Nestled in the Julian Alps of Slovenia, Lake Bled is a picturesque and enchanting destination that captures the hearts of visitors from around the world. Known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters, an iconic island with a charming church, and a medieval castle perched atop a cliff, Lake Bled offers a tranquil retreat that combines natural beauty and rich history.
Are you planning a trip to Lake Bled? You have come to the right place. You could easily spend some days exploring Lake Bled and its surroundings. If you only have one day to spend in Bled, what should you do to get the most out of it?
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What to do in Lake Bled?
Lake Bled’s allure lies in its pristine and awe-inspiring natural surroundings. The emerald-green lake is enveloped by majestic mountains, creating a breathtaking backdrop that beckons adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. The tranquil waters of the lake mirror the surrounding landscapes, providing a sense of serenity and harmony. As you stroll along the shoreline, you’ll be greeted by the fragrant scent of evergreen trees and the gentle rustle of leaves, making it a truly immersive experience for those seeking solace in nature.
The iconic Bled island
At the center of Lake Bled rests its crown jewel: Bled Island. Accessible only by traditional wooden boats known as “pletnas,” a visit to the island is an essential part of the Bled experience. Upon arrival, you’ll discover the iconic Church of the Assumption, a 17th-century Baroque masterpiece adorned with frescoes and a romantic bell tower. Climb the 99 stone steps to reach the church and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the lake and its surroundings. Make a wish as you ring the famous “wishing bell” and watch as your hopes echo across the tranquil waters.
You can sail to Bled Island every day of the year in a pletna, a hand-made wooden boat, which is driven by a pletnar, a boat rower, who oars standing up. An electric motorboat line or small boats are also available for transport across the lake. You can return with the first free pletna boat or with an electric motorboat when you are finished with the island exploring.
Visit to Bled Island with an entrance fee for the Church of Assumptijon of St. Mary, Lookout Bell Tower and Museum exhibition in Provost’s House will cost you 12€/person.
The price for taking a boat is 14€/person and for kids between 4 and 12 years 7€.
Perched majestically atop a steep cliff overlooking the lake, Bled Castle is a symbol of medieval grandeur. Dating back to the 11th century, this well-preserved fortress offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Explore its ancient halls, climb the imposing tower, and immerse yourself in the castle’s museum, which showcases artifacts and exhibits detailing Bled’s past. From the castle terrace, savor panoramic views of Lake Bled, the island, and the Julian Alps beyond, painting a scene of unrivaled beauty that will leave you spellbound.
Outdoor activites & recreation
Lake Bled is not only a feast for the eyes but also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. From water sports to hiking and cycling trails that traverse the surrounding hills, there are countless ways to embrace the natural playground that awaits. Take a leisurely walk or cycle around the lake’s 6-kilometer promenade, stopping at scenic viewpoints along the way. For a more adrenaline-fueled experience, venture into Triglav National Park, located nearby, where you can explore alpine meadows, conquer mountain peaks, or embark on a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure.
If you are more into hiking, lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails around Lake Bled. The area is dotted with numerous hiking routes, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks. For a rewarding experience, hike up to Ojstrica or Mala Osojnica viewpoints, which offer panoramic vistas of the lake and its surroundings.
If you love adventures, you can go on the longest zipline in Europe and enjoy ziplining above the stunning Sava Dolinka river and its picturesque surroundings.
Lake Bled’s pristine waters invite you to engage in a variety of water activities. Take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear lake or rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore its calm waters at your own pace. You can rent a sup for 10€/hour or a boat for 25€.
Reward yourself with Blejska kremšnita
Blejska kremšnita, also known as Bled cream cake, is a delightful traditional pastry that has become an iconic dessert of Lake Bled and Slovenia. It is a heavenly treat that consists of layers of delicate puff pastry, a creamy vanilla custard filling, and a generous dollop of whipped cream. The origin of Blejska kremšnita dates back to the 1950s when it was created by the pastry chef Ištvan Lukačević at the Park Hotel in Bled. The recipe quickly gained popularity, and it has since become a beloved culinary symbol of the region.
Blejska kremšnita is best enjoyed when chilled, allowing the flavors to meld together. With each bite, you’ll experience the delicate crunch of the pastry layers, the smooth and creamy custard, and the lightness of the whipped cream. The combination of textures and flavors creates a delectable harmony that is truly irresistible. This indulgent dessert is not only a delight for the taste buds but also a visual feast, with its layers neatly stacked and the powdered sugar creating an inviting white blanket. It is often served with a cup of coffee or tea, making it a perfect accompaniment for a leisurely afternoon break or a sweet ending to a meal.
When visiting Lake Bled, trying Blejska kremšnita is a must. You can find it in various cafes, pastry shops, and restaurants around the area. Don’t miss the opportunity to savor this delectable treat and indulge in a slice of Lake Bled’s culinary heritage.
