A guide to visiting Lake Bled in Slovenia

A guide to visiting Lake Bled in Slovenia


I am sure if you are thinking of a vacation in Slovenia then visiting Lake Bled will be high (top) of your list to visit! With good reason!!

I will start by saying we spent an afternoon at Lake Bled but I could have happily spent a lot longer there! It is a stunningly beautiful place.


visiting Lake Bled

The lake looks fabulous to swim in – clear blue water (no motorised boats are allowed on Lake Bled). The only thing that did slightly freak me out was our guide mentioning the size of the catfish caught in the Lake. Huge – like 3 metres huge. He did say that in summer they stay on the bottom but in winter he has seen them when looking down from the castle over the lake. I was silently screaming at this point.


View from Bled Castle

Anyway we were catching a sleeper train from Ljubljana at 9.30 pm we decided to find a tour that would take us to Lake Bled in the afternoon. It gave us time for another wander around Ljubljana and to pack and freshen up in the morning before checking out. Lake Bled is only 55 kms from Ljubjana so not too far.

We booked with Viator and were picked up from the centre of Ljubljana and took the tour with only 2 other couples which was great. Check out some great tours offered by Viator HERE!

Lake Bled itself is on the edge of Triglar National park and surrounded by the Julian Alps. The Julian Alps stretch from Italy to Slovenia and were named after Julius Caesar. The highest peak is Mt Triglar in the Triglar National park.


View of the island in the lake and the Julian Alps from Bled Sastle

The island in the lake

The first thing we did after we arrived at Lake Bled (apart from lots of oohing and aahing) was to catch a pletna (a flat bottomed boat) to the little island in the middle of the lake. There are no motorised boats allowed so either you swim to the island, hire a canoe or suchlike or pay a guy to paddle you there in his pletna!!


a selection of pletna to choose from


This guys looks ready to do a bit of rowing!


Rowing us to the little island in the background


Doug enjoying the smooth boat ride – though if anyone moved it did rock a bit!

It cost us 13 Euros (return)each for the trip and once we got to the island we had 1/2 and hour to look around. To be honest we walked around the island, admired the views and sat at the pier debating whether to dangle our feet in the very inviting water. There is a church you can look into but I was a bit churched/cathedraled out (is that even a word?)after visiting approximately 4.1 million in Italy two weeks previously.


The Church on the island


View from the island


view from the island


the pletna is at the bottom of the steps!


on the island


the bell tower


roses around the door!

Bled Castle

After the little jaunt into the middle of the lake and back we then made our way to Bled Castle. It was a windy road up to the castle – not too bad but not helped by a couple trying to drive down the narrow road with a massive caravan attached. WE ended up reversing down the road for a few hundred metres so we could let them pass. Apparently they shouldn’t have come down that route – I think that is what the guide told them (maybe in a slightly more pointed way!)


restaurant view from Lake Bled

Its an ok castle as castle’s go but we have a fair few decent ones in the UK so I am a bit picky with castles. What this one does have is a superb view of the lake and backdrop. It also has cake. The famous Bled cream cake (like a vanilla slice but better). You also get to eat this whilst admiring the views. There is a restaurant at the castle too and a meal there with those views can only be amazing!


the cake!

The walk up to the castle is steep – very steep and a bit slippery at times. They are apparently installing an elevator which will make it more accessible to reach the castle.


the castle as viewed from the lake


the island and the lake

We did have to pay extra to enter the castle – ten Euros each.


tickets purchased so they let us in!


courtyard at the castle

The castle is one of the oldest in Slovenia and dates back to 1011. It was very famous during the 19th century when it was used as a sanatorium founded by Arnold Rikli – the rich and famous of that day flocked there for his therapies.


view from the toilet!! Only for important people

Its a nice castle – go for the views and the cake.

A stroll around Lake Bled

Before heading back to Ljubljana we had a stroll around the lake and the opportunity to take some photographs. Unfortunately by that time the sun was directly above the most photogenic area but I did my best. I did take a video from the castle that gives a flavour of the beauty.

After a visit to a shop (?) we then returned to Ljubljana. The entire tour took about 4 and a half hours. A good introduction and I would return to the area. It must be incredibly beautiful in winter with snow decorating the mountains(the area is a popular for skiers) though I must admit a week or so around that lake in summer would be very relaxing!


