Most people visiting Slovenia have probably heard about the beautiful lake Bled which is indeed a sight to see. What most people are not aware of is that there is actually an another larger lake just 30 minutes (25km) from Lake Bled which is likewise beautiful and much more peaceful. The lake is called Lake Bohinj, it is located 526 m above sea level inside the Triglav national park. Here you can read about how to get to Bohinj Lake.
By car: You can reach Bohinj by the A2/E61 highway that connects Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Villach (Austria). From the highway exit there is about 30 km to Lake Bohinj; just follow the signs towards Bled town and then continue around Lake Bled from where you follow the road in direction Bohinjska Bistrica and then from there on to Lake Bohinj.
By train: You can get to Bohinj lake even by train, from Jasenice and Nova Gorica. The closest train station is the one is Bohinjska Bistrica which is about 6.5 km from Ribčev Laz and about 11.5 km from Bohinj Zlatorog / Ukanc at the far end of the lake. From the train station in Bohinjska Bistrica you will have to either walk or take a bus or taxi to get to Lake Bohinj.
By local bus: During summer season there are quite frequent buses (in winter less) from Ljubljana bus station driving via Bled to Lake Bohinj. The buses operate from about 06:00 till about 22:00 in the evening. Check for the bus to Bohinj Zlatorog / Ukanc as not all buses to Bled continue to Lake Bohinj. Obviously the above mentioned buses can also be used to travel from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj (in Bled you can catch the bus from the bus station or from several bus stops on the road around lake Bled). The driving time from Ljubljana to Lake Bohinj is about 1 hour 45 minutes, from Bled about 30 minutes. At Bohinj you can get off the bus in Ribčev Laz or along the road to the far end in Bohinj Zlatorog / Ukanc.
If you are travelling back from Lake Bohinj to Bled or Ljubljana you of course have the same number of buses driving in the opposite direction.
By international bus: There is currently only one international bus driving to Lake Bohinj and that is an early morning bus from Zagreb to Lake Bohinj. From other international destinations like Venice, Munich or Vienna, you will have to travel to Ljubljana and then change to a bus towards Bohinj.
From Ljubljana airport to Lake Bohinj: unfortunately there is neither train nor bus connection from Ljubljana airport, so you will have to take the airport bus to Ljubljana or Kranj and change a bus there; another option is to book a taxi transfer from the airport to anywhere around Lake Bohinj – the price is around 60 Euro.
Excursion / day trip: If you are not up for hassling with bus and train timetable, you have organized day trips to Lake Bled and Bohinj most week days during the summer season.
What you can see and do at Lake Bohinj:
The Lake Bohinj information centre is located in Ribčev Laz just before you get to the lake. (the place is small so you will easily find it). There you can ask for more information in relation to the following to do’s:
- Hiking around the lake takes about 5 hours, the trail around the lake has a length of 12 km.
- If you are not into walking around the lake, there are excursion boats from Ribčev Laz (eastern end of the lake) to Bohinj Zlatorog / Ukanc (western end of the lake) and back. During summer months the boats are frequent, in the shoulder season they still sail but not as frequently as in July and August. Early spring and late autumn boats can be booked for groups.
- 4 km west of Lake Bohinj you can find another very popular sight –> the Savica waterfall which you can reach by foot or car. At the entrance there is a car park and a coffee bar restaurant. From the entrance there is a more than 500 stairs climb (20-25 minutes) to the viewing platform. During summer season it can get very crowded by the falls, so bringing smaller kids at that time of the year is maybe not the best solution.
- From the western end of the lake, near Hotel Zlatorok, you have a cable car to mount Vogel from where you have a spectacular view on Lake Bohinj. The cable car runs every 30 minutes, the trip to the top takes 6-7 minutes.
- Hike to Mostnica Gorge and the Voje waterfall from Stara Fuzina, there is about 1 km to beginning of the trail. The Gorge trail itself is about 2 km, at the end of the trail the Mostnica waterfall can be found.
Good to know when visiting Lake Bohinj:
If you love hiking there are plenty of trails to explore in the area, you can even hike to the top of mount Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia. At the local tourist board, you can buy a map with all hiking trails.
You can rent sailing boats, canoes, kayak, mountain bikes at the lake.
On weekends during the main summer season, it can be quite crowded with swimming guests around the lake during day time, as the main visitors are locals doing day trip to the lake; it is less crowded during evening hours.
In the winter, Vogel is a popular skiing area. As mentioned above, the cable car to the top of the mountain runs from Ukanc.
Staying overnight by Lake Bohinj:
Accommodation in walking distance / by the lake can be found in Ribčev Laz, Ukanc and in Stara Fuzina. Most places to sleep are private accommodation, B&B hostel stile, but there are also smaller hotels and a campsite.
If you are travelling with kids, you should consider staying at the aqua park / wellness hotel in Bohinjska Bistrica.