Bled Slovenia is a country in Central Europe. It has borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and it has coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia is a country in Central Europe. It has borders with Italy, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and it has coastline on the Adriatic Sea.
Slovenia is also known as the “green heart of Europe” because of its natural environment. I’ve traveled here and want to share what I experienced so you can decide if this is a place you want to visit.
Bled Slovenia Turquoise Lake was outstanding
The place looked as though it was taken from a child’s fantasy:
- The small turquoise lake with a tiny island and a church on top with a mysterious “wishing bell”
- The castle perched on top of a steep mountain
- Alps and green forest surrounding the villages – 100% fairytale-like!
The people we met there were among the most outgoing ones we’ve met during the trip so far, and unlike many other places in Europe, the locals seemed grateful for the tourists coming there, and made an extra effort to show us and tell us everything about their village.
We’ve arrived in Slovenia. We’re going to be staying in a little town called Bled. It’s so quiet here. We’re woken up nice and early here in Bled. We’re going to go around the lake and up to this vantage point overlooking the whole lake and the Alps around here. Every picture you see of Bled has apparently been taken from this hill. So it seemed like an amazing place to get a good shot.
The only problem is it’s up a massive steep hill that takes about an hour to get there. So we’re going to go and workout. It’s steep huh? I think we’re about halfway up the hill now. It’s been really steep so far, but we’re going to push through and then we’re going to get a nice view at the end.
I’m pretty sure it’s going to be worth it. They put these ropes here to hold on so you don’t fall down. There really is a cliff here. We were kind of joking when we said it was going to be a workout, but it’s just ridiculous how steep these stairs are. We made it.We’re on top of the mountain. And we said let’s go and workout. We didn’t expect it to be this crazy. It’s a very steep hill. But the view here was absolutely worth it. So we’re overlooking now, overlooking Bled, the Alps, the church, the castle, every iconic spot here in Bled, we can see from this viewpoint. So it really is Worth it.
It really it the best place to see Bled. The sweating, the hard work, was definitely worth it. Now we’re going to go back down, and Sofia’s been hinting that she wants to go for a swim in the lake. It looks so inviting doesn’t it? Yeah, she brought a bikini along as well so, we’re going to walk down and see how warm it is. It’s going to be fine. As you can see, I’ve decided to do it.
It’s freezing in the water, but it’s really warm outside, so I need to cool down. Oh, it’s deep here. It’s quite nice when you get used to it. We’re about to take one of these pletna boats, it’s a rowboat, across to those islands. It’s the only natural island in Slovenia, and it’s got this incredible iconic church on top with a lot of history. So it’s going to be really cool to check out I think. We arrived at the island and this island has a really long history dating back to about a thousand years.
But today, there’s a church called the Assumption of Mary up here, and it’s a very popular place for people to get married. The tradition is the groom carries the bride up each of these 99 steps. I’m glad I’m not the groom. Before this church was built, Pagans used to come and worship the goddess of love and fertility called Živa.
Bled Slovenia can be summed up in one word – INCREDIBLE!
Everything to do with this place was amazing – the nature, the food, the people – add onto that the lack of tourists and you really have found a place which is off-the-beaten track yet still right in the middle of Europe. I really can’t wait to go back there and spend more time explore the rest of the country.
Things to do in Bled Slovenia
Bled is a gorgeous little town in Slovenia, located by a turquoise lake and surrounded by deep green forest – it’s the perfect romantic weekend break to take, to both enjoy nature, relaxation and good food. Here are some fun things to do on a weekend trip to Bled.
Visit Bled Island
One of Bled’s most beautiful attributes is the tiny island situated right in the middle of the milky turquoise lake – you can reach it either by renting a rowing boat and row there yourself, or jump on one of the small traditional pletna boats over to the tiny little island on the lake.
On the island is the Church of Assumption, dating back to 1698 – inside the church is a bell called “the wishing bell”, because apparently if you ring the bell three times it will give you good luck! The church itself is beautiful, with well preserved frescoes of Virgin Mary and a great legend behind it.
Go for a Hike
Bled is surrounded by lush nature and there are many beautiful walks in and around the village. If you just want an easy stroll, you can walk along the lake in a circle back to the town. If you want to get up high for a beautiful view, you can go up to Bled Castle which is perched on a mountain, or go on the opposite side and hike up the mountain. It’s about a 2 hour climb, but the views overlooking the lake, the castle and the town are incredible.
Triglav National Park is also nearby, which offers some amazing opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts, and there is a gorge nearby which is well worth visiting, but it’s not quite walking distance. Instead we suggest renting a bike and visit the gorge as well as the surrounding villages, each with their own charm.
Try the Cream Cake
Bled is famous for the creamy, heavy cake called Kremna Rezina – the vanilla custard cream filled cake is Slovenia’s claim to fame, and was invented in 1953 at Park Hotel, a restaurant in Bled. While there are many places serving this cake, there is something special about having the cake where it was invented and tasting the cake from its original secret recipe.
