Slovenian Lakes and River
- Duration: 4 Days (3 Nights)
- Tour Type: Lake and River Coastal and Crossing Swimming
- Average Daily Swim: 4 km
- Accommodation: Hotel on the Lake
- Escort: One electric boat, two canoes (mini-rafts)
- Extra: Kayak available for partners and friends
We are based in the small secluded town of Bohinj, overlooking the vast waters of its famous lake, which dominates the area. Bohinj provides a perfect gateway for exploring the fantastic landscape of this region and each day of our trip features a varied itinerary of swims and hikes so that our guests get a real sense of what Slovenia’s adventure heartland has to offer.
Our trip takes us through Triglav National Park, swimming in the stunning glacial lakes and exploring the lush forest and magnificent waterfalls. Lake Bled, with its unique island church, cliff-top medieval castle, and mountain backdrop, is just one of the highlights of the tour.
This trip is suitable for different levels of swimmers, including non-swimmers and complete beginners. For details about the required minimum swimming speed please see our FAQs.
At Strel Swimming we pride ourselves on running smaller groups, so we are able to offer a tailored programme for those individuals who may not wish to participate in all the swim adventures. Alternative options are often available to those guests who may wish to combine some walking and sightseeing with shorter swims.
Non-swimmers or family members can use our kayak or SUP (Stand up paddleboard) and follow their friends or partners while they swim.
The safety and enjoyment of all our guests are very important to us, so we can provide separate escorted walks around the swimming venues or the chance for a ´dip´ rather than a swim. No motorised boat traffic is allowed on the lakes/river.
– Swim to the 17th century church on Lake Bled island
– Swim past Vila Bled, a former holiday villa of Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia
– Swim the length of Lake Bohinj and enjoy the picturesque mountain backdrop
– Swim down the glacial, emerald River Soca
– Dip in the Kozjak waterfall at Triglav National Park
– Journey on a car train through the Julian Alps
– Take in the stunning views of Bohinj and Mount Triglav from the Vogel ski-area
– On some tours, meet and swim with legendary marathon swimmer Martin Strel
Local Operational Policy
Our Slovenian trips ensure that in the team of guides, there is at least one team member who has in-depth experience and knowledge of the local waters, the main swimming routes and the alternatives as well as a fluent local language speaker.
Included in the price
Complete guided tour led by a local guide, min-bus (van) transport, full safety escort on every swim, baggage handling, technique session, and accommodation for the duration of the tour (breakfasts included – BB). Each guest receives a silicone swim hat and swimming towel.
P.S. Limited wetsuits, tow floats, fins, and some other swimming gear will be available for use on each trip. If you prefer to use your own that size fits you well, please bring it with you.
Travel to and from the start of the tour, lunches, evening meals, and local tourist tax (paid at the hotel reception). Kozjak waterfall entry: 5 Eur. Optional single room supplement: from 100 Eur.
In the press (media):
Guardian, July 2019: 10 of the best lake and river holidays in Europe
Easyjet Traveller Magazine, Mar 2019: Swimming Lakes
Stylist Travel, Feb 2019: Best group trips for solo travellers
Independent, Oct 2018: Wild Swimming in Slovenia
Lonely Planet, Oct 2018: Best Value Destination 2019
Guardian, June 2018: 20 of the best group trips for solo travellers
Guardian, August 2011: Master strokes: wild swimming in Slovenia
KAYAK and SUP board are available to use
Customer Reviews and Drone clips – Lake Swimming Holiday in Slovenia:
NEW-RIVER SWIMMING TRIP: Kolpa River Swimming Holiday
Address: Hotel Jezero, Ribčev Laz 51, 4265 Bohinjsko jezero, Slovenia.
Four-star hotel on the lakeshore of Lake Bohinj in Triglav National Park. Shadowed by the Julian Alps this hotel is a great base for lake swimming adventures, hiking, cycling, kayaking and paragliding. Accommodation is based on twin-share, single, double and a few family rooms with en-suite facilities. Double rooms for single use are available for an additional cost.
Trip Start: 7.30pm on the 1st day
Trip Finish: 1.00pm on the 4th day
If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the tour, please book directly with the hotel, quoting Strel Swimming group.
Hotel Jezero contact info: email@example.com, Tel: +386 4 572 91 00
Accommodation in Transit – Ljubljana
If you come on our tour earlier or would like to stay longer in Slovenia, we have arranged discounted prices for your stay in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
Ljubljana is the political and cultural heart of the Slovenian nation. It is an important European commercial, business and exhibition centre. Ljubljana is a modern, lively city with a high quality of life, lots of greenery, parks and beautiful river in the centre. City location also represents an ideal departure point for the discovery of all the variety Slovenia has to offer.
