Lake Bled – Top things not to miss

As I’ve previously mentioned in my post about why lake Bled is worth a visit, there is so much to do around Lake Bled. If you enjoy the outdoors, you can easily spend a week here, if not longer, and wouldn’t get bored.

Here is my short guide to top experiences everyone visiting Lake Bled should try.

Take a leisurely walk around Lake Bled

It takes around 60-90 minutes to circle the lake, depending on how fast you walk. It’s a very easy walk with flat surfaces all around, so suitable for all ages and abilities. If you prefer a pedal, you can hire bikes to explore the area around the lake and beyond.

Lake Bled Slovenia
Bled’s medieval castle overlooks the lake, adding to the charm of this popular tourist destination.

Take a dip in Lake Bled

As soon as I set eyes on Lake Bled I couldn’t wait to jump in the water. While the water is technically accessible from all around the lake, there are only a few designated swimming spots. Just below Castle Bled lies Grajsko kopališče, or Grajsko beach, a facilitated outdoor bathing area with water slides, play ground and changing facilities. Our favourite spot for a dip was tugged away on the Western side of the lake, near the Bled Camping site, where a small, pebbled beach provides easy access into the water. There is also a lawn area, a small supermarket, café and boat rental.

Lake Bled Slovenia
The best open spot for swimming is near the Bled campsite on the Western shore of the lake, where the water is shallow and easily accessible.

Experience a new activity

Bled offers a huge variety of summer (and winter) activities – one of the reasons why this is such a popular holiday destination for families. Apart from the usual water sports such as kayaking or stand up paddle boarding, thrill-seeking visitors can enjoy activities such as water rafting, bellyaking (!), ballooning, caving or canyoning, to name just a few.  My personal highlight was summer tobogganing, not only was the fast race down Straža hill enormous fun, the views over Bled’s alpine scenery from the ski lift on the ride up were incredible.

Lake Bled Slovenia
Take in the views over Bled before tobogganing down Straža hill.

Indulge in cream cake (and other baked goodies)

Trying a slice of cream cake is a must when in Bled. While the Park Hotel is credited with the original and allegedly best recipe for Bled’s most famous symbol, this delicious combination of cream, vanilla custard and puff pastry is served all over town. My favourite was the cream cake sold (at a very reasonable price) by the bakery on Ljubljanska cesta (Hitri Kruhek), who by the way offer a whole range of home made cakes, biscuits, pastries and sandwiches.

Bled Cream Cake
There are worse places to enjoy a piece of Bled cream cake than on the banks of Lake Bohinj.

Take a boat trip to Bled Island

Probably Bled’s most recognisable symbol is the view over Lake Bled with its minute island, just big enough to fit the beautiful Gothic Church of the Mother of God. From its southern shore, a 99-step steep staircase leads up to the church. Visitors who prefer to sit back and relax can travel to the island in a pletna boat, a traditional wooden barge fitting up to 20 passengers and operated by an oarsman (c. 14€ per person for a return trip). Alternatively, if you prefer to do the work yourself, you can rent a boat and row across the lake (one hour costs between 12-20 €).

Pletna Boat Lake Bled Slovenia
Traditional pletna boats operated by oarsmen take visitors to Bled Island.

Visit Castle Bled

Dating back to 1004, the picturesque clifftop castle (Blejski Grad) majestically overlooks the lake and town. Beautiful to look at from afar, the castle itself offer wonderful views over Bled and its surrounding scenery. These days the historic walls house a museum, exhibitions, a traditional printing shop, a cellar and forge. There is also a restaurant which is said to be very good indeed. During the “Medieval Days” in June the castle really comes to life, with medieval activities, markets, food and events over several days, many of which are free to attend. A path leads from the lake up to the castle, for visitors who like to climb up on foot. There is also a car park just near the entrance.

Bled Castle
The medieval castle of Bled houses exhibitions, a print shop, a cellar and a restaurant.

Hire a kayak at Lake Bohinj

Only around 30 minutes from Bled, at the south-eastern entrance to Triglav National Park lies the beautiful Lake Bohinj, the largest permanent natural lake in Slovenia. Slightly less crowded than Bled, the calm waters of Bohinj, overlooked by the alpine scenery, are wonderfully relaxing. The best views are from The Bridge in Ribcev Laz, which crosses the lake at its narrowest point where it flows into the Sava Bohinja river. You can park across the road, and hire water sports equipment near the bridge.

Lake Bohinj Slovenia
Canoeing and Kayaking are popular activities at Lake Bohinj.

Brave the ice cold waters at Kranjska Gora

On the northern tip of Triglav National Park lies the alpine resort of Kranjska Gora and Lake Jasna, two interconnected artificial lakes in the most beautiful scenery. Fed by glacial streams the water is very cold, but incredibly clear. Get a pizza from the beach café, dip your toes in the water and simply enjoy the views.

Kranjska Gora
The water may be icy cold but who cares when you can relax in such stunning surroundings, eating pizza.

Hike around Tolmin Gorge

At the most southern tip of Triglav National Park lies the small town of Tolmin, and just north of it the Tolmin Gorges. A 1.5 hour, relatively easy circular trail leads you past the ‘Bear’s Head’ rock formation, over the ‘Devil’s bridge’ and past ‘Dante’s Cave’. There are quite a few steps to climb but it’s a beautiful natural sight.

Tolmin Gorges, Slovenia
The water of the Tolmin Gorges is icy blue.

Note: Vintgar Gorge, one of the top natural attractions near Bled, is currently closed, which is why I haven’t included it in this list.

Top things not to miss around lake bled

Have I missed anything, anything to add? Let me know!

 

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