However, people argue that while it’s the original place, the place with the best cake is actually Slascicarna Smon – why not try them both?
It’s not very easy making international calls from Bled as it’s such a small town and there aren’t many internet cafés around. It’s better to simply stay at a hotel, or hostel that offers wi-fi, because that would make free online calling much easier.
Most other daily necessities such as convenience stores, supermarkets, cafes and restaurants are readily available in the town, although keep in mind that many of them are closed on Sundays and might close early in the afternoon.
Slovenia Secret Getaway Hot spot
Before I went to Slovenia I knew absolutely nothing about it. This was partly down to my ashamedly poor general knowledge but, in my defense, Slovenia also seems to be bizarrely far off the tourist radar. Slovenia Secret Getaway Hotspot My friend Sally and I decided to go because we had both been to Croatia and Italy before, but neither of us had ever even considered Slovenia and from all the photos it looked pretty stunning. We arrived with no place to stay (very disorganized) but luckily found somewhere almost immediately, although they called it a hotel, it is more like a cozy guesthouse.
The outside was beautifully decorated with hundreds of colorful potted plants growing on the yellow painted window sills, I felt as if I was stepping into a doll’s house! Inside was equally as vibrant with a beautifully tiled entrance hall and lots of wooden furnishings.
However, the thing I really loved was that they had hundreds of bikes (fully equipped with helmets and locks) that you could borrow, so it was really easy to get around. We soon discovered that we were only five minutes from Lake Bled so we peddled there in the early hours of the morning and got there just in time to see the sunrise on the Lake, I felt as if we had cycled straight onto a postcard, it was o picturesque!
Lake Bled Enchanting Church
We then walked around the Lake, which can take up to two hours, but it was incredibly relaxing. I would recommend taking the boat to the island on the lake as there are some beautiful old steps there that lead to a lovely church. To top it all off there is a beautiful view once you reach the top, so make sure to bring a camera, as I completely forgot!
For the last few days we decided to travel to Ljubljana (the capital of Slovenia) and treat ourselves by staying in the fantastically luxurious Antiq Palace Hotel. Originally for the aristocracy, we felt very posh (and slightly out of place) as we walked in. The room was absolutely beautiful, we got a suite (I know really pushing the boat out!) which had a Jacuzzi in it.
Naturally we spent the next two days acting like celebrities. They also have a spa that offers great massages that had us floating on cloud 9, I felt more relaxed then I had been in years. Plus there is a relatively large gym, which kept the holiday weight off, just! Although not as beautiful as Bled, Ljubljana has a great deal of character and loads to do! I would recommend the walking tour and ride to Ljubljana castle.
I learnt so much about the history of the city, the buildings were a mixture of Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture, I was in complete awe and this time I had my camera. I would highly recommend this beautiful place to anyone considering an adventure. Slovenia Hotels are full of character and charm and there is so much to see and do.
We hope you found this guide to Bled helpful and that you have a wonderful time visiting Bled and Slovenia! We knew little to nothing about Slovenia before starting the Europe Train Challenge. It was like a country which had been left in the shade between Austria and Croatia.
But very soon all of that changed, and we went from not knowing anything about it to absolutely adoring it! Bled, the small town we went to in Slovenia, was almost too good to be true. It was one of those places you didn’t really think could actually exist, other than in Disney movies.
The lake was unlike anything I have ever seen; bright turquoise from a distance, but when you went closer the water was so clear that you could see fish swimming 2 meters below the surface. The wild animals were more curious than afraid of people; swans and ducks swimming closer to get a better look, curious of you and your camera.
Lake Bled Slovania, the small town we went. Coming to Bled felt as though you had entered a book of fairy tales. Thick green forest, old traditional cottages, an abundance of animals, a castle perched on the edge of a cliff and a church on a tiny island in the middle of a turquoise lake – with a wishing bell…I mean seriously, the wishing bell just takes the prize! This place cannot be for real?!
There are a lot of legends about Bled, with the one about the wishing bell being the most famous. The story goes that if you make a wish and ring the bell three times your dream will come true, and many people say that they actually do come true. The only thing missing from the story would be Rapunzel’s hair hanging down from the Castle’s tower… Lake Bled Slovania castle
But what made our visit even more memorable were the people we met in the town – they were all so friendly. Tourism is finally catching up here since the Yugoslav war (although Slovenia was never really in war, except for 10 brief days, tourists were afraid of going there for many years).
And unlike some other places we’ve been to, the people there seemed very grateful we were there and instead of wanting to keep Bled for themselves, they were very proud and wanted to share this little gem with the whole world. So if you’re around Croatia or Austria, please do take the time to visit Bled in Slovenia as well, it really is such a special place!