Even if you don’t know a lot about Slovenia and never visited this wonderful green country, you must have seen pictures of its main tourist attraction: Lake Bled. It is located in the Northwest part of the country, right at the foot of the Julian Alps and is of glacial origin. It is the ideal one-day stop on the way to the capital Ljubljana or on the way to a neighboring country.
How to spend a day at Lake Bled
Walk around the lake
Bled is famous, but among the reasons why it became known is not its size. So, the only 6 kilometers that surround it can be walked in about 2-3 hours, considering that you will want to stop to admire it from several angles or to have a cup of coffee at one of the terraces next to the lake. You can also choose the bike to shorten the time. Although there are no special tracks arranged for those who want to pedal, there are a few companies that rent, the most popular being pr1motours.
Visit Bled Castle
One of Bled’s most dramatic views is the castle set on top of a steep cliff, with the Julian Alps in the background. It’s the small Bled Castle, old of over 1000 years. You can visit it together with the museum for the price of 11 Euro or you can enjoy the views while serving a local delicacy, the famous vanilla cream cake, at the restaurant situated on the edge of the cliff. More information can be found here.
Walk to the point of observation
There are several points from where you can get the perfect panoramic view of the lake, but the most famous of them is Ojstrica, located about 600 meters above the lake. It’s a pretty easy hike, but it can become dangerous when it’s raining and the road gets slippery. So make sure you’re properly equipped, especially in bad weather. Although I did not go up until there, I am convinced that the effort of those who will, will be fully rewarded with an amazing view.
Visit the island in the middle of the lake
By far the most captivating element in the Bled picture is the island that sits on the middle of the lake, the only one in Slovenia, which houses a 17th-century church dedicated to Virgin Mary. You can reach it by a traditional boat called Pletna, dating from the 16th century or by a rented boat. A boat trip with the Pletna to the island and back costs about 14 euros. The legend says that whoever manages to ring the church bell 3 times and will make a wish, his wish will be fulfilled. To reach the church, once descended from the boat, you will need to climb 99 steps. For those couples who want to unite their destinies here, the bridegroom has a hard mission. He will have to carry his chosen one on all the 99 steps to the church, which is like an unwritten rule for a happy and long marriage. I have a vague belief that not many weddings happen here …
Even the church bell has a legend at least interesting. It is said that it has been given as a gift from the Pope, after the original bell offered to the church by a widow as an offering for her husband’s death, sank and lies on the bottom of the lake.
How to get to Bled
By car. The option that gives you the most freedom is, of course, to get here with your personal or rented car. Even if you choose not to stay overnight, you can park the car right by the lake for 5 Euro a day. You have to keep in mind the road taxes for Slovenia, in order to avoid all sorts of expensive … situations.
By train or bus. There are two train stations near Lake Bled, Jezero, and Lesce. Regardless of which of which one you will choose, you must know that you have to walk at least 3 km to the city. Instead, if you choose to come by bus, it stops just a few hundred meters from the lake, and the rides are very often from Ljubljana.
Lake Bled is a destination that deserves its full reputation. The snowy mountain peaks, the lake, the church, the island, the green forest, the history, the fresh air and the rural charm will make you love this piece of Slovenia.