Many photos beautifully captured clear waters of Lake Bled with its iconic island in the middle and mountain panorama in the background. As Slovenia is not far from our country we decided to see this beauty with our own eyes. In the middle of July we have planned a weekend trip to Slovenia. This was our first and hopefully not the last visit to Slovenia. This country small in size, but rich in nature and friendly people under the Julian Alps totally got us.
How to get here
You can comfortably get here by car. The highway from Ljubljana is connected to Bled town. From Slovakia it is not so far. We managed to travel approx. 470 kilometres under 5 hours. Chasing the shortest and fastest route. However not the cheapest. From Austrian highway we traveled as far as the city of Villach. Before Villach we turned to the direction Slovenia.
Border Austria-Slovenia: Karavanks tunnel (Karawankentunnel)
The border between Austria and Slovenia passes through Karavanks tunnel. This highway tunnel is not in full profile (only one lane each direction) and its length is 7.864 metres. Toll for our costs 7,20 EUR and 7-day vignette for Slovenia 15 EUR. We enter the tunnel in Austria and exit it in Slovenia 🙂
If you want to avoid toll for tunnel, go via Maribor. However, this route is around 30km longer than via Karavanks tunnel.
By plane, by bus
The international airport of Ljubljana lies only 35km from Bled town. You can either rent a car at the airport or go to Ljubljana and get to Bled town by bus from there.
After leaving the highway the Bled town is really close. It takes only 10 minutes to enter the town. At first sight it is clear that this town is popular tourist destination.
Accommodation in Bled
It is highly recommended to book your accomodation well in advance in the summer. Remember this location is very popular among tourists and location is on the halfway to Croatia. So many tourists traveling to Croatia make a stop here. If you leave it to the last moment as we did, you will not have wide options for accommodation. However, we managed to book fine hotel in superb location. Hotel Jelovica lies on small hill only 10 minutes from the lake. Parking was included in the price. Room was not big but cozy and with view towards the town. All rooms with lake view were of course already booked out 🙂
There is a camping site in the southwestern part of the island. During our stay the camping was quite full. So before your arrival to the camping site make sure there is vacant place for your trailer.
Stroll around the Lake Bled
Lake Bled is of glacier and tectonic origin. The water in the lake rises to 25 degrees celsius in July. It is 2.120 m long and 1.380 m wide. Its maximum depth is close to 30m.
Immediately after checking in and having a quick shower, we set off for a walk around the lake. Crystal clear water of the lake is exactly as we remember it from photos. Small wooden boat has just arrived on the bank. Tourists are returning from the trip around the lake. We continue our walk to the castle rock. Along the bank we find several refreshment options – restaurants, cafes, ice cream. We will stop here for dinner later.
On a huge rock cliff medieval Blejski grad – Bled castle above the lake. According to records it is the oldest castle in Slovenia and another tourist magnet. The first mention of this castle comes from the year 1011.
On this side of the lake you can rent a boat with paddles or paddle board. There is also a beach reserved for swimmers accessible for a fee. On the opposite green steep mountain we easily recognize summer bobsled. That could be fun 🙂
Other side of the lake near Bled town
As we are returning back from rock cliff, we decided to go along the bank to see what can we find on the other side of the lake where more big hotels are located. Another attraction comes in front of us – red painted heart with nice lake view. There is a small queue for photos inside the heart. You can bring back home nice souvenir from Lake Bled.
On our way back to the hotel we stop for a dinner at the restaurant called Vila Prešeren Bled. The prices for meals are little higher than those in our city of Bratislava. You can also find cheaper restaurants in the area. As a dessert we ordered Bled speciality “kremšnita”. For Slovak people it is nothing new – it is classical cream cake that you can buy in Slovakia too. It tastes great 🙂
Slovenia – Our second day of stay
On the second day we got up early. Straight after breakfast we leave the hotel. Today we are going to explore another part of the lake by car. From this side of the lake you can see the island with church better. Also here you can find boats waiting for tourists. We make couple of photos and enjoy peaceful morning without people. Only few local people are near the lake. They take off their clothes and start swimming in the lake. It is prohibited to swim in the lake on our side of the lake. People just don’t respect it 🙂
In the evening we park our car on the toll parking near the camping site. We walk down to the lake and find nice footbridge for pedestrians. As many other tourists you can use this site for running. We use it this evening as a photo spot 🙂
It was amazing time spent near the lake. Lake Bled is very pleasant location with admirable gorgeous nature and superb panoramatic views of majestic mountains. We could easily imagine stay here longer. However, we had to continue our journey to the capital of Slovenia – Ljubljana. But more on that in our next blog 🙂