Escape to Bohinj

5 Reasons to Love Spring in Bohinj

Spring in Bohinj Slovenia

I love the hopeful feeling you get when you start to see the first spring flowers peeking up through the grass. Relieved to say goodbye to winter, you know that the warmth and sunshine of spring are just around the corner. Suddenly everywhere feels brighter. It is a time of new beginnings. A time to try new experiences, to wander through flower-filled meadows and to reconnect with the natural world.

Discover Spring in Bohinj

Here are 5 reasons why we love Spring in Bohinj:

1. Fabulous Flowers

Meadows come alive with a fabulous array of wild flowers. Woodland paths are scattered with primroses, bluebells and snow drops as spring arrives in Lake Bohinj. Take a leisurely stroll, and you will be amazed at the variety and abundance of wild flowers that you will see.

wild-flower-meadows-bohinj

High in the mountains, you’ll be able to spot edelweiss, gentians and orchids, to name just a few. There are over 40 orchids native to the Bohinj area alone! The flowers are one of the real highlight at this time of year, and there is even a festival devoted to them.

Bohinj's Wild Flower Festival

Bohinj’s Wild Flower Festival is from 27th May-12th June, and is a treat for anyone interested in nature and botany. The event is a celebration of the bio-diversity of spring in Bohinj. Many of the workshops are free and suitable for families. 

wild flowers bohinj
edelweiss bohinj flower festival

Learn about the alpine flowers on a guided walk. Sample local produce at the markets, listen to Slovene music and visit exhibitions. Head to a restaurant and try some of the dishes inspired by local flowers, often using recipes handed down the generations. This unique event will you give you a real feel for the cultural heritage of the Bohinj region of Slovenia.

2. Peaceful Hiking in the Julian Alps

Springtime is one of the quieter times to visit Lake Bohinj. You will be rewarded with walks and hikes where you may not see another soul. Maybe you fancy a walk in the valley to a local viewpoint. Or maybe a wander through the forest, or a scenic gorge walk. With longer, sunnier days you might want to summit one of the dramatic peaks overlooking Lake Bohinj. There is a huge amount of choice for all levels in the Julian Alps. And remember, many mountain huts are now open for that tempting slice of strudel to fuel you on!

bohinj-wild-flower-meadows

3. Dramatic Waterfalls

Late spring and early summer are often the best times to visit waterfalls, as the melting mountain snow creates a rush of water descending the valleys.

Slap Savica (“Slap” means waterfall in Slovene) is 70 metres high and is the third most visited attraction in Slovenia. In summer it can get quite busy, but in spring there are fewer people – and more water. You can combine a visit here with the Bohinj Tourist Boat and walk from the quay to the start of the waterfall trail.

Savica Waterfall near Lake Bohinj

The final ascent to the waterfall is a climb up 550 steps through the forest – yes, we have counted! It is a beautiful hike, with plenty of resting places to admire the views. If it is a particularly impressive day, be prepared to get sprayed with water as you approach the waterfall. Hope you packed that waterproof!

Check out the other fab waterfalls close to Lake Bohinj in our Blog Post. Maybe visit all three if you have time!

4. Sample Chocolate Treats

Spring brings Easter, which in turn brings Easter Eggs. For those who are fans of chocolate, the Radovljica Chocolate Festival, 23-24th April, is a must-do activity. It is the biggest chocolate festival in Slovenia. Imagine a traditional market, but with amazing displays of pralines and chocolates, exquisitely made and beautifully presented.

chocolate-festival-radovljica

Radovljica, also renowned for its traditional beekeeping and honey production, is 30 minutes’ drive from Lake Bohinj. Meander through this charming medieval town, watch street theatre, dip into cookery shows, hear local music and (most crucially) taste lots of chocolate…

5. Wellbeing

Lake Bohinj is an area where you want to be outdoors. Step outside and witness nature awakening after the long winter. Take time to stop and admire the wild flowers, watch the gorgeous butterflies dance through the air, and listen to the sweet song of the birds’ chorus. You can’t help but feel more energised with all the new life around you. A break in Bohinj will give you a spring in your step.

Visit Lake Bled Slovenia

With fewer people in spring, many of the popular tourist sites are that bit more pleasurable to visit. Lake Bled is an obvious example. From 3rd-5th June, you can even join the Wellbe Festival at Lake Bled. This inspirational festival offers a safe space to focus on your wellbeing and discover practices to help you create a more harmonious life.

