Escape to Bohinj

Top 10 FREE Things to Do at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

free-things-to-do-bohinj-slovenia

We all know that family holidays can be expensive. Thankfully, there are plenty of fun, FREE things to do at Lake Bohinj to keep the whole family entertained without breaking the bank.

Lake Bohinj attracts visitors from all around the world to experience its crystal-clear waters and natural beauty. Lake Bohinj is quieter and less developed than the more famous Lake Bled nearby, and is protected inside the Triglav National Park.

FREE-things-to-do-at-lake-bohinj

1) Walk Around Lake Bohinj

A walk around Lake Bohinj is a must-do activity at any time of the year. Entirely free, this is the best way to appreciate the stunning lake setting surrounded by the magnificent Julian Alps. 

So grab your trainers, pack a picnic and head out along the well-marked trail around the lake.

Good to Know

  • The path around Lake Bohinj is 12km (~8 miles)
  • Walking all the way round will it take 3-5 hours, depending on how often you stop
  • The path around Lake Bohinj is well-marked and level, but bumpy underfoot in parts. Parts of the northern shore are not well suited to buggies – best to carry small children in a sling or backpack

We recommend that you walk anti-clockwise around Lake Bohinj, heading along the north shore to begin. This means that you go along the quieter and more scenic side first. If walking the whole of the lake is too much, you can then either turn around and return along the same path or get a bus or boat back from Ukanc (not free!)

Map showing the walk around Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

Click here for a detailed guide to walking around Lake Bohinj.

Relax & Recharge

One of the joys of walking around the lake is that your mind begins to slow down. You will soon forget the busyness of life.  There is time to chat, observe nature, and relax.  Reconnecting with the natural world and each other.

You’ll notice the tinkle of the bells as the cows graze in the adjacent meadows. You’ll notice the paragliders soaring above your head, skilfully swirling without a care in the world. You may even spot a golden eagle if you are lucky. Children love to gaze at the fish darting about along the shore line. Even the resident ducks seem friendly.

Take along a yummy picnic or snack, and you will while away the whole day, enjoying mother nature for free.

2) Swim in Lake Bohinj

You can swim anywhere along the shoreline at Lake Bohinj for free. During the summer period, the lake water can reach well over 20 degrees – easily warm enough to paddle or swim.

Mountain streams refill Lake Bohinj three times as year, making the water incredibly clean and refreshing. You can feel confident that the water quality is high here. Ideal for families and those with small children who spend a lot of time in and out of the water!

bohinj-beach-ideal-for-kids

Bohinj Lake Beaches

The water is shallow along the “beach” areas on the east shore (between Ribčev Laz and Stara Fužina). There are also toilets, grassy areas and shady trees. It’s easy to while away half the day here, lounging about, reading, splashing, and swimming. For the more adventurous, there is a small pier which you can run and jump off. Young and old alike love this! 

Swimming pier at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

There is also a floating platform secured in Lake Bohinj where the path leads off to Stara Fužina. Older children enjoy diving and jumping into the deep water here. Who needs to pay for an indoor swimming pool when you can have so much fun outside?

Teenagers love to swim at the floating platform at Lake Bohinj

The platform is also a great place to meet people and make friends. Our kids have chatted with people from all over the world in between flinging themselves into the lake.

Cold-Water Swimming at Lake Bohinj

As cold-water swimming has increased in popularity, many people come to Lake Bohinj even in winter.

winter-swimming-lake-bohinj-slovenia

These two photos were taken on consecutive days in February!

cold-water-swimming-lake-bohinj-slovenia

To make the most of the swimming on offer at Lake Bohinj, check out our Blog Post on the 5 Top Spots for Swimming at Lake Bohinj.

3) Hike to a Viewpoint over Lake Bohinj

Lake Bohinj and the Triglav National Park are full of walks and hikes to suit all abilities and ages. In fact, there are 300km of marked hiking trails in Bohinj alone! Hiking is one of the most popular reasons that people visit the area. And the great thing about hiking is that it is totally free – the only things that you will spend are time & energy.

