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Lake Bled is one of Slovenia’s most popular destinations. The iconic blue lake features a small island, impressive castle overlooking the lake and many great activities in summer. These are the best things to do in Lake Bled to help you plan your visit.
If you’re looking for a view over the lake from above, there is no better way to see Lake Bled than from Mala Osojnica. The hike takes around an hour return, plus a little time to stay at the top and enjoy the views. The hike is easy but quite steep, so be sure to plan your visit for the start of the day or the end of the day to beat the summer sun!
When you visit Lake Bled you are in the Gorenjskan part of Slovenia and there are many great local dishes to try for a taste of the region. Dumplings are prominent on menus and the meals are often hearty and huge. Vila Bled has a beautiful restaurant with the best view of Bled Island, so this is the perfect spot to enjoy traditional cuisine with the best view in town. Don’t forget to try the famous Bled Cake for dessert – a pastry cake filled with a delicious custard centre. This cake is so good I will probably talk about it for months to come.
Rowing a boat around the lake more difficult than it looks (more on that later). If you’re more inclined to be rowed to your destination, then jump on board a pletna boat for a leisurely ride to Bled Island. You’ll find these boats on the island side of the lake and they’re running all the time, to and from the island.
Feeling an independent streak coming on? Another great way to reach the island is to row yourself on one of the hire boats available in the same area. I was staying at Vila Bled and enjoyed an hour free hire, though I probably only lasted half the time (it is much harder than it looks!) Regardless of the circular path I accidentally took, it was a really fun way to experience the lake and enjoy the summer sun.
Just a 10-15 minute drive from Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge is one of the most beautiful locations in Slovenia. Another way to get here is to cycle or walk, given its close proximity to Lake Bled. The Gorge is open 7:00am ~ 8:00pm in the summer months and less hours during the colder months. During summer this place is heaving with tourist traffic, so I would highly recommend arriving early.
Read more: How to visit Vintgar Gorge
Slovenia is full of wonderful castles to explore and there is no denying Bled Castle is one of the highlights. Set idyllically on top of one of the highest points surrounding the island, Bled Castle is a living museum. According to sources, this is the oldest castle in Slovenia and thanks to restoration processes has been kept in great shape. Another bonus: the views over Lake Bled from the castle are iconic!
If you haven’t heard about it yet consider yourself warned. Bled Cake is a calorific extravaganza of deliciousness that can not and should not be ignored. The cake features a pastry base and top, with a delicious custard centre and creamy layer above. It is incredibly rich, sweet and more-ish. You can try the cake at almost any restaurant or cafe around the lake, though I would highly recommend visiting Cafe Belvedere for your slice (the views are to die for).
However you make your way over to the island, be sure to climb the almost 100 steps to the tower and ring the bell at the top of the church. The bell can be heard all day long around the lake from enthusiastic bell ringers and is a great addition to the lakeside setting.
Whether you stay your entire time here or just one night, I cannot recommend enough checking in to Vila Bled. The villa has an unbeatable location on the lake and many of the rooms have direct views to Bled island. You can wake up each morning and wander down the stairs to the lake in an instant or enjoy the private beach and complimentary boat rentals at the front of the hotel.
Triglav National Park is within a short drive from Lake Bled and if you have more than two days in Bled, I would highly recommend visiting. There are some great day hikes in the park or if you prefer more of a leisurely visit, Lake Bohinj is a great place to relax away from the crowds of Lake Bled.
Safe and happy travels!