The Julian Alps of Slovenia are full of various hiking trails that make their way up and into the mountains. One of the best areas to hike the mountains is up above the Lake Bohinj area.
While there are many hikes to take part around Lake Bohinj, it is hard to beat the trail that takes hikers up to the three peaks of Mount Vogel, Mount Sija and Mount Rodica.
Whether you want to summit just one, or head up to all three, this guide will go over everything you need to know during your time in the mountains.
1) Mount Vogel, Sija & Rodica Hiking Details
While this guide will go over the hike to all three mountains of Vogel, Sija and Rodica, you can decide for yourself if you would like to do the same or shorten it in any way. Below are a few of the main options you can choose from depending on your interest:
Vogel, Sija, & Rodica (11 miles / +3,820 feet elevation gain): this of course will be the longest of options but will also be the most rewarding as you get to experience all three peaks
Sija & Vogel (7 miles / +2,440 feet elevation gain): the most popular peak here is Mount Vogel, and Sija is just a short detour off the main route. If you head to Vogel, why not also head up to Sija.
Sija & Rodica (8.2 miles / +2,640 feet elevation gain): Rodica is the furthest of the mountains, which is why less people frequent it. If you want to get away from the crowds I would recommend heading up Sija and then following the route towards the Rodica summit.
Here are the hiking details for the longest of routes including all three of Vogel, Sija and Rodica:
Starting & Ending Point: Ski Hotel Vogel
Stop #1: Sija
Stop #2: Rodica
Stop #3: Vogel
Stop #4: Planina Zadnji Vogel (on the way down)
Hiking Distance: 11 miles / 17.7 km
Elevation Gain: +3,820 feet / +1,165 meters
Duration: 6-9 Hours (depending on fitness levels)
» All the metrics above will certainly change if you decide to cut a mountain or two out of the hike. End of the day though, it is hard to go wrong when hiking above Lake Bohinj.
2) Lake Bohinj Hiking Map
To better orient yourself with the area above Lake Bohinj, below is a trail map that shows the full round trip hike to the three mountains.
Starting at the Ski Hotel Vogel, the hike continues upwards following some chairlifts for the first couple of miles. The trail then hits the main mountain ridge, where Mount Sija can then be summited.
From Sija, you really can go to either Rodica or Vogel next, but in this case I first headed on the longer route to Rodica (in order to make it more of a loop trail). Once at Rodica, you need to head back on the same trail you came in on, head past Sija, and then up to Mount Vogel.
Once done with the third summit of the day, it is then back down to the Ski Hotel Vogel. Instead of heading down the same path you came up, there is an alternative route that heads past Planina Zadnji Vogel (marked #4 on the map) towards the trailhead.
3) Elevation Gain Profile
Since there are a few summits on this hike, there will be some continuous elevation gains and losses throughout the way. You can see the three mountains highlighted on the route to give you a better idea of what the elevation gain profile will look like throughout.
4) Vogel Cable Car
One very important thing to note about these hiking trails, is that you must first head up the Vogel Cable Car to get to the starting point.
The Ski Hotel Vogel sits in the mountains, high above the lake down below. So, to get to the start of the hike, there is a cable car in the town of Ukanc that takes you there.
Below are some helpful things to know about the Vogel Cable Car:
Location: Ukanc (Valley station – Vogel Cable Car)
Price (round trip): 26 Euro Adult / 23 Euro Youth (15-24) / 13 Euro Child (6-14) / Free (Under 6)
Opening Hours: 8:00AM – 6:00PM (departs every 30 minutes)
Orlove Glave Chairlift: this chairlift is included in the price of a cable car ticket. If operating, you could save around 30 minutes of hiking time by taking the lift up for a portion of trail
Note: check out the Vogel cable car website for the latest schedules/prices. During my time in the area, the first cable car went up earlier than 8AM.
5) Where to Stay Nearby
If you are traveling to the region, the most popular place to base yourself in would be in Bled. Bled is a charming little town located closer to the eastern end of Lake Bled. There are plenty of hotels, guesthouses, and apartments to choose from during a visit to the region. I thought it may be helpful to give three highly recommended options of where to stay.
During high season, these hotels will sell out. So once you know your dates I would advise to book your hotel as soon as possible.
Hotel Lovec is located in the heart of Bled, just a few steps from Lake Bled. It offers magnificent views of the lake and the surrounding Alps. All rooms provide air conditioning, a bathroom and a mini-bar. Some also have a balcony with park or lake views and cable TV.
Located on the shores of Lake Bled, the elegant Grand Hotel Toplice features panoramic views of the lake and the Alps. The hotel has a boutique wellness center with a thermal pool, saunas and various massage and beauty treatments. Guests can relax at the lake-view terrace.
Set in the heart of Bled, Rikli Balance Hotel enjoys an elevated position boasting panoramic views of Lake Bled, its Castle and the Julian Alps. It features a modern spa center with indoor and outdoor pools.
6) Lake Bohinj Hiking
Let’s now dive into the hike itself and what to expect out on the trail. The first part of the day will entail getting yourself to the parking lot (get there early!), buying cable car tickets, and then heading on up the mountain.
