that other Lake & the secret white Beach
More difficult to say than lake Bled and a little further down the road, but quite simply, more beautiful than lake Bled.. Agatha Christie stayed at lake Bohnj and said her mind could not turn to murder here when a reporter was looking for a scoop!
We too, like you, could not believe there is a more beautiful lake than Bled until we had travelled just half an hour or so down the road from Bled into the stunning Julian Alps following yet another crystal clear Slovenian river for most of the way.. then, bang, we popped out at lake Bohinj and immediately understood what everyone here meant!
You might have known about the cable car to the mountain above lake Bohinj, the swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding, the walk around the lake, the massive waterfall at the other end, the pleasure boat across and maybe you even heard about the nearby Little Bridge Gorge.. but did you know about the secret white beach?
We have squeaked across the perfect white sand of Frazer island and the Whitsundays in Australia, but this secluded tiny beach in little old Slovenia is every bit as fantastic! You might not be eaten by a shark in salty blue water, but your toes will certainly be nibbled by smaller fish in crystal clear water, fresh from the surrounding mountains! You also get a "New Zealand like" fjord experience as the huge rocks power up from the green lake itself into the skies.
Many people experience the fun & beauty to be enjoyed at the bridge end, the (start of this lake), which is about 3 times bigger than Bled.. and many get down to the other end of the lake to have a go on the cable car up Mt Vogel maybe or walk up to Slap Savica, one of Slovenia's many waterfalls. But not so many visitors find this secret white beach that will melt you into nature itself.
It ain't that difficult to describe how to find it, but more tricky to actually find it! The best thing to do is walk or drive to the end of the lake.. there is a road all the way alongside the lake to it's end, where you turn off left for the cable car.
Instead you turn right, go past a camp site and you can park near a pub, which has an "end of the road" feel to it. Unbelievably, in a place so beautiful (and only possible in Slovenia), you will find a deserted hotel here, but the point is that if you find this hotel you know you are in the right place!
Just walk to the lakeside from here.. you will go over the most beautiful little wooden bridge, which has very sticky wood, as you will find it very difficult indeed to exit the bridge when you see the view! The main flow of water enters the lake under this bridge and you will not have seen many sights in nature so amazingly stunning.
If you can drag yourself away we can promise there are more sights to see, so make your way to the very end of the lake and you will know you are there if you find the simple little wooden pier which just sits there patiently, offering the most amazing photos. From here you can also see the tip of the white beach ahead on the right.. maybe some of you might just jump off the pier and swim directly there?!
To walk to this beach, just go back a wee bit towards the car park, but split off immediately left. In Australia you would see a sign for "Kangaroo beach" or "White gold harbour" or something like that.. here in Slovenia, you will see nada, nothing.. maybe a little red circle on a tree! We don't even know if this beach has a name.. if it did, we probably wouldn't know how to pronounce it, but we would name it "Paradise Beach" and this is not an underestimation!
We know Slovenians who tell us that lake Bohinj is their favourite place in Slovenia and this is saying something. We have had our own guests stand here spinning around on the beach, just taking in the 360 degrees of green paradise around them, without saying anything.
The path there is often wet, even in summer, but don't let a big puddle put you off, just get to the end and maybe tip toe past a few trees or bushes to get to the white beach. We have been swimming here as late as a sunny afternoon in September. Actually, over the summer, the lake water is heated more by the sun and warms up.
The colour of the water changes as you look further into the lake. Roll out your towel, take out your book, (but make sure it's not an Agatha Christie.. she would be most displeased with you if you did that here!).. and enjoy your day on the white pebbles.. This is a very special place indeed.
Other stuff to do at Lake Bohinj:
There are lots and lots of things to do here by the lake, in fact the very worst thing you could do would be to try to do too many things or rush them and then only partly experience each one.. If you are here for a day trip then we are telling you about all these amazing options to help you decide in advance which one or two to do!
There is a stunning cable car ride up Vogel mountain to get a great view of the lake and the rest of the Julian Alps, which is one of Slovenia's 3 Alpine regions. At the top there are endless walks and ski lifts to whizz you around!
You could also walk up the numerous woodland stone steps to go see the Savica waterfall, (slap). The walk is well worth it, but you need to be reasonably fit or take some mini breaks. There are amazing vistas through the trees, then above the trees across the Alps and the waterfall is a high, powerful one. Apart from by the beach, this is the other sensational place you could sit and eat your unforgettable pick nick!
But you do need to know that this stunning waterfall would certainly be in our top 20 waterfalls in Slovenia and if it is your only chance to see a Slovenian waterfall, then you should take it, we think it is unmissable, but the problem is there are so many other amazing waterfalls in Green Slovenia that you can get a lot closer to and feel more a part of. Visiting Slovenia is like being the manager of the best football team in Europe.. it's a tough job, as you have so many amazing players to fit into your team!
It's also possible to do a massive hike from lake side to near the top of the waterfall up in the Alpine rocks. Just start in that little village that backs on to the end of the lake from the pier end. This adventure is more for the hikers amongst you.
A flatter walk would be simply to go around the entire lake, maybe starting at the main bridge and doing the road side first. There are lots of spots where you can go down to the lake from the road or peek through the tress, but you do have to follow the road, so what you are really waiting for is the long stretch back on the other side of the lake after the wooden pier. It's just you, the severe stone mountain wall to your left and the lake to your right all the way home!
There is a wonderful boat service at points on the lake, with a surprisingly good commentary. It's fresh and of course you get a great view from the water. We enjoyed it after a trip with the cable car and got dropped off by the main bridge with the pretty church on.
In fact you can get a great multi ticket in the summer to do the cable car, pleasure boat and waterfall and it is very good value.. you even get a bowl of Slovenian soup on top of the mountain!
It's also an option for a day trip to go see the fantastic Little Bridge Gorge, (Mostnica) during the day and then come to the secret white beach later to cool down and have a swim!
There are many, many water sport options closer to the main bridge and plenty of eating options in the little village just before the lake, but we particularly love the little pub in the nearby village of Stara Fuzina.. another reason to go down this route is to explore another complete valley of twisting rock and green views after the village! Further into the valley there are several more restaurants in picturesque little Alpine villages, but don't over order.. the meals here are massive and hearty!
Wow, what an amazing array of things to do at a lake that many visitors to Slovenia didn't even know existed! But me.. just give me that white beach for a day and a prosciutto sandwich!