Every visit of my dear home country, Sovenia, leaves me thinking about how beautiful this place actually is. Mighty hills, salty air and the waves of the Mediterranean sea, green valleys, endless forests, mysterious caves, vineyards, pristine lakes and more and more. And everything is so insanely close. Unfortunately, people are all too often unaware of waht they have back home until they actually move abroad and start to miss the things they took for graned before. In this new article, I´ve nostalgically put together a list of best 20 lakes in Slovenia. Because just as much as I love the sea, I also love the lakes. As long as there is water. I love the lakes for their reflections, for being a pleasant place to cool off on hot summer days or admiring interesting ice patterns in the winter months. There are around three lakes I haven´t visited yet from this list and I can´t wait to do so this summer if everything goes as planned. So here are 20 ideas for a trip or visit to Slovenia´s most famous and most beautiful lakes, in my humble opinion, of course.
1. LAKE BLED | the jewel of Slovenian lakes and one of the “must see” places
An important TRADEMARK OF SLOVENIA and the most known Slovenian lake, both among domestic as well as international visitors, should simply not be missing on the list of places to see over here. On the lake there is also a little ISLAND with a church, to which you can come with a traditional PLETNA BOAT. For he BEST VIEWS ON THE LAKE you can either walk or drive up to the CASTLE located on the top of the cliff above the lake or hike up to the top of MALA or VELIKA OSOJNICA or OJSTRICA. It is possible to go all around the lake, a paved PEDESTRIAN / CYCLING PATH will take you 1-2hrs, depending on the stops you take. You can also SWIM in the lake, rent a KAYAK, SUP, or a WOODEN BOAT, in the winter you can sometimes also ICE SKATE. There is no lack of cafes, restaurants, hotels, apartments and also a camp site and other tourist infrastructure along the lake. Treat yourself to the famous BLEJSKA KREMŠNITA cake and if you have enough time you can add a walk in the beautiful BLEJSKI VINTGAR nearby.
2. PLANŠAR LAKE | lovely lake in Jezersko
PLANŠAR LAKE is located in the beautiful JEZERSKO, in one of Slovenia´s most beautiful green valleys surrounded by mighty mountains on the way to neighboring Austria. There is an easy WALKING PATH leading all around the lake, suitable for smaller kids too. You can leave your car right next to the lake on a larger PARKING LOT with a RESTAURANT nearby where it is also possible to rent a SUP board, and ice skates in winter. In addition, every year one of the oldest Slovenian events takes place here at the ake, the so-called OVČARSKI BAL. In this area of Jezersko there are also many hiking trails, cross-country ski trails, opportunities for snowshoeing, cycling and much more.
3. TRIGLAV LAKES | a longer Alpine hike from Bohinj
The beautiful TRIGLAV LAKES VALLEY is about 8 km LONG ALPINE VALLEY between BOHINJ and TRENTA, offering some of the best HIKING ROUTES in Slovenia. It is also called the VALLEY OF THE SEVEN LAKES, even though there are actually more than seven lakes in total as some of them are sometimes full with water and sometimes dried out. Seeing these lakes requires a higher fitness level though as it will take you the whole day to hike up and down from Bohinj, but trust me it is worth the effort. The most picturesque is the DOUBLE LAKE, located just under the mountain hut called KOČA PRI TRIGLAVSKIH JEZERIH – remember to come in as early as possible to avoid the crowds, you can also consider spending the night in the hut and having the lake all to yourselves at sunrise.
4. LAKE KOČEVJE | smaller peaceful lake near Kočevje
The artificial smaller LAKE KOČEVJE, also called RUDNIŠKO LAKE, is located near Kočevje in southern Slovenia. It was created after mining was abandoned in this area and the empty hollow eventually filled up by the water of Rudniški stream. Today, there is a lake which is several tens of meters deep, with a NATURAL SCIENCE LEARNING PATH going all the way around it, and we can also ride on the lake by BOAT, KAYAK, SUP, SWIM or even DIVE in the water and sometimes also ICE SKATE in the winter. In the immediate vicinity there is also a CAMP SITE and RESTAURANTS. For further trips and exploration of the area check out the amazing KOČEVSKI ROG, known as the land of Slovenian bears and forests.
