on May 28, 2023May 15, 2023
Lake Bled is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. Lying in the Julian Alps region of northern Slovenia, it’s framed with picturesque mountain peaks covered in snow, not far from the Austrian border. The lake is like a fairytale, with an island housing a church sitting in the middle of it, and a castle perched atop a cliff looking down on it. I was blown away by its beauty and can’t wait to share all my tips for visiting with you.
When to visit & how to get there
Lake Bled is beautiful in all seasons, but of course it’s busiest in summer. Visitor numbers in July and August can swell so high there are no boats available and the pathways around the lake are completely clogged.
It’s for that reason I think April, May, September and October are ideal for a visit without the crowds. We went in early April and it wasn’t too busy at all. We traded this for few open restaurants and variable weather but got lucky with a few brief interludes of sunshine.
Getting to Lake Bled is simple. You can fly in to Ljubljana airport and hire a car (driving is very easy in Slovenia), or you could get a taxi for about EUR50. Alternatively you could fly in to Klagenfurt in Austria and drive the c.1hr to reach the lake.
Things to do
There is so much to do in Lake Bled, and you could spend days walking the hiking trails in the surrounding National Park too (it’s home to Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak). Here are some of my highlights.
1. Walk the full loop around Lake Bled
Walking around the whole lake is my top thing to do if you’re visiting for just a short amount of time. The full loop is only 6km and will take about 1.5hrs. It’s just SO beautiful though that you’ll need to add on probably another 1.5hrs for photos!!
2. Hike to Ojstrica viewpoint
The most famous viewpoint out over the lake is Ojstrica, a trail up from the bottom point of the lake. The trail is a bit of a scramble in places, but oh so worth it for the views. Just look at it!!
3. Take a boat out to Bled island
One of my favourite things I did on my visit was to take a boat from the lake short out to the central island. The island has been a site of pilgrimage for centuries, and its easy to see why with its picturesque church. Once on the island it’s a must to ring the church bell and make a wish – apparently it’s then destined to come true.
4. Visit Bled castle
Bled castle is built high up on the cliff side, and has been there since the 1000s! This incredible historic castle is a must see on a trip, but it’s a bit of a walk to get there and not suitable for people with mobility issues as there are a lot of steps. Once there, there’s a castle museum, a lovely little chapel and the most beautiful views out over the lake.
5. Eat traditional Bled cream cake
You can’t come to Bled and not try its traditional cream cake. For the last 70 years it’s been a tradition in the area and oh my goodness it’s tasty.
6. Enjoy a wellness treatment
Another benefit of Bled is that it is known as a spa town, and that means it has lots of options for massages and treatments. We chose to have a couples massage at Ziva Wellness Centre right on the lake shore and also make use of their amazing pool and spas. It was a heavenly way to spend a few hours.
How long to stay & where to stay
How long to spend in Lake Bled depends on your interests. Many visit just as a day trip from Ljubljana but this means you will only have time to do a couple of things on the list above.
To cover everything in the list above and do it justice needs at least 2 full days. If you’re also interested in the nearby National Park and the wonderful hikes it has to offer then I recommend 3-4 nights in Bled as a base to explore the surrounding area.
There are lots of hotel options in Bled. We stayed right on the shore in Adora Luxury Hotel. You can read my full review HERE (post coming soon).
Other options include Vila Bled (although this is not open during off season), Rikli Balance Hotel (which is home to the amazing spa we visited), and Grand Hotel Toplice which has a prime spot right on the lake.
So what do you think of Lake Bled? Would you like to visit? It was truly a magical place and I had the absolute best time exploring this truly beautiful little piece of the world. Stay safe and happy travelling!
I visited Lake Bled shortly after the return of democracy, in other words at a time when there was still little documentation for visitors. I arrived unprepared on a day trip from Ljubljana and unfortunately didn’t have time to go up to the view point. Afterwards, all the Slovenians I’ve met in my life (very few, in fact) have always asked me if I’d visited Bled, which shows its cultural significance for the inhabitants of this friendly country.
So beautiful! Your lovely post reminds me of our own trip to the lake (about 15 years ago?)
Such a well written travel guide Hannah. Hopefully I’ll make it there before too long.
Reply(Video) Top 10 Places To Visit In Slovenia - Travel Guide
Wow, you visit such amazing places, Hannah! Dreamlike, indeed, with such magnificent views, and a church on the island in Bled Lake! I’ve never seen such things, before. Lovely photographs my dear friend ~ thanks for sharing! 🙂
Can you imagine living in that castle? I’d be constantly glued to a window! Beautiful post, Hannah.
Lake Bled looks gorgeous, especially from the Ojstrica viewpoint I’m right there with you about visiting during the shoulder seasons in the spring and fall. That’s actually my favourite time to travel. Trying a slice of that cream cake sounds like a nice reward after all that hiking.
Absolutely stunning! I may just leave your post up all day on my computer and daydream about going there. I think I would need at least a few days here to really enjoy it. Great post 🙂
Reply(Video) Pearl Of Alps! - LAKE BLED, Slovenia (Things To Do)
Great, Quality Content for The Ultimate Tour Guide, A lot of thanks for sharing, kindly keep with continue !!
You’re right Hannah, it’s picture perfect! There really is so much to do. The hike looks particularly beautiful and when there’s a castle to visit, I’m all for it! But oh my, the Bled cream cake – yummy! Would I like to visit Lake Bled … after reading your post and seeing all your amazing photos … absolutely yes, I would love to!
It’s so so pretty! Thanks for sharing all the things to do there, I mostly just hear about people visiting for a couple hours and then leaving.
I’ve seen a picture of the church before, but until your post, I didn’t know much about Lake Bled. Your photos are outstanding, Hannah, and I love how you shared your experience as an itinerary. Maybe someday…
Reply(Video) Lake Bled Travel Guide | Day Trip from Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Two to three days at Lake Bled is enough time to immerse yourself in it's beauty and history without running out of things to do. Bled is a small town but it's the scenery that draws people there. Unless you plan on exploring further afield such as Triglav National Park, you won't need any longer.Can you drink the water from Lake Bled? ›
People from Slovenia and Bled know that the water running from our taps is clean and safe to drink.What is the best time of day to visit Lake Bled? ›
Best Time of Day
For example, visit the iconic Bled Castle first thing in the morning: It opens at 8 AM. It starts to get really crowded around 10 AM. The next morning you could rent a boat and row to Bled Island. Again, if you do this early, you'll dodge the crowds and enjoy a peaceful lake and island.
Can you swim in Lake Bled Slovenia? Swimming is permitted anywhere in the lake at your own risk, except in the designated areas with lifeguards.