Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, Bohinj Valley, Slovenia.

Savica Waterfall is a Great Photography Location

In the north of Slovenia lies the mighty Lake Bohinj, a stunning glacial lake rimmed by the equally breathtaking Julian Alps. It’s the largest natural lake in Slovenia and is situated in a peaceful dead-end valley in the Triglav National Park. Many photographers are captivated by its beauty, myself included. But like most great lakes and rivers, its source often pales in comparison, but is just as amazing and beautiful in its own right. The source of this mighty lake, and ultimately one of the sources of the Sava River (the longest in Slovenia) is Savica Waterfall. This magnificent waterfall lies at the far western end of the valley.

Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, Bohinj Valley, Slovenia.
Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, Bohinj Valley, Slovenia.

Getting there

As you drive around the lake, you just need to follow the signs for Slap Savica and you’ll arrive at a car park, or you can take a bus to the car park and starting point for the hike up in summer. There is a fee for parking, and also an entrance fee to the waterfall.

To get to the falls involves a 20-25 minute hike up a set of stone steps. It’s relatively steep but not too difficult if you take your time. At the top there is a small wooden shelter with seating. You can view the falls from there, or walk down to a metal gate and see it from there. The more daring can climb around the gate and go down to the bottom of the falls, but be aware that this is quite dangerous. You cannot get over the gate, but have to climb around it, where the edge is very narrow and you can easily slip and fall down quite far. So do so at your own risk.

Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, Bohinj Valley, Slovenia.
Water pours out of tunnels inside the mountain.

An A-shaped waterfall

The first thing you may notice is how the waterfall doesn’t roll off the top of the mountain, but it actually comes out of the mountainside. Savica Waterfall is fed from water from the Valley of the Seven Triglav Lakes which sit high up in the alpine glacial valley above. Water from this valley sinks into the porous limestone mountaintops and runs through various underground tunnels deep inside the mountains. Two of those tunnels burst out here to form Savica Waterfall.

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Savica Waterfall comprises of two falls, the main and highest fall bursts out at an altitude of 836m and drops 78 metres. The lower fall drops 25 metres and curves its way down beside the larger fall. The water then runs off down into the valley in the form of the small Savica River which eventually expands to form Lake Bohinj, 4350m long, 1000m wide and 45m deep.

Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, Bohinj Valley, Slovenia.
The two falls together form an A-shape.

Photographing over the gate

As mentioned before there is a tall metal gate at the falls, which is always locked. Getting around it is quite precarious and you will be taking a big risk if you do. But don’t despair, a little bit of creative thought and manipulation of your tripod will allow you to get great shots of the falls, just like I showed my workshop participant here.

Savica waterfall, Triglav National Park, Bohinj Valley, Slovenia.
How to creatively setup your tripod to shoot over the tall metal gate, and also be out the way of the crowds as they gather at the gate taking photos over or through it.

When to photograph

As with all waterfalls and rapids, it’s best to photograph on a cloudy or overcast or when the area is in the shade. In direct light the white parts of the water will be too bright and the dynamic range of the scene will be too big.

For more examples of this check out video photographing Vintgar Gorge:

More info here: https://www.bohinj.si/en/attractions/savica-waterfall/

Location:

Watch the video to see the hike up

For a more comprehensive look at photography, check out my book here


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