5. ZELENCI NATURE RESERVE | emerald green river spring close to Kranjska Gora
ZELENCI is a beautiful nature reserve, which is also the source of the SAVA DOLINKA RIVER, which is especially attractive because of its emerald green water color, bubbling spring water and for being a home to many endangered plant and animal species. FROM THE PARKING LOT along the main road Kranjska Gora – Rateče, a SHORT PATH leads to the spring – initially through a grove, and the last part is arranged as a WOODEN WALKWAY leading on the edge of the water surface to a WOODEN VIEWING TOWER. From the tower there are beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. Since Zelenci has been a popular photo spot for Instagram lovers and other visitors in recent years, it is best to come early in the morning and possibly during the weekdays if you want a bit more privacy and peace.
6. LOVRENC LAKES | beautiful marshland lakes on Pohorje close to Maribor
The beautiful dark MARSHLAND LAKES among the patches of spruce forests on POHORJE near Maribor, Rogla and Ribniško Pohorje are also one of those with a more special character in Slovenia. Depending on the water levels and amounts of rain, there are about 10 to a little over 20 lakes, and the best way to experience them is to start a hike leading from Rogla ski resort along an undemanding, about 10 km long CIRCULAR WOODEN WALKWAY PATH. The hike takes us about 3 hours in total, along the way there are benches for resting and a quick picnic. You can also climb up to the top of a wooden LOOKOUT TOWER from where there is a super beautiful view of the marshy landscape sprinkled with lakes.
7. LAKE CERKNICA | interesting intermittent lake
LAKE CERKNICA is definitely one of the most interesting in our country. It is known for the PHENOMENON OF THE INTERMITTENT LAKE, and at the same time, when it is full of water, it is also the LARGEST NATURAL SLOVENIAN LAKE. WHEN THE LAKE IS DRY, it acts as a FIELD where livestock is grazed and FIELDS are cultivated. In the spring and after heavy rainfall, WHEN THE LAKE IS FULL OF WATER, we can explore it WITH KAYAKS, we can also CYCLE around the lake, in winter we can also ICE SKATE if the ice is thick enough. In the village of DOLENJE JEZERO there is a beautifully arranged MUSEUM OF LAKE CERKNICA, where we learn about the operation of this exceptional water system, otherwise the best PANORAMIC VIEWS of the lake are from the top of SLIVNICA and JAVORNIK hills nearby.
8. LAKE PTUJ | Slovenia´s largest artificial lake
THE LARGEST ARTIFICIAL LAKE in Slovenia is set on DRAVA river near Ptuj town and primarily serves the needs of the local hydroelectric power plant, but it is also a popular spot for relaxation, recreation and day trips. It is over 7 km long and about 1 km wide, so the locals call it the PTUJ SEA. There are also 2 ISLANDS with important nesting sites of around 230 different species of birds on the lake and a 13km LONG WALKING PATH around the lake, also suitable for CYCLING. You can do many other things on the lake too – canoeing, kayaking, pedal boats, as well as drive a MOTOR BOAT, SAIL and even is also possible and there are several restaurants and a marina nearby.
9. LAKE BOHINJ | Slovenia´s largesat natural lake
The glacial BOHINJ LAKE in the Triglav National Park, which is, by the way, our LARGEST SLOVENIAN NATURAL LAKE, is also one of my favorites. Mainly because it is surrounded by stunning mountains and beautiful views, but despite its beauty, it is still quite peaceful and it is easier to avoid the crowds. The water is also extremely clear, and on the north side we also find karst springs and the famous SAVICA WATERFALL, where water falls over 70m deep into a natural pool. In the summer you can SWIM in the lake, ride kayaks, canoes and SUPs, take a TOURIST BOAT operating between UKANC and RIBČEV LAZ settlements, WALK along the lake or take a GONDOLA RIDE to the top of VOGEL MOUNTAIN for the best views of the lake from above. For the adventurous souls there is PARAGLIDING from Vogel over the lake and otherwise there is no shortage of HIKING TRAILS in the area too.