Discover Bohinj this Spring

Feel uplifted and re-energised with the pure alpine air, inspiring scenery, impressive waterfalls, and abundance of new life around Lake Bohinj this Spring. On leaving, you can breathe more easily, ready to face the challenges back at home. 

bohinj-in-spring

Escape to Bohinj Holiday House

slovenia-holiday-house

Escape to Bohinj Holiday House is ideally located to experience spring in Bohinj. Walk directly from the house across the flower-filled meadows to reach Lake Bohinj. At the end of the day, relax in a spacious, traditional farmhouse, fully modernised for contemporary living. 

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Things to Do at Lake Bohinj with Teens

Things to Do at Lake Bohinj with Teens

Lake Bohinj in Slovenia is a great holiday destination for families with active and thrill-seeking teenagers. The area’s abundance of outdoor things to do means that phones are easily forgotten, except maybe to snap some photos.

As every parent knows, planning a family holiday can be tricky. Teenagers can get bored quickly, and it can be difficult to know which activities will appeal. What follows is a sample week-long itinerary based at Escape to Bohinj Holiday House in Slovenia. Based on what our own teens have enjoyed, it includes plenty of fun, time to relax and lots of good food!

Things to Do at Lake Bohinj with Teens

Arrival Day

The best thing to do after arriving and unpacking is to get your first experience of Lake Bohinj. After travelling, it feels good to get mobile and have some fresh air. Walking from the house to the lake only takes 10 minutes: cross the bridge in front of the house, head straight up the quiet road and follow the path through the meadows. Our teenagers are always eager to have their first swim, so make sure to bring your swimming costumes. Remember to grab one of the beach towels provided at the house. 

lake bohinj swimming beach

After a dip in the lake, head back to Stara Fužina and pick up some food supplies from the local shops. If you don’t fancy cooking on the first night, you can stroll next door to Gostilna Bohinj to refuel. Gostilna Bohinj serves pizzas that go down a treat with teenagers. Local trout, meat and veggie dishes are also available if you fancy trying some Slovene cuisine.

Top Tip: As you head down to the lake, look right as you cross the bridge for a fabulous view of the summit of Triglav. At 2,864m, Triglav is Slovenia’s highest mountain. Its name means “three heads”, and it is represented on the Slovene national flag.

Day 1 - Get Your Bearings

After a good night’s sleep, it’s time to get your bearings. What better way to do this than walking around Lake Bohinj? We suggest walking along the quiet, north shore first, where the path winds along the lake edge and through the forest . The total trail is 12km (3-5 hours) and provides you with ample swimming opportunities and beautiful views of the Julian Alps. Be sure to bring books and a pack of cards with you: you’ll likely succumb to the temptation of one of the numerous small coves to stop for a dip and a sunbathe. 

Quiet swimming beach at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

At the far end of the lake is the hamlet of Ukanc, which in Slovene means “the end of the world”. It is certainly the end of the road – the ridge of mountains beyond here is only passable on foot. If you get tired, you can get a bus back from Ukanc. We often stop for a bite to eat at Restavracija Ukanc. Alternatively, the café at Camp Bohinj makes a good pit stop for lunch, a drink or ice cream.

If you walk back along the south shore, look out for the rope swing opposite the youth hostel, “Pod Voglom”. Our teens love to swing off into the water here. For the bold, there are also some ~10m high cliffs a little further along the path. Obviously, jumping into water can be risky – please consider whether it is safe to jump, and you do so at your own risk.

bohinj-rope-swing-slovenia
jumping rocks lake bohinj

Top Tip: Look out for the fish darting about along the shore line, listen for the cows with their bells, and gaze up to the sky to watch the paragliders – and golden eagles – soar.

Day 2 - White-Water Rafting in the Soča Valley

Venture out of the Bohinj Valley for the day to explore Lake Jasna, the Vršič Pass and the Soča Valley. The Soča Valley is famous for its amazing turquoise river, which offers superb white-water rafting, kayaking and canyoning. This day involves an early start and quite a bit of driving, but it is a fabulous trip around the Julian Alps, with many adrenaline activities to try. 

Soča river in the Triglav National Park in Slovenia

Setting off early, head down the valley to Bled. From there, follow signposts to Kranjska Gora, nestled under the mountains near the borders with Italy and Austria. Dubbed “The Chamonix of Slovenia”, Kranjska Gora is an outdoorsy mountain base where skiers flock in winter. Follow the signposts to Vršič, the highest mountain pass in Slovenia at 1,611m. Kranjska Gora is a nice town to wander around, with plenty of cafés and outdoor shops.

