Before I got to Slovenia, I had heard about Lake Bled, so it was high on my list of things to see. However, when I arrived at the hostel in Bled, a member of staff told me about another lake, Slovenia’s largest, in fact.
With a waterfall and mountain walks, Lake Bohinj sounded like the perfect place to visit. So, even though I had just arrived, I decided to get on another bus and head to this other lake because it was due to rain heavily the next day and I really wanted to see it. Once I had checked in and dumped my stuff, I headed off to the nearest bus station. It was a scenic 45 minute bus journey to Lake Bohinj and gave me my first glimpse of Lake Bled.
As soon as I got off the bus at Ribčev Laz, I went straight into the tourist office and picked up a free map of the area. It was when I got outside and started walking around that I began to realise how special this place actually is. It started with a view of St John the Baptist church, which was standing proudly over the lake.
I was under the impression, from the guy at the hostel, that I would have time to walk from there to Ukanc where I would have the choice of going up to Slap Savica to see the waterfall or getting a cable car up to Mount Vogel, for a great view of the lake and to make the most of the hiking trails. So, rather than hanging around, I immediately headed off towards Ukanc. Undeterred by the rain, I set off on my journey. What I didn’t realise, until I had been walking for about 30 minutes or so, was that it was an awful lot further than I had expected. That wouldn’t have been a problem if I had left earlier in the day, but I hadn’t. Not only that, but the rain didn’t cease and I kept stopping on my journey to take photos because of the amazing view of the lake.
When I eventually reached Ukanc where I could take the cable car up to Vogel or continue straight up to Slap Savica, because of the time of day and the weather, I decided to enjoy the moment and make the most of the scenery rather than rushing around and missing all the beauty around me. By that point, I had decided to return to Lake Bohinj at a different time of year and spend a few days rather than a few hours to give me the opportunity to explore the area properly.
While I was there, I discovered a military cemetery for soldiers who died during the First World War. Apparently, it was near the Isonzo front, where there were a series of 12 battles between the Austro-Hungarian and Italian armies. I found that hard to believe when I was surrounded by such breathtaking scenery.
There are a number of hotels and holiday homes in Ukanc, but there is also a campsite. I love the idea of camping on the riverside, especially with a view like the one in the following photograph. It is such a relaxing place to be, surrounded by the Julian Alps, listening to the sound of the birds, and the gentle movement of the water.
As I wandered around Ukanc, I spotted a boat timetable. I wasn’t intending to get a boat back but I have ‘a thing’ about boats, even the motorised variety. One was due in about 15 minutes, so that meant I could linger and enjoy the view for a bit longer before getting a different perspective on the boat going back to Ribčev Laz. When the boat arrived, I was the only passenger to board the boat, being as it was late and a rainy day. So, I had the boat to myself. Fabulous – my own private boat and all for the princely sum of €9 – what a bargain!
After getting the boat back, I sat by the water’s edge and was in for an unexpected treat. Firstly, some ducklings came along and waddled around for bit before swimming off. Then, a female duck joined me. She was looking for food, but I didn’t have anything to give her. I love ducks, so I was sorry that I didn’t have anything for her and the ducklings.
Then, as night started to draw in, I waited for the bus back to Bled. Even though I only had a few hours In Lake Bohinj and didn’t get to see everything I wanted, I had a wonderful day. I will definitely return.
If you fancy it, you can watch the following video of my day at Lake Bohinj.
I have marked all the locations on the map…
It’s easy to get to Lake Bohinj from Ljubljana and Bled by car, bus, or train and definitely worth the journey.
Have your say
Have you been to Lake Bohinj? If so, how long did you spend there and what did you do? If not, would you consider visiting? As always, I’d love to hear from you!