Nature always was an inevitable part of humans. We come from nature, but we lack it in the nowadays urbanized world. This creates an initial desire to reconnect with our cradle time from time. That’s why seas, lakes, mountains, forests, caves, and other natural objects became so popular as recreational points. Slovenia is full of them, and Bohinj Lake is probably its most beautiful undiscovered lake.
Bohinj Lake is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia and part of Triglav National Park. It is famous for a number of reasons, including its beautiful landscapes, close location to the tallest mountain of Slovenia, adorable valley where it is located, and many others.
A modern person feels the importance to stop thinking and start feeling the environment more often. At the same time, urban life is full of movement, nature is full of life. It gives a possibility for our senses to escape from noise pollution and bright screens of devices. Nature is a kind of meditation that creates the possibility of living here and now.
That’s why so many people choose places near water objects as their recreational destinations. Water itself has a hypnotic effect, in the positive sense of this word. However, when it is surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes, this factor multiplies the positive effect of such a natural treatment. This was a very short description of why you need to visit Bohinj Lake while traveling through Slovenia.
Bohinj Lake is an Alpine lake. Therefore, along with picturesque views, it is colder if compared with the Adriatic Sea. This is the largest permanent lake in Slovenia. Some people may argue that Lake Cerknica can extend to a bigger size in the flood seasons. On the other side, it is intermittent, thus it disappears during dry seasons. Therefore, the first place on the pedestal is still going to Bohinj Lake.
The lake is part of Triglav National Park, the only national park in Slovenia. Lake Bohinj is located in the northwestern Upper Carniola region, on the west of the country. The valley in the Julian Alps there has the same name, Bohinj Valley.
The lake is twice as big as Lake Bled, with a surface area of 318 hectares (790 acres) or 3.18 km2 with a maximum size of 4.2 km (2.6 mi) long and 1 km (0.62 mi) in width. The average depth of Bohinj Lake is 30 m (98 ft), whereas the maximum one is 45 m (148 ft).
This is a glacial lake dammed by a moraine. This means that it is a relic of melted ice-filled in the depressions created by the glacier. The water there is so clear that it became a place of living of such species as brown trout, burbot, European chub, common minnow, and Arctic char, eight genera of mollusks, as well as numerous algae species.
Furthermore, this is the most popular destination for water, sports, and swimming. Here, you can experience mini rafting, diving, canoeing, canyoning, boating as well as many others.
First of all, this is the place where the lake takes its place. Secondly, the valley gave the name to the lake as well. It is located in the northwestern part of the country. The valley is quite big at 20 km long and 5 km wide. This is the part of the Julian Alps, in the Upper Carniola region.
The basin consists of four parts: the Lower Valley, Upper Valley, Ukanc Basin or Lake Basin, and Nomenj Basin. It is located among Soteska Canyon, Lower Bohinj Mountain Range, The Sava River, and its canyon, and Jelovica and Pokljuka plateaus. All those created the valley’s borders. Moreover, Mount Triglav, the highest mountain of Slovenia, the national symbol depicted on the coat of arms as well as on the flag of the Republic of Slovenia, is also a part of the municipality of Bohinj.
Therefore, while coming to this valley, you can feel the typical picturesque landscapes of lakes, forests, and mountains, as well as feel the national soul and the peaky heart of the country.
The valley has an interesting story. Because of its geographic isolation created by the aforementioned natural walls, the demography consisted of people of Bohinj. Hence, nowadays 5,000 inhabitants are mostly descendants of those people. Furthermore, historical findings prove that the area has been populated since the Bronze Age.
Also, scientists proved that this isolation influenced the development of the specific local dialect, which is very different from the neighboring ones, from the Upper Carniola. Furthermore, they found even some differences between dialects among villages here. In general, there are 24 villages here, whereas the largest one is Bohinjska Bistrica.
The valley has inevitable importance for Slovenians and their culture. France Prešeren, the biggest and most well-known Slovenian figure, the person who wrote lyrics to the national hymn, created the poem named The Baptism on the Savica, which depicts the time of violent battles between the Christians and pagans in old times. This story takes place in Bohinj, Bled, and their lakes.
Name and Myths
Bohinj was firstly mentioned in written sources in 1065. The name of the lake as well as the valley derives from a nearby village called Srednja Vas v Bohinju, that exists until today. As the name of the region, it became a little bit later, to be precise, in 1250 as “Vochina”.
Scientists argue about meaning. First of all, speakers of most of the Slavic languages will recognize here the word Boh, which means God. This created even an interesting legend. When God finished giving lands to people, he noticed that he forgot about a small group of people who were silent and didn’t insist on him. He was impressed with their modesty and patience, so he decided to give them the most beautiful land on the Earth, which he kept personally for himself.
Other myths are interesting too. One of them says that Turks when they tried to invade the Bohinj land, turned back immediately as they saw the valley. They considered it the end of the world. The second legend is about a magical creature called Zlatorog (the Goldhorn, in English). It is living in the mountains and protects them. Thus, on the shore of the lake, you can find even a statue of the legendary creature.
The third myth is about the Devil’s Bridge (Hudičev most, in Slovenian) located on the territory of the valley. By this legend, the bridge was built by the Devil himself. Local people tried to build it for ages, but it always collapsed. The Devil saw this scene and decided to propose the following deal: he creates the unbreakable bridge, but the first soul who will cross the bridge is his. After the bridge was built, people started to argue because nobody wanted to cross it. However, one farmer sent a dog across and tricked the Devil.
What to Do Here?
As we mentioned above, Lake Bohinj and its valley are the gathering point of people who love summer water sports. Here you can experience mini rafting, diving, canoeing, canyoning, boating, etc. However, winter sports are also quite popular, especially if to switch emphasis from water to snow. People from all over the world come here to ride. They include skiers, snowboarders, ice climbers, and ice skaters on the lake. Aside from water and snow, biking, trekking, and climbing are also popular here.
On the other side, a definite must-do is taking a journey on a Hogwarts-like train. It is really similar to that one described in Joan Rowling’s book. Maybe, one day he traveled to Slovenia and was inspired by it. This is the museum train that can take you from Bohinj and ride through historical tunnels and picturesque bridges near beautiful landscapes. The trip lasts around two hours.
Also, the way goes through the most picturesque bridge in Slovenia. This is the Solkan Bridge that holds the Bohinj railway road that goes from Jesenice to Gorica. It is the world’s longest stone-arch bridge railway. It is a 219.7-meter viaduct bridge near the city of Nova Gorica. Usually, people do this to enjoy adorable landscapes and take beautiful photos of the bridge, the emerald green river Soča, and the old-style train in one shot.
Bohinj Lake, as well as its valley, is an adorable location for having a vacation. Here, nature created the perfect combination of water, mountain, and forest for people to have a great variety of activities.
Even myths and legends related to this place represents the feeling you’ll get visiting it. Created by God, the end of the world, protected by mystical creatures, and even locals here are such a hard die that could trick the Devil.
This is one of the most beloved places of every Slovenian. So we are sure that it can become your one as well. Because it can suit everyone, from active sports lovers to people who like slow pace vacation with nature observing.