Lake Bled is the most popular tourist destination in Slovenia, for good reason. Its beauty and tranquility is undeniable. But there’s also something mysterious…almost enchanted about this place.
Slovenia’s iconic Lake Bled lives up to the hype — and it’s worthy of an add to your growing bucket list. The moment you arrive, you’ll know.
Let us take you there.
Enter Slovenian bliss. Enter Lake Bled
Getting to Lake Bled
Welcome to northern Slovenia, on the eastern edge of Triglav National Park. The town of Bled and its namesake lake are only 5 miles (8 km) south of the Austrian border and 34 miles (54 km) from Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital city. There’s no local airport in Bled, but there are 5 international airports within 3-6 hours from here.
- Here’s a great resource to help you estimate cost & duration from each of these airports, and then book the itinerary that’s best for you.
- Here’s another link, offering a solid overview of all transportation options in and out of Bled.
In our experience, the best way to explore Slovenia is by car. Our drive to Lake Bled from nearby Lake Bohinj (Bled’s lesser-known, comparably beautiful & much larger neighbor to the west), took about 30 minutes.
travelhelix tip: if you’re starting your vacation in Bled, fly to Ljubljana airport (LJU), pick up a rental car, and drive straight to the lake. Bled and Ljubljana are an hour apart, but Bled and LJU are only 25-30 minutes away from each other. Follow our advice, avoid the traffic and enjoy a lakeside beverage 😉
For our Bled adventure, we were joined by one of our closest friends, Jamie. She had just flown from Los Angeles to Zagreb, where she hopped on a GoOpti shuttle to Lake Bled. The shuttle took less than 3 hours.Back in LA, Jamie had just taken the California Bar Exam (which she passed, btw!).
travelhelix tip: GoOpti is a transfer service available in Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and much of Eastern Europe. Their platform is based on flexibility & peace of mind. If you miss your bus, they ensure you still get a safe ride home. Check ’em out!
Where we stayed
On our all-time list of accommodations, Penzion Berc ranks near the top. The owners of this family-run establishment are kind, warm and welcoming. Everything they do, is in the interest of creating the best possible experience for their guests. Quality, detail…genuine hospitality.
Tucked away behind luscious greenery and only a 3-minute walk from the lake, this adorable guesthouse became our Slovenian home away from home. On our 2nd night, we enjoyed one of the best al fresco dining experiences…ever.
The last awesome piece of the Penzion Berc experience: electric bikes, free of charge!
Activities around Lake Bled
Whether you’re here for a day or a week, there’s plenty of activity to keep your body & mind occupied.
Walk or bike up to Bled Castle
D & Jamie chose to walk, following the pathway to the steep stone staircase that leads to the top. From the lake, this took about 15 minutes.
On the other hand, Adam hopped on an electric bike and took his own self-guided tour of some…let’s say, seldom-visited neighborhoods. Eventually, he joined the girls at the castle.
Absorb breathtaking views
From clear skies…
…to cloudy skies.
It’s amazing how the view can change in just a matter of minutes. More beautiful? Less beautiful?
A different type of beautiful.
Rent a paddleboat
Whether you’re headed to Bled Island or you just wanna get an upper-body workout, rent one of the classic paddleboats for a couple hours and explore the lake on your own.
Or, you can
cheat let a local boatsman do all the work, while you sit back and relax on one of the 20-passenger Pletna boats (the one shown in our featured photo ;)).
Explore Bled Island
Slovenia’s only island (that’s right folks!) is something special. The Church of the Mother of God is the landmark you’ve seen in photos. Many tourists come to visit the church and hike the 99 steps up to the bell tower to ring the wishing bell.
We came to simply wander and explore.
And eat ice cream.
Take a summertime toboggan ride
On the Straža ski slope, winter may be for skiing, but summer is for sledding!
Get your stroll on
If you’re one of those let’s walk around the entire lake! types, it’s just under 4 miles (6 km) all the way around. Sometimes, we are those people. This time, we were not!
Dance with ducks
Stop and smell the flowers
Drink the nectar of the bees
Wander through a Farmers Market, and you may stumble upon some local honey brandy.
“A mixture of natural brandy and honey is suitable for both health and celebrating. When it is cold, it warms you up pleasantly, in a pleasant company, however, it makes you laugh.”
Party with the locals
We happened to visit Lake Bled during the awesome Okarina Festival, which runs every summer for 2 weeks. Great street food, an amazing vibe, daily live musical performances…and some really good beer!
Treat yo’self to some cream cake
The original Bled Cream Cake, from the Park Café.
Day trips from Lake Bled
Need a break from the lake? Or should we say: need a break from the tourists of the lake?
Only 15 minutes away, Vintgar Gorge offers an active & awesome half-day getaway from Lake Bled.
Check out our travel guide to Vintgar Gorge for helpful tips & practical info!
Between SUP-ing, kayaking and hiking the majestic Savica Waterfall, there are plenty of activities that justify spending several days on Lake Bohinj. However, if your time is limited, Bohinj can be done as a day trip from Bled.
Our complete guide to Lake Bohinj includes a detailed breakdown of accommodation, transportation & activities around the area. Check it out!
In a country very much defined by water, Lake Bled is the pearl. Its pristine beauty is hard to put into words, but we hope these photos have given you a glimpse of what awaits you.
Have you been considering a trip to Slovenia? Can we help you make it happen? Please reach out. We’d love to hear from you!
-DnA (& Jamie!)