Lake Bled has become an icon, synonymous with Slovenia, for good reason – it is absolutely breathtaking.
The crystal clear waters are surprisingly warm in July and the mountains that surround the lake and the lush forest around it, frame it perfectly.
To get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana, you can either drive yourself or hop on a bus.
The bus was the lowest cost option and meant that we could sit back and relax without the frustrations of navigating ourselves so was an easy decision! To catch the bus, head to the main bus station in the capital of Ljubljana – you’re able to buy your ticket at the ticket office (which is a little more expensive) or if you keep your eyes peeled, you’re able to spot the bus yourself and purchase your ticket onboard. We weren’t told there was a return ticket option but when we got off at Bled, we were told there was – ask your driver if there’s a discount for buying a return ticket to see if you can save yourself a few euros. You’ll find the timetable here.
The main attraction in Bled is no doubt the beautiful Lake but there are a number of ways that you can tackle it and other things to see and do in the area too (if you can tear your eyes away from the main attraction!)
Circumnavigate Lake Bled
You’re able to walk either way around the lake or may prefer to rent a bike or catch a ride on the little tourist cart that zips around the lake. We also saw horse and carriage rides on offer, or if there’s a specific part of the lake that you’d like to visit, you could hire a taxi to take you directly there.
You will find swimming spots not far to the right of the township (where there is an awesome setup that you’ll pay to access, including a waterslide) and free-of-charge swimming beaches just before you reach the half-way point around the lake, walking from the left. Even on the rainy day that we visited, we were surprised by how warm the water was; on a sunny day, swimming would be an absolute must!
If you’d like to get a closer view of the church sitting proudly on Slovenia’s only island, you’re able to hire your own rowboat, jump on a covered, shared boat (known as a pletna), paddleboard, kayak or even swim over (just head to the laned-off area on the far side of the lake). We decided that we’d seen enough from a distance so saved our precious travel funds for another adventure, but I don’t doubt it would be even more beautiful up close.
To hire your own boat, you’ll pay €15 for an hour or to join a group with others, you’ll be looking at approximately €14 per person for the journey across the lake. Boats leave both from the end nearest the bus station and the other side of the lake, so you can decide how much of the lake you want to walk around.
There are a number of places to stop for lunch around the lake; from bakeries and a supermarket to fancy restaurants, you’ll be sorted regardless of your tastes or budget.
We had breakfast at the bakery just around the corner from the bus stop (and it was amazing!) and finished up back in the same area for lunch – the kebab’s looked too good to pass up and they didn’t disappoint!
Wherever you decide to chow down, there’s on treat you have to try whilst in Bled. The Bled cream cake (Blejska kremna rezina) is a delicious concoction of custard cream, cream and pastry. It’s found in a few other parts of Europe but Bled is definitely the place to track down the very best cream cakes so don’t leave without trying one.
As you stand with your back to town, you’ll notice tracks crossing their way down the hill to the left of Lake Bled. You’re able to take a chairlift to the top and, in the summer time, zip your way down the track on a toboggan – it looks like serious fun!!
Lake Bled; Put it on Your Travel-List Now…
Infact, do one better, do your best to get to Slovenia in general. It’s a beautiful country with warm and welcoming people and a great example of what a meaningful European visit can be. Lake Bled it the crown in Slovenia’s crown and one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited, but one could say the same for practically all of this gorgeous country.