We have partnered with the following good standard hotels for your stay. Please quote Strel Swimming at the time of booking. All Hotels know us very well and you will be treated well. Make sure you mention our company name and your swimming tour.
M Hotel ****, Derceva 4, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel: +386 (0)1 513 7000
www.m-hotel.si, Reservations at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel is located 1.5km out of the city centre (on the way from the airport) in the peaceful area near the park. Frequent city buses are behind the hotel and it only takes 10min by bus to the centre. Hotel also offers a lovely terrace at the top and rent-a bike . Wi-Fi, Air-condition, TV and a great breakfast are included in the price. Hotel also offers 30% discount on the tickets to the Wellness Centre and Water Park Atlantis, one of the best in Europe (www.atlantis-vodnomesto.si)
Hotel Park ***, Tabor 9, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel: +386 (0)1 300 2500
www.hotelpark.si/en/hotel/, Reservations: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hotel is located very close to the city centre in the peaceful area. You can walk to the city centre in 10min. The main bus and railway station are within walking distance of 10-15min. Wi-Fi, Air-condition, TV and a great breakfast are included in the price.
City Hotel ***, Dalmatinova 15, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Tel: +386 (0)1 239 00 00
www.cityhotel.si , Reservations at: email@example.com
City Hotel is located in the centre of the city, right next to the old city core. To reach the city centre and City Hotel simply follow the signs leading to the city centre. The bus and the railway station are located approximately 300 metres away from the hotel and city bus stops are also in the immediate vicinity. Wi-Fi, Air-condition, TV and a great breakfast are included in the price.
Day 1: 7.30 pm meet up for a full trip briefing – Hotel Jezero lobby
Day 2: swim Lake Bled in the morning and afternoon, visit church on the island, short hike after lunch
Day 3: trip around Triglav National park, swim Lago del Predil (Italy), hike to the waterfall Kozjak, swim River Soca, return journey on a car train
Day 4: walk around and then swim across Lake Bohinj, finish at 1.00 pm
Meet at 7.30pm at the hotel for a full trip briefing. If you arrive late, we can do another short briefing the next morning.
We take a short ride to Lake Bled for a day of swimming in its crystal clear water. No motor boats are allowed on the lake so our only companions will be the small rowing boats taking visitors across to Bled’s famous island, home to its small 17th century church. After a short acclimatisation swim in the Zaka bay on the north-western shore of the lake, we swim across to the island where we walk up the ninety-nine steps to enjoy a panoramic view of the lake. Following a short break, we jump back into the water and swim across to the far side where we eat lunch on the beach.
Before our afternoon swim we climb a nearby hill to a viewpoint offering amazing views of the lake and the Julian Alps. Our final swim of the day crosses the full length of the lake (a famous rowing course), finishing at the lakeside Lido where it is time to relax, take a shower and participate in an optional stroke analysis session with your swimming guides. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure for you to enjoy the lake views, visit the historic castle, or enjoy Bled’s famous ‘kremsnita’ cake in one its many cafes.
Today we cross the border into neighboring Italy, where we swim the full length of the stunning mirror-like Lago del Predil. We take a quick break on the shore before the short drive back into Slovenia for lunch at the popular rafting town of Bovec. We then venture into the remote center of the Triglav national park and hike through the forest to reach the picturesque Kozjak waterfalls alongside the emerald Soca river.
Later, we head to the pristine turquoise waters of the mighty River Soca for a longer swim – an enjoyable contrast to both the thunder of the waterfall and our serene lake swims. Our adventures on this day culminate in an unforgettable journey on the car train, taking you through the Julian Alps back to Bohinj.
We start the day by walking around Lake Bohinj and enjoying the panoramic views of the Bohinj valley, across the lake to Mount Triglav and the Julian Alps. (Mount Triglav is a well-known Slovenian symbol, appears on the Slovenian flag and its 50 cent coin and is Slovenia’s highest peak at 2864m).
We then get ready for our final challenge: swimming the full length of Lake Bohinj (4km). Motorised boat traffic is not permitted on the lake so our only companions are the trout and other fish, which can clearly be seen in the pure water of the lake. A shorter swim (1.5-2km) option is available.
Please note that our swims are carried out in the natural environment and we rely on the current weather conditions. As a consequence, sometimes on-trip changes in the planned itinerary are required.