Once the cable car reaches the top, you will be welcomed a platform that you can enjoy with some beautiful viewpoints of the surrounding mountains with the lake and valley down below.
The Ski Hotel Vogel is right next to the cable car station and from there you should begin seeing a lot of different hiking signs pointing you in various directions. You will want to follow the trail to Orlove Glave – Sija – Vogel (having a hiking app like Maps.me or AllTrails can be helpful here too).
» Read more: Take part of some Bohinj hiking as part of a longer Slovenia road trip around the country
Ski Hotel Vogel – Sija (1.5 Hours)
The first stop of the day will be the Sija summit. Throughout the trail you will find hiking signs pointing you up in the right direction.
The first part of the hike takes you underneath and alongside a chairlift. The trail is nice and easy to follow as you begin to gain the first portion of elevation for the day.
Once you reach the top of this chairlift section you will see Orlove Glave chairlift. If the chairlift is operating during your ascent, feel free to head on up to save a bit of hiking time.
The trail then continues up towards Sija, as you come across some great views out behind you of the surrounding Triglav National Park. Hiking signs will turn to red markings on rocks, so be on the lookout for those pointing up to Sija.
The trail does get steeper and you will find more technical rocky sections during portions of the trail. You may also find sections where there are multiple routes that end up meeting at the same spot.
Once you pass by the upper station of the Orlove Glave chairlift, the trail will continue upward on a steeper gradient until you reach a main intersection.
Here will be a hiking sign pointing up towards Sija (15 minutes away). This is the intersection where to your right will be the trail to Vogel and to the left the trail to Rodica.
The climb up to Sija is a bit steeper and more technical, but it should not last long. Soon enough the summit will come into view and you will begin to take in the views in all directions.
You will be able to see Mount Triglav out in front of you and the never-ending valleys and mountains in either direction. Take it all in from the top before heading back down to the intersection and continuing on with the hike.
Sija – Rodica (2 Hours)
As you reach the intersection, you will make a right hand turn and begin following the ridge to Rodica. Remember, you don’t need to head to Rodica if you are not up for the entire hike. You can simply head left to Vogel and call it a day there too.
Most of the hike from the Sija intersection to Rodica is on flat / slight incline until you reach closer to the base of the mountain.
It is a stunning walk along the mountain range as you follow the path etched in the ridge-line. You should be able to see the continuous trail out in the distance as it is a pretty easy trail to follow throughout.
Once you begin to close in on the summit, you will see there are two pathways (one to the right and one to the left). You can go either way here as they both meet up top. I decided to take the right hand trail up and then went down the opposite way.
The top of Rodica offers some unbelievable views to enjoy in all directions. Triglav out in the distance, the ridge line, and the constant mountain & valley views just never get old.
Rodica – Vogel (3 Hours)
The longest portion of trail now begins as you head down from the summit of Rodica and make your way across to Vogel.
The trail from Rodica to the Sija intersection should be a pretty easy one to hike through. It is essentially all downhill and nothing is too steep here. Soon enough you will once again reach the Sija intersection signboard.
From the intersection it says 1 hour and 40 minutes until the summit of Mount Vogel. Follow the pathway along the ridge as you lose some elevation. At the bottom of the downhill climb will be an intersection that you will be visiting on the way back in order to take a different/easier route to the trailhead (via Planina Zadnji Vogel).
After losing some elevation, you will be welcomed to a steeper climb up to the summit. Here you will find some metal pegs that have been inserted into the mountainside to help guide and lift you up the rock face.
Once on top of this section, it is another 45 minutes or so of ascending to Vogel. The trail continues to be on the more technical side with plenty of rocks and steeper terrain throughout. As you make your way through, there will be a metal rope and pegs guiding you up closer to the Mount Vogel summit.
Continue to follow the red hiking signs pointing towards Vogel (there are a lot of various trails here) and you will soon make that final approach to the top of Mount Vogel.
Take some time to enjoy yet another summit on the day as you take in some more beautiful views of Slovenia.
Vogel to Ski Hotel Vogel (2 hours)
It is now time to make your way all the way back to the starting point of the hike. Be very careful on the way down from the summit of Vogel. This is the most technical terrain of the hike so do utilize the metal wires that are put in place.
After heading down from the technical portion of trail, you will reach the intersection I referenced before. Be aware of this one as you will not want to head back the same way you came.
Instead, head to the left towards “Ski Hotel” / “Planina Zadnji Vogel”. There will be a few different routes that will eventually take you back to the trailhead but just be sure to follow the signs accordingly.
The trail down is nice and easy to follow as you head across the green valley. You will pass by the Planina Zadnji Vogel hut and maybe some herds of cows along the way.
Continue from there to the trailhead, where you will come across one short incline section before approaching the Ski Hotel. Once there you can sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
After a long day of hiking in the mountains above Lake Bohinj, feel free to go take a dip in the lake itself. Cool down those sore muscles and enjoy some time in the water.
That about does it for a guide to Lake Bohinj hiking. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in below.
Also, don’t forget to check out the other Slovenia itineraries and guides up on the site like the Triglav Seven Valley Lakes hike or the nearby Slap Savica waterfall. Have fun out there and safe travels!