Lake Bled is Magical.
And definitely should be on your list.
We spent three days at Lake Bled and left with a new found pollen allergy, shin splints, and happiness that can only come from nature.
Bled took me back in time and to a different world, the atmosphere was full of mystery and seclusion. The three days spent there although not enough was sufficient, it felt like a break away from all the stresses of life. It was a perfect choice to unwind and be awed by nature. It’s funny how it’s not the biggest lake or the best town I have seen and this is why I call it magical because the pull it had on me was unexplainable. From how to get there to what to do, I have broken it all down for you below. Happy reading.
Breakdown - click to jump straight to that topic
From Lubijana Aiport, there is a bus that goes directly to Lake Bled, it’s more frequent in the summer so bare in mind the season you’re travelling in, if you can’t make sense of the bus there are plenty of transfer companies available, I used this company and booked in advance – it’s about 13 Euros per person. Alternatively, you can book one when you get there, as soon as you walk out of the airport there are massive signs so you can’t miss it. You can also arrange for a private transfer which will cost you anywhere from 42 euros. If all else fails, ask your accommodation and they will be glad to help but beware as they might charge you a booking fee.
When you’re at the lake unless you’re staying far out, transport isn’t really needed, bike rental shops are a dime a dozen, but I personally wouldn’t suggest renting a bike, if it’s a nice leisurely cycle around the lake you want, you won’t get it. There are too many people and not enough pavement to do that all the way around the lake, and there are a few hills around the area that you would have to conquer.
As we went just at the cusp of summer season Vintar Gorge main entrance was still closed, someone suggested we rent a bike as the last waterfall is still accessible and am I glad I was too lazy to do so. Instead, we paid 10 euros (got ripped off, just for the convenience) to be driven to St Catherine’s church and from there, it’s a walk in the woods to get to the waterfall, definitely doable by foot, not so by bike unless you’re well versed in that.
Euros is what you want to get your hands on for Slovenia. All places we went to took a debit/credit card, the only exception was our transfer to the airport and to lake bled, there are a few ATMs around the lake but not many, the one I can remember was close to the casino across the road and a 3 min walk away.
I didn’t meet one person who didn’t speak English, they all spoke it well actually and that can make you lazy, but make the effort and try to learn a few phrases, ask your waiter, bus driver, the shop assistant anyone (except for maybe other tourists). I found an app called Slovenia which is really handy, gives you a phrase book, some history, and tips on what to do and where to eat and drink. I would always you rather find hidden gems so be careful not to follow guides too closely.
Anyone who knows me knows my stomach is moodier than a teenager going through puberty, so good quality food is important for me to be happy, with one exception, I, unfortunately, did not find the food to my liking. The places surrounding the lake were definitely charging tourist prices with main meals averaging between 18-24 euros per dish.
If you’re willing to pay that then I definitely suggest going to the castle for lunch. The food was amazing, the service great and the views were breathtaking. According to the website, You have to book in advance but I did see some walk in while we were there. If you have a reservation you can get into the castle for free. There isn’t much else to do apart from walking around and guess what, like everything else we did, it was a steep walk up, but only about 5 mins worth.
What to do
Vintar gorge is well worth it, please don’t go in winter, it’s closed for a reason the path can get very slippery and if you fall you’re not coming back from that. There is another way around when it’s closed via st Catherine’s church.
Take a stroll around the lake, it’s 6km but every angle makes you want to take more pictures, I think I can make a 360 view with the number of pictures I have taken.
I was lucky enough to go at a time where the weather was amazing and there weren’t too many tourists around which is my favourite, make sure you spend some time around the lake in the evening, there is an eerily beautiful feel about it with the castle all lit up.
What not to do
Now there is one activity that I feel is greatly overrated and that’s the island in the middle, if you wanted to be robbed without having all the anxiety then this is your activity. I’m all for new experiences so I tried it.
I had two options either take a shared boat or hire my own and row your way around the lake. We chose the former and shared our boat with an American family, I kinda felt bad for the rower of the boat as it looked like hard work. Although there was background noise the screaming kids and chatter the boat ride itself was relaxing.
Once on the island, we were allocated 40 minutes to explore. In order to ring the bell of my nightmares and go up the clock tower, you have to hand over 6 euros each, which is waaay tooo expensive for what it is, you have a quaint little church with a rope in the middle that you can pull which sets off the church bell, if you would like to hear all about the legend behind the bell, click here they explain it better than I could.
There is a clock tower you can climb up, took 10 seconds and didn’t add anything to my experience, except for maybe a few cobwebs.
The castle is worth a visit too if you want to get past paying the 10 euros to get in, as I said before you can book a table at the castle restaurant. It’s the only place I can safely say had amazing food and was decently priced. At the entrance, you state your name and that you have a reservation, go earlier so you have time to walk around the castle. Don’t want you feeling rushed during lunch
My greatest activity in Lake Bled hands down was the hike up Mala Osojica. I had originally planned for it to be a sunrise hike, but sleep won that battle. So it instead was a late afternoon hike, my biggest motivator on these kinds of activities is watching that one guy do it with ease in flip flops, while you pant and sweat in places you didn’t know could. Height and a bad knee is a bit of an issue for me, but you always leave with a great story that is exaggerated by your fear. And that’s the best type of stories.
Have you been to Lake Bled before? If so leave your tips in the comments below. Or if I have convinced you about this amazing place let me know! Basically just comment so we can feel the love 🙂
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