Numerous guidebooks and travel blogs insist that since Lake Bled is quaint and compact, you should only devote a few hours to this stunning alpine town. A lot of visitors treat Lake Bled as a 4-5 hour day trip from Ljubljana. Even worse, some treat the whole country of Slovenia as a pitstop on the way to Croatia. Much to my surprise, I ended up enjoying Slovenia’s beauty and charm much more than Croatia’s fun but somewhat overwhelming party vibe. As much as I loved Slovenia’s charming capital Ljubljana, Lake Bled ended up being the highlight of my last Europe trip.
When I visited Lake Bled earlier this Summer, I found it difficult to leave. My two-day hostel reservation slowly turned into a five-day endeavor. Had it not been for a week of anticipated rain, I’m not sure I would have ever left Bled for Ljubljana! But this was the view from my hostel’s terrace, can you really blame me!?
While Bled is amazing in the summer, it basically turns into a snowglobe-worthy winter wonderland in December! From fall foliage to a summertime swim, there’s so much to do and see in Bled year-round. Sure, you can take a quick stroll around the lake and snap a few pictures in the span of a few hours. However, unless you’re seriously crunched for time this seems like a ridiculously short period to experience anywhere (in case you can’ tell I like to travel slowly.) While Lake Bled is obviously Pinterest-perfect, it’s so much more than a photo op!
Bled is gorgeous in the summer, but in the winter the snow-covered town looks dreamlike. Thanks to Bled’s position between the Julian Alps and the Karavanke mountain region, it is an ideal base for a skiing holiday. Two-day ski passes start at just 36 Euros and includes a free shuttle to the slopes.
If you’re looking to relax, there are several thermal baths and outdoor pools open year round, where you can literally soak in the gorgeous view. Bled experiences a larger influx of tourists in the summer and is relatively quiet in the winter, so it’s perfect for those looking for a more low-key getaway.
In the warmer months, your options are endless.Bled and Slovenia as a whole are a paradise for hiking enthusiasts, as the country boasts several stunning mountain regions. A long walk or steep bike ride could take you as far as Triglav National Park, where you can also experience the beautiful Vintgar Gorge, which is open from May-October. Walking around the edge of the lake only takes an hour and fifteen minutes, but there are a plethora of scenic walks in and around Lake Bled ranging from 30 minutes to over three hours. Bike rentals are cheap and can be easily found throughout the town.
I rented a moped while I was there because I enjoyed riding one around Thailand so much. However, I really can’t recommend renting a scooter because the maximum speed allowed on the moped rentals in town is rather sad. I still enjoyed it though and it’s a nice option if you don’t want to deal with hilly terrain! There are also lots of outdoor tour options. While I personally didn’t partake in any tours, my Australian friend went white water rafting in the Soča River and really enjoyed it!
Don’t forget to check out Yugoslavia’s former dictator Josip Broz Tito’s lakeside vacation home. Another tourist favorite is to row out to the lake’s island and explore the small church. Boat rentals are hourly. So, one thing to keep in mind is that visiting the island in less than an hour is a bit rushed, but two hours is a bit long given the island’s distance from the shore.