I think this may ultimately be the best and most important question that is asked when planning travels in Slovenia. Well, for me it was at least and I am sure I am not alone, which is why this post is going to come alive with cobalt blue and vibrant green images and plenty of text explaining just what’s so special about both Bled and Bohinj and how each caters for different expectations.
First of all, Slovenia seems like the forgotten country of the Mediterranean. There is a part of me that loves that, but also makes me question how well people research countries and whether they do really like to stick to the standard tourist path. I am sure that through the up and coming blog posts that I am doing on Slovenia, you will see just how it became my favourite country out of the 26 I have travelled to in my short 21 years of life.
Lake Bled is the picture perfect postcard at every turn you take. I think most people will recognise Bled through photographs if it doesn’t ring a bell. It is one of the most photographed Lakes in Europe and wouldn’t surprise me, if it breached the worlds. Surrounded by dense woodlands, lined with cafes, paddle and row boat hires and centred by a church perched on the Lakes Island, it’s quite easy to believe that it can’t get any better. As it is the better known and more connected with public transport and tour companies, Bled becomes a haven for tourists as soon as summer hits, with people flocking left, right and centre, filling up all accommodation within days. There are plenty of things to do around Lake Bled, including hiking through the Triglav National Park, walking along the rugged pathways of the Vintgar gorge and even watching the sun rise from a hot air balloon. It is easy to spend a few days here taking in the awe of the place, but given the popularity in summer, prices tend to rise and can make it a lot more expensive in comparison to the rest of destinations in Slovenia. If you are looking for an easy, stress free, and very picturesque getaway and don’t mind the crowds of tourists than look no further than Lake Bled.
Lake Bohinj is connecting back to peace, serenity and the wonders of nature. Unlike Bled, Lake Bohinj seems to attract more locals and people whom are seeking a bit more of an outdoor adventure rather than a hassle free holiday. In saying this, there is still plenty of room to relax, if not more due to the significant lower amount of people and the larger lake. This is particularly due to the effort that must go into getting to and from Bled and transport options getting around to see the very best of the surrounding areas. It’s almost given that you will be able to find a spot along the lake side that seems to have been untouched for decades and make you really feel at peace with nature. Camping seems to be the preferred accommodation here and is generally a lot cheaper when compared to Lake Bled, giving you the ability to sleep on the lakeside and fully immerse yourself in the serenity. From the powerful, yet exquisite Slap Savica to the off the beaten track explorations, Lake Bohinj is best suited to those who don’t mind an extra bit of hiking, biking or even climbing to experience nature at its finest.
They both have their pro’s and con’s like most places, but they are definitely two of the most beautiful lakes I have ever been to. I came to the conclusion that due to my lack of interest in crowds, that Lake Bohinj was a better fit for my interests and way of travelling. I could imagine that before the summer season starts, Lake Bled would ideally be the more picturesque one out of the two, but be sure to make it before the summer rush if you want to avoid huge crowds. No matter which destination you choose, whether it be Bled of Bohinj (or hell be it, both), I can assure you that you won’t regret your decisions and you will have the most incredible time reconnecting back to nature. Make sure you clear up that memory card as well and charge your camera to the fullest. You won’t want to stop clicking that shutter button. Just prepare yourself for hours of editing through photographs, it’s all worth it in the end and you will have all your Facebook friends uber jealous.
The very beautiful Vintgar Gorge in the Triglav National Park. You can easily get here via foot, bike or even a shuttle bus from the tourist information centre next to the Lake Bled bus station. This photo was taken at the risk of either getting in trouble by rangers or getting myself into trouble due to the drop (in other words, I am in a ‘prohibited area’ but so worth it, right?) The glorious waterfall in this picture is Slap Savica which is about a 4 hour return walk from the furtherest end of Lake Bohinj.