Google Map of the Area with Swimming and Hiking Routes
|Lake Bled Island||2 km (1.2 miles)|
|Lake Bled Crossing||2.3 km (1.4 miles)|
|Lago del Predil||2.0 km (1.2 miles)|
|Kozjak Waterfall||0.1 km (0.1 miles)|
|River Soca||2.2 km (1.2 miles)|
|Lake Bohinj||4.0 km (2.5 miles)|
|Month||Water Temp. (˚C/F)||Air Temp. (˚C/F)|
|July – Lake Bled||23 / 73||27 / 08|
|July – Lake Bohinj||21 / 68||27 / 80|
|August – Lake Bled||24 / 75||30 / 86|
|August – Lake Bohinj||22 / 70||30 / 86|
Note: Soca river and Lago del Predil are usually around 3 to 4˚C cooler than the other lakes. We have limited wetsuits available. Should you require one that is the right size, please bring it with you.
Most walks are on clearly marked tracks and paths, but we advise you to bring a good pair of walking or running shoes (trainers) as there are some uneven rock surfaces.
Up to 15 people or more if arranged differently.
The water temperature varies and we will do our best to inform you prior to your trip about the current temperatures. If you do require a wetsuit, we have some available but bear in mind that sizes may not fit everyone right. Feel free to bring your own if you want to.
In addition to normal items, we recommend the following: at least 2 swimming costumes, at least 2 pairs of swimming goggles (one clear and one tinted recommended), sweater/fleece, towel, hat, small daypack, waterproof sun cream, and jacket, walking shoes and sandals or aqua shoes.
Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. In the event of adverse weather conditions at any of our swimming locations, we may need to adapt our itinerary or amend some of the swims described above. Our team always includes local guides who know the safest and most picturesque places to swim, so rest assured you won’t miss out!
Environmental and safety factors in Lakes
Slovenian lakes are clean, fresh water lakes. As with any open water activity, swimmers should always be aware of the risk of Weil’s Disease (Leptospirosis). The risk of infection in Slovenia is extremely low, but guests should inform their swimming guides immediately if they feel unwell. The incubation period for the disease can be several weeks, so contact your GP immediately if you feel unwell after you have returned home.
To get to Slovenia you can fly straight into Ljubljana airport (LJU) or to several surrounding airports (Zagreb, Venice, Trieste). Some people also arrive to Slovenia by car which is a nice way to see the country. Online search engine: www.skyscanner.net
Ljubljana airport website: www.lju-airport.si/eng/default.asp
Zagreb airport: https://www.zagreb-airport.hr/en
Venice Marco Polo airport website: http://www.veniceairport.it
Trieste (Italy) airport website: www.aeroporto.fvg.it/en/home/index.htm
Klagenfurt (Austria) airport website: www.klagenfurt-airport.com
Flights into Ljubljana
Easyjet from London Stansted, www.easyjet.com
Wizz Air from London Luton, www.wizzair.com
Air France from Paris, www.airfrance.com
Lufthansa from German Munich or Frankfurt, www.lufthansa.com
FinnAir from Helsinki, http://www.finnair.com/
Turkish Airlines from Istanbul, http://www.turkishairlines.com/
Other Flight Options (Croatia, Italy, Austria)
EasyJet to Venice Marco Polo (VCE), www.easyjet.com
Ryanair to Venice Marco Polo (VCE),
Ryanair to Traviso (TSF) or Trieste (TRS) (Italy), www.ryanair.com
Ryanair to Klagenfurt (Austria) (KLU), www.ryanair.com
Alitalia to Trieste (Italy) (TRS), www.alitalia.com
Croatian Airlines to Zagreb (ZAG), www.croatiaairlines.com
You can travel to Slovenia by train from many European cities, such as Venice (Italy), Zagreb (Croatia), Vienna (Austria), Budapest (Hungary). More at: www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/passengers/abroad
From Ljubljana Airport to Lake Bohinj (our hotel base)
Bus: There are regular national buses that run hourly from Ljubljana Airport (Brnik) towards Bohinj Lake, via the town of Kranj. See the schedule at: https://www.lju-airport.si/en/transport/
Buses to Kranj depart from the airport every hour (2 Euro paid on the bus) and it takes around 30 min. At Kranj bus station there is a short wait for the bus for Bohinj (6 Euro) which takes about 1.5 hr. Buses are marked Ljubljana-Bohinj and there is one company operating the route: Arriva. You pay the fare directly to the bus driver. https://arriva.si/en/
Transfer: We can arrange a door-to-door transfer from the Ljubljana airport straight to the hotel in Bohinj (90 EUR for up to 3 pax, 110 EUR for 4-7 pax). It takes about 1 hr from the airport to the hotel. Transfer from Ljubljana city to the hotel in Bohinj (or vice versa) costs 110 EUR for up to 3 pax and 120 EUR for up 4-7 pax. To make a booking please contact us directly. We will send a group email (chat) before the trip starts so that you can arrange to share the transfer with other guests.