10. KRN LAKE | Slovenia´s largest Alpine lake
THE LARGEST SLOVENIAN ALPINE LAKE, also known as “Veliko jezero” or “Jezero na Polju”, lies in the middle of beautiful karst landscape below the mighty mountain KRN, near the mountain cottage called KOČA PRI KRNSKIH JEZERIH. In fact, the name KRNSKA LAKES indicates 3 lakes, in addition to lake Krn, the other two are DUPELJSKO and JEZERO V LUŽNICI lake. A beautiful and relatively easy HIKE to this beautiful glacial lake is from the LEPENA VALLEY in Trenta, more precisely from the parking lot at a cottage called Dom dr. Klementa Juga. The hike takes a little over 2hrs, but because the path is not steep, it is also suitable for slightly older children. SWIMMING in the lake is prohibited due to the preservation of nature, flora and fauna, but you can enjoy a picnic in nature surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountain views instead.
11. BLOŠKO JEZERO | idyllic smaller lake on Bloška planota palteau
One of the smaller artificial lakes, located on the quiet BLOŠKA PLANOTA PLATEAU, is very idyllic and it is not surprising that it is becoming more and more popular among domestic tourists (while it+s still rpetty much undiscovered by the international ones), especially in the warmer months when it is possible to swim here. There is a partialy paved WALKING PATH leading around the lake with pleasant PLACES FOR PICNICS AND REST, as well as a small kids PLAYGROUND, a huge wooden SWING and a RESTAURANT with PARKING. There is a GLAMPING place near the lake which is also excellent for accommodation in the nature if this is what you are looking for. FISHING is also possible and in the winter you can sometimes ICE SKATE.
12. DIVJE JEZERO LAKE | natural monument and a karst spring close to Idrija
IDRIJA might be mot famous for its Idrija lace and mines, but in the ZGORNJA IDRIJCA LANDSCAPE PARK there is another beautiful natural landmark, DIVJE JEZERO LAKE. Its name translates to „the wild lake“ and it is protected as a NATURAL MONUMENT. At the same time it is also a KARST SPRING, from which the stream JEZERNICA flows. The lake is inhabited by brown trout and other fish and creatures, in the immediate vicinity of the lake there is also interesting flora, which consists of many different endemic species.
13. JASNA LAKE | my favorite lake close to Kranjska Gora
LAKE JASNA, one of my most favourite spots in Slovenia, actually marks 2 SMALL ARTIFICIAL LAKES at the confluence of MALA and VELIKA PIŠNICA RIVER along the road that leads from KRANJSKA GORA to VRŠIČ PASS. A couple of years ago, the area around the lakes was very nicely reconstructed, with a PICNIC AREA, new bridges and other wooden sculptures, PIERS and LOOKOUT TOWER. Now, access to water is even easier and more attractive, and in the immediate vicinity of the lake you can finally enjoy coffee, ice cream, beer or something else in one of the BARS and the CHALET. If you don’t feel like jumping into the water, which is always quite cold, you can rent a SUP or a CANOE, in winter you can also ICE SKATE if the ice is thick enough. And don’t forget the obligatory photo with the CAPRICORN STATUE, it´s a thing all Slovenians do.
14. TRBOJE LAKE | paradise for stand up paddling between Ljubljan and Kranj
A quick drive from Ljubljana, Sloenia´s capital, in the direction of Kranj past Medvode, there is another really great lake for an afternoon or weekend trip, namely the artificially created LAKE TRBOJE, also known as lake Mavčiče. The lake is famous as one of the best spots for stand up paddle boarding lovers, but there are also quite a few other activities possible. FISHING with a permit is allowed, SWIMMING, exploring the lake with BOATS, BIRD WATCHING (there are about 140 species nesting here) and more. Don´t forget to grab a coffee, dessert or a refreshing drink in the beautiful KAVARNA TRBOJE CAFE.
