First, you have to know that Bohinj is an area – not a town. It’s a big valley in northwestern Slovenia centered around periglacial Lake Bohinj (Bohinjsko Jezero) and in Triglav National Park. Second, you need to know that there are a lot of things to do in Bohinj in winter.
The Bohinj area is not as well known as Lake Bled, but it is one of the most beautiful places in Europe. The Bohinj Valley is a 20 km long, 5 km wide basin in the Julian Alps. The Sava Bohinka River runs through it. Because people are more familiar with things to do in Lake Bled, Bohinj is less crowded with tourists and a little wilder.
If you were reading carefully, you saw the words “alps, lake, and river.” Those geomorphic features practically guarantee outdoor fun.
As you can see from the video (below), our fun was thwarted a bit by the ice and rain, but the Bohinj Valley really is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. If you like winter sports in Slovenia, or anywhere, this is the place for you. And it the weather isn’t quite what you are looking for, there is indoor fun to be had as well.
What to do in Bohinj
SNOWSHOE Or cross-country ski
The Pokljuka Plateau in Triglav National Park (Triglavski Narodni Park) is between Lake Bled and Bohinj and you can easily access it from either area. Anders and I snowshoed up there as one of the things to do in Lake Bled, and we could have departed from our hotel in Bohinjska Bistrica just as easily.
Bohinj is the best place to cross-country ski in Slovenia and there are more than 70 km of groomed tracks in the valley and on the Pokljuka plateau. The trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing. Backcountry skiing is also big here.
At Vogel Ski Center, primarily an alpine ski area, there are some cross-country ski trails and room to snowshoe. Stay off the downhill runs, of course. While the groomed trails are shortish, the view from there is supposed to be spectacular. We originally planned to take the cable car up to Vogel Ski Center and snowshoe around the base, but since it was raining, we opted out.
The Sports Centre Triglav Pokljuka, on the Pokljuka Plateau, where Anders and I snowshoed, has many kilometers of groomed Nordic and biathlon ski tracks. You’ll need a private car or taxi to get there, as buses don’t run that way in winter.
Rent snowshoes or skis from Hike & Bike or at one of the ski areas.
Check the current ski conditions here.
Vogel Ski Centre is just a bus ride away from the small towns around Lake Bohinj. The bus stop and parking are at the bottom of the mountain. A cable car takes you up to the lodge and lift service begins there. Since you start high above the lake, you can take in beautiful views over Lake Bohinj and the Julian Alps while you ski.
In addition to 193 acres of varied ski terrain, there is a children’s park with magic carpet lifts, tobogganing, and a carousel. The website says, “Parents can watch their children from the terrace in front of the Viharnik Inn at the upper Vogel cable car station.” I assume they mean with a Snuggler in hand.
Access the ski area via the Ski Bus, regular bus, private car, or taxi.
Given the weather and the proximity to two high energy kids, were lucky to find Bohinj Vodni Park right across from Hotel Tripič, where we were staying. The boys slid down the two water slides, spidered up the climbing wall. There are also saunas, a gym, and massage rooms for those whose main goal is not to tire out their kids.
hike to Slap Savica
Despite the rain, we decided to get out and take a short hike to Slap Savica, a 338-foot double waterfall. France Prešeren, Slovenia’s famous and revered poet, wrote, “As in its wrath, its foam flies to the skies!”
The waterfall didn’t seem that wrathful to me, in fact it was a delicate stream landing in a turquoise pool. Savica had been frozen just a day or two before, but now the water was rushing over the limestone and the creek was roiling.
We took a taxi to the trailhead and the bus home. In winter, the bus runs to the village of Ukanc and the Vogel Ski Center stop. We walked back along the road to the Vogel bus stop because the trail to Ukanc was crazy-icy. If it wasn’t icy, the trail would be the nicer way to go. Both routes are about 4 km.
Mostnica is an alpine river, punctuated by gorges and waterfalls, running through the Voje Valley. Start the walk in Stara Fužina. Entrance to the area is free in winter. More information here.
Like at Lake Bled, you can ice skate on Lake Bohinj when it freezes thoroughly enough, which is not every winter. There are also a couple human made ice rinks.
We stayed at Hotel Tripič in Bohinjska Bistrica. The family room had a bedroom, living area, and a huge loft. It was roomy and comfortable, perfect for a family.
You can reserve a room through Booking.com. Click the link below and search for “Hotel Tripič.”
If there is one thing I learned from traveling in Slovenia, it’s that half-board is the way to go. Not only did we have a huge and tasty breakfast, a several-course dinner was included in our stay. Hotel Tripič was ideal for exploring the Bohinj Valley and close to the aquapark.
How to get to Bohinj
A top Slovenian destination, Bohinj is easily accessed by car, bus, or train.
Do you have other recommendations for things to do in Bohinj in winter? Leave them in the comments!
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