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Swim Europe's breathtaking lakes

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Swimming trips

Lake swimming Austria, Italy, Slovenia

Lakes, Europe
5 Days
€ 668 combadi price

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Holiday Type
Fixed date/Solo friendly
Running Period
2014 Start dates: 22 Jul, 1 Aug

The Combadi Insight:

A lake swimming adventure in three of the most scenic countries in Europe. From glacial lakes to crystal clear rivers, get your swimming cap on & enjoy this swimming travel experience.

Holiday Code: I3

5 favourites

Slovenia, Austria and Italy are all easily accessible countries in the centre of Europe. At the junction of the Alps, the Mediterranean and the Pannonian Plain, they will surprise you with their greenery, diversity and lush, natural beauty. Slovenia and Austria are known as a lands of pure water, and their numerous glacial lakes and crystal clear rivers make them the perfect location for our Alpine lake swimming adventure.

We are based in the small secluded town of Bohinj, overlooking the vast waters of its famous lake, which dominate 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, Austria and Italy heartland has to offer.

Our trip takes us through Slovenia´s Triglav National Park, Austria and Italy, swimming in the stunning glacial lakes and exploring the lush forest and magnificent waterfall. 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 all levels of swimmers, including non-swimmers and complete beginners. 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.

The safety and enjoyment of all our guests is 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 most lakes and river.

Tour Highlights

  • swim to the 17th century church on Lake Bled
  • 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
  • swim in the warm turquoise-blue water of Faaker Lake
  • take in the stunning views of Austrian fjord lake Millstatt
  • on some tours, meet and swim with legendary marathon swimmer Big River Man

Lake Bled hosted World Rowing Championships in 2011 which also served as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 summer Olympics in London. While the rowers row the famous course, we swim across!

Travel advice

Now you can travel to Slovenia with a low cost ground transportation service (van / coach / shuttle) from nearby airports: VENICE, TRIESTE (ITALY), SALZBURG, VIENNA (AUSTRIA), ETC.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1

Meet up for tour briefing and dinner at 7.00 pm

Day 2

Swim Lake Bled in the morning and afternoon, short hike after lunch

Day 3

Swim Lago del Predil (Italy), dip in the waterfall Kozjak, swim River Soca, return journey on a car train

Day 4

Swim in the warm water and enjoy the views of the Austrian glacial lakes Millstatt and Faaker See.

Day 5

Walk around and then swim across Lake Bohinj, finish at 1.00 pm

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Meet at 7.00 pm at the hotel for a full trip briefing, followed by a welcome dinner.

Day 2

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.

Day 3

Today we cross the border into neighbouring Italy, where we swim the full length of the stunning mirror-like Lago del Prebil. 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 centre of the Triglav national park and hike through the forest to reach the picturesque Kozjak waterfalls, where we take a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of the falls.

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.

Day 4

Today is an Austrian day. A different country, language, culture and great Alpine waters await for us. First we cross the border to Carinthia through the Karawanken mountain range tunnel and drive to the fjord lake Millstatt surrounded by high peaks. Our morning swim takes us across to the northern side of the lake to the monastery of Millstatt town and back. After lunch on the shore, we take a short walk uphill to enjoy the views of this stunning fjord lake. Later, we head to the pristine turquoise waters of the Faaker See lake for a warm afternoon swim. Our second swim is across to the forested island and back to the beach across the lake’s clear (drinking) water surrounded by green nature and tranquillity. Our Austrian adventure culminates with a dinner in one of the local restaurants on the lake.

Day 5

Depending on the weather, we either start our day by walking around the Lake Bohinj or taking the Vogel cable car up to the Mount Vogel ski area to enjoy 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.

Complete guided tour led by a local guide, min-bus (van) transport, full safety escort on every swim, baggage handling, coaching & technique session, accommodation for the duration of the tour (breakfast included), and equipment usage. Each guest receives a swim hat, t-shirt and water bottle. Wetsuits, fins, rash vests and other swimming gear will be provided on each tour.

Additional cost?

Travel to and from the start of the tour, lunches and evening meals, Vogel cable car return way (13 Eur, optional).

About Area

Hotel Jezero Bohinj

Hotel Jezero is the pearl of Bohinj located on the banks of its picturesque lake. Shadowed by the Julian Alps this hotel is the perfect base for your weekend of walking and swimming as you can relax back on the hotel deck overlooking the lake or continue your activity in the hotel pool or gym.