Soon after leaving Kranjska Gora, stop at Lake Jasna. Compared to Lake Bohinj, the water feels freezing, but adrenaline-seeking teens can jump off the 6-metre high tower into the water. The more cautious among you can enjoy the impressive mountain views. To the south, the impressive north face of Prisank (2,547m) dominates the skyline. 

lake jasna slovenia

Leaving Lake Jasna and driving up Vršič pass rewards you with a series stunning vistas. The road up to the pass, built by Russian prisoners of war at the end of the first world war, is a true feat of engineering, consisting of 50 hairpin bends.

Once in the Soča Valley, white-water rafting is the thing to do for families with teenagers. Not only is it exhilarating, but it is a great activity to re-connect the family, both to the natural world and to one another. Jumping into icy water (don’t be fooled by the inviting turquois colour!) is life affirming, and looking out for each other and working as a team to navigate the rapids creates a memorable family experience. 

Jumping into the Soča river in Slovenia

You can read about our rafting experience here. The vibrant water, mesmerising mountain backdrop and rafting action provide a fabulous day trip.

From Bovec continue to Kobarid, a town famous for the battle which took place there in World War I. If you have time, it’s well worth stopping at Napoleon’s bridge to peer deep into the Soča River and up at Mount Krn. To get back to Bohinj follow the signposts to Most na Soci, Podbrdo, Soriška Planina and then Bohinska Bistrica. Although the road is pretty twisty, it will feel tame after Vršič, but the views do not disappoint!

Top Tip: Rafting needs to be booked in advance. Choose the afternoon slot to give time to visit the other sites first.

Day 3 - Relax at Lake Bohinj & Discover the Mostnica Gorge

After a long day circumnavigating the Julian Alps, its time to kick back and relax! Kramer Cafe by the lake does incredible pancakes, and their outdoor seating spot is undoubtedly the best place for coffee in the valley. It’s easy to pass time reading, chatting, swimming and watching the world go by.

banana split lake bohinj

If your teenagers want to get out onto the water, paddleboards and kayaks can be hired from Ribčev Laz. Rental is affordable and will provide hours of entertainment. Paddleboarding is a particular favourite of our teens – although maybe the bit they actually like best is pushing each other in!

Hire a kayak/canoe/SUP at Lake Bohinj

In the afternoon, head up the Mostnica Gorge. The Mostnica is the river which runs through Stara Fužina and directly in front of Escape to Bohinj Holiday House. A walk upstream unexpectedly reveals a dramatic gorge with bright green, icy water in the bottom set in beautiful forest scenery. There is a path on both sides, allowing you to make a round trip, perhaps with a stop off at Koca na Vojah for refreshment! If you’ve got enough energy, extending the walk to include Voje Valley is definitely worth it. The valley is stunning, and Slap Voje (the Voje Waterfall at the head of the valley) is impressive and far less crowded than the more famous Slap Savica

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

Top Tip: Look out for the rock that looks like an elephant along the Mostnica Gorge. A small signpost points to it from the path on the east river bank – “Slonček” is elephant in Slovene.

Day 4 - Hiking in the Triglav National Park

It would be rude to come to the Triglav National Park and not go on at least one hike! The endless supply of trails means that there is something for everyone, depending on levels of enthusiasm, fitness and experience in your family. In our experience, teenagers are often keen to get high up and bag a peak, so we’ve suggested 3 hikes which involve summitting, each of varying length.

prsivec lake bohinj

If you want a big walk straight from the house, Pršivec (1,761m), the mountain directly above the north side of the lake, is a great option. The hike is around 20km with 1,300 m of ascent and descent (equivalent to climbing Ben Nevis from sea level!). You get amazing views over Triglav, Lake Bohinj and the Bohinj Valley from here.

Viševnik (2,050m) is another possibility. Starting from Rudno Polje (a 30-minute drive from Stara Fužina) it only takes 2 hours to reach the summit, from where you get extensive views of the Julian Alps. The hike is around 7km in total with 700m of ascent and descent.

