won’t be the most challenging hike you’ve ever done, but you won’t find an experience quite like it anywhere else.” This is because the Juliana Trail has been purposely designed to give you a real taste of Slovenia.

 

“The Juliana Trail seeks different heroes – those that aspire advancement in their spirit as well as altitude.”

The Route

Officially opened in Autumn 2019, the 270km circular trail has been split into 16 stages, each about 17km in length.

juliana trail map

source: www.bohinj.si

The route passes through some of the best natural and cultural sites in Slovenia. You can pass through the alpine hub of Kranjska Gora for some outdoor adventures and experience iconic Lake Bled, rowing or swimming out to the church on the island.

Lake Bled - day trips from Lake Bohinj

Head to the Pokljuka Plateau and Lake Bohinj for pristine nature and tranquillity. Visit the stunning Tolmin Gorge, historic Kobarid, and be mesmerised by the turquoise waters of the Soča river.

Amenities

Each stage of the Juliana Trail starts and finishes in a town where you can spend the night and refuel. Interestingly, over half of the overnight stops are in small, remote villages rather than the traditional tourist haunts. Here, you can really immerse yourself in your surroundings whilst experiencing the warm hospitality of the Slovenian people. Slovenia is a very environmentally conscious country, and each stop is accessible by public transport. This means that it is possible to select just a small section of the hike rather than completing the whole trail; perfect for those who are only in Slovenia for a short stay, or for family hiking.

hiking julian alps

Need to Know

Time of Year:  Best time between March and October

Length:               267.4km

Altitude:            7163m ascent and 7150m descent

No. Stages:       16

Av. Stage:           17.5km (4—5 hours walking)

Stage Details:  Click here (external site)

Trail app:            Click here (external site)

It’s easy to find your way… The J-A blazes mark the route in between signposts.

julian alps route

Hike the new Juliana Trail to get off the beaten track & immerse yourself in the natural world. 

 

Have you hiked part of the Juiliana Trail? Do let us know about your experience in the comment box below. 

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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?!

Lake Bohinj Viewpoint #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.

Lake Bohinj Viewpoint #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.

vogar-bench-lake-bohinj

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 near Lake 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…

family canyoning adventure near Lake Bohinj

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. If you fancy a family canyoning adventure near Lake Bohinj, there is a wealth of providers in the Bohinj/Bled region.

* All costs and details accurate summer 2018

Click here for more ideas on things to do near Lake Bohinj.

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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 resort lifts bohinj

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.

vogel ski resort slovenia

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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