To be honest, the main reason I visited Slovenia was Lake Bled. We had travelled to Warsaw (Poland), Prague (Czech), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary) and I missed being outdoor or doing activities such hiking. The past 9 days had been spent walking around the city without the touch of nature and I had already craved for it.
Our plan was to stay in Ljubljana for a day, and Visiting Lake Bled for a day. We hoped to catch sunrise at Lake Bled (in the winter, in that weather). I didn’t know the idea would be wasted since we got several days in a row gloomy weather from Hungary to Slovenia. However, nothing could stop us from visiting lake bled early in the morning then!
Lake bled is a mix of glacial and tectonic origin. Its depth is 30 meter and its surface elevation is 475 masl. In the middle of the lake is an island called Bled Island. The famous building in this small island is Cerkev Marijinega vnebovzetja which was built on 1655 with 99 stone steps. There is a traditional boat called Pletna that is used as common transportation around the lake.
How to get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana by Bus
The trip from Ljubljana to Lake bled takes about 40-50 minutes with car ride, or about 1,5 hours using bus. We purchased the bus ticket the night before. The bus runs daily from 6 am to 10 pm from Ljubljana Bus Station and make stoppages along the way. It will stop at Bled Bus Station, which located about 10 minutes walk from the lake. The bus ticket cost 7 EUR for one way and +/- 13 EUR for return ticket. Before board the bus back to Ljubljana, please ask the driver the final destination first as many buses continue their journey to Lake Bohinj as well.
Things to Do in Lake Bled
1. Walking around the lake
Wherever you are on the lake, each spot produce different view of the island and lake Bled, so circling the lake is the best way to enjoy Lake Bled from different angle/point of View. There are a lot of restaurants as well, so you can relax and recharge your energy before continuing your exploration.
There are lots of picturesque point with photo accessories around the lake. So, make sure you catch them all. Also, don’t miss the beautiful swans in the lake. These are some of pictures that i took when circling the lake.
2. Hiking to the Viewing Point
There are two viewing point in Lake Bled. They are Mala Osojnika and Ojstrica. From the Bus Station, it takes about 40 minutes’ walk to the beginning of the track.
Mala Osojnika Viewpoint (685 meters)
This trail takes 30 minutes to reach along the woods and sometime slippery. That morning the path was slippery, so we only made it half way before deciding to go back and tried the other route – Ojstrica.
Ojstrica (610 meter high)
Ojstrica took 20 minutes, but on a bad weather, it may slippery and takes longer that it should to reach the view point. The walk also passed the woods, and getting steeper towards the end of the hike. We needed to hike the steep rocks to reach the point. However, it was all paid off when we reach the top. There was a bench overlooking Bled island and the view was spectacular. Though we only made it halfway at Mala Osojnika, the view from where we stood halfway has nothing in comparison with Ojstrica Viewing Point.
To summarize both Hike, Mala Osojnika is higher in elevation and longer to reach but the hiking path is smoother than Osojnika. However, the higher it gets, the view of Bled island get smaller. Ojstrica has a challenging path, shorter, but offers such an incredible view. If you have time, it’s worth to check both.
3. Visiting Bled Castle
Bled Castle is said to be the oldest Castle in Slovenia with renaissance and Romanesque style. The castle rise 130 meters above the lake, thus the view from the top of the castle of Lake Bled is amazing. It’s an uphill short walk from the lake perimeter and there is this nice café (Restaurant Lake Bled) with great dessert that will heal your tiredness after hiking Mala Osojnika and Ojstrika.
The entrance fee to the castle is 13 EUR and it opens from 10am-6pm (Jan-Mar, Nov-Dec), 9 am – 6pm (May and October), and from 9 am to 7 pm on June to September.
4. Try the Blejska Kremna Rezina
Kremna Rezina is a popular Slovenian dessert. It is made of crust on top of vanilla cream and buttery cake with sugar icing. Lots of restaurant around the lake offers this dessert. At that time, we tried it at Park Restaurant and Café. Consuming it with the Lake Bled view make the cake thousand times sweeter than it should.
5. Wander to Lake Bohinj and Vintgar Gorge
These activities should be done when you have multiple days to spent in Lake Bled, or if you have your own car and free to go anytime. Journey from Lake Bled to Lake Bohinj takes about half an hour, and from Lake Bled to Vintgar Gorge takes about 15 minutes.
Obviously, we didn’t go there, though It would be on my top list shall I visit Slovenia again. But if you’re reading this, consider you are warned 😉