We can safely say that Slovenia is blessed by many beautiful lakes, surrounded by the most stunning nature, but on today's agenda we’ll take a closer look at two specific lakes - international superstar lake Bled you’ve surely heard about and a lot less famous lake Bohinj, which is secretly our favorite.
Because lake Bled usually gets all the attention, we'll take our first stop at ...
Less crowded, cheaper and the real deal, Bohinj is only 30 minutes from Bled by car and yet it seems a world apart.
There are several small villages we pass by in order to get to Bohinj from lake Bled. Rural cottages, traditional hayracks, lovely churches and farm life are slowly preparing us for the fairytale you'll witness at the lake.
The largest natural lake in Slovenia is located inside gorgeously green Triglav National Park and surrounded by the Julian Alps. It is situated in a glacial valley and it contains about 100 million cubic meters of fresh, clean alpine water.
Similarly to the Logar and Jezersko valleys, the views you'll encounter in Bohinj Valley will touch your earth-loving and adventurous soul.
In summer, the temperature of the water rises to 22°C, in winter, the lake freezes sometimes.
Lake Bohinj offers a great number of outdoor activities while not being as tourist saturated as lake Bled. The lake is huge and if you walk around the shore or rent a boat, you can easily find your own little private beach and relax for the day. The water is clear and refreshing, there are trees all around that offer shadow and photo opportunities are endless.
You'll find serenity all around lake Bohinj.
The list of activities at lake Bohinj is practically endless. You can:
- go swimming, boat riding, windsurfing, SUP-ing, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and diving,
- take a round hike around the lake - it takes around 4 hours (12km) and there are three different spots/coffee houses along the way where you can sip coffee, rest and enjoy the view,
- visit waterfall Slavica, which is the third most visited attraction in Slovenia. There’s an entrance fee of 3€ to see the waterfall, which is paid at the Savica hut. If you’re taking your campervan to the hut be also aware of a parking fee, usually around 5€,
- take a cable car and explore Vogel (cable car adult oneway ticket is 16€, return ticket is 20€).
If you prefer walking/hiking instead of taking a cable car ride, there are two paths you can choose from to get to Vogel from Bohinj valley. One is through Žagarjev graben, which during wintertime turns into a ski slope (about 2h 30min walking time) and one is from/to Ribčev laz (approximately 4h 30min walking time).
Vogel cable car takes you to 1535 meters above sea level throughout the year.
Rent a stand-up paddleboard and explore lake Bohinj from a different perspective.
Unique A-shaped waterfall Savica comes into sight at an altitude of 836 m and is 78 m high.
We would recommend staying at lake Bohinj for at least a couple of days to really experience it. At the end of the lake, there is an awesome campground Camp Zlatorog (in Ukanc), where you can park your campervan, put on your hiking shoes and explore this beautiful pristine area.
Our favorite campground in this region is Camp Zlatorog in Ukanc. Just look at those sunrise views!
One of the most photogenic and photographed lakes in the entire world has probably been on your travel radar even before you've decided to book your campervan with us.
Do we even need to write about this world-famous lake?
Lake Bled was among the nominees for seven new wonders in the world and it's no wonder why it became one of the most popular tourist spots in Slovenia. A magical place where you can see Slovenia's only island, where you can have the most romantic Wedding Lake Bled, is not overrated, but it can get overcrowded, especially in summer months. When visiting lake Bled, be ready for higher rates than most other places in the country and an obscene amount of tourists (especially daily ones from tour buses).
The island is best seen from either the top of Bled castle or the viewpoint Ojstrica. If you want to visit the island, you can swim to it (if you're fit enough!), rent a paddleboat or SUP board, or you can opt for a more traditional option and visit the island with a traditional boat called 'pletna' (15€ per person, 8€ for kids). Once you reach the island, 99 stairs will lead you to the gothic church of the Mother of God. Don't forget to ring the "wishing bell", dating all the way to the year 1534, while you're there!
If you prefer to sit back and relax, you can take a traditional 'pletna' ride to an island on Lake Bled.
While visiting Bled, here are the top 5 things you must see/do:
- hike to Mt. Ojstrica above Bled (an easy and very short 15 minutes hike to the most magnificent views of the lake, especially for sunrise!),
- visit castle Bled, which has been brooding over the lake on a steep 130m rock for centuries (mentioned in written sources as early as 1011, it is Slovenia’s oldest castle),
- try traditional pastry called 'kremšnita' - delicious local cream cake,
- take a ride with 'pletna' and visit the island,
- visit Vintgar gorge, which is situated 4 km northwest of Bled and it opens in May (the 1,6 km wooden bridges long trail takes you along waterfalls, pools and rapids and will leave you speechless).
Short and very rewarding hike to Mt. Ojstrica takes only about 15 minutes! Our tip is to go early and catch a sunrise.
Breathtaking castle Bled overlooking lake Bled.
Bled cream cake or 'kremšnita' is a typical cake from Bled, made with two layers of puff pastry and pastry cream and whipped cream filling.
Like in Bohinj, there are some nice campgrounds available in Bled and we highly recommend Camping Bled - it is a bit pricier, but it has a great location and you also have a glamping option with wooden little houses and hot tubes to treat and indulge yourself.
Camping Bled has twelve wooden huts in a secluded part of the green camp right next to Lake Bled. Hot tubs included!
Both lakes are worth a visit but plan more than just a short few-hours stop to see both. Not being short on time will give you the luxury of seeing lake Bled and lake Bohinj in a slightly different light – more specifically, a less-crowded early morning and evening light. If you’re coming in the summer, we recommend sleeping in Bohinj end exploring lake Bled before/after bus crowds arrive.
It's impossible to say which lake is more attractive as both of them are truly something special, but let's just say ... Lake Bled is an international superstar but Lake Bohinj is a national one. We love them both and so will you.
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