Lake Bled

The lake is situated in a picturesque environment, surrounded by mountains and forests. A medieval castle stands above the lake on the north shore. The lake surrounds Bled Island, the only natural island in Slovenia. The island has several buildings, the main one being the Pilgrimage Church built in the 17th century, where weddings are held regularly. The church has a 52-metre tower and there is a stairway with 99 steps leading up to the building. The lake is also well known among rowers because it hosts the biggest rowing championship events.

Lake Bohinj

Slovenia´s largest lake, which lies inside Triglav National Park. Lake Bohinj, which glacial dammed by a moraine, is 4.2 km long and 1 km at its maximum width. It is one of the regions hidden gems and an ideal base for our tour. The mountain peaks around dominate the surroundings. Just being there and breathing and feeling the fresh air is astonishing.

Julian Alps

The Julian Alps, named in honour of Caesar, form Slovenia’s dramatic northwest frontier with Italy. They are located in Triglav National Park named after Slovenia’s highest peak at 2864m. The Sava and Soca rivers which we cross during our tour are the regions two largest. They rise in the Julian Alps and then flow down to the Black Sea and Adriatic respectively.

Faaker See Lake

Faaker See Lake is located south of Villach near the Slovenian border and it is known as Austria’s southernmost glacial lake in Carinthia which captivates with its turquoise-blue water! At the backdrop of the jagged rocks of Mittagskogel and Karawanken mountain range, this shining lake attracts rowers, swimmers and triathletes. One of the main attractions of this lake is a an idyllic forested island in the middle which splits the lakes in two parts. Lake is also known as the warmest lake in the southern Austria and the water temperatures in the summer reach up to 26 C (78F).

Lake Millstatt

Lake Millstatt is situated in the Central Eastern Alps in the Austrian state of Carinthia, near the town of Spittal. Its steep shore in the narrow and long basin gives the lake a fjord-like character and stunning views. The mountains in the north are up to 2,100 metres high and protect it from cold winds, so the water temperature at the surface reaches 25 °C (77 °F) in the summer. Sport fishing and angling is quite common not only for trout but also for several genera of carps, for wels catfish, northern pike, zander, perch and the european eel. Except few local boats for tourists, only hand powered private boats are allowed on the lake. Water is drinking quality.

Lago del Predil

Located just few kilometeres from the Slovenian North-West border this idyllic and remote lake is on a high altitude of 960m. Fed by an Italian small glacial river the lake is surrounded by stunning trees and cliffs. The water quality is exceptional and the views breath-taking.

Accommodation

Hotel Jezero, Lake Bohinj, Slovenia | www.bohinj.si/alpinum/jezero Start: 7.30pm on the 1st day Finish: 2pm on the 4th day

Hotel Jezero (4*) is the pearl of Bohinj, located on the banks of its picturesque lake. Shadowed by the Julian Alps this hotel is a great base for outdoor activities such as swimming, hiking, cycling, kayaking and paragliding. The hotel has its own indoor pool, sauna and gym. Accommodation is based on twin-share with en-suite facilities. There are single rooms available at an additional cost of 40 Euro and double rooms for solo use at additional cost of 65 Euro. Hotel Jezero Reviews on Trip Advisor Site

Extended stay

If you require additional nights’ accommodation before or after the tour, all Strel Swimming guests receive a discounted rate. Please book directly with the hotel, quoting Strel Swimming. Hotel contact info: hotel.jezero@cc-line.si, Tel: +386 (0)4 572 91 00

Extended stay in Bled

If you arrive on our tour earlier or would like to stay in Bled after our tour, we have arranged discounted prices for your stay in Hotel Vila Bojana in the centre of Bled. Only 200 metres away from the Lake Bled shore, this small family owned hotel offers you a pleasant stay for a reasonable price. They have 11 double rooms. Discounted Price Range: 79-89 Eur for a double room for 2 persons. Breakfast included. Please quote Strel Swimming.

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 beatiful 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 Adventures 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: info@m-hotel.si, anja.novak@m-hotel.si 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: info@hotelpark.si, booking@hotelpark.si 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: info@cityhotel.si 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.

Discounted Price Range: 50-65 Eur for single room and 70-90 Eur for double room. Breakfast included.

General Trip Info

Passports and Visa information

Slovenia is an EU country. Citizens of the EU can enter the country with identity card or passport. Citizens of USA, Canada should not require a visa, however, please always check on visa requirements before travelling.

