Too beautiful for a murder: day trip to Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is one of the most idyllic places that we’ve ever visited. Surrounded by thick forests and the Julian alps, Slovenia’s largest lake is expansive, peaceful, and impossibly still. Agatha Christie holidayed in the area in 1967 — when she was asked if it would feature in a novel, she famously responded that it was “too beautiful for a murder”. While many travellers prioritise Lake Bled on a trip to Slovenia, Bohinj is perfect place to spend summer afternoons, and offers even more impressive natural scenery. It can also be easily reached as a day trip from either Bled or Ljubljana, so we’d highly recommend making time to visit Bohinj on a trip to Slovenia.
How to get to Lake Bohinj
Bohinj can be reached in 30-40 minutes from Bled, or 1 hour and 40 minutes from Ljubljana.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
The best way to get to Bohinj is by bus, as the closest train station (Bohinjska Bistrica) is 6.5km away from the lake itself. Regular buses connect both Ljubljana and Lake Bled to a stop at Bohinjsko Jezero. Tickets can be bought for a few euros when boarding, and depending on the time of day, the bus can take between 40-60 minutes from Lake Bled, or 1 hour and 45 minutes from Ljubljana.
Bus timetables and prices can be found online on the Arriva website.
TAKE A TOUR
While we were hiking in Bled, we met some other travellers who coincidentally lived in the same suburb as us back in Sydney. They highly recommended visiting the area on a canyoning or water rafting trip. This kind of tour can be arranged in advance through Get Your Guide (click to open website), which offer canyoning trips from Lake Bled to the Bohinj Valley. This tour includes pick up and drop off from your accommodation, a journey through the Slovenien countryside, all of the gear required for canyoning, and a guide to lead you through the forests, gorges and waterfalls.
WHERE TO GO IN LAKE BOHINJ to hike, eat, and swim:
We’d recommend taking the bus to Ribčev Lav for lunch at any of the restaurants. From this side, you will find a stone bridge with an expansive view of the lake, and paddle-boarders crossing its still surface. In this area you can also find beautiful spots to swim, as there are small beaches and jetties along the water’s edge. There are a number of hikes on this side of the lake, including a 1.5 hour trek to the emerald waters of the Mostnica Gorge. If you’re interested in visiting the gorge, you can find more information about the hike here.
On the other side of the lake in Ukanc, there is a beautiful 20-30 minute hike up to the Savica waterfall, an impressive cascade of 78 metres. If you’re interested in visiting the Savica Waterfall, more information about the hike can be found here.
NOTE: LAKE BOHINJ IS VERY BIG
We’re not kidding, the name ‘Ukanc’ even loosely translates to “the end of the world”. This is because for hundreds of years, the agricultural villages around the lake were isolated from the rest of Slovenia by difficult terrain and poor roads. Slovenia’s largest lake spans nearly 5km in length, and is beautiful to walk around — just make sure you allow enough time to do so (we did not). Alternatively, a free shuttle bus service runs around the lake in summer (visit their website here for more information).
The best time to visit Bohinj, Slovenia
The hot weather and clear skies in summer (June - August) are perfect for many of Slovenia’s outdoor attractions. During this season, free shuttle services are also helpful in getting around areas like Bohinj. However, summer is also the peak time for tourists visiting the lake, which can get crowded. Just outside of the high season (September - November) is still ideal weather to visit — particularly in the earlier months it is warm enough to swim but not too hot to hike.
The best time to visit the Savica Waterfall specifically is in spring (March - May), as snow melts from the mountains above Lake Bohinj, and water fills the 78m drop. Note that in winter months (December - February), Slovenia’s ski season picks up, however the hike to the falls can be closed depending on the weather conditions.