Incredible Scenery And Stunningly Clear Water Make This European Lake A Must-Visit

Nestled between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Slovenia is a small mountainous country on the up. In 2023, it recorded its highest-ever tourist visits (16 million) and it has become one of the safest and most tolerant places for a first-time solo trip for a diverse range of travelers. Even so, it is a comparatively lesser-visited European Nation – neighboring Italy attracted almost 61 million visitors in the same year – and abroad it is routinely confused with Slovakia. Internationally, Slovenia is best known for its breathtaking lakes and mountains, and its increasing reputation as one of the best destinations in the entire world to glamp.

Lake Bled, famous for its picturesque island-bound church, tends to grab much of the attention and makes for a romantic lakeside couples vacation, but there are plenty more lakes to discover. In fact, Slovenia has around 1300 lakes to choose from. One somewhat overlooked treasure is Lake Jasna, tucked away near the Austrian border in the far north of the country, around a 40-minute drive from its more famous cousin. While Jasna lacks the size and majesty of Lake Bled, it makes up for it with a serene location, relaxed vibe, and spectacular views of its own.

Why Lake Jasna is a great place to visit

Lake Jasna is two connected artificial lakes located where two rivers join, but don't let that put you off. The lake lies just over a mile from Kranjska Gora, a lovely resort town, and it is a popular hangout for both locals and tourists. Jasna was spruced up for visitors in 2015 with well-maintained beaches, boardwalks, and footpaths circling the water. Its convenient location and amenities make it a great place to spend a day or two soaking in the sparkling clean Alpine water and stunning panoramas.

A stroll around the lake is undemanding, taking only around 45 minutes at a leisurely pace. Along the way, there are ample photo opportunities and curiosities to check out. Highlights include a bronze statue of Zlatorog, the golden-horned chamois of Slovene myth that resided on the nearby peak of Mount Triglav; a beautifully-carved wooden photo frame that manages to make the mountain backdrop even more scenic; and a 20-foot wooden observation tower for splendid views of the lake and the surrounding mountains that is also great for diving into the water on a hot day.

Lake Jasna is a great spot for relaxing and taking a dip in the summer, although be aware that at an altitude of almost 3,000 feet above sea level, the water temperature is a bit chilly. The lake isn't just for the hot weather, either. It is just as stunning frozen over in the winter, with snow on the mountains and skiing available locally.

Things to do at Lake Jasna

There are plenty of things to do at Lake Jasna. Apart from swimming, you can snorkel in its clear waters or rent paddleboards from Jasna Chalet Resort, which is also a pleasant place to sleep if you plan an overnight stay. Fly fishing is also allowed on the lake and it is well-stocked with trout, although you will need to obtain a permit first.

Away from the water, renting an e-bike (also from the resort) is a great alternative to walking around the lake and its surroundings. Massage your feet after a hike or bike ride in the Kneipp Path, a system of shallow foot baths with cold mountain water running over stones. You can also boost your sense of well-being with an early morning yoga session, or simply find a good spot and enjoy reading a novel from the lakeside library. It operates on the goodwill system of leaving one book for whatever book you take.

For eating and drinking, check out the menu at the restaurant beside the chalet resort, which serves a decent selection of grilled meats, pasta, and even octopus. In the winter, you can book a table in an igloo-like Alpine bubble so you can still enjoy al fresco(ish) dining with snow on the ground. For a more rustic spot to enjoy a coffee or ice cream, head to the Kasabrin cafe on the shore between the lake and the neighboring Pišnica River.