Lake Bled, Slovenia – World adventure with family
We only bought a 7 day vignette as we didn’t really think we’d need that long to explore the area. But Slovenia has so much more than you’d expect.
But first, we needed to tear ourselves away from Lake Bohinj and see what else was here before our time ran out.
Visiting Lake Bled
It was inevitable that we should stop at the highly promoted and advertised Lake Bled. But I soon came to realise that the reason was that so many coach tours stopped here and there was so much more set up for the tourist industry. After the natural world of Lake Bohinj it was quite a stark contrast, but still very beautiful.
Lake Bled had natural elements but in between there were coach loads of people being ferried back and forward to the island. Also, when you walked around Lake Bled there were very few areas when you were on your own. It was definitely much busier.
I’m being picky, I know! But I’ve come to enjoy the simplistic elements of travel. I suppose you have to when you are on a budget, so we can’t enjoy all the activities on offer.
It’s about finding a balance. But in terms of a holiday destination I can see that a combination of Lake Bled & Bohinj would work sooo well!
Staying in Lake Bled
As I mentioned the area was much more touristy and had a plethora of hotels and guest houses surrounding one area of the lake. At the other end was a large campsite, next to the only ‘beach’ around the island. There are a couple of larger hotels, but for the most part it was tastefully done and in some ways I compared it to Lake Garda.
But we had been spoilt with the rustic feel of Bohinj and have become accustomed to seeing the real aspects of the countries we visit.
We decided after enjoying the delights of a basic, but enjoyable, campsite in Bohinj that we would use the Aires (car park) on the outskirts of the town. It was quiet and right next door to a Supermarket (Lake Bled campsite looked busy & noisy!)
Walk around the lake
If there’s one thing you should attempt to do it’s walk around the lake. We thought Bohinj was fairly easy, but lake bled is a doddle! The pathway was easy for bikes & prams alike. The walk only takes under 2 hours at a very leisurely pace and is only 7.5 km.
Activities in and Around Lake Bled
Lake Bled Island
One of the main activities to visit, and most photographed, has to be Lake Bled Island. There are regular ferry’s (Gondala style) travelling over to the lake throughout the day. We decided it would be more fun to row ourselves out to the island (or should I say Daddy – I sat this one out!).
Hiring a boat costs EUR 20 for 1 hour (although I did see one place advertised at EUR 15). We hired for 2 hours which is EUR 10 extra, so to get our moneys worth we skated around the lake edge for a while. Only to find he didn’t want to charge us the extra hour!! Winner!! You’ll find this lovely boat hire place near the swimming area/water assault course on the far side of the lake! Lovely young man running it 😉
To take the ferry, powered by oars, will cost you around EUR 15 for a round trip.
We arrived by rowing boat and had to jostle our way into a slot in order to disembark without ending up in the lake. It certainly isn’t a very lady-like entrance! Then we walk around (2 mins) to the other side of the like to steps which lead to the Church but also a lovely cafe servicing delicious coffees and ice-creams.
It would be rude not to partake! Plus it was hot!
The other option is to pay to enter the church on the island, otherwise known as the Lady of the lake. Where you can ring the church bell and make a wish. Cost for entry is EUR 6 for adults & EUR 1 for children.
A great vantage point to view the lake as it’s perched on the cliffside and is the oldest castle in Slovenia. For more information visit www.blejski-grad.si .
Vintgar Gorge Walk
Unfortunately the gorge was closed for visitors as it was undergoing repairs during our visit. However, this is described as a very manageable walk using mainly wooden walkways, and situated just 4km north of lake Bled. There is free parking for visitors. Check www.vintgar.si for information & current prices.
For the more adventerous among you, there were plenty of outdoor centres offering activities such as: Rafting down the Sava River, River Boarding, Zip lining over the Sava River and Canyoning.
Bled has a toboggan run. A steep route with a chair lift to take you up to the start. Always a popular choice with young thrill seekers! www.straza-bled.si/en
Also at the top of the Straza hill is an adventure park (treetop assault course). www.pustolovski-park-bled.si/en
On the entrance to Bled we saw a dinopark advertised. However, reviews suggest that the park is merely life-size dinosaurs and a small park. For the price you pay to enter it will entertain the children for around an hour – so didn’t seem good value for money in our view.
As I mentioned above there are plenty of walks or cycles in the area and a good selection of day trips available.
For us, as we have already travelled through Austrian mountains and walked, tobogganed and cycled our way through the area, so we decided after 1 night that it was time to leave and spend some time seeing other villages around Slovenia.
If I’m honest I was keen to see the sea again!
Lake Bled is another stunningly beautiful place and somewhere which can still take your breath away. As I mentioned before, if you are on holiday, I can see there is plenty more to do and excursions you can take. But for us 2 days and 1 night – it was enough. But whilst we are travelling we have had to be brutal in terms of what we do and where we go.
If you haven’t been to Slovenia yet… why not?! I’m glad this is one we’ve ticked off!