Lake Bohinj – the “other” beautiful lake of Slovenia (beside Lake Bled)
Since Lake Bled is one of the most visited attractions in Slovenia, and of course for a very good reason because it is a really spectacular wonder of nature, we thought of taking a trip and introduce you the other of the beautiful lakes in Slovenia. We are talking about not so very much known lake (well, at least not comparing to Lake Bled) called Bohinjsko jezero – Lake Bohinj!
Taking a direct bus from Ljubljana Bus Station
At Let’s Go Slovenia we thought that if you are already in Slovenia, it would be really a pity to miss this serene and stunning lake and scenery around it. Especially since it is only a bit more than half an hour drive (26km) from the chic Lake Bled. Plus, the visit offers many highlights, but let’s keep them for the article.
So, we took a Saturday morning bus from Ljubljana to Lake Bohinj at Ljubljana Bus Station , which costed 16 eur return. It is an open ticket, meaning you can choose to return with any bus that day or within 30 days. We have learned that the buses to Bled and Bohinj are quite busy, and of course that most visitors would like to get there as early as possible. Since it is the same bus going to Bled and further to Bohinj, we advise you to pay additional 1,5 eur for the seat reservation.
Lake Bohinj – it doesn’t get better than this!
After Bled where most of the tourists get off the bus, the journey becomes even more exciting. Only few of us are still on the bus heading to Lake Bohinj. Faces of the fellow passengers seem happy to enjoy the trip in silence looking through the window. There are peaks of the magnificent Julian Alps in the distance. Green little streams on the way make us think of when was the last time we have seen something so green or so turquoise. The green hills with the wooden houses drift the thoughts away and all of sudden everything becomes so clear – this is the life we have been dreaming of all along …
At the very end of the journey, the spectacular appear. Lake Bohinj has been waiting for us for a thousand years and we are thrilled to finally meet. Just looking at it, it seems endless (approx. 4 km in length and a good kilometer in width), but you can manage a hike around it even if you are here only for a day – it should take around 2,5 hours to get around. While the lake is only drivable on one side – the other is caressed by the mountains.
Gazing into the distance …
On the other hand, if you don’t feel like hiking around the lake, you can just sit down and relax by the lake. All is well. Just enjoying the view is a special activity here. The gaze is a long and distant one. Nothing is in the way, the mind can drift for the whole day. This might be one of the clearest views … You can see to the bottom of the lake as the water is like rippling glass.
Whether you choose an activity around the lake, or a relaxing walk around the village, the daily stresses of the everyday lives will disappear as you embrace the fresh alpine air.
Famous philosopher and the white devils
In addition to all of the natural beauty, a beautiful double arched stone bridge stands at the edge of the lake. Together with the Church of St. John the Baptist this is a landmark of Bohinj. You can find some of the oldest frescos in Slovenia in the church and in front of it.
On the wall of the church there is a large painted image of St. Christopher (sv. Krištof) – the patron saint of travelers. It is good to see him. He is reputed to bring good luck and protection for the rest of the day. As it turned out, our trip to Lake Bohinj couldn’t be more perfect!
French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre was a regular visitor in Bohinj. He was staying in the house of a friend in the nearby village of Stara Fužina.
Standing at the church entry, I thought about the story when one of the most famous philosophers of 20th century, Jean Paul Sartre visited the church. Apparently, the focus interest were particularly the frescos of the two white devils. Therefore, he came here to observe them in silence. How did the devils get white, no one knows. Some locals believe they turned white because of the Bohinj rain and humidity …
Besides the white devils there are other unusual frescos in the church, such as singing angels with ribbons who have goitres and teeth and the fresco of St. John the Evangelist, drinking poison in front of the high priest Aristodemus (one of the oldest fresco in Slovenia).
Stara Fužina – picturesque Slovenian village
Nearby, just a few minutes walk from the church, the village Stara Fužina is situated in the Triglav National Park. Following the road you may opt to go for a stroll in the old village core. There you can grab some traditional Slovenian food in one of the restaurants here. We have chosen to have a taste of the traditional Slovenian food at the Mihovc Guesthouse, which lies right in the heart of the delightful village. The guesthouse is dating all the way back to 1888, and is now beautifully renovated in the traditional style. The food is based on a fresh local produce, and we were served some really tasty food there. The place is a true little gem in the middle of the beautiful Alpine village.
With its alpine charm and tranquility, the whole village looks like a set of a film. While whistling down the road one actually forgets all the worries and it somehow starts feeling like the time has finally given you a break and paused for a while.
Photos: Samo Šmarčan
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