Do you ever choose a destination based on photos? Bled is one of the most famous views of Slovenia. The first time I saw pictures of Bled I was captivated by its beauty. With its green-blue lake, the little island with its church and the mountains of the Julian Alps, it’s truly breathtaking and it’s no wonder we are captivated.
Bled is not the only gorgeous place in Slovenia, there is also a sister lake, Bohinj. This lake is more naturally stunning than Bled which has its man-made embellishments. Again, surrounded by the Julian Alps, close by are lovely walking trails, waterfalls and rivers.
How to get to Bled?
Depending on your choice of transport method will be the deciding factor on how you get to Bled. Driving will be about 45 – 60 minutes from Ljubljana Airport and city centre of Ljubljana. Lake Bohinj is an additional 30 minute drive from Bled.
Public transport means that you need to catch the bus or train from Ljubljana. The Lesce Train station has frequent connections with Ljubljana but it is 4.5km away from Bled. By bus – in Summer there are buses that departure on the hour to and from Ljubljana Bus station and in winter they are less frequent so check the timetable. The bus goes all the way to Lake Bohinj with several steps along Lake Bled.
Where to stay?
We rented a lovely Airbnb, House Gabrijel, that was a 20 to 30-minute walk from the town centre that I highly recommend. As Bled is a popular place for tourist there is a lot of accommodation available.
What to do in Bled?
Walks or Hikes Around Bled
Bled is a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors and take some lovely scenic walks. One of the most popular and easiest routes is Velika Osojnica. It’s a view point over Bled and you will enjoy panoramic views of the lake and Bled. There are plenty of options to keep you busy of different lengths and difficulty levels, check out some of the walks here.
Visit the Island on Lake Bled
Across the lake on the Island you’ll see the iconic Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria. You can visit the island by swimming (during good weather), renting a rowing boat and docking at the island or by taking a ride in a traditional wooden “pletna” boat.
Taking the plenta boat does mean that the oarsman will time how long you can spend on the island. The church does cost money to enter which we opted not to do and just enjoyed a walk around.
Bled Castle and the Restaurant
At the top of the cliff is the Bled Castle, it’s about a 15-minute walk up the cliff. On a sunny day, it is a spectacular spot to enjoy a glass of wine overlooking the lake and town.
If you’re thinking about having lunch at the castle then make sure you make a reservation by sending them an email, details here.
The restaurant didn’t have any space for walk-in on the day we went and you won’t get bonus of free entrance! Taking the entrance price off the menu does make the food more affordable, although if you After 6pm you must have the £60 set menu.
Try the Famous Bled Cake (Kremna Rezina)
Bled has a traditional cream cake known as Kremna Rezina. It dates back to the Hight of the Austro-Hungarian empire in the 18th and 19th century. You will see pictures of the cake everywhere! We went to Confectionery Winter – Grajska cesta 3, 4260 Bled, Slovenia to try the cake.
Where to eat in Bled?
Sova – Slovenian food which I’d say is inspired by Italian food and meat-based dishes. It was our hosts’ favourite restaurant and did serve some incredibly delicious food.
Penzion Mlino – Also served Slovenian food and a selection of Slovenian wines.
Riklijeva Cesta – It’s a pizzeria, serving cheap pizza and drinks.
What to do in Bohinj?
Lake Bohinj and Triglav National Park
Lake Bohinj is Slovenia’s largest natural lake. With the crystalline waters reflecting the beautiful forest and the fall foliage was totally dreamy. The lake sits within the Triglav National Park and it is a popular place for those who love the outdoors. Lots of hiking trails, stunning scenery, swimming (when the weather allows) and skiing during winter.
As I mentioned earlier you can catch the bus to Bohinj or if you lucky enough to have a car it’s a thirty to forty-five-minute drive away. Make sure you stay on the main roads if you are driving, especially if you are not confident with windy one-way roads with lots of obstacles.
Take the Vogel to the top of the Julian Alps
The Julian Alps stretch from north-eastern Italy to Slovenia. The highest peak being Mount Triglav which rises to 2,864 m. Here you can catch the cable car to the top of Mount Triglav a perfect place to capture the panoramic views of the mountains and Lake Bohinj.
In the summer, take the trails nearby and have a lovely day out hiking. In the winter, it opens up to ski slopes and winter sports.
Hike to the Savica Waterfall
Savica Waterfalls are great for a half day hike and during summer would be a perfect place to enjoy a picnic on the route. Making your way up the hill, surrounded by the woods feels magical. As you get higher, the trees almost part to reveal the amazing landscape below and waterfall. On the other side, you can see the valley and beautiful forest surrounded by lakes and mountains.
Tip, the waterfall isn’t free and make sure you are carrying a couple of euros cash to cover the cost of entry.
Day Trip to Ljubljana
The capitals name for me the name isn’t easy to pronounce so let’s start with the correct pronunciation of Ljubljana. It’s pronounced as ‘lyoo-BLYAH-nah’. It’s not a big city, it can easily be covered by foot and save money on transport.
We, unfortunately, got rained out! The weather apps were not joking (like the UK) that it would pour down with rain. From a perfect warm almost summer day to torrential rain! Listen to the weather reports as they are pretty spot on.
Hopefully, you have better weather than us, I recommend visiting the Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana Castle, taking a walk through the Old Town and a stroll around the canals.