Nestled in the Julian Alps in the northwest of the country, Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful natural wonders. Sapphire blue waters, a picturesque island, and glacial forests in the surrounding area make a Lake Bled holiday an essential element for every Slovenian travel itinerary.
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Lake Bled is often described as being right out of a fairytale. With highlights like regal castles, ancient churches, and the nearby snow-capped mountains, it’s not hard to see why. Its beauty and charm draw tourists from all over, making it the country’s most popular tourist attraction (and for good reason.)
Here is everything you need to know to plan the best visit to Lake Bled, Slovenia.
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When to Visit Lake Bled
While Lake Bled is beautiful any time of year, it is a popular tourist attraction and can experience some problems at the height of the tourist season. From mid-June to late August, you can expect oppressive crowds of Europeans on holiday, as well as tourists from all over the world. Unfortunately, these crowds are often careless about their impact on the environment, and the area tends to become quite polluted during this time.
For a much nicer experience, try to visit Lake Bled in the spring or fall. April, May, September, and October are particularly good months to visit. Bled, Slovenia’s weather tends to be good during these months, but you’ll also raise your chances of enjoying quieter surroundings during your visit.
Things to Do in Lake Bled
There are an endless number of things to do in Lake Bled. Here are some of our best suggestions:
Spend Time at Lake Bled
Biking at Lake Bled
The lake itself offers a variety of different activities to enjoy at any given time. Take a walk around the lake or rent a bike and cycle the distance. Renting bikes will cost you around 3 euros for an hour or 11 euros for a full day. If you want to get around even quicker with less energy, consider renting an E-bike.
Hiking at Lake Bled
Taking time to hike the nearby trails is one of the best things to do in Lake Bled. There are more than 15 hiking and walking trails to choose from. One particularly great place to do this is at the Ojstrica lookout point on the west side of the lake. Hike this short (but steep) incline for stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. If you want an even higher view, ascend to the Velika Osojnica viewpoint.
There is an easy, well-maintained 6-km path that leads around beautiful Lake Bled that’s suitable for a leisurely walk or cycle while taking in the spectacular mountain scenery. Bled City Park has access to the lake trail and parking for visitors. Once you work up an appetite from your Lake Bled walk, there are several restaurants and lakeside cafes nearby, like Public Bar & Vegan Kitchen Bled.
Swimming at Lake Bled
If you’d like to swim in Lake Bled, there are many beach areas along the shore where you can do so. The water is usually quite cold, having originated in the high Alps, so you will likely only be able to swim in the hot summer months.
Located just below the magnificent castle rock, Grajska beach is popular among visitors and has been awarded the Blue Flag certification for its commitment to sustainable tourism standards. There are nearly 300 meters of beachfront with amenities like changing rooms, toilets, showers, and umbrella rentals.
To get out on the water, you can rent a kayak, canoe, or standup paddleboard. You may also want to consider kayaking on one of the nearby rivers or even through an abandoned mine in a day trip from Bled.
Take a Boat Ride
Take a gentle, relaxing trip across the lake on one of the traditional wooden Pletna boats. These flat-bottom boats are operated by Pletna oarsmen, and colorful awnings keep passengers shaded while they enjoy the views of the lake. There are Pletna tours that take visitors to the famous Bled Island. Prices can vary according to the tour company, but tickets average around 18 euros.
Visit Bled Island
Bled Island is perhaps the area’s most recognizable sight. This island is tiny but features a beautiful church, the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria, that is shrouded in legend. The story goes that the temple of a Slavic goddess once sat where the church is now. The present-day church is a 17th-century Gothic construction.
While on the island, make sure to visit the inside of the church and climb the bell tower for a lovely view. The church’s claim to fame is its “fortune bell.” Folklore says that the original bell was sunk at the bottom of Lake Bled and that when someone rings the replacement bell in the church, the bell in the lake rings as well. Doing so is thought to bring good luck and granted wishes.
A short boat ride to Bled Island will cost you 13 euros, and entrance to the church will cost you 6 euros.
Visit Bled Castle
Bled Castle was constructed in the 11th century and is the oldest castle in Slovenia. It offers majestic views over the lake and surrounding areas, making it the top attraction in the area. While you’re there, you can discover the history museum and wine cellar or enjoy a meal at the excellent Bled Castle Restaurant. (Make sure to make a table reservation ahead of time.)
Visiting Bled Castle is one of the best things to do in Lake Bled and is not to be missed. Consider taking a guided tour for the best experience.
