Bled is by far one of the most beautiful places in the world. If Neuschwanstein castle was an inspiration for Disney, Bled should be a set for one of their love stories. The town and a lake with the same name are simply breathtaking. One has to see it in person to fully take in its beauty.
The look on Thane’s face as we drove onto the lake road was priceless. In front of us was a glacial lake with a church nestled on top of an islet and a medieval castle in the background sitting on a 130 metres high cliff. Simply wow. The little islet has a history of over a thousand years. Today, it is a must-see spot for tourists and popular among couples as a wedding destination. We heard the tradition is the groom has to carry its bride up 99 stairs. Normally you see the islet twice when it reflects onto the blue waters of the lake. We got the best view of Bled Lake are from Villa Bled, what used to be, in old Yugoslavia days, the residence of the president Tito. Now it is a luxury lakeside hotel.
We spent the weekend on the lake basically. The little town was filled with people and traffic but the lakeside was quite relaxing. Once we rowed across the lake with a group of friends and the other time we swam from the shore to the islet. The water is a bit fresh but where else in the world can you get such a view? Waterskiing is not allowed on the lake but one can row, stand up paddle or swim as much as you want.
As for the accommodation in Bled, we were fortunate to stay at a friend’s wooden cabin just two kilometres out of Bled. However, there is plenty choice – hotels with spas, apartments or camping and glamping in the area. The villages around Bled are also very picturesque with their corn fields, scattered cows, traditional wooden houses and barns, tiny churches and the view of the snow-capped mountains on the horizon. And there is always plenty to do in Bled area – sightseeing, swimming, cycling, horseback riding, hiking in woods of Bled or in the Triglav national park, soaking in the hot water spas or just indulging in Slovenian cuisine like we did. We had some spare time so we visited a nearby town of Radovljica with the cutest old town and had some traditional Slovenian food at Gostilna Lectar.
After four days, it was time to part with this wonderful place. Our friend dropped us to the smallest train station we’ve ever seen. It was a too beautiful of a day for goodbyes. Till next time Bled!
P.S. Try kremšnita, local pastry and more importantly, ask the locals about a hidden cellar where you you can sample ( and buy ) as much grappa as you can handle. It’s worth the search!
- Bled: 8192 people (2014)
- Bled lake: 2.12 km long, (1.32 mi), 0.5-1km wide
- Best time to visit: spring and summer for good weather and swimming, in winter time for skiing in the area and iceskating on the lake