As soon as landed in Slovenia I went to the famous lake Bled. I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I wanted to check if it is really as beautiful as they picture it.. Deep in my soul, well, not really deep, but.. I was skeptical. I expected the lake to be another touristic bubble. A popular but an overrated place, where people go and then make up stories to hide their disappointment. A minibus was carrying me through beautiful winding roads running through jolly green hills and valleys.. Grey mountains were looking upon me. And I was thinking: What will I see?
Finally we entered a small village, full of relaxed tourists. Cycling tourists. Slowly walking old couples. Kids playing around parents.. Almost everyone moving in one direction, same as mine.. The bus stopped at the road edge. The driver said: Here is a Panorama restaurant. It was the place where bus driver recommended me to get down to see the lake Bled. We have arrived.
I got down from the bus, put my backpack on my shoulders. My backpack was just 10kg (I flew with low cost airlines and I didn’t pay for an extra weight or an extra bag). The sun was already quite high and the sky was blue bright. But I didn’t see the lake yet. Just a long light grey building with cafe terraces, covered by grape plants. In some distance on my right I saw a mountain rock with a castle on top. So I decided to walk towards the castle: maybe from there I’ll see the lake.. In a very last moment I noticed tiny gates with stairs leading down. I got curious to check if these gates are open for tourists and where these stairs can bring me to. I stepped down.
That was it! The lake Bled!
For a moment I stood in a shock with my jaw dropped. I was standing like a statue not being able to move my eyes away nor to bring my jaw back..
This lake is stunning! It’s gorgeous! It’s more beautiful than you see it at pictures. No cameras capture its awesomeness!
Finally I’ve managed to “defreeze” 🙂 I took my camera, and for half an hour, non-stop, I was taking pictures. I just wanted to grasp this lake and to hold it with me forever:)
So.. What is so special and awesome in this lake?
It’s not this awesome feeling of freshness and fulfillment. Framed into high green hills and rock cliffs with grey misty mountains in the background this lake makes you to think of a gorgeous and precious chalice with chilled icy water which will quench your thirst in a desert hot day..
It’s not that cute little island looking like a precious genuine pearl in its shell.. The view that brings you back to your childhood full of sweetness and fairy tales..
It’s not the ancient castle topping a giant grey stone cliff towering above the lake.. Making you to feel that you found a safe place where you want to hold your love in an ever lasting hug..
But above everything, this lake is all but about the colors! Stunning green colors of turquoise and emerald noble gems.
You’ll watch little fish playing in beautiful fairy tale castle looking reefs of the lake. You will watch how sky and mountains are reflecting in a mirror of the crystal clear lake..
And again and again.. You can’t stop admiring these colors!
Lake Bled – the Emerald of Slovenian Alps!
What to do at the lake Bled:
- Take a walk along the lake to see all the shades of emerald and turquoise… It’s less than 8 km / 5 miles walk. You can also cycle around, but the views are so beautiful so that you’ll want to stop and to take a photo literally every minute:)
- Go to Bled Island with a traditional boat – Pletna. Roundtrip price is 14 euros. You will feel like in Venetian gondola, only that the boatman doesn’t sing. But he’ll tell you lots of interesting things about Bled:) And you’ll see more turquoise & emerald shades..:) The boat ride takes about 30-40 minutes, also you’ll stay for about 30 minutes on the island. It’s enough to walk through this tiny island, climb to the top of a clock tower and to enjoy a cup of coffee with stunning views:)
- To take unique panoramic shots of the lake from above (like the featured image for this post) you’ll need to do a bit of serious mountain hiking. Just behind the Bled island you’ll see a very high hill. This is where you have to climb. When you walk along the lake more or less behind the island you’ll see a muddy and wild path going to forest, it will bring you to the viewing point – Ojstrica. Another viewing point – Mala Osojnica. Beware that these paths are very rocky, slippery and sloppery. At the very top you’ll might need to hold the rocks to keep a balance. If you have any physical difficulties with walking, unfortunately, these places are not for you..
- Another viewing point and also an entertaining place is Straza. Go there for gorgeous views and for some adrenaline – mountain sliding:) Price of a slide is 9+ euros.
- Feel like a medieval king at the 10K old Bled Castle. Or maybe you’ll feel like an eagle at the top of a mountain:) Beautiful place full of history, majesty and culture & festivals. Definitely a great place for a dinner with a view!:) Entrance fee is 10+ euros.
- Relax at the Bled beaches🙂 There are numerous small beaches around the lake, mostly behind the Bled island and close to the castle.
- Experience the Bled lake through water sports: canoeing, SUP, boats. or maybe fishing?:) Sun and Water, what can be better?:)
- Spend more time in the Bled area to explore the gorgeous nature around: hike in Vintgar gorge to see beautiful mountains, waterfalls and rapids. Roam in fabulous Triglavski national park.
Travel practicalities for lake Bled:
- Travel to the lake Bled:
- From Airport:
- There are shuttles going by schedule directly to lake Bled. If you go to the lake before 11:15am, it will cost you 36 euros as there no “scheduled” shuttles in the morning. At 11:15am and after the price will be between 7.5-13 euros. You need to make a reservation. Travel time is around 30-40 minutes. For more information click the link. I went by one of these shuttles and I enjoyed the experience, also their welcoming and a printout with a useful and interesting information:)
- There are no direct public buses to Bled. You’ll need to go either to Ljubljana or to Kranj, where you’ll transfer to bus going to Bled. Travel time is between at least 1.5 hours. Buses go once in one hour.. You can plan your route by google maps.
- From Ljubljana: There are direct buses from Ljubljana bus station, every hour. The travel costs around 6.5 euros and lasts for app. 1 hour. There are also numerous shuttles (check with your hotel) and other options, though requiring a transfer.
- From Airport:
- Travel from lake Bled to Ljubljana: Go to Bled bus station. There are plenty of small shuttles going by schedule as well as by agreement to Ljubljana and to other places. I traveled by a scheduled public bus Alpetour*, going directly to the bus station of Ljubljana. The ride took around 1 hour and 6.3 euros. It was a good modern bus with AC and comfortable seats..
- * In Slovenia as well as in most Balkan countries, there are plenty bus operators. Some of them can be found through central time schedule, whilst for others you have to learn timings separately..
- Food Specialty of the lake Bled – a cream cake Kremsnita. It is indeed a culinary symbol of Bled:)
- Ensure you have water and energy snacks with you when you start hiking in the hills above the lake. There’s no place to refill your bottle.
- You might need swimming shoes to be able to enjoy water. The beaches are rocky.
Feel free to comment or ask questions about Bled!:)
Read more about travel in Slovenia: Things to see & do, Travel practicalities.
Read about a Fairy tale town – Ljubljana: What to see in Ljubljana. What to do in Ljubljana.
Earn 15 euros when booking an accommodation at Booking.com. Use this link: https://www.booking.com/s/0fa1b1f3 . I’ve got this offer because I have done lots of bookings for my Balkans Travel marathon:)