The lovely Lake Bled is located in the beautiful Julian Alps of the Upper Carniolan region of north-western Slovenia, where it adjoins the town of Bled. It is a small town, northwest of Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. The entire area is a very popular tourist destination due to its amazing history and scenery.
Breathtaking and incredibly photogenic, this bluish-green lake is 35 km (22 mi) from Ljubljana International Airport and 55 km (34 mi) from the capital city, Ljubljana. Here is a list of things that just adds on the charm for this lake and should not be missed:
Visit the Bled Castle
This medieval castle can be seen clinging to a rocky cliff overlooking Lake Bled and is known to be the oldest castle in Slovenia. Perched on a cliff, this towering castle combines history and beauty. Dating back in the early 11th century, it was built on two levels, although most of what stands here now are from the 16th century. Therefore, you’ll see two contrasting structures- the walls of the castle are Romanesque whereas the buildings are Renaissance, representing two different periods of time.
Prepare yourself for some spectacular views from the castle’s vantage point. You’ll not only see the iconic Bled Island sitting amid the emerald green waters but also the mountain ranges of the Karavanke and the Julian Alps. This beautiful structure also houses a museum collection that traces the lake’s history from earliest times to the development of Bled as a resort in the 19th century.
Walk to the Vintgar Gorge
Vintgar Gorge is an excellent place for a day trip as it is only some 4km to the northwest of Bled village. Take an easy walk through the pretty farmland and you’ll be able to travel down a pathway built into the side of towering rock formations to the gorge and its steamy waters.
The highlight of this 1.6 km long gorge, which also shares its name with other, similar gorges around Slovenia (vintgar is the Slovenian word for gorge) is a 1600m wooden walkway through it. This walkway was built in 1893 and continually rebuilt since. It crisscrosses the swirling Radovna River four times over rapids, waterfalls and pools before reaching 16m-high Šum Waterfall. The entire walk is spectacular, and you wouldn’t be able to stop ooh-ing and aah-ing the entire way. However, the walk can get wet and slippery. Therefore, be mindful of the slippery paths and of course, it’s better to carry hiking shoes.
Visit The Church of Assumption
The pretty island church and its stunning backdrop of mountains are a must-visit during your trip to Lake Bled. Situated in the middle of Lake Bled, this island is a secluded spot that has a massive church built on it called the Church of Assumption. Although there’s been a church here since the 9th century, this baroque Church dates from the 17th century. Also known as the Bled church, it features some fresco fragments from the 15th century inside, a large gold altar and part of the apse of a pre-Romanesque chapel. This 15th-century belfry contains a ‘wishing bell’ you can ring but then you have to climb 99 steps to reach it. Haha!
Boat rides in the lake
For a unique Lake Bled experience, visit the Bled Island on a traditional ‘Pletna” Boat. Pletnas are traditional boats which are made by locals to transport passengers across the lake. They are wooden flat bottomed boats with a pointed bow and can hold up to 20 passengers. Explore the lakes in these boats which are propelled by an oarsman who stands and rows with two oars.
You can hire these boats and paddle to The Church of the Assumption on Lake Bled Island in the middle of the lake. It’ll just take 10 minutes from the shore.
Eat a slice of – Kremšnita
Bled’s culinary speciality, Kremšnita deserves all the praises that it gets! This cream cake will make a special place in your heart. Affectionately known as Bled Cream Cake, this custard delight is made of a couple of thin layers of pastry filled with two layers of scrumptious vanilla cream, one thicker than the other. The cake is then powdered with sugar on the outside. Enjoy this creamy delight with rich dark coffee from a terrace overlooking the lake—and you will NOT be disappointed!
Visit picture-perfect turquoise waters of Lake Bled and do let us know your fairy tale vacation in the comments below!