After spending some time at Lake Bled and using it as a base for a white water rafting and canyoning trip, we travelled to Lake Bohinj to continue our Triglav National Park adventure. Getting between the two lakes is easy as there are regular buses and it only takes a little over 30 minutes to travel between the two.
Although Lake Bled has the incredibly picturesque and photogenic church on an island in the middle of the water and the epic looking castle on the cliffs, I actually prefer Lake Bohinj as a place to stay and immediately after arriving, was happy that we had decided to spend most of our time there.
My preference is for a few reasons: As it takes a little longer to reach Lake Bohinj and its lakes, the Church and island, it is much less popular with day trippers. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a buzz around Lake Bohinj, it just comes across a bit more peaceful and less touristy. Saying that, especially around the main town area, there are lots of things to do, including watching the local volleyball teams compete.
Also, Lake Bohinj is a touch over double the size of Lake Bled and this means that everyone can spread out a bit more, making it easy to find a little bit of the lake to have to yourself – especially if you have a kayak or canoe.
We used Lake Bohinj as a base for an really epic adventure to the top of Mount Triglav and it makes a great location for anyone interesting in adventure sports like paragliding, climbing, white water rafting and kayaking. Apart from these extreme activities, I’d say one of the best things to do when at Lake Bohinj is just relaxing.
Especially in the late afternoon or evening after a big day of activities, it was amazing to lay by the lake on one of the many, small beaches and relax. There are several little supermarkets where you can buy cheap cans of Radner (shandy) or beer before going to sit or lay by the beach and chill.
You’ll often see locals doing this and it’s much more affordable and enjoyable than drinking in a bar further away from the lake. The lake plays hosts to lots of wildlife, such as trout and numerous birds and laying down, relaxing is a great way to soak in the abundant nature.
As with all picturesque places, it is definitely worth making the effort to view the lake at sunrise or sunset. During the sunsets we saw the mountains behind created gorgeous reflections and silhouettes and the lake itself mirrored the gorgeous colours created by the sky.
My love for wild swimming is pretty heavily documented on Wild Tide and I’d been looking forward to swimming in Lake Bohinj for weeks of our travels. During the hot hustle and bustle of cities like Prague and Warsaw in August, I had pictured the lake and imagined swimming in the cool refreshing waters.
There are larger beaches nearer the main area of Lake Bohinj, which stretch for quite a long way around and you can keep walking down away from the busier area until you find a quieter stretch of beach. If you’d like somewhere really quiet, you can walk around the lake and find a totally deserted mini beach.
The waters of Lake Bohinj are very clear, clean and refreshing to swim in. On a baking hot week in August, it was excellent to sit or lay by the lake, getting really hot and then dive into the water to cool down and have a swim – only to get out and repeat the process.
Surrounded by some of the most epic scenery in the whole of Slovenia, it’s a very beautiful place to swim. The magnificent mountains which surround Lake Bled are definitely best viewed from the water of the lake itself.
In Lake Bohinj, it’s possible to take part in all kinds of outdoor activities. You can take huge walks up the mountains, cycle and obviously do lots of water sports. Around the lake, there are several huts where you can rent SUP, kayak, rowing boats or canoes.
We were dead set on hiring a canoe, paddling it across the lake, finding our own beach and then picnicking and relaxing on our own personal paradise. For you’re going to hire water sports equipment at Lake Bohinj I’d definitely recommend it and would advise that you take the the short walk up the main strip and check out all of the different rental shops.
There are slight varieties in the lengths of time you can rent things for, as well as the price and also the quality of the equipment itself. Some places rent much nicer kit for longer amounts of time so it’s worth shopping around depending on what you’re after.
Canoeing on Lake Bohinj was easily one of my favourite experiences of the whole five week trip from Helsinki to Rome. Paddling across a mountain lake to a remote and private beach has got to be one of the best ways to feel connected to nature and like a wild man.
Finally, after a day doing any sort of adventuring, you’re sure to have built up quite an appetite. There are a few places to eat around the lake. I’d definitely recommend making picnics for lunch using the local shops as it means you can stay out in the wild all long and save a few pennies too. But if you’d like to go for a evening meals, I whole heartedly would suggest going to Foksner, a really cool burger place serving hipster, quality smoked burgers and craft beer. It’s the sort of place you expect to see in a trendy area of a city, but it’s by a mountain lake in Slovenia. The beer is great and the burgers are amazing. Especially after a long day off exploring what Triglav National Park has to offer.