Imagine this…a dreamy, quiet town, a lake with crystal waters, a small island resting in the middle, row boats, kayaks, the thrill for adventure, lush meadows and vast mountains as far as the eye can see. This is Lake Bled and a gem that’s still hidden from Europes busiest hot spots.
Situated in the Julian Alps of northwestern Slovenia, this fairytale lake is slowly gaining popularity by both adventure seekers and holiday makers alike. Why? It’s idyllic really. It has the charm to make you feel as though you’re really on holiday, but also gives you a sense of adventure to fill your days (think hiking, mountain biking, rafting etc).
The lake itself is something else all together. So charming in its appearance, we can safely say it’s the most beautiful lake we’ve ever seen…without the word of a lie! The colour of it is the first thing that will take your breath away, not to mention the little island in the middle that makes it so iconic. The water is blue, but not dark blue like the ocean or light blue like the shores of a tropical island, but more like aqua blue, something almost green too and nestled within the Julian Alps – its really not a spot to be missed!
So how to get there?
FlixBus – Very quickly realising that bussing is the best way to get around Eastern Europe, we used the company FlixBus to travel from Prague to Lake Bled. We were surprised there was a direct route but of course it was long (7 hours ish) but get used to this because if you’re moving around Eastern Europe by bus…they’re all long. Embrace it, use your time wisely and download lots of Netflix 😉
Fly – If you’re more into flying, you’ll want to fly into the capital Ljubljana and grab a one hour bus to Lake Bled from there. Pretty easy really! Busses run frequently from the Ljubljana airport so no drama lama!
Where to stay?
Castle Rock Hostel – This hostel was bloody epic and we can’t recommend it enough. Spending most of our travels this year staying in hostel dorm rooms (as opposed to airbnbs) we’re meeting so many more people and having way more fun along the way. Castle Rock was a small and intimate hostel which in our opinions are WAY better than the big chain hostels. When everything’s a little smaller and more intimate, you get chatting with people from all over the planet and our stay at Castle Rock only solidified that more. When we weren’t out exploring, we spent our time chilling in the lounge or on the balcony of the hostel. Netflix, Playstation 4, board games, drinking games, good views, a good kitchen to cook all your own food and good people. What else can you ask for?! We found this place and booked it through Hostelworld.com – so get involved!!
Booking.com – Ideal for families or couples who want their own space, booking.com has all the options from budget to lush living apartments & hotels.
Airbnb – Always a good options but never quite as social. This works best for friends and family vibes ☺
What to do?
Anything from the list below will have you madly falling in love with Lake Bled, Slovenia so…
Walk or bike around the lake – we hired a bike from the bike shack connected to our hostel reception and spent most of our day biking the lake. 6hours = 10€ so off we went. An easy and really pretty path circles the lake which is around 6km so on a bike takes only 30ish min if you’re cruising. We were most definitely cruising, stopping to swim along the way, bringing me to my next point…
Swim in the lake! – Summer months has people bathing, swimming, playing, paddle boarding and kayaking in the lake. There are 3 main swim spots and I’m pretty sure we stopped to swim in all 3. It was sooooooo nice to swim again (this was our first swim since the Eu summer began so we were stoked) and although chilly, it was so good to be able to cool off after biking in the heat!
Take a row boat to the island in the middle – To hire a row boat and row to the island costs 15€ and totally worth it if your budget says so. Ours didn’t unfortunately (churning through cash faster than a Ferrari on the Autobarn) so for us we just spent our lakeside chill time people watching all the cute couples and families taking their little boats out for the day. If you do go, make sure you climb the 99 steps to the top and ring the bell tower. How romantic
Ojstrica viewpoint hike – A must do if you want that oh so iconic viewpoint of Lake Bled and beyond. It’s nothing challenging, only taking 45mins, so the views you get are well worth it. The day we went it was rainy and gloomy but that didn’t change the beauty of it all, infact it was almost more fun as we slipped our way up and down the trails.
Another shorter walk is to climb up to Cafe Belvedere for another incredible view – A shorter climb that rewards you with a stunning view is Cafe Belvedere. If sitting down, having a drink and admiring the view is more your thing, then go for this option you wont be disappointed.
Vintgar Gorge – Something we didn’t do (we’ve seen our fair share of gorges throughout Europe) but another sight to see is the Vintgar Gorge. Ride a bike from town, admiring the mountainass scenes around you as you make your way towards the gorge. A small charge is required to go in but apparently it’s well worth it. Let us know how you enjoyed it!!
Get lost in the landscape – We loved biking through the area and seeing things that weren’t typically “Lake Bled.” The lake definitely isn’t everything, so many beautiful meadows, mountains ranges, rooftops & rivers to admire too.
Day trip to the castle and caves – If you have the time (we didn’t) then take a day trip from Lake Bled to the Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves. This looks amazing and was definitely something we had on the bucket list but with a few timing problemo’s, we had to change some plans. That’s okay though, all in good time.
So…Lake Bled should definitely be on your bucket list right guys?! Perfect romantic getaway, adventure seekers holiday or nature lovers escape so book it now and thank us later!
Leah | FREE & ADDICTED
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