The scenic view over Bled seems to appear in every Slovenian travel guide. It’s no wonder, since Lake Bled is truly like a painting with its turquoise, crystal clear waters embraced by the Alps. A picturesque church on Bled island and a castle overseeing the valley from high above add to the beauty of the area.
A track around Lake Bled is perfect for a brisk hike. The good-conditioned route with a perfect view and visibility to the lake takes up to a couple of hours to complete.
There are plenty of good reasons to visit Bled. Relax in romantic alpine scenery, spend an active holiday or enjoy the rest of the vast possibilities the beautiful valley has to offer.
Where to stay
Most hotels are situated east of Lake Bled, where also the village of Bled, paid swimming pools as well as most shops and restaurants are to be found.
The best locations for a free swim are by the camping area and hotels/apartments southwest or south of the lake. If your main intentions are swimming and sunbathing, you might want to consider that area for accommodation, too. Otherwise, Bled Village near the lake is the most convenient choice.
Things to do in Bled
The relatively small Bled Castle is divided into two levels. This brochure contains everything you need to know about visiting the castle. The castle is not far away, but you’re in for a pretty steep climb. Depending on the route, there’s plenty of stairs along the way.
The admission fee is 11 Euros for adults, there are no free areas.
More information: blejski-grad.si
The most famous attraction in Bled is definitely the picturesque Church of the Mother of God standing on Bled Island, the only island of the lake. There’re a few other buildings on the island as well.
The easiest way to get to the island and back is with Pletna boats. There are several points of departure around the lake, except for the northern shore. Hence, walk southwards from Bled Village to catch a boat.
Around Lake Bled, there are numerous good places to go swimming, but the shoreline doesn’t contain actual beaches. The closest thing to a beach is this strip of sand southwest of the lake, which is popular among swimmers and sunbathers. Nearby, there’s a pier to go swimming conveniently. The aforementioned sand strip is shown in the background of the picture.
The southern and eastern parts of the shoreline contain grass areas, whereas northern parts grow trees, and are thus not suitable for swimming. Underneath the castle, north of the lake, there’s a paid swimming facility with plenty of services. More information: Public Lido
Check here for the long list of 27 different sporting activities on the lake and its surroundings. In spite of the high amount of different activities, some are still missing from it. Paddle boarding is one such example.
Since motorized vehicles are forbidden, the lake is well-suited for slower and more quiet activities.
Viewing places near Lake Bled
Obviously, there’re plenty of viewing places around Lake Bled, but three of them stand out.
- The first one is by Bled Castle. Unfortunately, there’s no free access and everyone must pay for entrance.
- The other two, Ojstrica and Mala Osojnica, are situated close to each other southwest of the lake.
The path to the latter ones starts at the road on the southwestern side of the lake and continues through a forest. On the crossing, there’s a signpost to Ojstrica and Osojnica.
The walking route varies from easy to a steep climb especially when approaching Ojstrica.
After 10 minutes on foot, following the crossing in the previous picture, there’s another sign pointing Ojstrica to the right and Mala Osojnica straight on. At this stage, Ojstrica is already close but a steep climb away. Of the two viewing places, Ojstrica is more popular and thus crowded at times.
Mala Osojnica is situated higher up, but the road is not as steep. As such, Mala Osojnica may feel easier than Ojstrica to reach on foot.
Vintgar Gorge lies outside Bled in Gorje, just some four kilometers away. This 1,6-kilometer-long gorge has taken shape around the Radovna river.
Following the gorge, there’s a convenient walking path that becomes steep only at the end, if you wish to descend to explore the Šum waterfall more closely.
Both ends of the path contain a ticket booth. Along with the 5-euro entrance fee you can buy e.g. water bottles. The standard start of the route at the southwestern end of the trail contains a restaurant and a big parking lot. The waterfall also has a small parking area next to it, and obviously, it serves as a suitable starting place, too.
Vintgar Gorge is a popular attraction, and it’s advisable to go there outside the busiest times. At times, the narrow path is tight even with two people side by side, let alone a group of people trying to pass each other. Therefore, advancing along the route might be slow amongst a crowd. Moreover, on weekends you might have to queue to get the entrance ticket.
How to get to Vintgar Gorge from Bled
By taxi is the easiest choice, but busses are also available. The bus company Arriva operates ones or twice each day to a stop called Fortuna, which is situated about a kilometer away from the gorge. In summertime, ask for direct bus connections from your hotel. Bear in mind, however, that it’s difficult to avoid crowds when using tourist busses.
If you decide to walk to the gorge, the road via Podham has better walkability than the one passing via Spodnje Gorje. While both routes start off along a car road without an adjacent walkway, the route via Spodnje Gorje has a longer leg along the busy road.
Pizza in restaurant
Steak in restaurant
33 cl beer in restaurant
Hotel room, 3-4* (April)
Hotel room, 3-4* (July)
Find hotel deals in Bled at Booking.com
How to get to Bled
- By bus from the airport: In Bled, there’s only one international airport, Jože Pučnik, which is situated in Brnik and what most refer to as Ljubljana airport. The travel time is 31 minutes; check for time schedules here: ap-ljubljana.si. When planning the bus travel, use “Brnik/airport Ljubljana” for the airport bus stop and “Bled” for the destination.
If it’s late and you can’t make the last bus, there’s a private bus company arranging transportation as well.
- By bus from Ljubljana: There’re frequent connections each day with the travel time of about an hour or slightly more: ap-ljubljana.si. Ljubljana bus station, Avtobusna Postaja, is situated next to the railway station.
- By train from Ljubljana: Trains run frequently, but there’s no train station in Bled. The closest station Lesce-Bled is located four kilometers away from Bled. You can get a bus connection to Bled from there. For train schedules, check: slo-zeleznice.si
Bled is situated at the foot of the Alps, which means the weather is unstable with lots of rain in summer; while about half of the days are sunny, the rest of the days have at least some rain.
In summer, daytime temperatures are between 20°C and 30°C. During the hottest days, temperatures exceed 30°C, while at nights, temperatures drop below 20°C.
Text and images: Jussi Ryynänen
Translation: Janne Hietanummi