Lake Bled is less than an hour from Ljubljana and many people visit as a day trip. But staying 3 nights is a better strategy to really enjoy this beautiful area.
- Never ending views from the walk circling Lake Bled
- Hiking up path #6 for spectacular views high above Lake Bled
- Walking through beautiful Vintgar Gorge
Strolling Around Beautiful Lake Bled
Fortune was smiling on us with the beautiful day, just two days earlier a snowstorm had blown through Slovenia covering the peaks of the Julian Alps in a blanket of picture perfect snow. We checked in to our lovely apartment and set off for the top activity of Lake Bled – the 6 kilometer (3.73 miles) walk around the lake.
Our apartment was just a 10 minute stroll to Bled and the lakeside walk, where we started a clockwise stroll so we could finish at the Sava Restaurant for some of the famous Kremšnita cream cake.
If you’re like everyone else, you’ll find the images of Bled Island reflecting in the water irresistible to photograph time and again from every vantage point on the walk around the lake.
Our excellent apartment host gave us the tip on seeing Lake Bled from a perch high above the lake – look for marker 6 Osojnica, a loop road and path to this terrific vantage point. It’s easy to spot from the walk at the opposite end of the lake from the town of Bled.
Delicious end to a delightful afternoon of nonstop views, our last stop on the walk was the Hotel Sava Restaurant, the place that invented the famous Kremšnita (cream cake). You can’t miss it, it’s the one with the huge terrace above the lakeside walk.
Timing for your walk around Lake Bled: We spent about 3 hours including the hike up to the panoramic vantage point, lingering at a lakeside bench, and a ridiculous amount of photo stops along the way. If you just want to walk around the lake it should take anywhere between 60 or 90 minutes.
Vertical Vintgar Gorge
Our second day in the area was another gorgeous day, perfect for a walk through Vintgar Gorge. The beautiful gorge is one of the top attractions in the area, with wooden bridges and walkways clinging to the sides of the gorge, it’s an easy nature walk through the gorge and back that takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Country Drive Up To Vršič Pass – Almost!
From Vintgar Gorge we drove over to Kranjska Gora to see how far we could get up the Vršič Pass. Not very far! The snowstorm had the road closed before the Russian Chapel, a chapel built by Russion POW’s in World War I who were forced into labor to build the road between the Sava and Soca Valleys.
Despite not being able to go up the Vršič Pass the drive was very scenic with the spectacular backdrop of the snow capped Julian Alps from the valley and Jasna Lake. On the way to Kranjska Gora, the valley is known for its many hayracks, a typical Slovenian sight in the fields. In the spring the racks are empty, but in the harvest they’ll be filled to overflowing with drying hay.
The Slovenian hayracks are vertical free standing racks with horizontal poles between the vertical supports for the hay to be draped over. The racks have little tiny roofs.
The day wasn’t over yet! We drove over to Lake Bohinj for a look. At the far end of the lake the ski lift was running and the huge parking lot was full of skiers. A little too cold for us, we headed back to Bohinjska Bistrica and checked out the Car Train as possible alternative to driving the highway when we were heading to Piran in a couple of days.
We’d been ready for a café break for quite awhile, but we didn’t find any places by the lake in snowy Bohinj. How about the café with a view of the Lake Bled? We’d walked up to the Belvedere of Vila Bled the day before on our walk around Lake Bled and the idyllic spot was a perfect place for a break with a view. Plus you can drive to it.
Medieval Radovljica and Kropa
Our last day in the area and our luck with good weather vanished and the rain stayed with us all day. A perfect day for the Bee Museum (Apicultural Museum) in medieval Radovljica, which fortunately was open on this Labor Day holiday. This interesting museum occupied us for about an hour as we learned all about the world of the local Carniolan honey bee and the tradition of Slovenia beekeeping. Being a holiday and pouring rain we gave the rest of the tiny pretty town a quick visit, stopping for a cappuccino at a little café on the main square.
Despite the rain we drove to the nearby interesting village of Kropa. In this famous ironworking town the rushing river was diverted into channels on the sides to feed the 15th century waterwheels that powered the forges, a fascinating glimpse of industry pre-industrial age. Signs describing the features of the town are in English, but unfortunately the pouring rain made for a short visit. There’s an Iron Forging Museum in the village but our timing was bad and it was closed.
We finished our last day with a delicious meal at Gostilna Union Restaurant and a last look at beautiful Lake Bled with the castle dramatically floodlit at night.
A great 3 night stay at the family run Apartments Vila Marjetica – we were in the Blue Apartment (One bedroom apartment with Balcony) – up a flight of stairs in the back of the totally remodeled house. We slept great here, the large bed was super comfy and the apartment was very comfortable and quiet. Great location and excellent WIFI, but best of all was our host Matej, the owner of the apartments. He gave us terrific tips on what to do that made our visit to this area unforgettable.
- Vila Marjetica Apartments – Check their website for photos and for booking direct
- Slovenia Map
- Rodovljica Bee Museum
- Kropa Iron Forging Museum
Arriving in Lake Bled
Ljubljana to Lake Bled – 45 minute drive.
Leaving Lake Bled
Lake Bled to Piran – this would have been a 1.5 – 2 hour drive, but we made a big detour to take the 12pm tour of the interesting 13th century Sneznik Castle, an hour and a half drive from Piran.
Have you been to Lake Bled? Did you try the Kremšnita?