The lake is Sloveniaâ€™s largest nestled in a beautiful valley in the Julian Alps. The water is crystal clear and full of easily spotted fish and you can feel the freshness and cleanliness of the air. The lake is very peaceful with the only motorised boats allowed on it the electrically powered tourist boats linking Ribcev Laz at one end of the lake to Ukanc at the other end every half hour. The noisiest things on the lake are the ducks!
There is a small selection of bars and restaurants at the Ribcev Laz end of the lake.
The MK Pizzeria was our favourite in Ribcev Laz despite its outside appearance and name the inside was well decorated and the food extremely good value and delicious. Our favourite bar was the one attached to the Pension Rozic. Wasnâ€™t overly impressed with Zlatorog or Union, the poplar local brews, but we did find a bottled dark ale whose name now escapes me which was really nice. At Ukanc there is a small collection of holiday lets, the Hotel Zlatorog and the path and road to the Savica Waterfall. Ribcev Laz end is dominated by the church of St John the Baptist and bridge across the river. The church has an attractive fresco to see on the outside but was unfortunately closed for restoration whilst we were there. There is another attractive church, on the road to Ukanc with fresco, but again wasnâ€™t open when we walked past.
With Lake Bohinj being in the Triglav national park no development has been allowed on the shores of the lake which means you can walk along the north shore on tree shaded footpath and then back along the road on the south shore. Although not deserted neither are the paths teaming with tourists and makes for an extremely pleasant ramble round the lake.
It took us approximately 4 hours to do a complete circuit, but we were not rushing!
The wife rowing on Lake Bohinj
There are plenty of small beaches dotted around the lake to bathe in or lie on, or beach your canoe if you fancy a rest. Wherever you are on the lake you are afforded stunning views of the mountains the lake. We were fortunate with the weather and were able to sunbathe on a couple of days and it only rained during the day once. The temperature did get quite chilly, particularly on a clear evening, but was surprisingly warm in the day.
Mount Vogel Cable Car
Steeply climbing up from the lake is a cable car to the Mount Vogel ski centre.
It was about â‚¬6 each for a single. The climb is a pretty speedy 5 minutes in a gondola which can hold 80 and runs every half an hour. The views from the top are stunning to the lake below and across the lake to Mount Triglav and the rest of the Julian Alps. You can take a further chair lift ride along the skiing areas. We decided to walk down back to Ribcev Laz and got lost!! What should have been a 2 hour moderate ramble turned into a 4 hour hike! Still did see dear and big bird of prey in the woods on the way down. Although the paths are marked we managed to lose them despite a map. We certainly enjoyed out beer when we reached Ribcev Laz.
View from the top of Mt Vogel cable car to Lake Bohinj
The Slovenian for waterfall is slap which gave me and the wife plenty of fun using sign language whilst talking on our way to the waterfall.
You reach the waterfall by doing a steady 1 hour walk from Ukanc to a small visitor centre with a couple of bars and the entrance to waterfall. You pay at a kiosk about â‚¬2 to climb the 500 steps up to the waterfall. The waterfall is a good one. It falls in two ribbons about 60 to 70metres to the pool below which has been dammed, I assume to provide power. You canâ€™t get too close to the waterfall as it is fenced off and it was pretty busy when we were there but it was well worth the climb and fee.
St John the Baptist Church and stone bridge, Lake Bohinj
Mostnica Canyon and Waterfall
Taking the path from Stara Fuzina following a large stream is the picturesque Mostnica canyon.
It cost â‚¬1 odd each to walk along the river path through the small canyon. The river has created an interesting bed full of river mills where the water has eroded circular bowls in the rock. Also there is plenty of flora and fauna to see in the canyon. At the end of the canyon paths you follow a road past a cafĂ© to the scenic Voje valley which is a wide valley with alpine houses dotted throughout it, very reminiscent of â€ťHeidiâ€ť so my wife tells me.
