Lake Bled is definitely one of the places that look equally lovely in real life as on photos. And when it comes to photos, you’ve probably seen at least one in your life, even if you haven’t payed attention where it’s from (for example: you’ll find it in the changing wallpapers of your Windows). Cute little town in a small European country named Slovenia, my home country to be exact, is (despite being packed with tourists especially in summer) one of true gems truly worth the visit. Extremely photogenic, romantic, idyllic and simply captivating!
Why visit Bled, Slovenia in the winter?
The first and the obvious reason is to avoid the crowds. Lake Bled is way less crowded in winter, compared to summer months. And believe me when saying this, I am a returning visitor, since my boyfriend’s parents own a house just a five minute walk away from lake Bled itself. If you are arriving from the capital city of Ljubljana, it can take from 45min to even up to 75min to arrive by car (55km, mostly on motorways) – and this usually means 45min in the winter and up to 75min in the tourist peak season. In winter you can easily park your car, while in summer it can be quite a challenge to find a free parking space (which will you still need to pay for!). The prices for accommodations usually go down a little bit in the winter, which is also a plus. Yes, you won’t be able to swim in the lake in colder months, while you can find some amazing spa places as an alternative. Another reason to visit Bled in the winter is the fact that it looks mesmerisingly magical when covered in snow. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of my own to show you, but I’ll do my best to create at least one in the nearest future (if the winter blesses us with another delivery of snow). If the temperatures stay below the freezing for a longer period of time, you might even see the lake Bled freeze (you might be even lucky enough to ice-skate there as well, but make sure you double check the tourist information if it’s completely safe or not considering the thickness of the ice). Nevertheless, if the lake doesn’t freeze, you can visit the island Bled by a boat called pletna. Overall, all of the main attractions, such as Castle Bled, are open all year round. If you stay there for a longer period of time, you should consider visiting one of the nearby skiing resorts or drive to Lake Bohinj.
5 things to do when visiting lake Bled
The main attraction is definitely the island Bled with the most picturesque medieval church. Visit it by pletna boat or row there yourself and make sure you ring the wishing bell. Walking the 99 steps can be a challenge, particularly if you’re carrying your bride as well – the legends says if a groom carries this bride up to the church and ring the bell, their marriage will be long and happy. Yes, as you probably guessed, lake Bled is an extremely popular wedding destination.
You shouldn’t miss visiting the Bled Castle. This medieval castle located at more than 130m above the lake, dates back to the early 11th century and will not only amaze you itself, but also with a museum collection tracing the lake Bled’s history and the breathtaking view of the whole Bled and surrounding nature. The entry fee is not low, but still very much worth the visit (price: 10€ for adults, 5€ for children).
Climb the Ojstrica to enjoy the best view of the lake Bled. Ojstrica together with Mala Osojnica offers without a doubt the best view of the whole Lake Bled, particularly the island Bled. Start from Zaka, at the west shore of Lake Bled and be prepared for a 20min walk to reach the first viewing point, Ojstrica. However the walk is short, be sure to wear appropriate footwear, the path is steep and rocky. You will be rewarded with a breathtaking, almost too cliché view of the Bled, forests and mountains. Make sure you take a bunch of photos (like we did together with Vanesa – Takeoff with love), sit on the bench and enjoy the view.
One of my favorite things to do is to take a walk around the Lake Bled. The 6km long trail around Lake Bled is a great option for a walk, jog or bike trip. It leads from the city centre right under the castle to the rowing centre and many lake beaches, there are plenty of cute places to stop and enjoy the view. Don’t forget to take a picture at the heart on the pier!
After an active day you can treat yourself to a local specialty – the original Lake Bled cream cake. My advice is to try one at restaurant Panorama, by my humble opinion they make the best kremšnita. However I am not the biggest fan, many do find it really delicious.