3 Days Off-the-Beaten Path in Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lisa Van Brunt
I was first drawn to Slovenia when I saw the iconic picture of Lake Bled on Instagram and knew I had to visit. After traveling through Slovenia, I've come to learn that there is much more to this beautiful country than just Lake Bled, but Lake Bled is a must see and the perfect area to start your journey. Lake Bled draws the biggest crowds in Slovenia, but it's still not crowded compared to other European countries. Slovenia exceeded my expectations by far! Come see this hidden gem for yourself before the secret gets out.
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Where to stay
Grand Hotel Toplice
Storied hotel on the banks of Lake Bled with the charm of yesteryear.
Four-star hotel resembling a luxurious private residence nestled in the lush vegetation of Lake Bled.
Wellness-focused hotel with exquisite interior design and attention to gastronomy.
Day 1: Bled Castle
You're likely to arrive in Lake Bled mid-day. Check into your hotel and grab lunch. Don't miss out on the delicious Bled cream cake. After lunch, walk along the lake until you reach the stairs that take you up to Bled Castle. Explore the various rooms and don't miss the best views of the lake from the restaurant terrace. Below the castle is a grassy area for swimming, as well as inflatables for kids. You can rent chairs and umbrellas here for the parents while the kids splash around in the water. End your first day with an epic sunset and get your picture with the red heart on the eastern end of Lake Bled. Enjoy a family-friendly dinner in town at Pizzeria Rustika.
Day 2: Exploring the Lakeside
Today is an active day, so make sure you are wearing comfortable footwear. Start by hiking up to Ojstrica and Osojnica viewpoints. Take hiking trail 6 located in the SW area of Lake Bled. If you thought the views from the castle were amazing, get ready to be wowed! Believe me when I say it's worth the effort.
Next, walk, bike or take the tourist train around the lake. It's 3.5 miles so plan accordingly. The best views are from the south and west sides. Rent a rowboat or take the Pletna boat out to the island. Half the fun is getting there! After all of your hard work, ring the church bell, make a wish and treat yourself to an ice cream.
If you're looking for a thrill, take the chair lift up Straza ski slope and ride the toboggan down. You can also drive to Pericnik Waterfall and walk 10-15 minutes to the lower fall that you can walk behind. It's a very cool experience and one the whole family will enjoy.
Day 3: Lake Bohinj
Start your day off early at Vintgar Gorge (2 miles NW of Lake Bled) before the crowds arrive. It's a 1.6km walk along the wooden platforms to Sum Waterfall. Descend the stairs behind the ticket office and cross the river to a viewing platform at the base of the falls. You are no longer able to return the way you came so follow the signs through the quaint countryside to where you started.
Next, drive to Lake Bohinj, a glacier lake 26km SW of Lake Bled, located in Triglav National Park. Eat lunch at the lakeside Kramer restaurant. While waiting for your food, the kids can jump off the dock into the lake! After lunch and a swim, rent SUP's by St John the Baptist Church and explore the lake. If you have additional time, head to the western end of the lake and walk the 550 steps up to Savica waterfall to see the falls empty into the emerald pools and/or take a cable car up Vogel Mountain for incredible views over Lake Bohinj before taking the chair lift to the summit. Have dinner at Foksner restaurant (the burgers are huge) and catch the magical sunset over Lake Bohinj.