The path leads to the Mostnica waterfall. About 20 meters high it doesnâ€™t have the drop of the Savica waterfall but it is just as delightful. No-one else was around when we were there and we were able to nip under the wooded fence and get right up close to the fall. The walk from Ribcev Laz and back with a break at the cafĂ© took around 6 hours, but was well worth it.
Stara FuĹľina is the next village along from Ribcev Laz.
Itâ€™s slightly bigger and has a reasonable bar in the centre by the supermarket and also the best restaurant we found in the area. Gostilna Mihovc was busy both nights we eat here. The fare on offer was tasty traditional Slovenian served in rustic surroundings and as with everywhere in the area very reasonably priced. Well worth the 15 minute stroll from Ribcev Laz to find this place.
Mountain Hut near Lake Bohinj
The Pension Gasperin is a charming little family run B&B looking like a typical alpine type building about 2 minutes from the bars, supermarket and tourist office and of course the lake. The room we had was spacious and clean with a superb view of the mountain opposite from the balcony.
The rooms were cleaned daily and to quite a high standard.
Cow wandering down from Mostnica canyon
The breakfasts were a typical European buffet style with the added bonus of Mr Gasperins eggs which were done to perfection every day. On Sunday we were treated to homemade cakes which were delicious. Mr Gasperin was very friendly and always seemed close to a smile or laugh. On arrival we shared a couple of shots of the local home brewed firewater. Iâ€™d imagine it would keep the cockles warm on a cold winters evening! We were also able to hire bikes from The Gasperin and did a circular route through Studor and Bohinjska Bistrica and back to Ribcev Laz.
I would highly recommend the Gasperin if anyone was thinking of staying in the area
Day Trip to Postojna Caves & Predjama Castle
About 2 hours coach trip from Bohinj is Sloveniaâ€™s number one tourist attraction the Postojna cave system.
Discovered in the early 19th century tourists have been flocking to view the magnificent array of stalactites and mites. Taken by a small train to the meeting place you are guided through and hours walk of one of natureâ€™s wonders. As well as the coloured stalactites and stalagmites there are the troglodyte mammals that are only found in this cave system. The concert hall at the end of the tour has unbelievable acoustics. The caves are busy though and I canâ€™t help but feel as though we were rushed through but it was worth the visit.
After a stop at a restaurant we were taken to Predjama Castle which has been built out of a cave in the mountain. Originally built in the 13th century and renovated in the Renaissance period it is most impressive from the outside. The tour round lasted about an hour, the highlight being torture instruments still on display. The best story though is told is about Erasmus Predjamski who once owned the castle but is famous for dying whilst answering the call of nature! Worth a visit especially if you are there when they hold the annual jousting competition.
Day Trip to Venice
Setting off by coach at 6am we reached Venice by around 11am.
A brief talk by the guide as she led us from the sea front to St Marks Square and then we were left to our own devices for 5 hours. We decided to join the queues and take in St Markâ€™s church. Gloriously decorated on the inside and being able to get on the balcony for a view overlooking St Marks Square made this worth the wait, despite it being very busy. After the church we just wandered round the alleys and back streets taking in the Rialto bridge, bridge of Sighs and a few of the art exhibits that were on for free. As I detest modern â€śartâ€ť I didnâ€™t think much of the exhibits.
Doges Palace and Campenalla, Venice
Venice although unique was a bit of a disappointment. It was very busy everywhere and with the exception of some stunning pieces of architecture not as grand as I expected. It is also ridiculously expensive. Although we quite enjoyed the visit we will be in no rush to return. It was also a very long day as we didnâ€™t return to Ribcev Laz until 11pm due to the busy roads.
My wife and I found the area around Lake Bohinj to be very picturesque.
The air was clean and refreshing and the place was naturally relaxing and serene. It is probably the most beautiful resort we have been to and will hopefully avoid mass tourism in the future which would most certainly reduce the charm of the area.
Although there is a wealth of options with regard to day time activities this is not a resort for loud raucous nights out. If you want a peaceful get way from it all holiday with plenty of exercise then this place is perfect. I wouldnâ€™t hesitate to return.