Europe Great Outdoors Slovenia

Not Just A Tourist Trap: The Beautiful Lake Bled, Slovenia.

“Zdravo” fellow travel lovers and welcome to a Slovenian instalment of Kaptain Kenny. This time we report to you from Slovenia’s biggest tourist spot….

Lake Bled

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Couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this little island in the middle of the lake.

This began as a day trip from the capital city of Ljubljana (which will be posted soon, so stay tuned). What began as quite ‘a good idea’ to kill some time for the day, turned into “Oh no! We don’t have enough time!” Lake Bled absolutely took my breath away and for that reason, my biggest regret is not having had enough time to soak it all up. In fact, I think we were just here for a measly 3 hours.

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As if the water and the castle weren’t good enough, along comes a graceful swan.

What to do / what not to do while here? My tips:

  • Definitely, 100% and without a doubt RENT A BIKE if you are short on time. The circumference of the lake is around 8km and it was so gorgeous to ride our bikes. I think they ended up being around 5 euros an hour. There’s a bike path for you the entire way round, you save time by doing it and you can always stop and take photos. The only downside to this option was that every single angle of this lake is picturesque and you do constantly stop to marvel. For this reason, if you have more time than we did, I’d also recommend doing the lap by foot.
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Make sure you leave the beaten ‘track’ to find some cute little scenic places like this.

  • Mother Nature is working at her finest here. Lake Bled is scenery central and the sort of place I prefer visiting the most. It’s an impressive lake, with some of the clearest water I’ve seen and the best air I’ve breathed. Choose a bar or restaurant which is right near the water and sit and get a drink like we did.
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Going by foot? Don’t forget there’s a lovely boardwalk wrapping around quite a bit of the lake.

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I will never, ever forget this one spot. We almost had it to ourselves and shortly after this picture, the sun came out to play and the water sparkled like green and blue diamonds.

  • This must be a place which is stunning in all seasons. As I come from a place which is 98% boiling-hot summer, (cough cough, Queensland – Australia) I find places with real autumn days to be especially beautiful and alluring. I can imagine that Lake Bled looks best during either autumn and/or spring. However just imagine a really cold winter, where the lake has frozen and the leafless trees are holding mountains of snow – it must look similar to Narnia!
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This is one of the ‘boats’ you can take across the lake to the island. I think they hold up to 30 or so people and believe me, they’ll be full.

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Just some photographic evidence that I was truly here and didn’t get the images from Google 😛

  • Travel here during shoulder/off-peak season. I’m a selfish traveller and don’t enjoy sharing my precious moments with other tourists, although I am one myself….. For that reason if a place you want to visit is ‘touristy’, that means you should avoid it during Europe’s summer season. This definitely means July and August. I find the very end of September and October is a great time to travel because prices are well and truly lower, the weather is still reliable AND you’ll begin to see the crisping of the leaves. It’s a win-win.
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Look at that, even the nun has come out for the day!

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Yay for autumn leaves!

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Slovenian cuteness.

Before coming, I had read online that Lake Bled was pretty touristy. Indeed it was considerably more tourist driven than the Slovenian capital city Ljubljana but that didn’t spoil it for me because we didn’t do the typical tourist activities anyway. We instead opted for a lovely bike ride.

The following non-recommendable touristy options are here:

  • You can take an overpriced boat to the middle of the lake where there’s a small island with a church. You’ll be given 30 minutes before your scheduled return time. I didn’t do it but I’ve read countless times that this is tourist trap central and that you can wander around the island in less than 2 minutes. Instead, perhaps opt for the 30 minute hike to the top of the mountain where you get a panoramic view of the entire lake & its cute little island in the middle. Read those instructions on this blog which I found here: http://jessieonajourney.com/lake-bled/
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The clearest water…. during strong sunlight, it even looks like the Caribbean.

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Picturesque scenes will ensue.

  • We didn’t do this either but you can also visit the castle grounds at the top of the mountain. Upon arrival, some tour operators will take photos of your surprised expression and charge you 7 euros for the photo. The castle looks spectacular from down on the ground anyway so I wouldn’t recommend going unless you particularly have to see it up close. Especially give it a miss if you’re going to be short on time.
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The sun was starting to go down so I didn’t have a lot of light to work with but isn’t this just stunning. It’s literally just scenery central.

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Did I mention each and every corner of the lake is worth stopping at? I wish I could have stayed longer.

