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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Because Triglav 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.
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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