If there is one place in Slovenia that you know of, it is likely to be Bled. Photos of Bled tend to look Photoshopped, because you would not believe that a place so picturesque can possibly exist. Its famous, gingerbread house church located on a tiny island in the middle of a stunning, emerald green alpine lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains look altogether like a postcard.
Simply put, it’s bloody lovely. It isn’t very big and consequently it can get pretty busy, but it is absolutely worth visiting.
As with everywhere on our Europe tour we stayed in an AirBnb. We found it to be the cheapest way of staying for a short term, although there are lots of hostels boosted by the relentless trail of backpackers going through the town. A word to the wise, our host told us that he was taking bookings over a year in advance – Bled is only getting busier and busier, so I would definitely suggest pre-booking before you go, and trying to avoid the peaks of the high season if at all possible.
The lake – Duh. Walk around it, row on it, swim in it (avoid the swans), go to the island and church it up. The lake is what Bled is all about, you kind of can’t miss it. Top tip – go up to the castle to get a spectacular view of the whole thing – but if you don’t want to pay €10 to go into what is essentially quite a small castle just to see the view, go down a path to the right of the entrance and work your way up the outside. It is a bit of a scramble in places but the view is breath taking (see the photo – this was taken on quite an overcast day).
Vintgar Gorge – A 15 minute drive or bus out of Bled town is the stunning Vintgar Gorge. A walk along boardwalks takes you along the Radovna River, along rapids and down to some pretty spectacular waterfalls. Like a lot of Bled it can be pretty busy but it is like nothing I have ever seen before.
Food & Drink
Eating and drinking seem to be pretty big pastimes in Bled. The local speciality of coffee and creamcake is not to be missed. We also enjoyed a pretty special meal at Okarina, just out of the town centre, who boasted Paul McCartney as their most famous past customer.