15. LAKE VELENJE | one of the best natural beaches in Slovenia
The formation of LAKE VELENJE may not really be so romantic, but what you can experience there nowadays and how great the surroundings are, certainly is. As a result of lignite excavation, over time, larger sinkholes and depressions were formed in the landscape around Velenje town- Later on they were filled by streams and thus formed 3 ŠALEŠKA LAKES. In addition to Velenje, there are also Škalska and Šoštanj lake, but those two are less attractive for visitors. Velenje lake is the most famous and with good reason. From the beautifully arranged CAMP SITE, to the RESTAURANTS & BARS, SUPER BEACH AREA, which has been repeatedly chosen as the BEST SLOVENIAN NATURAL BEACH, to WALKING or CYCLING PATHS around the lake and various recreational options – SUP, SAILING, SWIMMING, KAYAKING and SURFING. There is also a WATER PARK which the kids will enjoy as well and you will definitely not be bored here.
16. BUKOVNIŠKO LAKE | interesting lake with energy points in Goričko
The artificial accumulation lake in GORIČKO is surrounded by forests, and in addition to being a great place for a day trip, it is also an important HABITAT OF AMPHIBIANS. The lake is rich in fish, so FISHING is popular here, and in the vicinity we can also find over 300 plant species, spot deer and other animals. It is also known for its special ENERGY POINTS, so you can visit DOBROVNIK ENERGY PARK, the WATER SPRING and the CHAPEL OF ST. VID nearby. Around the lake you can walk on the almost 2km long FOREST LEARNING TRAIL with information boards. Also close is the ADVENTURE PARK and a motorhome CAMPERSTOP with a RESTAURANT.
17. RAKITNA LAKE | climate health resort and a good spot for a picnic close to Ljubljana
RAKITNA, which is located on the karst plateau relatively close to Ljubljana (the highest karst field in our country), is considered to be one of the best CLIMATE HEALTH RESORTS in the country. It is also a popular spot for day trips and PICNICS BY THE LAKE, as well as a good STARTING POINT for further trips. From here you can also hike up to the Krim mountain or, for example, to the IŠKA VALLEY. The main attraction is, of course, the artificial RAKITNA LAKE, surrounded by idyllic wooden cottages, grassy meadows, forests, heather-covered hills and more. Visitors have access to a larger PARKING LOT and a RESTAURANT, where you can treat yourself to lunch or something sweet. In principle, BATHING in the lake is allowed, but be sure to check in advance, because the values of bacteria often exceed the permitted limit.
18. ZBILJE LAKE | romantic lake with a large swan population
The artificial lake, which was created for the needs of a hydroelectric power plant in Medvode near Ljubljana, is today one of the more popular spots for an afternoon trip into the nature. It is located near the above-mentioned LAKE TRBOJE, next to which you can visit, for example, the ruins of SMLEDNIK CASTLE. At the lake there is also a beautiful CAFE and a few other RESTAURANTS, it is also possible to rent a BOAT, PEDALINE, SUP board, etc. FISHING is also allowed with a permit, otherwise the lake is known for a large number of SWANS, who are not shy at all.
19. BRDO PRI KRANJU LAKES | fascinating nature and history in Brdo Estate
The cultural monument and the most important protocol facility in Slovenia, PARK BRDO PRI KRANJU, is part of the larger Brdo Estate, which includes a Renaissance Castle, the Brdo Congress Center, a golf course, a stable, an old greenhouse, 11 lakes and more. Located near Kranj and the international airport, the Estate also includes hunting grounds and larger forest areas and the park is open to the public when there are no protocol events. It is very interesting to visit it, either on foot or by bike or occasionally by HORSE CARRIAGE. WEDDINGS and special organized PICNICS are also possible in the park, the surroundings of the lakes, which are not intended for swimming, are really idyllic with beautiful views of the forests and mountains in the background.
20. LAKE KREDA | turkizno jezerce v Dolini Radovne
The smaller artificial LAKE KREDA, between Bled and Mojstrana in the RADOVNA VALLEY, created after the abandonment of chalk excavation, when the water filled the hollow is most famous for its unique TURQUOISE COLOR. Due to the mentioned color, this is one of the more photogenic points in our country, but perhaps many people do not know that the surroundings of the lake are actually completely PRIVATELY OWNED. Part of the lake and its surroundings are therefore protected with a fence and access is not possible without the owner’s permission. One part can still be reached, but make sure to behave respectfully to nature, do not be too loud and don´t leave any rubbish behind you. It is not possible to walk around the lake, you can SWIM but be careful as the water is quite blurry and it is difficult to determine the depth. In winter ice skating is sometimes possible.