Escape to Bohinj

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Family-owned holiday home, sleeps 6 (+1)  ♥  Currently undergoing complete renovation ♥  Easy walking distance to Lake Bohinj

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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 osojnica

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. 

5 Reasons to Love Autumn in Bohinj

bohinj colours autumn

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

1. Amazing Colours

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

lake bohinj colours autumn

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

kayak lake bohinj

2. Hiking & Biking Adventures

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

mostnica gorge walk autumn

3. Nature’s Bounty

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

wild toadstool mushroom bohinj

4. Early Morning Mist

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

lake bohinj misty morning

5. Affordable Holiday

After the summer holidays, demand for flights falls and the prices can drop to as low as £60 return with budget airlines such as EasyJet and WizzAir. Some restaurants and cafés also reduce their prices now the main holiday season has gone.

Autumn in Bohinj

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

Top 3 Hikes to Viewpoints over Lake Bohinj, Slovenia

pec viewpoint lake bohinj

There are lots of hikes that give wonderful views over Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps. So many that it can be hard 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?!

Viewpoint #1 - Peč - Alt. 640m (2km, 40-minute round trip from Stara Fužina)

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 more than 100m 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 and bridge acting as gatekeeper to the lake. This photo was taken at the end of a glorious day in March.

hiking boots bohinj slovenia

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 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.

Viewpoint #2 - Vogar – Alt. 950m (6km, 2-3hrs 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. 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.

vogar julian alps hike

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.

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.

vogar viewpoint lake bohinj

Vogar offers lovely views all year round. This photo was taken in December, after early snowfall.

Viewpoint #3 - Studor – Alt. 980m (5km, 2-3hr 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. 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.

studor viewpoint lake bohinj

So, will it be number 1, a quick scamper up Peč for the picture-perfect view over church and lake? Or will you choose number 2, a steep climb up Vogar, joining the paragliders as they soar into the sky? Or maybe it’ll be number 3, secluded Studor, the quieter option that will take your breath away?

The decision is yours…