Peč Viewpoint over Lake Bohinj

One of our favourite hikes is to the Peč viewpoint. You have probably seen photographs of this fabulous vista on promotional material for Lake Bohinj. It’s one of the classic shots, with the church and bridge acting as gatekeepers to the lake.

lake-bohinj-viewpoint-pec

Good to Know

  • Altitude: 640m (climb of about 100m)
  • Path length: 2km round trip from Stara Fužina
  • Time: 40-60 minutes round trip from Stara Fužina

How to get to Peč Viewpoint

The walk begins in Stara Fuzina, one of the prettiest of the traditional Bohinj villages, 10 minutes’ walk from Lake Bohinj.  

From the centre of Stara Fužina, cross the main bridge over the Mostnica 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. Head stright on, and 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!

Peč is a great walk that you can do with the whole family. However, as is common in Slovenia, there are no fences or barriers on the way up. So do keep little ones close by to avoid them straying from the path. There are also gaps between rocks which could be dangerous for carefree children. 

Once you have seen the view it is easy to see why this is one of the most popular Lake Bohinj viewpoints. Peč is also a great place to watch the sunset. A magical place to end a magical day.

sunset-lake-bohinj-pec

Check out our other hikes to viewpoints here.

4) Watch the Paragliders Take Off & Land

It is thrilling to watch the skilful paragliders take off, loop-the-loop, and land in the meadow next to Lake Bohinj.   

paragliding lake bohinj with teenager

Vogar Paragliding Launch Site

Mount Vogar is another popular viewpoint over Lake Bohinj. This is the mountain above the north-eastern end of the lake. It’s a steep climb, but well worth the effort as you see the panoramic views over Lake Bohinj and the village of Stara Fužina.

One of the highlights of hiking up to Vogar is that you get to watch the brave paragliders close-up. Perching on the grassy bank, it is thrilling to watch them take off, and then soar high in the sky like a bird. It’s easy to spend time here, soaking up the view and atmosphere.   

paragliders-bohinj-vogar

Good to Know

  • Altitude: 950m (climb of around 400m)
  • Length: 6km round trip from Stara Fužina
  • Time: 2-3 hours round trip from Stara Fužina

How to get to Vogar

From the bridge in the middle of Stara Fužina, follow the road uphill to the west. Go past the children’s play area on the left and you will then see a car-park on the right hand side. From here, a signpost directs you to Vogar, a 1 hour 15 minute hike.

Hike up through the forest, marked by signposts and the typical red circles surrounding a white spot. As you get close to the top, you will see a sign post to the paragliding launch site on the left. 

Watch the Paragliders Land

Equally fun, and a lot less physically exerting, is to observe the paragliders land in the meadow between Ribčev Laz and Stara Fužina.  Watch them land and witness the buzz of excitement as families gather to spot their loved ones descend from the sky. 

5) Admire the Frescoes at the Church of St John the Baptist

Unlike most churches, the Church of St. John the Baptist is not free to enter. The church is a historical monument under heritage protection, and the entrance fee is used for preservation. However, you can still wander around the outside of the church for free and admire its simple elegance and location. 

The church at Lake Bohinj is a popular tourist site

Fortunately, you can also see some of the detailed frescoes which are on the outside of the building. Look out for St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, with six toes! People used to believe that they would not die if they had gazed upon St. Christopher that day. 

Experts believe that the Church of St. John the Baptist in Bohinj was built in the mid-11th century, or late 10th century.  Although the exact date is unknown, it one of the finest examples of medieval architecture and frescoes in all of Slovenia. Most of the frescoes were painted in 15th and 16th century.  It is one of the most photographed churches in Slovenia, and you can easily appreciate its beauty for free from the outside.