Pick up the Pace: Adventure Parks & Ziplining
If you want some more action on your Lake Bled holiday, look no further than an adventure park. Slovenia has a number of prominent adventure parks, but the one in Bled is especially exciting. High rope courses let you test your balance as high as 10 meters off the ground, and a zip line adds an extra adrenaline kick.
The park also features a summer toboggan track (something like a low-tech roller coaster) that you can ride down the side of the mountain. There are 81 total attractions at this park. The entrance costs 19 euros and excludes the toboggan ride.
Visit Bled Town
The town of Bled is as quaint and charming as you’d imagine any lakeside European town to be. Spend some time walking around here, enjoying the ambiance.
The Slovenian resort town boasts a particularly good restaurant scene where you can find traditional Slovenian fare, international bites, and a number of peaceful cafés. If you want to try some authentic Slovenian food, make sure to try Grajska Plaža or Gostilna Murka restaurants.
Wine lovers will enjoy this interactive wine-tasting experience, which is hosted by a traditional wine cellar in Bled. You’ll sample seven Slovenian wines and participate in fun games that test your new knowledge of local wines. The tasting experience also includes samples of local cheeses, freshly baked bread, and Slovenian chocolates.
Try the Famous Lake Bled Cake
The Lake Bled area is famous for a light and sugary cake that comes smothered in powdered sugar and stuffed with sweet cream. There are plenty of cafés in the area proudly serving up this Slovenian specialty, and there is even an annual festival in town dedicated to the cake.
Explore Vintgar Gorge
Vintgar Gorge is a short drive away from Bled and is a great escape into the more natural beauty of Slovenia. Walk through the woods to the Radovna River to see the carved-out canyon and the graceful Šum Waterfall at the end of your walk.
Try Canyoning and Rafting
Take a Day Trip to Triglav National Park
Located just 15 minutes away from Lake Bled, Triglav National Park is the first biosphere area in Slovenia and is the country’s only national park. There are 14 hiking trails that wind through glacial valleys, mountains, and gorges.
A particularly beautiful hike is the Soška trail, a learning path that starts at the Soče Spring and winds through the Mlinarica Gorge, Julian Alpine Botanical Garden, and the Velika Gorge of the Sonica. The full trail is 28 km, but you can hike as much or as little as you want. This easy, picturesque hike will take you across the River Soča several times and through the forest and meadows.
Lake Bled Accommodations
There are quite a few Lake Bled hotels area, as well as a surplus of AirBnBs. One of the best ways to be a responsible traveler is to make sure your stay makes a positive impact on both the community and the area’s natural environment. One of the best ways to do this is to stay in an eco-hotel. Here are a couple of recommendations.
AMS Beagle Hotel
AMS Beagle Hotel is a boutique eco-hotel outside Lake Bled that features a clean and homey design. Each of the four rooms is a king suite with a private spa. The price of your stay includes a fresh, local breakfast.
AMS Beagle is one of the few Lake Bled hotels that takes great pride in its environmental efforts, which include carefully measuring their water and energy consumption and using rainwater flushing toilets.
Set in a beautiful location just 200 meters from Vintar Gorge and Triglav National Park, AMS Beagle is very close to the attractions in and around Bled. The hotel offers transportation service and can arrange unique outdoor activities like water cycling!
Bohinj Eco Hotel
The Bohinj Eco Hotel is a Green Globe certified hotel, the first (and only) in Slovenia. The water, lighting, and energy systems at the hotel have all been developed with sustainability in mind. The water is heated with geothermal heat, and the lightbulbs are all energy-saving. Bohinj’s commitment to sustainability is impossible to miss.
There are eight different room options at this hotel ranging from a standard room to a presidential suite, and they all feature cozy yet modern designs. This is one of your best choices for Lake Bled accommodations regarding variety and accessibility. Do note that in order to reach the hotel, you must travel about 30 minutes out of Bled Town. It’s a great alternative for those who don’t want to stay in the main tourist area around the lake.
The most unique thing about the Bohinj is the aquapark attached to it, something quite uncommon for Lake Bled hotels. Here, guests can relax in multiple swimming pools and saunas and indulge in various wellness services at the spa.
Bled House of Green
For a more private experience, consider a vacation rental like Bled House of Green. This house is just a 3-minute walk from the lake and features all amenities including a fully-equipped kitchen and free private parking.
You’ll be within walking distance to Bled Castle and several restaurants. The owners provide bicycles and SUPs for guests to use free of charge.
Lake Bled is a can’t-miss destination in Slovenia, and for a good reason. Although very popular, the beauty and charm of Lake Bled make it a perfect European holiday destination that you’re all but guaranteed to enjoy.
Have you ever been to Lake Bled? What was your favorite thing to do there?
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