Bled Castle


our pletna Tina


views from the lake

rowing-boat Lake Bled

rowing to the island is an option

Have you been to Lake Bled? What did you think of the castle? Did you try the cake? Would you include visiting Lake Bled into your itinerary?

Pin for later – visiting Lake Bled in Slovenia



  1. October 3, 2016 / 7:18 pm

    I was really looking forward to this post and I can see why you had such a lovely time.

  2. October 4, 2016 / 10:00 am

    Lake Bled is soooo stunning! Im terribly sad on the day we went it was rainy and grey! 🙁 We didn’t do a boat tour or go out to the island, so I’m hoping one day we can go back when the weather is better! #CityTripping

    • October 5, 2016 / 1:20 pm

      Yes definitely recommend having another visit as in the sunshine it is even more gorgeous!Thanks for popping by and for your comment!

  3. October 4, 2016 / 7:31 pm

    Wow! I haven’t been to Slovenia yet but this is so beautiful! I absolutely have to visit. It’s such a beautiful part of the world – I adore Serbia and Bosnia.

    • October 7, 2016 / 3:13 pm

      Yes it is beautiful. We also went to Bosnia and Croatia for the first time this summer. Really enjoyed it!

  4. October 4, 2016 / 7:33 pm

    How beautiful- I would love to go here and looked at fitting in a trip while I was in Ljubljana but just didn’t quite have time. I hadn’t realised there were also custard slices though! Gorgeous photos. #citytripping

    • October 5, 2016 / 1:18 pm

      Hi thanks for your comment – the cake was scrummy! Yes i am glad we managed to squeeze Lake Bled in as it was so beautiful (and of course that cake!!)

  5. October 4, 2016 / 8:14 pm

    It looks so beautiful! I’m gathering information for a trip to Solvenia, so I’m pinning this for later 🙂 Thanks for sharing. #citytripping

    • October 5, 2016 / 1:14 pm

      Brilliant thank you! I also have a post (written last week about Ljubljana) i would love it if you read that too! tracystravelsintime.com/ljubljana Thank you so much for popping by and reading my post!

  6. October 4, 2016 / 8:49 pm

    What a stunning lake and castle…my husband just looked over my shoulder and remarked how amazing it looked too so he’s keen for a Slovenia trip now. We have to go! Great that it is so close to Ljubljana. Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • October 5, 2016 / 1:16 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth – Slovenia was a really pleasant surprise and we really enjoyed it. I would definitely go back for longer next time!

  7. October 5, 2016 / 3:46 am

    This place is so pretty! Seems like the weather was perfect when you visited. I like that you had time to explore and visit different points. Thank goodness there are no motorized boats on the lake.

    • October 5, 2016 / 1:15 pm

      It was beautiful – sunny but not too hot. I would definitely go back and explore more of the area it was a great taster! Thanks you for popping by and reading my post 🙂

  8. October 5, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Lake Bled, those views are just gorgeous. It looks really serene, I didn’t realise they don’t allow motorised boats but that makes a lot of sense. The views from that restaurant are stunning, and cake too – winner. I’m picky about castles too, but I think that one looks worth visiting for sure.

    • October 5, 2016 / 1:11 pm

      hi Rachel – it is a beautiful part of the world. The cake is pretty good too! It is great on the lake as there is no noise or pollution from motorised anything – very peaceful!

  9. October 5, 2016 / 9:41 pm

    Lake Bled is way up there on my list of dream destinations, it just looks too pretty to be true 🙂 And these photos have only confirmed that!

  10. October 6, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Wow the view from the castle is breath-taking! Would love to visit Slovenia one day!

  11. October 6, 2016 / 7:04 pm

    How beautiful is lake Bled.. Your pictures make me want to visit again. I am definitely revisiting your post went I go again. Tks

  12. October 10, 2016 / 5:40 pm

    Lake Bled looks stunning! I like that there are no motorboats allowed on the lake. Even though they can be so fun, this makes the area so much more relaxing! Looks like paradise! 😀
    Lauren recently posted…9 Tips for Your First Solo TripMy Profile

  13. A
    March 31, 2018 / 3:07 pm

    Do you happen to have the Viator tour # in your account? I can not seem to find an afternoon tour anywhere and I have the same circumstances as you did. Thanks!

    • TracyJane
      April 1, 2018 / 10:58 am

      There is a link above to the Viator page where you can book the tour. If you click on it it will take you to my Slovenia tour page 🙂

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