  • The food in the area was quite ordinary. I’ve read that same opinion on other travel blogs about Lake Bled so I know I’m not just being picky. We chose the second best restaurant on TripAdvisor and our meal was ordinary at best. I normally don’t like to rely on T.A to be honest but there wasn’t much more in the area to go by. My solution? Pack a PICNIC lunch and enjoy mother nature. If I could change one thing about my few hours here, I’d have brought a lovely fresh salad and some bread & dips etc. As you can see from the photos, the weather was epic, the lake was still and there were countless spots to sit down and enjoy yourself. Woops!
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Top left: the castle which you can walk to if you want. Alternatively, visit the building directly underneath. This is a bar by the lake.

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See what I tried to do here? I tried to capture the stand up paddle-boarder, the island and the castle (middle  left). Shame I didn’t have much light.

So all in all, if you’re basing yourself in Ljubljana for a weekend, I’d undeniably urge you to visit Lake Bled for a day trip. Try to give yourself more time than we did though. Pack a picnic lunch. Bring hiking/walking shoes and get to the top of the mountain as we unfortunately didn’t have the time and I’m certain it’s worth it. Avoid the trashy main part of town, I mean there’s a casino there for heaven’s sake!

Take in Mother Nature and all she has to offer. Don’t forget to put the camera away, take a deep breath and really enjoy your time.

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Castle: check. Snow-capped mountain in the background: check. Ducks: check.

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And swan: check!

Lake Bled came into existence when the Bohinj Glacier moved away. It is 2120 m long, up to 1380 m wide and it is of tectonic origin. After the last Ice Age, the Bohinj Glacier deepened its natural tectonic hollow and gave it Lake Bled’s present form. When the ice melted the basin filled with water. 

Slovenia Info.

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Do what this person is doing! Pack a picnic and then have a snooze.

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From our lakeside bar. Not a bad view, is it?

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Goodbye Lake Bled! The sun is going down and I’ve just captured my final shot for the day.

And finally….

Don’t forget if you have any questions or comments, leave us a message! We read each and every one of them and we’re delighted when our readers interact and engage with us 🙂

Have you been to Lake Bled? What did you think of it?

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Oh wait, just one more 🙂

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    dave ply
    October 18, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    Looks like a beautiful spot. Another blogger I follow has been doing posts on northern Slovakia recently – I had no idea the area was so mountainous and picturesque,

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      October 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      It’s absolutely wonderful! There’s so much scenery to discover and even though it certainly does get a lot of tourists, if you go during shoulder season or off-peak, you won’t have to share your space with many people at all! 🙂

    • Reply
      boyan
      June 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      This is Slovenia, not Slovakia

      • kaptainkennytravel
        June 22, 2017 at 7:26 pm

        Yes Slovenia 🙂 It’s beautiful!

  • Reply
    Megan Starr (@MeganCStarr)
    October 19, 2016 at 4:05 am

    Wow definitely different than when I went! I must take Ed one day 🙂 I also heard Bohinj is spectacular. I only had like 5 days in Slovenia which was like 2 months too short. I could stay there forever and live among the pristine nature 🙂

    I don’t even know why I ever wrote about my experience at Bled, but I did back in the day (and still get quite a bit of traffic from it because other people must have hit the place on a lousy day, too). http://www.meganstarr.com/lake-bled-grey/ I think April is probably not the best time to hit up Lake Bled 😛

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      October 23, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      Totally agree! I really could have stayed longer :*( I mean if Lake Bled was this beautiful, just imagine how many non-touristy and undiscovered natural pockets there must be….

  • Reply
    seaofblush
    October 20, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    One of my friends was just in Slovenia!! You know I really had no idea anyone went there! Looks beautiful! How baby friendly do you find it?
    Cheers
    Diana
    http://www.seaofblush.com

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      October 23, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      Hey there!
      I think the city itself should be baby friendly…. because there is absolutely no traffic in the CBD. In saying that, parts of the town centre were still pretty busy and full of lots of people. Is your baby one who tends to go running off? Overall, I’d say Slovenia and Ljubljana specifically are calm 🙂

  • Reply
    A Little European City You Need to Visit: Ljubljana – Kaptain Kenny Travel
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    […] recently I was in Croatia to visit Plitvice National Park and to do a day trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia. We decided to use Zagreb (Croatia’s capital) as our base. Did I love Zagreb? Nope. Did we […]

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    GOOD LUCK
    April 15, 2017 at 4:45 am

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