Finally, if you want an even bigger challenge, a ridge walk along the Lower Bohinj Mountains will not disappoint. Catch the cable car up to Vogel and then the additional chair lift up to Orlova Glava. After hiking up to the ridge, follow the path east to the summit of Crna Prst. From Crna Prst, there is a long descent to Bohinjska Bistrica, from where you can get the bus back to Bohinj. This hike is around 25km, with 500m of ascent and 1,700m of descent, so less climbing, but a lot of downhill. The views are incredible, with the high Julian Alps to the left and forest-covered hills falling to the Adriatic Sea in the distance to the right.

julian-alps-hiking-slovenia

You can read about all these hikes and more in the Cicerone Guide “Walking the Julian Alps of Slovenia: Mountain Walks and Short Trecks” which can be found in the house. Hiking is completed at your own risk: only you know your experience and ability.

Top Tip: In addition to using a paper map (no batteries to run out!), we use an App called Komoot to plan and help navigate on longer hikes.

Day 5 - Lake Bled & the Vintgar Gorge

After a hike the previous day, it’s likely you’ll want a slow start to the day! Take time to have a lie in, admiring the mountain views from Escape to Bohinj Holiday House.

After a late start, head to the Vintgar Gorge, located near Bled. After parking and paying for entrance, follow the trail through the gorge, admiring the stunning scenery and the power of nature. It’s particularly impressive after (or even on) a rainy day, when the water levels are highest.

After enjoying the gorge, visit Lake Bled. The more famous lake of Slovenia, Bled is becoming increasingly well known and is featured on many interrail itineraries. 

Visit Lake Bled Slovenia

Go for a wander around the lake and check out Grajsko kopališče, a designated swimming area complete with diving boards, slides and inflatables which you can pay to access. You can take a boat to the little island in the centre of the Lake, or swim there if you’re feeling strong! If you still have energy, a hike up to the hill of Mala Osonijca (1 hour round trip) offers spectacular views over the Lake and the mountain backdrop of the Karavanke.

There are many restaurants to eat at in Bled, so something for everyone. One of our favourite restaurants is Pri Planincu where upstairs they have a super pizzeria. They even serve gluten-free pizzas, which is perfect for our Coeliac teenager. 

Top Tip: Leave some room to try the traditional Bled Cake.

Day 6 - Canyoning or Paragliding

If you haven’t had enough adrenaline and action for one week, then consider booking a canyoning or paragliding trip.

Canyoning involves navigating down a stream by scrambling, climbing, abseiling, swimming and jumping: it’s as exciting (and wet) as that sounds! It is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience that all three of our kids loved. As soon as we had finished, they were asking when they could go again!  There are a number of different companies around Bohinj which offer canyoning packages, and you can read about our experience in more detail here

Canyoning near Lake Bohinj Slovenia

If you fancy joining the eagles for truly unforgettable views of the Lake Bohinj and the surrounding mountains, paragliding may be for you. Several companies operate trips from a few take-off points – we have flown with Kumulus before. No previous experience is necessary, as you will have a tandem flight with an experienced pilot. You can either ask your pilot for a gentle flight, which is genuinely tranquil, or a more acrobatic experience.

paragliding lake bohinj with teenager

As these are only half-day activities, they can easily be paired with a morning or afternoon relaxing at Lake Bohinj.

Top Tip: Pay the extra money to get the photos from your canyoning or paragliding experience. You won’t be disappointed! 

Day 7 - Final swim at Lake Bohinj

After an action-packed week, enjoy one last swim before you depart from Bohinj. We often send our teenagers down to the lake to have fun whilst we finish up the last bits of packing: too many people can just add to stress! Saying goodbye to Bohinj is always sad, but we hope you and your family will leave with many happy memories. Maybe you’ll even come back in the near future…

Teenagers love to swim at the floating platform at Lake Bohinj

Top Tip: The local tourist office in Ribčev Laz sells a variety of locally produced souvenirs to take home. We like to buy mountain tea and a blueberry licquor called Borovničevec.

Goodbye Lake Bohinj

There are far too many exciting activities to fit into a one-week holiday at Lake Bohinj. However, we hope that our 7-day Bohinj itinerary for teenagers will provide some inspiration for your trip. One of the reasons we fell in love with the Bohinj area was that it provided a good mix of action and relaxation. Thrill-seekers and chill-seekers are well catered for in Slovenia!

Family Holiday at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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A Winter Escape to Lake Bohinj

Things to do in winter at Lake Bohinj in Slovenia

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

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

Winter Wonderland

Last year, we had an abundance of snow, making the area around Lake Bohinj a Winter Wonderland. Just take a look at this video to see how beautiful Lake Bohinj is under a blanket of snow.

