Words can’t adequately describe Lake Bled: beautiful, magical, stunning, and every travel editor’s favourite adjectival cliché, breathtaking—string them all together, and still, you’ll hardly do it justice.
Prepare to run out of superlatives: that’s just what happens at Lake Bled, a natural paradise in the heart of the pint-size European country of Slovenia.
Since the English language is failing me at the moment, just let me show you:
Sold? Great! If not, here are five reasons to visit Lake Bled, Slovenia:
Why Treksplorer? Founded in 2011 by Ryan O’Rourke, Treksplorer provides travel recommendations and advice to millions of readers every year. Our content is rooted in our writers’ firsthand experiences, in-depth research, and/or collaborations with other experts and locals. Read more about our editorial policy.
It’s easily accessible.
For these views, you’d normally expect to jet off to some remote forest sanctuary thousands of miles from civilization. Not so for visiting Lake Bled.
Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is just around the corner. You’ve even got options: bus or train or rental car. All will get you to Lake Bled from the capital in less than an hour and a half, making it the perfect outing when you’ve got more than one day in Ljubljana.
Even with its prime accessibility, I’d recommend battening down for at least a couple days at one of the best places to stay in Bled to experience the area at a more languid & relaxing pace.
The views. (Yep, they’re nice.)
Remember that hot cheerleader (or quarterback) you couldn’t stop staring at in math class? That’s how you’ll feel when you visit Lake Bled for the first time.
No matter which angle you approach it from (or when you choose to visit Slovenia), once you lock your eyes on the crystalline lake and the snow-bedazzled Julian Alps springing up in the background, you’re in too deep.
Lake Bled is like a shot of vodka for the senses. Good luck tearing yourself away.
There’s a castle. On a mountain. With wine.
Throw in a Disney princess and Lake Bled could easily set the scene for an epic fairytale. She’d even have a home.
Plunked high above the shoreline, Bled Castle watches over Lake Bled as it has, in one form or another, since the 11th century. Even if there are other more spectacular castles in Eastern Europe, the vistas at Bled Castle are hard to beat.
After burning your calves and quads while pushing up the steep hiking trail for the 15-minute ascent to the castle (one of the best things to do in Bled, I might add) treat yourself to a wine-tasting at the Bled Castle wine cellar. The resident monk (a spirited actor blessed with a laudable sense of humour) will even show you how to bottle and cork your own souvenir bottle of fine Slovenian wine.
Rowing your way to good fortune.
If Lake Bled was located in a less forward-thinking country, it might not be as dazzling as it is today. The ecosystem at Lake Bled thrives because of strict environmental protection laws including a complete ban on motorized boats. And its biodiversity is the reason it pulls off its sultry multi-hued look.
See that cute little island with the church? Getting there involves either renting your own boat or hooking up a ride on a traditional Slovenian pletna (covered rowboat). Witness the views, and no doubt, you’ll be convinced that this is one of the best things to do in Slovenia.
Once on the island you can visit The Church of the Assumption, a favourite for local lovers tying the knot. Embrace local traditions by tolling the 16th-century wishing bell for a blast of good luck for your journey ahead.
Hiking trails galore.
The mountains and forests around Lake Bled aren’t just for gawking at. Get out there and see what you’ll find! Hiking trails run amok throughout the Bled area and with a little sleuthing you’ll soon be rambling in the depths of Slovenia’s vast wilderness.
Start with the easy two-kilometre (1.2-mile) walk around Lake Bled to catch the ever-changing emerald and turquoise waters from every angle.
If you still have some time on your day trip from Ljubljana, consider one of the many longer walks around Lake Bled to slip into dense forests, meander in traditional villages, clamber up hills and mountains, and frolic in meadows and orchards.