Bohinj Jezero (Lake Bohinj) Hike

 

Bohinj Jezero is a bit of a secret, but the cat is out of the bag, so get over there now! Apparently many locals in the region view the clean, translucent waters of Lake Bled as “too dirty”, and you will rarely see them mingling with the tourists. They instead head over to Triglavski Narodni Park, and cool off in the even more pristine waters of Bohinj Jezero. When I visited in October it was a bit chilly to don my bathing suit and shower cap, so I instead took to the hills for some wet, foggy adventures.

Getting to Bohinj Jezero

I’ve ridden a lot of public buses, trolleys, trains, cable cars, metros, and none, I mean none, are as nice as the Slovenian bus system. My shuttle driver back to the airport laughed when I said it was once of my favorite parts of my time in Slovenia, but it’s true! I say bus, but they are really coaches, and nice ones at that. Some even had wifi, though I was far too busy staring out the window the whole time I rode to Bohinj Jezero. PS, don’t pull a Brennan and refer to it as Lake Bohinj Jezero; jezero means lake… 

The bus drivers speak English, make change, and even let me know when my stop was coming by saying its English name. The website (available in English) is also phenomenal, as you can view timetables and calculate the fare in advance, so you can have the proper coinage in your hot little hands when the bus arrives. The bus system (at least in this region) is very comprehensive and can get you to the majority of the sights you will want to see. The also travel through many of the smaller towns, so you can easily explore off the beaten path.

Bohinj Jezero (Lake Bohinj)

Local legend says that when God created the world, he forgot about the modest people of Bohinj when he distributed beauty around the world. Upon realizing the error of his ways he bestowed upon the people of Bohinj all the natural treasures he was going to save for the heavens. These are the lakes, mountains, and waterfalls that make up this stunning region in Slovenia’s only national park.

I had the misfortune of visiting on a rather rainy and foggy day so I think I missed the full effect and splendor of Lake Bohinj, and couldn’t even see many of the mountains. But this didn’t prevent me from having a memorable (albeit wet) afternoon. There’s not much to do in the vicinity of the bus stop; just a couple of cafes and a very helpful tourist information center. But it is the starting point of the trail I was going to do that day, to Pec and Rudnica. Also in the vicinity, there is a cable car to bring you up the ski resort (with hiking trails in the summer), and a boat tour of the lake. You can also walk/bike around the lake and visit a couple of waterfalls.

Hike to Pec and Rudnica

With the entirety of my trip to the Bled Region taking place in scattered showers, I took the risk to get out in nature. It wasn’t supposed to rain until around sunset! But no, rain came early, very early that day. Far be it from me to let a little rain get in the way of a great hike. Starting at the Cerkev Sv. Janeza Krstnika (Church of John the Baptist), this hike goes up and follows one of the ridge lines up to the peak of Rudnica Hill (946m/3100ft). A little detour will give you a unique view of Bohinj Jezero and finally sweeping views into the valley floor and the little towns below.
 
From the Church you will follow the road north for a bit until you take a right turn over a bridge. From here continue straight off the road onto the dirt path. With all the rain and wind I had my head down and missed the turn, so forgive my deviation in the GPX data. Once you are on the dirt trail it is fairly easy to follow. Notice the yellow and white bulls-eye marks on some of the trees for confirmation. You will come to a fork in the trail where you want to head towards Pec for a great view out to Bohinj Jezero.
 
Continue to Rudnica
After you’ve soaked up the lake view, head back on the trail and now follow signs towards Rudnica. You will pass through several meadows with huts (one I found shelter in during a particularly intense downpour). The only challenging part of the trail was a section that was undergoing maintenance. Many fallen trees covered the path and while it was clear where I needed to go, it was hard finding a way there. But the fallen trees looked very fresh so I would assume the trail is clear by now.
 
There are several crossing trails so just keep heading up to higher ground or reference the GPX track below. If you have a trail map you will see there are a few options to reach the summit, so you could create your own loop if you wanted to. In the pouring rain, I, however, did not.
 
Once you reach the top of Rudnica you will be able to see far into the valley below. In my case, the sound of church bells and sights farmlands drifted in and out of the fog like a scene from Brigadoon. There is a metal box containing a summit log (add your name and try to find mine!), as well as a stamp for your own private book/journal. From here the fastest way down is to fling yourself off the cliff; you’d get back down in a fraction of the time! But as I knew my mother would never forgive me, I opted for the boring route and retraced my wet footsteps back down the hill.
 

Treat Yo Self

Once I was back in the township of Bohinj I was in dire need to something warm and tasty. I stopped by one of the few cafes and got one of each: warm espresso and a tasty glass of smrekovec. This spruce-flavored liqueur is made just minutes away from Lake Bled, and had I been checking a bag I would’ve bought a bottle of it home. The company that makes it, Mikelj Spirits, has a rather small distribution, but it was highly worth it! So keep your eyes peeled for them or any other spruce liqueur.

After I had warmed myself up, I headed back onto a super comfy Alpetour bus (they really should sponsor me!), set my jacket up to dry and headed over another small town Radovljica, to explore gingerbread and bees!

Download GPX     Distance 6.2mi/10km     Directions

4 Comments on “Bohinj Jezero (Lake Bohinj) Hike

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