6) Explore The Triglav National Park Centre

The Triglav National Park Centre in Stara Fužina is well worth a visit and is free to enter. A light and spacious building, it contains information about the history and culture of Bohinj and the Triglav National Park. It will put many of the things you see and do around Bohinj into context.

view-triglav-national-park-centre

There is also a reading room with a fabulous view down towards Lake Bohinj, plus a selection of books to grab your interest.

The Triglav National Park Centre holds free community events throughout the year, so it is worth popping in to find out what is on during your stay. Currently it is the Autumn Potato Festival and so there are guided walks for parents and children, craft and cooking workshops. In springtime there is the International Wild Flower Festival.

7) Visit the Four Brave Men & Zlatarog Monuments

Having now learnt a little more about the history of Bohinj, you will be well placed to visit the two iconic Bohinj monuments.

In the village of Ribčev Laz, you will find the bronze statue of the four brave men. These local men were the first to climb Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia, in August 1778. You can see that they are discussing their route, pointing towards the summit of Triglav. 

4-brave-men-statue-bohinj

The monument is certainly a fitting tribute to this piece of history, perched on a grassy slope with the Julian Alps rising up behind. The surrounding gardens make a lovely spot to sit and admire the view.

By the shore of the lake, 250m from the four brave men, you will find the statue of Goldhorn (or Zlatorog in Slovene), the keeper of Lake Bohinj. 

zlatorog lake bohinj golden horns

According to local legend, the golden horns of the white chamois held the key to the treasures hidden in the Bohinj mountains. A greedy merchant who wanted to seize the treasure wounded Goldhorn. From Goldhorn’s dripping blood grew the Triglav flower. Goldhorn ate the flower and his powers were restored. He then fled into the mountains, never to return again. The treasure, meanwhile, remains hidden in the mountains under Triglav.

8) See the Bohinj Hayracks

As you arrived in to the Bohinj region, did you notice the unusual wooden hayracks? The finest examples are in the village of Studor, 2km up the valley from the lake. These double hayracks, with a roof spanning between them, are unique to the region and are called ‘Toplar’ or ’Kozolec’. 

bohinj-hayrack-kozolec

The double hayracks have heritage protection and are beautifully crafted pieces of architecture. They are still used today to dry hay and store wood, and are a reminder of the rich agricultural history of the region.

9) Outdoor Entertainment in Summer

During the main tourist season, there are evening markets and concerts held in the Bohinj villages, all free to attend. These are a lovely way to see and taste products made locally, such as cheese, honey, and chocolate, as part of the “Bohinjsko” (From Bohinj) brand.

“From Bohinj” are tourism products that support local life, entrepreneurship, and have a low carbon footprint. This is at the heart of sustainable development in Bohinj. 

Stara Fužina holds it market every Tuesday evening in summer. Expect local Slovene music, food and dancing. These are vibrant, friendly events which will give you a feel for the Slovene culture. There are also free outdoor cinema nights held weekly in the village.

10) Free Hop On/Hop Off Bus Services

Bohinj is committed to sustainable and responsible tourism. Due to the excellent free hop on/hop off bus services, it is possible to have a car-free vacation in Bohinj.

The buses take you to Slap Savica, the main waterfall in Bohinj; the Pokljuka Plateau; Soriška Planina; and the villages of Vogar-Blato. Pokljuka is a great place to start many fantastic hikes in the Julian Alps.

hiking-visevnic-julian-alps-slovenia

One of the most popular buses drops you at Rudno Polje on the Pokljuka Plateau from where you can hike up to Viševnik (2050m). Whilst ascents of many peaks require a full day of walking, Viševnik only takes around 2 hours to summit. 

Read our Blog Post here about our ascent of Viševnik.

As you can see, there are plenty of free things to do at Lake Bohinj. You can experience the cultural heritage of the area, swim in the silky waters, hike forever, visit viewpoints, watch sunsets, all within a kilometre of the lakeside.  

Once you are in Bohinj, your holiday in Slovenia does not have to cost you anything if you are happy to immerse yourself in the great outdoors. 

lake-bohinj-julian-alps-slovenia

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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 in Slovenia

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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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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