Recently, to celebrate the end of my first year at uni, my boyfriend and I went on a trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia – and boy were we taken away! The lake, which is magical in itself, is overlooked by a castle in the cliffs, has a mountain backdrop and has its very own island which you can row to. So I thought I’d put together a guide of what you can get up to in Bled should you decide to visit!
Row to the island in the middle:
One of my favourite activities while in Bled was hiring a rowing boat to visit the island in the middle. Most people hire a boat from the side of the lake closest to the island which only takes about 10 minutes, but we decided to hire one from the other side, to get the most of the experience! It took about half an hour to get there, and while rowing we enjoyed a view of both the mountains and the island as we got closer. The island itself took about half an hour to explore, with an opportunity to get ice cream at the top and to visit the Church. Although the Church was being renovated while we were there, we were still able to climb to the top of the bell tower, and ring the bell which supposedly brings good luck! It’s also worth a visit because of the spectacular views from the top of the island, and after enjoying these we decided to head back. I would like to say I’d been a fantastic rower, but I’m afraid to say Gareth did most of the work! With a cost of €23 for two hours, I would definitely recommend this activity, and if you don’t fancy rowing yourself, you can take a trip across the lake in a traditional Pletna boat, which also looked fantastic.
On the same day as rowing to Bled island, we decided to visit Bled Castle – which I’m warning you now, is one hell of a walk. It took about 20 minutes of steep climbing to reach the top (which came as a bit of a shock to the system), but the walk itself is beautiful going through the forest leading up to the castle. While the castle itself cost €10 each to get into – which was quite a lot considering there wasn’t a huge amount to see in the castle – the view from the top was something we couldn’t miss. The view made me realise just how big the lake is, as well as giving a gorgeous view of the island in the middle, so was definitely worth both the walk and the money! Alternatively, if you don’t fancy walking in (being too tired from all the rowing!) you can get a taxi to the top or drive yourself!
One of the most enjoyable things we did while out there was watching the sun set over the lake. The sun sets behind the castle, so provides some fantastic views of both the sky and the castle as it darkens. If you walk part of the way round, there are quite a few benches which you can watch it from, and it is something not to be missed while staying in Bled.
While not technically in Bled, Vintgar Gorge is something you cant miss if staying there! We decided to walk to the Gorge from Bled, which was about 5km, but by the time we’d walked through the Gorge (which is about 3.2km to get through it and back again), we definitely needed a break before going back! The walk there was well worth it as we got to see the beautiful village of Podham, and an amazing view of Bled castle from the back. However, if walking isn’t for you, you can get a taxi there for €5. The Gorge has a series of wooden platforms that you walk on to get through it, and it is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. In one direction you could look and the water would be white where the rapids were running so fast, and then turn around and it would be the clearest blue/green colour where it had slowed down. This all built up to an impressive waterfall at the end, so the whole experience can’t be missed! While it did cost €4 to get in, it is more than worth the money!
Have any of you guys been to Bled, or anywhere else in Slovenia – if so, what did you get up to? 🙂