A small glacial lake with much to offer.
Bled Lake Island
Bled Best View
Perched on a 130-meter high cliff Bled Castle offers you a great view of the lake. The tower is the oldest part of it, but the structure according to written source makes it the oldest castle in all of Slovenia – it was built in the 1000s, nowadays Blejski Grad remains one of the most visited tourist attractions in Slovenia.
To be able to have an excellent view of the surrounding lake, mountains and rolling green countryside the best option is to pay the 10€ entry fee and go on one of the terraces surrounding the castle. The museum inside of the castle will give you much information about the peoples that used to live in the area,
There is an outdoor restaurant, a wine cellar (the friendly men that work there is hilarious) and also a small gift shop next to the museum within the castle. If you want to take full advantage of the Disney castle lookalike you might want to know that it is possible to organize your wedding in the castle’s chapel at Blejski Grad.
During the winter the small hill facing Lake Bled gives you the opportunity to ski on its slopes. But the staff stay busy almost all year long as some activities were added.
Besides a great view over the castle and lake, you can find a fitness trail and an adventure ropes park among the tree while contemplating the surrounding mountains.
If you would like to spice up your visit of Bled, the summer toboggan is the thing you need to try! Reaching up to 40km/h you will go down the ski slopes on a monorail sledge (day and night). Not much queue, but you do need to time it right as the chair lift only brings up one sledge at a time. We won’t recommend buying the 1 run tickets. Go for 2 or 3 as you will for sure go more than once.
Oh, and yes, they have baby goats.
To reach the beautiful little island you can either rent your small own rowboats which will cost you between 10 and 20€ an hour (depending on where you rent it). Or in the case of extreme heat, you can book a ticket (14€ return) to cross the lake on a Pletna Boat, they hold a dozen people but have a roof. When you jump on one of this traditional boat you can just relax and enjoy the scenery while somebody will row for you.
The island’s church on Lake Bled island is one of the most iconic images from Slovenia. The small church surrounded by pristine water dates back from the 17th century but the site was used before as traces of Prehistoric (11th to 8th centuries B.C.) and Slavic (9th to 10th century) settlements were found on the island.
When inside the church the overview shouldn’t take you really long. But make sure to ring the bell by swinging the long rope in the middle of the Choeur to make your wish come true.
Approximately 4 km north-west of Bled is the Vintgar Gorge. The 1.6 km long (one way) walk is something you don’t want to miss. It was discovered by accident in 1891 and as tourists already started to come back then, the first path through the gorge was constructed (1893).
The Radovna River carved over the years the Hom and Bort hills. Pristine pools and white rapids are a perfect opportunity to take some great shots for photography aficionados. The shadow created by the vertical rocks surrounding yourself will even make long exposure shot easier.
At the end of the small trail, you will see the Vintgar dam located right under the arch bridge. It is the sign for you to head back (if you started in the direction as we did) or just walk a little further after the bridge to walk down to the base of the 13m high Šum waterfall.
If you don’t mind walking from Bled it is also possible to do so and will add approximately a 20km return.
When it comes to hotel choices in Bled, there is an option for all budget. From the camping next to the lake to old school luxury. We chose the latest to treat ourselves for the end of our road trip. Triglav Hotel was first opened in 1906 but reopened in 2009 after renovation. Located in a quiet area of Bled, Triglav Hotel and its balcony overlooks the lake and offers a great view of it, it is a great way to avoid the mass tourism and buses located in the city center.
Inside, a private collection of paints and antique pieces of furniture increases the retro-look. But one of the best sights can be found in the hotel’s restaurant. This is where the breakfast is served and I cannot imagine a better way to start the day.
The hotel is only 60 km away from the airport, so renting a car wouldn’t be a bad idea. There is a large enough parking but we never had any issues to find a place as we’re on two wheels. That way you will have more freedom to visit the beautiful surrounding landscapes.
The hotel is well known for its restaurant (the food was fantastic) and is unfortunately often fully booked several days in advance.
One little thing but which could be important for some, they do allow pets to stay with you. As long as you let them know so they could arrange it. This way you can save on expensive dog pension for example and upgrade your room.
The train station nearby is an interesting place to visit if you want to get a drink at the bar with locals or hop on the steam train along the Bohinj railway. We would really love to go back for Christmas and see it all dressed in white.
And remember one thing : Slovenia was declared world’s first green country.
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