Skiing at Vogel: a Newbies Guide

This year I’ve visited a new country – Slovenia. I’d heard that there was some skiing there but I’d never imagined that one day I would get there. And this time has come. I’ve never done any research about skiing resorts because in the past it was my parents who did it for me. It turned out that it’s not so easy to see which way the wind is blowing in Vogel, so I decided to make a little guide for you here.

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1. General overview

First of all, I attach a map for you. You can see that all the small villages in the Bohinj Area are connected by roads and there are also buses running all over. So if you have no car, don’t worry, you’ll be able to move around.

Area-map.jpg

The Bohinj Area is generally considered to be a warm season tourist destination because its nature is amazing and there are hundreds of hiking trails for the summer period. However, this article will explain what to do in Bohinj during the winter time.

The center of the Bohinj Area is Bohinska Bistrica. Here you can find several big food stores (Mercator and Spar), a couple of restaurants (Strud’l, Tripic restaurant and pizzeria, Picerija Zoisov Grad), and several stores to buy equipment if you’ve forgotten something. The only pharmacy store and health clinic in the area are also located here.

Generally, shops in this area work until 6 p.m. on weekdays, until 12 p.m. on Saturdays and do not work on Sundays. So in case you need to buy anything, keep this fact in mind.

2. Ski passes and where to buy them

Ski passes can be bought right at the Vogel Ski Area or you can also get them at any tourist information points in Bohinjska Bistrica, Ribčev Laz, and Stara Fužina. If you are travelling with a family, make sure to get a discounted family ticket, and don’t forget your student ID for the same reason.

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3. How to get to the ski area

If you come to Bohinj by car, then you can easily drive to the Vogel Ski Center and leave your car there. The parking lot is huge so you’ll have no troubles finding a free spot. The parking is free of charge during the winter season.

If you prefer to take a ski bus, then here is its timetable.

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But be aware that the ski bus is not free. Usually, you can get a free ski bus card at your accommodation, whether it is a hotel or apartments, but don’t forget to ask your owner about it. Otherwise, the total price of the ride is around €5.

The bus stops in almost every village in the area; you can see the map below.

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The ski bus will bring you to the bottom point of the Vogel Ski Center from where the cable car will take you to the skiing area. It leaves every half an hour and accommodates 84 people.

4. Ski rentals and school

Ski rental services are available in several villages of the area, but their timetable is not clear because it depends on the owner’s mood. But there is one major ski rental service that is located right at the Vogel cable car upper station. There you can find not only skis and snowboards, but also poles, helmets, and any clothes for skiing. At the same point you can also hire a ski instructor for yourself or your kid. There is a children’s skiing zone where you can leave your child with an instructor and enjoy some skiing yourself.

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5. Where to ski in Vogel

The general map of the ski lifts and trails is as follows.

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Due to the low precipitation level this year, the lowest trail was closed, and, according to the locals, it is frequently in the same state. So the only way to get back to the parking lot is to take the cable car.

In general, the Vogel Ski Area is big enough for these mountains. There are 9 beginner trails (marked in light blue on the map), 6 intermediate trails (marked

in red on the map), and several options for free ride skiing. I would recommend skiing on trails 7 (Kratki Plaz), 10 (Zadni Vogel), and 2 (Storeč) as they are generally less busy and also not too steep for beginners.

For freeriders there are many options provided the weather is fine. You can take a long walk to Šija or Vogel and enjoy unbridled freedom there; but make sure to take some food and water as it will take you the whole day. If you are looking for something more “local”, you can take lift 11 (Zandji Vogel) and then just go off the trail. Beware not to go too far to the right because it’s steep there steep and it could get complicated if you go off it.

Besides mountain skiing, there is also one cross country ski trail here and a ski park.

Cross-country-ski-park.jpg

NOTE: Before you get dressed to ski in the Vogel Ski Area, make sure to check web cams here, otherwise you risk buying a ski pass and travelling there for nothing. The area is frequently covered with fog during the winter time due to the low heights.

6. What to do in Bohinj

If you wake up in the morning and find out that the visibility is close to zero in the mountains, then you need to occupy yourself with something. One of the classic ways to do so is take a long walk around Lake Bohinj. While locals say that it takes around 3-4 hours to walk around, in fact it will take you 5-6 hours due to the snow and picturesque views on your way. There’s also an interesting fact about the Bohinj Lake. While walking around you will see a number of benches with some plates on them. Locals say that you can adopt a bench here. This means that you pay some money to put your plate on the bench; every plate features a saying selected by the “foster parent”.

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Another famous spot here is the Savica Waterfall. It is located a little farther behind the Vogel Ski area so it is a great option if you come to the cable car and found out that it is closed. This waterfall intrigues with its beauty in all seasons. You can even swim in the lake below it. The path leading to the waterfall is equipped with handrails that were meant for WWI guerillas hiding in the mountains.

Savica.jpg

There is also the Govic Waterfall and cave, but it is not always a waterfall. According to the legend there is a dragon named Govic living in the mountains. And when the water level gets higher the water tickles the dragon’s belly making him furious. So Govic starts to flick his tail, producing a booming and powerful waterfall that flows out above the Na Jami peninsula. Once the water level drops, the dragon calms down and the water stops falling. Locals say that the best spot to see the waterfall is from the opposite shore (Naklova glava to Ukanc). But no one here guarantees that you will see it as sometimes the waterfall may be calm for several years.

GPS coordinates to find the Govic Waterall: 46.287558 West, 13.840628 North

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The next possibility is to visit the Bohinj Aquapark in Bohinjska Bistrica. The prices can be found below. But when you check into your apartments or hotel, ask your owner for discounts (our owner gave us a 30% discount). For detailed info, visit this website.

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If you do not want to spend your day procrastinating, you can still ski, but cross country. There is a huge cross country school and center in Pokljuka. Here you can rent skis as well as learn skiing from the best. The Pokljuka Sports Center is the training facility for Slovenian biathletes, whose training you can observe here. For detailed info, visit this website.

Pokljuka.jpg

And the easiest way to spend some of your time is to go on a tour around the mountain villages to see their color and spirit. And don’t forget to try local food at Strud’l restaurant in Bohinjska Bistrica (Triglavska cesta 23) at the end of the day.

Strud'l-1.jpg Strud'l-2.jpg

I hope that this small tour-guide will help you get around Bohinj and spend amazing vacations here!

Kate P.

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