Snow brings stillness and peace to the mountains – even the air smells different! Do you want to build a snowman, ice-skate, have fun sledging, get energetic on the slopes or try some cross-country skiing? There are even opportunities for nighttime sledging and skiing!

Build a snowman at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

Lonely Planet has recently recognised Vogel Ski Resort (just above Lake Bohinj) as one of the most affordable ski resorts in Europe with “unforgettable views of the Julian Alps.” If you are after a low-key resort, where you can give skiing a try, then Vogel is the place to go. And it won’t break the bank either! 

vogel ski resort lifts bohinj

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

Invigorating Walks

One of our favourite activities is to wrap up warm and head around Lake Bohinj for a refreshing walk. The walk around the lake is 12km and takes about 3-4 hours. Bright blue skies, with the snow-capped Julian Alps reflected in the water, make this walk particularly stunning during the winter time. You will hardly see a soul – just you, the lake and the mountains all around. Bliss.  

Winter walk around Lake Bohinj Slovenia

When you are half-way around the lake, why not stop at Restavracija Ukanc for some lunch or a warming hot chocolate? Best to check opening hours before you head out though as the restaurant is usually only open at weekends in winter. 

Even on misty, foggy days, Lake Bohinj has an ethereal quality which makes it incredibly atmospheric and beautiful.

Mist at Lake Bohinj Slovenia

Another option is to try snowshoeing – imagine giant trays on your feet spreading your weight as you traverse the snow. Experienced guide, Grega at Hike & Bike, offers snowshoeing hikes around Lake Bohinj and has an abundance of local knowledge he is keen to share. Or maybe you’d like to try the Full Moon Walk at Vogel Ski Centre for an unforgettable evening.  

Other popular local walks include the Mostnica Gorge and Savica Waterfall

Winter Hiking

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

Winter hiking in the Julian Alps, Slovenia

Lake Bohinj is in the Triglav National Park and so offers a good base for exploring the Julian Alps in Slovenia. A favourite hike of ours is the mountain Pršivec, on the north shore of Lake Bohinj. At 1,761m, you get amazing views over the lake and the Julian Alps. 

Hiking up Pršivec, Julian Alps, Slovenia

This is a hike that is perfect when the winter is mild, as otherwise there is too much snow. Read about our winter ascent of Pršivec here.

Moreover, with the sun rising later, winter is the perfect time of the year to get up for that spectacular sunrise over the mountains. The summit of Viševnik is a terrific place to watch the sun slowly rising up, creating a radiant glow over the Julian Alps. Compared to other peaks over 2,000m, Viševnik is a shorter hike, and is therefore a more accessible location to reach in the dark.

Sunrise over Triglav from Viševnik, Julian Alps, Slovenia

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

After a day out walking there is nothing nicer than returning to an open fire and some local food. Old favourites such as pizza and pasta are easily available too. 

Pizza and Lasagna near Lake Bohinj Slovenia

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

Rest & Relaxation

A winter holiday isn’t complete without an opportunity to rest those tired muscles after a day out exploring. The Aquapark in Bohinjska Bistrica (8km from Lake Bohinj) offers a wealth of therapies to help you relax. 

For adults, pamper yourself with a massage (including chocolate and fruit!) or a facial, zone out in the saunas or try the salt room. Children love the swimming pool, with whirlpools, water jets, the wild river, a rock-climbing wall over the water and slides. Buy a day ticket and hang out for some rest and relaxation… remember to take a good book too!

The weather in winter can be unpredictable, so the Aquapark is a great wet weather option too. Alternatively, take a day trip to Bled (stunning with a dusting of snow), Ljubljana or explore one of the amazing caves at Postojna or Škocjan.   

Lake Bled, Slovenia in winter

Plan a Magical Winter Escape to Lake Bohinj

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

Winter at Lake Bohinj

A visit here offers a tranquil escape from the hustle & bustle of life, a place to slow down and reconnect with family and friends. After the difficulties of the last eighteen months, we could all do with a little of the restorative power of being outside and in nature.  

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5 Reasons to Love Autumn in Bohinj

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

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

1. Amazing Colours

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

lake bohinj colours autumn

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

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

2. Hiking & Biking Adventures

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

lake-bohinj-autumn

3. Nature’s Bounty

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

wild toadstool mushroom bohinj

4. Early Morning Mist

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

lake bohinj misty morning

5. Cosy Nights In

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

log-burner-holiday-house-lake-bohinj

Autumn in Bohinj

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

bohinj colours autumn

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