Have you ever considered a weekend trip to Lake Bled? If not, I highly recommend you put it on your list. Less than 2 hours’ flight from London lies Bled, a small piece of heaven, so beautiful and serene you’ll wonder why it took you so long to visit it.
A fairy tale destination at the foot of the Slovenian Alps
As you drive down the hill from Bled’s commercial centre, the famous view over Lake Bled with its tiny island and church comes into view. Originally the location of a temple dedicated to Živa the Slavic goddess of love, Bled island now houses the Church of the Mother of God on the Lake. But as if this wasn’t romantic enough, the stunningly turquoise lake is overlooked by Blejski grad, the picture perfect medieval castle sitting high atop the rocks on the opposite shore. Views of the Austrian / Slovenian Alps provide the backdrop to this fairy tale setting. It’s simply beautiful.
Lake Bled’s charm remains unharmed by tourism
Thanks to its central location, Bled has long been a popular destination for European tourists, and especially campers, and it increasingly attracts visitors from further afield. So yes, the little town of Bled is dominated by tourism, but it doesn’t do any harm to the charm of this place. To not compromise the famous view over Lake Bled with its tiny island and church, the shores have remained untouched by unsightly tourist developments. Apart from a couple of large hotels and a small shopping centre in town, Bled has largely maintained its original flair.
The perfect family destination
Bled isn’t a party place that’s for sure. It’s a place to kick back, relax and enjoy the marvellous beauty of nature. There is so much to do and the huge choice of activities available make Bled a fantastic destination for families with children of all ages.
While there are several hotels around Bled, accommodation is dominated by bed & breakfasts and private apartments. There’s also a campsite on the Western side of the lake. We had a wonderful stay at the family-run Apartments Krivec, across the road from Villa Bled only a few steps from the lake. From there it was an easy, romantic 25 minute stroll into the centre of Bled.
Bled is a great base for exploring Triglav National Park
Although there is no need to drive in Bled (it’s a tiny place!), it’s worth hiring a car if you’re staying for a longer weekend break. Not only is Bled only a very easy 30 minute drive from Ljubljana airport, a car allows you to explore further afield. Triglav National Park offers beautiful Alpine drives (or motorbike / bicycle rides if you’re so inclined) and countless spots of natural beauty. Ljubljana itself, Slovenia’s capital, is also worth a day trip.
Combining the best of Slovenian, Austrian and Italian food
In the evening, the atmosphere around the promenade and old town is just the right kind of lively, thanks to the numerous restaurants, cafes and bars. The proximity to neighbouring Italy and Austria is reflected in Bled’s cuisine, with Schnitzel and Pizza standard on every menu, beside Slovenian specialties.
We particularly enjoyed our dinners at Vila Ajda Dax and Gostilna Pri Planincu. The former is a cosy family restaurant just opposite the Grand Hotel Toplice. The menu offers a decent choice, from simple Slovenian specialties to more fancy dishes. As well as holiday apartments, ‘Dax’ has a large outside dining area with magnificent views (good if you’ve got a baby sleeping in the pushchair with you). Gostina Pri Planincu is a traditional Slovenian restaurant, with small beer garden, and serves simple but delicious food. There is also a separate pizzeria upstairs.
Bled’s the perfect destination for a weekend break
I guess it’s clear that I absolutely loved Bled and Triglav National Park, the perfect long weekend break. So, if you fancy a relaxed, affordable mini-break, in a place so picturesque it makes you want to take up painting, check out Lake Bled. If you fancy a safe family holiday with uncomplicated travel and plenty of activities for the kids, check out Lake Bled. If you’re looking for a beautiful destination where you can also be active, whether you fancy hiking, cycling, kayaking or rafting, check out Lake Bled.
If you wonder what there is to do around Lake Bled, read my guide on top things to do in Bled and around.