Lake Bled, the only alpine lake with a natural island in Slovenia, is one of the most photogenic places in the area of the Julian Alps.
It is also a home to different animals and a place for recreation and relaxation for the locals and tourists alike.
'Oh, it is even more beautiful than in photos!'
Lake Bled that lies in a small alpine town called Bled in the northwest of Slovenia was in the 19th century a favourite holiday resort of many promising artists, curious travel writers and wellness enthusiasts coming from the neighbouring provinces.
One of them once wrote:
It is impossible to describe the smell of a flower; likewise, it is impossible to describe the beauty of Bled.
While gathering information about Slovenia, you have probably come across many photos showing green and blue lake with the island, and the castle sitting on a cliff above it.
When you see this scenery in reality for the first time, it truly is breathtaking. Some even say: ‘Oh, it is even more beautiful than in photos!’
The four seasons at Lake Bled
However, the experience of visiting the lake varies according to different seasons. ― In Slovenia, we have all four of them.
In summer when daily temperatures are normally well above 28 °C, you can take a bath in the lake or just relax under the shade of bushy trees flanking the lake.
If you feel like hiking, you can climb one of the hills surrounding the lake to see Lake Bled from a bird’s eye view.
In summer months, you can attend open-air events (like Okarina, a multicultural music festival or traditional Bled Days) ― they normally take place at the Lake Promenade below Bled Festival Hall.
It is very lively (often even crowded) during the day by the lake from June to mid-September that mark the height of the tourist season. If you look for a bit more peaceful experience, I would suggest you to walk by the lake early in the morning.
It becomes more peaceful again in Bled as autumn nears and leaves start to change colours.
I think Lake Bled in autumn is for the romantics. — Even if you do not consider yourself a romantic, I am quite positive that autumn colours will awaken a romantic part of your soul.
Being at Lake Bled in winter is magical too. It is a wonderful feeling to walk on the lakeshore at that time of the year, hearing the snow crunch under your boots.
Nowadays winters are milder due to climate change, meaning days with snow are fewer than in the past; however, Bled’s snowfall varies from year to year.
In winter, Lake Bled is sometimes covered in ice and those brave enough even skate on it or walk on the ice to Bled Island.
Slovenia is known for being a green destination due to its abundant nature.
If you come to Lake Bled in spring, you will have the opportunity to experience the richness of nature in full swing.
Lake Bled is surrounded by a number of parks where you can enjoy the smell of different plants while sitting on wooden benches under old trees (some of them are more than hundred years old). In springtime, nature awakes and Bled starts to bloom in vivid colours.
As you can see, Lake Bled is a place that you can visit at any time of the year, yet, the colour of the scenery transforms over different seasons. Besides, it is very lively, sometimes even bustling from June to mid-September by the lake while autumn and winter times are more tranquil.
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION -
LOCATION: Lake Bled (Blejsko jezero in Slovenian) is located in the northwest of Slovenia at 475 m (1500 ft) above sea level. It is named after the small alpine town it lies in — Bled. Bled sits on the edge of Triglav National Park.
GET IN: You can get to Lake Bled by bus, train or car. See useful information for bus and train connections.
BUS: Lake Bled is situated in the heart of Bled. If you come to Bled by bus and get off at the main bus station (near Bled Rose Hotel) you will need to walk only a few minutes to reach the lake.
TRAIN: The train station is located above the lake, around 3 kms (1.8 mi) from the centre of Bled. The trains running from Nova Gorica (near Slovenia-Italy border), Most na Soči (Soča River) and Bohinj (Lake Bohinj) stop at Bled train station that is named ‘Bled-jezero’.
However, if you are coming from Ljubljana or Kranj to Bled, you need to get off at the train station in Lesce, a small town near Bled. From there, you may take a bus or a taxi to get to Bled. It takes around 10 minutes to get from Lesce to Bled by bus/car.
CAR: If you come to Bled by car, you can leave it at many parking areas across the town of Bled. You need to purchase a parking ticket from the nearest parking machine.
During the height of the tourist season (June-August) the traffic in Bled is very busy. I encourage you to walk short distances.
GET AROUND: You can either walk around the entire lake (6 km / 3 mi – takes 1 hr and 15 mins), run, cycle or take a ride with a horse-drawn carriage (called fijakarji) when the weather is warm enough.