Getting to Lake Bled
Most Bled visitors come from Ljubljana, which is also the easiest way to get there. It takes approximately 1 hour to get there from Ljubljana by bus. Buses run pretty frequently from Ljubljana bus station. Bus tickets can be purchased in the bus station or online, but in that case you have to print your ticket out or go to the Ljubljana bus station to get the ticket. If you are visiting Bled during the summer season, when the number of visitors is higher, you should keep in mind that the buses are quite busy and it is best to buy a bus ticket in advance.
For getting back to Ljubljana, you can also buy the ticket online, but that doesn’t mean that you will get on the bus on the hour you have selected. It is best to buy your ticket at the bus station, but you can also buy it from the driver.
There are two stations in Bled – Bled Union and Bled. If you are staying in Bled, see which station is closer to your place of stay. Like I’ve mentioned, Bled gets very busy during the season and buses are often full. If the bus is full, it won’t make a stop in the Bled Union station, so I would suggest you that you go to the Bled bus station (it is located near Bled Rose Hotel).
The ticket costs €5.70, but if you are travelling during the weekend, the price is reduced and the ticket costs only €2.
You can also take a train from Ljubljana, but it’s a little bit more complicated. There is no direct train to Bled. You have to transfer in Jesenice train station.
How to get to Bled from Ljubljana Airport
If you will fly into Ljubljana and you want to go directly to Lake Bled, you can take the bus from Brnik / Ljubljana airport and you will get there in 30 minutes. Buses run every hour from 9 am to 7 pm.
Other places in Slovenia that are worth visiting:
- Lovely Ljubljana, the greenest capital of Europe
- Top 5 places to visit on the Slovenian coast
- Reasons to love Skofja Loka, a medieval Slovenian town
Bled Bus – free summer lines
Between 1.7. and 31.8. there are three bus lines running for free. One of them is Pokljuka line, second one is Countryside line & the last one is Lake line. They run daily and they help you save time and money if you want to explore Bled surroundings. You can get more information here.
When to visit & for how long
Lake Bled is fascinating in any season, but personally, I recommend visiting between May and October. In July & August it gets very busy, but in summer there is more water activities. If you prefer walking around the town and hiking, the fall will be better choice. The weather gets cooler but it’s still beautiful and there is still ton of things to do. But if you are more into water activities, like swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, etc., you should go there in the summer season. The color of the lake is the most beautiful in sunny summer days. This is what makes it so stunning for me. The water is crystal clear and it keeps inviting you to take a dip.
Bled is a small town, so one day will be enough to explore it and do some of the activities. Many people explore Lake Bled on a quick day trip and this is perfectly fine. If you prefer slow travel, you should totally stay there for at least one night. If you visit during the summer, I would spend even more than one night and enjoy the water activities. With having enough time, you can also do a day trip from Bled. There are many options, like Bohinj, Blejski Vintgar, Triglav National Park… the list goes on and on. Slovenia is a small country, so that’s what makes it easy to get from one point to another.
Extra: Bled day trip ideas
Lake Bled serves as an excellent base for exploring the beautiful region of Slovenia. Here are some of the best day trips you can take from Bled:
- Triglav National Park: just a short drive from Bled, Triglav National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking alpine scenery, hike through picturesque valleys, visit stunning waterfalls like Savica. Challenge yourself with a climb to the Mount Triglav, the highest peak in Slovenia.
- Vintgar Gorge: located near Bled, Vintgar Gorge offers a spectacular natural wonder to explore. Walk along the wooden boardwalks that meander through the gorge, revealing stunning turquoise waters, cascading waterfalls, and towering cliffs. The 1.6-kilometer trail culminates at the majestic Sum Waterfall, creating a mesmerizing experience for visitors.
- Lake Bohinj: another gem in the Julian Alps, Lake Bohinj is less crowded than Bled but equally enchanting. Surrounded by mountains and dense forests, the tranquil lake provides a serene escape. Take a boat ride, go kayaking, or simply relax on the lakeshore. You can also hike to the famous Savica Waterfall.
- Ljubljana: Slovenia’s charming capital city, Ljubljana, is easily reachable from Bled and makes for a fantastic day trip. Stroll along the picturesque Ljubljanica River, visit the iconic Ljubljana Castle, and explore the vibrant Old Town with its vibrant squares, charming bridges, and bustling cafes. Ljubljana offers a unique blend of history, culture, and culinary delights.
- Bovec & Soča Valley: head to the picturesque town of Bovec and the stunning Soča Valley. Known for its emerald-green Soča River, this region is a haven for outdoor activities such as rafting, kayaking, canyoning, and hiking. Enjoy the adrenaline rush while surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty.
Lake Bled truly epitomizes the charm and beauty of Slovenia’s natural landscapes. With its captivating turquoise waters, enchanting island, and medieval castle, this alpine gem offers a unique blend of tranquility, history, and outdoor adventure. Whether you seek peaceful contemplation, romantic moments, or thrilling escapades, Lake Bled is sure to captivate your senses and leave an indelible mark on your heart, making it a destination worthy of every traveler’s bucket list.
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