I can’t remember where I first saw a picture of Lake Bled but it was at least five years ago and I just was captivated at how pretty it was. This small island with a very pretty church on it, in the middle of the lake.
Lake Bled is glacial in origin. It is 2120m long and 1380m wide. The entire walking route around Lake Bled is about 7km.
I have said to Adu for years that I wanted to visit, and this fairytale picture has been on the home page of our web page for the past year. I have just updated our home page now 😀
When we were given the chance to do a housesit in Slovenia I decided we had to visit Lake Bled. We were going to hire a car but it seems as soon as we moved into the month of May – still pre peak, car hire escalated. Read my post on car hire hacks here. Well Bled a small town with a population of 5200 is quite well linked by rail and bus. So we took a Flixbus to Ljubljana from Vienna and then got on a local Arriva (blue colour) bus to Bled. I had understood the local bus would take 35 minutes, but it was actually 90 minutes. We wound through many picturesque villages with so many forests surrounding them.
We stayed at Vila Bohinj, which is very close to Bled Union bus station. It is rather run down and the bathrooms especially need a revamp, but in expensive touristy Bled it was a good base. It offers a simple breakfast as part of the room rate which always sets you off for the day. The receptionist was also a sweetie and that makes a huge difference. We had a load of washing done for ten Euro, which was double the cost of a load in Prizren.
On our first evening we walked along the lakeshore and were blown away at how pretty it was. Many beds filled with colourful flowers, swans in the lake, the castle and old Catholic Church St Martin’s, and of course Bled island in the distance.
The weather was meant to be better on the Thursday than the Wednesday (in the end we had great weather on both days 😀) so we decided to climb to Bled Castle on the Wednesday.
Bled Castle was built in 1011 and has beautiful views over Bled and the environment. You can get there from the path at the lake or via stairs from St Martins. It has a lovely museum, a wine cellar (where we bought local red and white wine ) a restaurant and many viewpoints. It is well worth a visit, even with the very steep climb.
The next day we went on the boat (that can transport 18 people) with a person who rows you to the island. The trip takes 25 minutes each way. You get wonderful views onto the island from the boat.
The beautiful church, the 17th century Church of the Assumption on Bled island has its own legend. Folklore tells the story of a tragic widow who, upon the death of her husband, recast her jewellery into a special bell. She wanted to install the bell in the chapel on Bled Island in honour of her husband. While transporting the bell, they lost it at the bottom of the lake during a sudden storm. In some versions of the story the widow and boatmen also perish.The Pope was so moved by her story that he decided to make a new bell – the ‘wishing bell’ that still stands in the belfry today. If you make a wish before ringing the bell it will come true. Of course I rang the bell and made a wish😀
You can also climb to the top of the clock tower, which does have lovely views at the top, but sadly they are blocked by a netting, either to keep insects and birds out, or for some safety regulation I guess?
Bled is also famous for its cream cake. You have to try this if you go to Lake Bled and of course we did. It was very yummy!
There were several geocaches around the perimeter of Lake Bled. If you want to walk the whole lake it is 6km. There was one that had spectacular views but has VERY steep stairs and then an incline leading up to it. I knew I could not do this with my back issues, but Adu did and took this amazing photo.
I am so very pleased we made the effort to visit. It was a fairy tale place of immense scenic beauty! A wonderful, early birthday treat!