Chances are you’ve seen the famous pictures of Lake Bled, the cute little island with a church surrounded by a stunning mountain range. This little town is popular year-round and also becoming more popular for it’s outdoor activities such as diving, skiing, hiking and horseback riding. For sure one of the most beautiful places you will ever visit
Here are some of the best things that you can do and you shouldn’t miss.
# 1. Visit the church in the middle of the lake.
The most obvious thing to do is of course visit the quaint little church in the middle of the lake. A popular pilgrimage site for many centuries now, the church was built in the 17th century. You can either take a traditional pletna boat (gondola) or a private paddleboat. After making the breathtaking journey to the island, check out the church inside and marvel at the 15th century artifacts. Remember to ring the bell in the church, said to bring good luck.
# 2. Explore the medieval castle.
Your visit is also not complete without a visit to Bled’s Castle, the oldest castle in Slovenia. Taking your time to read the exhibits throughout the castle will give you an insight into the interesting history of this country. Throughout your tour you will encounter some magical views of the lake below.
You can also get a great view of the lake and mountains from Mala Osojnica, a peak to the southwest of the lake. It’s quite the climb, so only do it if you’re fit and confident in your hiking abilities.
# 3. Get a birds-eye view of the scenery.
One of the best ways to get a view of the lake and town below if to take a hot air balloon ride over the lake.
In the distance you’ll see the Julian Alps, Triglav National Park, and lots of other amazing sites. If you time it right, you will be treated to a stunning sunrise if you get up early enough! Book way ahead as this can become full during the summer.
# 4. Take a hike through the Vintgar Gorge.
Vintgar Gorge is an easy hike not far from Bled through some amazing green pastures and farmland. The sheer cliffs of the gorge and the clear blue water will leave you impressed. It is closed during the winter months so be sure to plan your visit accordingly. The hike isn’t too difficult but you will be rewarded with some awesome views!
# 5. Have some traditional cream cake.
Kremšnita is the main dish of Bled, and definitely delicious. All Slovenian cuisine is delightful had to offer, from the Eastern European stews to the Italian stylye pasta. But the cream dessert takes the cake. Made with a few flaky layers of pastry filled with two thich layers of whipped cream. There are many popular places around the lake you can try it and nobody is really sure exactly where it came from. Make sure to try it with a coffee after a long days hike.
# 6. Check out Triglav National Park.
Slovenia’s only National Park, and one of the best in Europe. It’s free to enter with a number of fun activities such as canoeing, hiking and riding on horseback. The park is named after Triglav, the highest mountain in Slovenia and one of the most popular places to trek.
# 7. Spend your time at a Farm Stay
Probably the best way to spend you time in Slovenia is on a farm, living the way the locals live. One of the more popular methods of accommodation, this allows you to help out on the farm, cheese making and other traditional activities. The town of Bled can get really touristy and crowded during the summer, so a farm stay allows you to spend your time in nature away from the hustle and bustle.
You can also stay at the campsite along the edge of the lake, one of the best and cheapest ways to spend your time.
# 8. Don’t be afraid of the winter time
Not the most popular time of year to visit, but it may be the best due to the lack of tourists. The lake doesn’t freeze over so don’t worry about getting to the church, it’s still possible by boat. Lots of great winter activities to check out such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and much more. Make sure to stay for New Year’s Eve and you’ll get to see their amazing fireworks show over the lake, a sight you’ll never forget.
# 9. Ride the Bohinj Steam Railway.
As fun as hiking your way around Bled can be, one of the best ways to experience the surrounding landscape is through the window of the Bohinj Railway. It conjures up an old school and classical feeling, and one of the most romantic things to do around Bled.
# 10. Go deep into the subterranean Postojna Caves.
Not far from Bled, you’ll find these spectacular caves that feature stalactites and stalagmites found in almost every corner of the caves. Make sure to also visit Predjama Castle while you’r their. A Renaissance castle built right into the cliffs, to some it is more spectacular than Bled castle and conjures up a mystical atmosphere.