There is a special charm in having short trips – though there isn’t enough time to fully discover the destination, you get a glimpse and a feel it. Knowing your time is only limited, you tend to try and make the most of it, soaking in everything around you, compressing and intensifying the experience. And when such a short trip is to Lake Bled, a true Slovenian gem immersed in nature, you can only consider yourself lucky to have found yourself in such a fairytale surrounding and decide that you will definitely come back for another recharge with nature and beauty.
Located right at the emerald green Alpine lake, the picturesque town boasts with a medieval castle overlooking the area at a 130 m high rocky cliff from where you can not only enjoy its over-a-thousand-year-old history but also the stunning views of the lake and the countryside. Explore its corners and museum collections or participate in some of the many activities connected to the castle’s history which are frequently happening over the year.
One of the first things to do when in Bled is definitely to visit the small island right in the middle of the lake housing the Church of the Assumption of Mary. Attracting tourists from all over the world for its beauty, the wonderful island is also a very popular venue for weddings, providing the perfect romantic setting. You can arrive to the island either by taking a traditional pletna boat, if you feel up to it, you can also rent a rowboat and reach the island yourself. Once you are there, climb the 99 stone steps or take a curved path to the baroque church and its famous bell tower – namely, it has a legendary ‘wishing bell’ for which the story goes that those who ring it will see their wish come true.
To fully enjoy the lake and the natural surroundings, have a walk around it – there is 6.7 km long, mostly tar-sealed which is also suitable for bikers and skaters. Additionally, you can also rent a horse-drawn carriage, popularly called the fijaker. Along the path, beautiful scenery will open before you offering views of a meditative quality.
When in Bled, don’t miss the opportunity to try some of the traditional dishes of the area like Carniolan sausage with sauerkraut, trout fillet or cheese curd pie with bread crumbs or mushroom sauce. Pair it with excellent Slovenian wines or enjoy some brandy and, as a dessert, don’t miss out on a delicious, luscious cake called ‘kremna rezina’ – a creamy dream of all the cake lovers.
If you’d like to explore the surroundings and enjoy the nature even more, Vintgar Gorge is definitely a place to visit. Approximately 5 km away from Lake Bled, you can take a walk or arrive there by care and make sure you have your walking shoes. On the way there, stop at the Podhom town with charming rustic barns and cows grazing in the nature. Once at the gorge, you will walk across wooden boardwalks crossing the stream and the rocky path leading you to the impressive waterfall.
For those who are more of active hikers and climbers, go to Mala Osojnica (685 m) or Ojstrica (611 m), Bled’s most famous viewpoints and enjoy the breathtaking views of the area. The climb will be very well worth it!