From Ljubljana Airport to the city of Ljubljana
Transfer: the easiest way to travel to Ljubljana city is to get on one of the group minibuses (shuttle) which are located outside the terminal.
Bus: there are also regular buses that run from the Airport to Ljubljana city (4 Euro). See the schedule at: https://www.lju-airport.si/en/transport/bus/
From Ljubljana City to Lake Bohinj by Bus
There are regular buses from Ljubljana City main bus station (Ljubljana AP) going to Lake Bohinj (8.00, 9.00, 10.00, 11.00, etc.). The cost is around 10 Euro. To see the full schedule and book, please visit: https://www.arriva.si
Read an article: Travelling from Venice Italy to Slovenia
Shuttle transfer from around airports: Venice or Trieste (Italy), Klagenfurt, Graz, Salzburg (Austria), Zagreb (Croatia).
From Zagreb (Croatia) airport to Lake Bohinj by Bus
You can travel to Slovenia (Lake Bohinj) from Zagreb, Croatia by bus or train.
1) Take a bus from Zagreb airport to Zagreb town. 30 min. 8 Eur.
2) Take a bus from Zagreb to Ljubljana 1h 30min. 16-20 Eur.
3) Take a bus from Ljubljana town to Lake Bohinj (our hotel). 1h 30 mi. 8 Eur.
From Trieste (Ronchi) Airport to Lake Bohinj
If you fly in with Ryanair to Trieste, Italy (TRS) the best way to travel to Bohinj is the following; a) take the airport bus to Gorizia and then a short local taxi to Nova Gorica (Slovenia) town which is only 1-2 km away, b) at the train station Nova gorica get a ticket to Bohinjska Bistrica, Slovenia for cca 8 EUR/person. Visit http://www.slo-zeleznice.si/en. Trains go daily every few hours. The 1hr and 20 min train ride is beautiful as you cross the stunning scenery and tunnels. You arrive straight to Bohinjska Bistrica town which is only 6 km away from Lake Bohinj. From there you can contact the hotel to arrange a taxi or take a local bus to Ribcev Laz (Lake Bohinj).
From Klagenfurt Airport to the city of Ljubljana
If you fly in with Ryanair to Klagenfurt, Austria (KLU) the best way to travel to Ljubljana is the following; a) catch a bus just outside of the terminal to the main train station-Hauptbahnhof for 2 Eur, b) at the train station get a ticket to Ljubljana, Slovenia for 18 Eur. Visit http://www.oebb.at. The 2h and 20 min train ride is beautiful as you cross the Julian Alps and stunning scenery. You arrive straight to Ljubljana city centre. Or you can use GoOpti low-cost transfer to Ljubljana and from there travel to Bohinj by local bus.
“A wonderful country with wonderful lakes and rivers. Everyone traveling in Europe should stop and swim at the Slovenian lakes. Borut, Julija and Nika were great local hosts, as well as hotel Jezero in Bohinj. We can’t wait to return! ”
~ Mark and Ben Thomas (UK), July 2022
~ Catherine, (Canada), August 2022
~ Anthony, (The Netherlands), August 2022
“A big thank you to you all for the wonderful swimming and friendship in Slovenia last week. I enjoyed it greatly and loved the sunshine and warm weather. The people of Slovenia are friendly and love to welcome visitors. I am now back in Ireland and the weather is different! Heavy rain today and yet had a swim in the morning.”
~ Patrick, (Ireland), August 2019
“My Slovenian wild swimming adventure was one of the most tranquil and harmonious holidays I’ve ever had.”
~ Maya, (UK), July 2018
“Thank you Borut and team for all your efforts. Thank you Martin for sharing your experiences with us. It helped us today as we swam 4 km without a wetsuit! A massive thank you to everyone else who joined us on this fun swim adventure.”
~ Elaine & Natalie (UK), August 2018
“Just wanted to say thank you so much for a wonderful few days in Slovenia – it’s a beautiful country and lake swimming is spectacular!”
~ Kate (London, UK), August 2018
“Strel trip in Slovenia was amazing! Beyond my expectations. Swims were superb and very well organized! We are coming next year!”
~ Dusan (Prague, Czech Republic), August 2018
“Stunning country, great swims and lovely food. Strel team was very professional and local from Slovenia….We loved it!
~ Irish group, July 2018