A lake, a picture-perfect island with a church, behind the island rises an enormous rock with a castle on top of it and the highest summit of Karavanke mountain chain in the background. That is how we see Bled from the west bank of the lake! Like from a fairytale! The island is, of course, the main attraction of Bled and draws quite a lot of visitors to our tourist gem. It can be reached by a traditional 'pletna' boat, in summer time we can swim to it, and if the winter is cold enough we can even walk to it on ice. A walk around the lake, ascent to the castle or to one of the other viewpoints is wonderful in any weather and in all seasons.
Bled is one of the 'champions' of Slovene tourism, which attracts crowds of local and foreign tourists. It is truly something special and has begun developing in a touristic sense very early. At first it was just health tourism, members of Karađorđević family came here, and then former Yugoslav president Tito adopted it as 'his own' too. Despite the large number of visitors, Bled still kept its likeability, closeness to the nature and numerous splendid spots that are not overcrowded at all.
Lake Bled with its marvelous island and the castle are, of course, a major magnet for visitors. The lake is of glacial-tectonic origins, more than 2 km long and has a good kilometer in width. This is just perfect for a pleasant walk around it and for organizing rowing competitions, which have a long standing tradition in Bled. Between June and September the water is warm enough for bathing and you can swim to the island with no great effort. Go up to the church along a beautiful stone stairway and ring a bell, that makes all wishes come true. Access to the church area and other facilities is prohibited in bathing-suits, so if you wish to stay dry, come to the island with style – with a traditional 'pletna' boat, which has been transporting pilgrims to the island from the 12th century.
You really should not overlook the Bled castle. You can drive up to it by car, but ascent on a pretty path from the lake shore by the castle bathing area is much nicer. The castle has been 'overlooking' its lake already for a 1000 years. During this time it has suffered some earthquakes and fires, but it conserved its shape for the last 300 years. Inside the castle rooms there is an interesting exhibition about the emergence and history of Bled, all the way from first settlers up to modern times. From the castle walls you have the lake practically at the tip of your fingers, and there is a panoramic cafe and a restaurant in the castle courtyard. There is also a wine cellar, an old printing shop, blacksmith's workshop and a herb gallery. And another thing: you can also get married in the castle!.
Bled is really great, its green surroundings will make sure that your days here will be too short.
A few more suggestions:
- Coffee and cake on the terrace of paviljon Belvedere
- famous 'kremšnita' (local cream cake) at kavarna Park
- have fun on the toboggan or adventure park on the nearby Straža hill
- go for a short hike with a great view to Ojstrica and Mala Osojnica
- Idea for rainy days in Bled? The Game Escape Room Bled