“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….
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.
Things to do at Lake Bled, Slovenia
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- If you’re looking for another lake option in Slovenia, I’ve been told by countless people that Lake Bohinj is pretty spectacular. If you’re looking to do some more research on Slovenia’s natural travel options, then click here: http://www.slovenia.info/default.asp?jezero=0&id_country=54&lng=2
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/
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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Have you been to Lake Bled? What did you think of it?