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A Guide To Lake Bled, Slovenia

Updated on June 18, 2011

 Few European lakes offer the stunning beauty and accessibility of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Just 30 minutes from Ljubljana and its airport, Lake Bled is a perfect short break destination for the majority of Europeans. If you are considering a visit to Lake Bled then this article will help you plan your trip, fuelling your imagination and offering you first hand recommendations.

 Enjoyment of Lake Bled is unrestricted by seasonal weather change. In summer enjoy hiking in the mountains and boating on the lake. Return in winter for the skiing and superb winter vistas across the lake from a cosy bar. Adrenaline junkies will love the thrill of the toboggan track, whilst lovers of fine cuisine will enjoy the range of gastronomic delights that await them in the streets surrounding Lake Bled.

Lake Bled
Lake Bled

The creation of Lake Bled

 Lake Bled was formed after the recession of the Bohinj glacier. Originally tectonic action had created a small hollow that was later carved deeper by the glacier. As the glacier retreated, the melt waters filled the hollow to create what is now known as Lake Bled. Unusually because of how it was formed, Lake Bled has no natural tributaries, and is instead fed by several small springs.

Historic Castle Bled

Stunning View Over Lake Bled
Stunning View Over Lake Bled

Bled Castle

 On the western half of Lake Bled lies an island with the picturesque Castle Bled. The current castle dates back to the 17th century and its eye catching red and white walls are enclosed by Romanesque style parapets and towers. Within the castle there is a small museum  displaying medieval weaponry and artifacts. The island of Lake Bled is also home to a wine centre where for the price of a bottle of champagne you can be taught the art of "Sabrage", cutting the top off the bottle. As well as the winery there is a small shop that sells various herbs and exotic ingredients.

There are two ways to reach the island on Lake Bled. Either by hiring a rowboat yourself or by renting a traditional gondola style boat called a pletna. The round trip is fixed at 12 euros and typically takes 90 minutes, half of which is spent on the island.

A Kremna Rezina at Lake Bled

Eating out at Lake Bled

 There is a wide variety of gastronomic options in Bled to cater for all tastes and budgets offering traditional Slovenian food as well as European and Asian dishes. local dishes worth trying on your visit include dried pork, walnut rolls and dumplings made with cottage cheese. These dishes are all best accompanied with a bottle of locally produced wine. For the less culinary adventurous there are plenty of restaurants offering pizza, burgers, steaks and snacks.

It would be criminal to visit Lake Bled and not try a Kremna Rezina. Translating literally to cream slice, A kremna rezina is a vanilla and custard desert that is extremely popular with both locals and tourists.

Hostel Bledec - Lake Bled

Where to stay at Lake Bled

 As a town based around the tourist industry, Lake Bled has a range of accommodation options, From 12 euro a night family run hostels to 200 euro a night world chains. Rather than offer a list of possible hotels, our focus is on our favourite place to stay in Lake Bled, Hostel Bledec.

Located just 5 minutes from Lake Bled is the welcoming Hostel Bledec. For under 20 euros a night you can experience the wonderful atmosphere of this family run accommodation. The hostel offers a nice breakfast with fresh coffee and an impressive evening menu in its own restaurant. The highlight of this menu is the 11 euro set menu. Unlike many hostels, Hostel Bledec has its own bar, and offers wi-fi Internet connection, airport transfers and activity bookings. For a true Slovenian experience during your trip to Lake Bled, there are few better options that Hostel Bledec.

The incredible Lake Bled tobogganing experience

Vintgar Gorge - Lake Bled
Vintgar Gorge - Lake Bled

What to do in lake Bled

All year round Lake Bled has a lot to offer. With the national park of Triglav on the doorstep hiking in this beautiful scenery is a must. For the more relaxed tourist the lake offers a pleasant walk around it, with several bars and cafes along the 2 hour circuit. In winter, the landscape becomes a winter wonderland and the walk around the lake offers a superb view of Lake Bled and the castle.

Additionally in winter the adrenaline junkie can make use of the nearby ski resort which offers several slopes and a full equipment service. The summer highlight of Lake Bled has to be the 510 metre toboggan track, on which you can reach over 40 kilometres per hour!

No visit to Slovenia would be complete without a visit to the Vintgar Gorge. This 1600 metre gorge contains the river Radovna which surges and rushes between the steep cliffs. For over a hundred years the Vintgar Gorge has been accessible to the public via a series of walkways, galleries and staircases. This stunning and adventurous route is truly the jewel of Bled.

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    • MJFenn profile image

      MJFenn 

      5 years ago

      It seems a frankly amazing place. (My late father went there well over 50 years ago.) I think perhaps the fact that Slovenia was formerly part of a Communist Federation meant that over the years it did not develop such a high international profile.

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