Slovenia’s best known attraction, spectacular Lake Bled is surrounded by breath-taking mountain scenery, with wooded slopes, a fairy-tale castle and picturesque island church.
Lake Bled is popular with visitors of all ages, from the energetic who want to hike in the surrounding hills and gorges, to those who want to simply admire the views. And what stunning views they are! To the eastern end of the lake perches the dramatic Bled Castle, on top of a sheer cliff. To the west is Bled Island, with its picture-postcard church rising from amongst the trees.
Tourism began here in the 19th century, when the renowned physician, Arnold Rikli, opened his ‘Institute of Natural Healing’ here, offering cures for all types of ills and health complaints. It quickly became popular with fashionable society, visited by the aristocracy of Vienna and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Yugoslav King Aleksander I chose Bled as his summer residence in 1921, and later Tito had his summer residence here at Villa Bled. The railway arrived in 1906, and steam trains still run regularly for a charming day trip through the beautiful scenery.
Lake Bled still retains its aristocratic charm and continues to attract visitors now as it did then. Some simply want to soak up the views or take a relaxed promenade along the lake; others come to swim in the clear waters; and others still are here to hike in the surrounding mountains and ramble in the foothills. Lake Bled is more than capable of satisfying them all!
What to do in Lake Bled
Traditional rowing boats known as
operate on the lake, and are the most pleasant way to reach the island. From the lake, there are 99 steps leading up to the Church of the Assumption. It is associated with the Virgin Mary, and is still a site of pilgrimage. Inside the church there are remains of some 15th century frescoes. Also well worth a visit is Bled Castle, first built in the 11th century. It not only boasts fantastic views over the lake, but also houses a fascinating museum displaying the history of the castle, and the development of tourism in the area.
Leisurely walks & cream slices
Lake Bled is famous for its delicious cream slices, which are best enjoyed after a bracing walk. There is a path, which runs in a circuit right around the lake, and a leisurely stroll to enjoy the scenery takes little more than an hour.
Those who are more energetic can take one of the hiking trails which lead through the nearby gorges - the popular Vintgar gorge, with its wooden walkways over impressive waterfalls is spectacular.
Others may choose simply to swim in the clear waters of the lake, take out a rowing boat, or just enjoy the beautiful views. However you choose to spend your time in Lake Bled, you are sure to return from your holiday relaxed and refreshed.
Slovenia is a compact country, so it is easy to use Lake Bled as a base. Take a day trip to the capital of Ljubljana, just over an hour away. There is a steam train service from Lake Bled’s Jezero Station to Bohinj Bistrica.
Transfers and Distances
Ljubljana Airport to Lake Bled: 1 hour and 15 minutes’ transfer by road.
Make sure you....
Take a boat trip on one of the distinctive canopied rowing boats known as ‘pletna’ to visit the island Church of the Assumption.
Enjoy a stroll along the path which leads right around the lake - it shouldn’t take much more than an hour.
Visit Bled Castle museum to learn about the history and traditions of the region.
Take a day-trip on the steam train to nearby Bohinj Bistrica for awe-inspiring mountain scenery.