Hiking at Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is situated at the edge of Slovenia’s only national park – Triglav National Park. Only a two hour bus ride from Ljubljana, it is a quiet lake set among the peaks of the Julian Alps. While it might be best known for skiing, in the summer, the dozens of hiking trails that sprout from various points around its shores draw outdoors enthusiasts from around the region.
When we arrived at our guesthouse, pension Cerkovinik in Stara Fuzina, I asked our hostess about the trails around the lake. She gave us a small map where dotted lines showed the different trails. When I asked about a trail to waterfalls, she pointed to a dotted line on the other side of the lake. This wasn’t the waterfall I meant. I pointed to a trail that took off from the village of Stara Fuzina and her face lit up.
“nice – 2 hours.”
Slapovi Mostnice is one of the more popular hikes from Lake Bohinj. It follows the gushing Mostnice river as it tumbles down the mountains, forming tiny, still pools in deep crevaces before racing into open, tree-lined rapids. Every photograph I’d seen of the place made it seem magical and the magic of nature is one of my favorite kinds of magic.
The Slapovi Mostnice trail took off from a parking lot in the the upper western regions of Stara Fuzina. The wide trail was well graded, covered in crushed white rock, and lined with photographs of the nature that makes the Triglav National Park truly wonderful. The trail was such an easy stroll that a couple with a stroller and a toddler were even walking it.
Eventually we came to a bridge and a kiosk where a somewhat confused looking teenager explained that we needed to pay 2.50 each to enter the national park. We paid the fees, collected the complimentary maps and crossed the bridge.
The trail continued upstream on both sides of the river and we could see hikers coming down the trail to our left as we ascended on the right side of the river. This section of the trail was well-kept, forested, and shady. We climbed ever so gradually along the river, accompanied by rumbles of thunder that echoed through the mountains valleys under an ever-darkening sky. We hiked on passing through the woods, crossing a bridge and beginning the staired climb out of the gorge.
After about 30 minutes of climbing we came to a wide dirt track which carried us past a mountain hut and through wild-flower dotted meadows before eventually leading us to the path that led to the final waterfall.
When we reached the falls, only 2 other hikers were there. As we snapped our photographs, though, a group of 7 older hikers emerged from the trail joining us at the small landing by the delicate waterfall.
After stopping at the mountain hut for some Gulash and beer, we decided to explore a small side trail leading to another falls. The waitress at the hut pointed the trail out to us and explained that it was a bit difficult.
The trail was certainly rougher than the graded road we’d been meandering for the last two hours, but it was servicable and clear. It lead us through a dense forest to a cascade gushing over moss-covered rocks. This ‘waterfall’ was every bit as beautiful as the taller, more delicate falls at the top of the canyon, but much less visited.
The website Bohinj Slovenia has excellent information about the hike through Mostnica Gorge including hiking times, trail fees, and where to eat.
A Walk Around the Lake
The morning after our long walk up the Mostnica Gorge, my dad and I walked around Bohinj to the Zicnice Vogel Cable Car. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a trail that circles a lake. I expected it would me mostly flat, but beyond that I wasn’t sure. The trail around lake Bled is paved and over-used by cyclists, joggers, and tourists doing the rounds at Bled.
Lake Bohinj, as it turns out, is much quieter. We caught the lake trail near the River Sava Bohinjka as it tumbles out of the lake along a shallow pebble river bed. The trail led us past the more developed parts of the lake: the tiny beaches with their sunbathers and skinny dippers (apparently the still water of Bohinj makes the water’s surface temperatures pleasantly swim-able) before plunging back into the old growth of the Triglav National Park.
We enjoyed a gentle walk around the lake wishing a good day to the numerous trail runners who passed us going the other way. It is twelve kilometers around the lake and our path took us the greater part of that distance.
When we reached the cable car, we found we had a short wait before the next run. During the summer the car goes every half hour which means you should plan your return trip carefully if you are hoping to catch the hourly bus back to Ljubljana.
When we reached the top we walked along a few of the roads and ski runs. You could spend weeks hiking up there and the scenery was breathtaking in every direction.
Other hiking at Lake Bohinj
At 2,864 meters, Triglav Slovenia’s tallest mountain and the pinnacle of the Bohinj hikes. You can also approach the mountain from Kranjska Gora for a faster ascent. The hikes from the Bohinj side all take 2-4 days depending on how much distance the hiker can cover in a day.
Slovenia-Trips has route descriptions including distances, altitudes, difficulty and time Sitting Triglav from the Vrata Valley – a significantly more challenging climb than the routes from Bohinj.
I Feel Slovenia has a route description including distances and altitudes for the Triglav hike.
2. Savica Waterfall
One of the most iconic waterfalls in Slovenia, the route from Lake Bohinj to the falls is more of an uphill walk along a road (4km) than a hike. Nevertheless the picturesque waterfall makes the somewhat boring walk well worth it.
slovenia.info has information about the Savica Waterfall and how to get there.