Bled Cake, Bled Castle, Blejski Grad, Driving in Slovenia, european family travel, Family travel Slovenia, Kranjska Gora, Lady in the Rock Slovenia, Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj, Shopping in Slovenia, Slovenia, Triglav National Park, Vrsic Pass, Walking Lake Bled
We spent three nights at Lake Bled, Slovenia in the beginning of September and found a location that lives up to it’s reputation of an outdoor paradise with gorgeous scenery.
We are fans of Booking.com and found a great three bedroom house right on the lake to stay in. However, this was our introduction to Bled and it was rather entertaining. We went to the owner’s business in “downtown” Bled to get the keys. They were very friendly and kind, but we had been wondering – the address for the house is on the promenade which circles the lake. This is pedestrian only, but the house has it’s own parking space. They gave us an official looking pass and said to follow them! So we did… and sure enough we drove right onto the promenade and up to our house! A man on a vespa with flashing lights actually did follow us and pull us over but was fine once he saw our pass. So, all told, it was a great place to stay with beautiful views and plenty of space. There are very few buildings on the lake outside of Bled itself so we were lucky to find one to stay in.
The town of Bled was very nice and had some remnants of the Yugoslavian era with large cement buildings that lacked much of the history you see elsewhere in Europe but was very clean and everyone we encountered was quite friendly. We found the whole area to be an interesting mix of Austrian influence and then some characteristics that reminded us very much of Croatia given their shared history and somewhat similar language.
Lake Bled does not allow motor boats so it is quite quiet and there are plenty of row boats to take out to the island in the center. Jeff took the row boat out that came with our rental house and had beautiful views of the lake. Given our two year old daughter’s lack of wanting to sit still, we sat out the ride to the island itself but enjoyed looking at it from afar during our entire visit.
Blejski Grad or Bled Castle sits above the lake by about 130 meters and has a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains and Lake Bled. It is not huge by any means but we found it to be very nice. We had read some complaints about the cost, but we found the nine Euros per persons entry fee to be fairly reasonable for the view and small museum and courtyard. However, we arrived at the castle shortly after it’s opening time of 8am and by the time we were leaving around 9am there were already busses arriving. I can definitely see how the viewing platform area would become very full easily so I highly recommend arriving early in the day if possible.
The path around Lake Bled is 3.5 miles or just under 6 kilometres and makes for a great running or walking trail. It is mainly paved with some areas that are more of a boardwalk and there are a couple of beach types areas with rocky shores sprinkled in.
We took two short side trips during our three days in Bled. The first was to the nearby Lake Bohinj. It was only about a 25 minute drive with pretty scenery along the way. It was a very quiet lake inside of Triglav National Park. It was a prime camping area with many locations around the perimeter of the lake and also a cable car to the top of one of the highest mountains in the area. We had to skip the ride up however, due to fog – there really wasn’t a view the day we were there unfortunately.
Our second side trip was to the other area of Triglav National Park, the Vršič Pass. The road up the pass is quite famous because it was built as a supply route for Austria Hungary during WW1 by prisoners of war. The road is accessed from the town of Kranjska Gora and has each hairpin turn numbered. At the top there is a larger parking area and along the route, which is the highest pass in Slovenia, there are places to stop as well as restaurants or places for a snack. The views are somewhat muted by the forest so there are not some of the panoramic views you might expect but it was quite pretty none the less. One highlight for me was the “lady in the rock” or Ajdovska Deklica as well as the Russian Chapel that was built by the prisoners who built the road in tribute.
Lake Bled was great for a short 3 night/3 and a half day trip for us. Plenty to do and see in the area and we found everything to be very inexpensive. We also loved some of the grocery items we bought at the local store – the milchbreads were so delicious we had to bring home two packages! We also enjoyed the local Lake Bled cake that we had read about – it is a vanilla custard type cake that is sold everywhere is really is very good. Slovenia was my 29th country and I have to say, very much worth the trip!