Vaccinations

There are no essential vaccination requirements for Slovenia, but you should ensure that your tetanus and polio vaccinations are up to date.

Meals

All breakfasts are included but lunches and evening meals are at your own expense. This allows you to sample a variety of typical Slovenian and Austrian cuisine at different restaurants and we can suggest what is good in the local area as we know where you will be treated well! There is also the option at lunch for you to arrange a picnic and relax on the lake or river banks.

Currency

Slovenia is Euro (€) zone. ATMs are widely available.

Group Size

Up to a maximum of 13 people, with a lead Slovenian guide and 3 boat/canoe escorts.

Swimming Info

Swimming Distances Lake Bled Zaka beach - Bled Island: 1km Bled Island-Hill Osojnica: 1km Crossing lake Bled to Lido: 2km Lago del Predil Length of lake: 2km Soca River Prapetno-Most Na Soci: 2km Lake Millstatt Grosseg-Monastery of Millstatt and return: 2km Faakr See Lake Around the Island: 1.7km. Bohinj Lake Crossing lake Bohinj: 4km

If at any time you would like to skip one of the swims, then you can always follow the group along the waters edge. This is your tour, you can choose!

Temperatures

Month Water Temp. (˚C) Air Temp. (˚C) June 18 22 July 21-24 25 August 22-25 28 September 19 21 Note: Austrian lakes are the warmest and reach up to 26C in the summer. Soca river is always around 3 to 5˚C cooler then the Slovenian lakes.

Walking Conditions

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.

Wetsuit Availability

The water temperature varies quite a bit and we will do our best to inform you prior your trip about the current temperatures. If you do require a wetsuit, we have them available for everybody. We also have extra swim hats in case you want to wear two.

Essential Equipment

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.

Weather Caveat

Your safety is of 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.

Rob and I wanted to say a huge thank you for an incredible swimming holiday in Slovenia this August. The experience of swimming in warm, crystal clear water, surrounded by amazing scenery, is one I will never forget. Slovenia is a beautiful country. My confidence swimming in open water improved so much throughout the holiday, and swimming the entire length of Lake Bohinj was one of the best things I have ever done. The holiday was organised down to the smallest detail, and we were so well looked after in and out of the water! Thank you again, for the wonderful swims and great company. We hope to join you on another swimming adventure soon! Hannah and Rob, UK

The trip was very enjoyable and we look forward to seeing you on future trips! Group of seven Australians

Greatly enjoyed the trip, helped to improve my swimming and build confidence in doing things outside my box. Worth making it a 4 day rather than 3 day trip. Slovenia is beautiful. Everyone was so friendly. Magical holiday-Thank you very much. Also alot of laughing, joking and positivity. Lindsey, Bath, UK

Amazing people, amazing locations and organised to perfection. The service was so personal and Borut and his team couldn´t do enough to help. It was a packed and tiring three days, but with lovely relaxed evenings and it was customised so that all abilities of swimmer and non-swimmer alike were catered for and able to enjoy their holiday. Fiona, East Sussex, UK

As a demanding client, my expectations were high and luckily well met. Great experience! Elias, Lebanon

I´ve swum in many rivers and lakes, but the Slovenian lakes and rivers are some of the most beautiful in the world. I´ll recommend this trip to friends. Carl, UK

The Slovenian water is crystal clear and surprisingly warm - I highly recommend it to anyone who likes outdoor adventure swimming. Ben, Devon, UK

We really had the very best holiday. Everything about it was amazing, so a million thanks. We are even planning on coming to Slovenia in August for a family holiday! Emma and Isabel, Calne, UK

I just wanted to say thanks so much for such a fantastic adventure in Slovenia - I really enjoyed myself. I loved the variety of the swims we did and thought that the whole trip was really well thought out. Clare, London

I absolutely love your country. Your trip made it even more special, well done on organising an excellent swimming adventure! Giovanna, Kent, UK

Over three days in Slovenia, I swam further than I had ever done before, repeated that distance several times, and then doubled it. Had I been in a chlorine-ridden indoor pool, I´m not sure I would have found the energy. Guardian, Jonathan Knott, travel writer

The Soca is one of the many pristine rivers in Slovenia, an Arcadian land of lakes, mountains and forests that feels like an unspoilt and less uptight Switzerland. Financial Times, Tom de Castella, travel writer

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