In the north of Slovenia there is a blue pearl, nestled in the green of forest: it is Lake Bled, Blejsko jezero in the local language. It is a picturesque lake of glacial origin, a perfect destination for a getaway in the nature. Along its coast the city of Bled has been built and in the surroundings there are many natural beauties, all worth a visit, where you will have the chance to try many sports and outdoor activities. Ready to go? The fun is guaranteed!
The whole area around Lake Bled is rich in amazing natural places! Enjoy a relaxing walk along its banks, following a six kilometres path, running all around the lake and then rising above the green hills, from which you can admire a breathtaking landscape. Take a rest on the benches to contemplate the water, on which elegant swans flow, and enjoy the spectacle of the island that emerge in the center of the lake.
Not far from Bled, near the village of Gorje, you can visit the gorge of Vintgar, Slovenia natural heritage. The gorge is about 1.6km long and has been created through the centuries by the river Radovna, between the imposing walls of Hom and Boršt mountains. The river ends with a waterfall called Šum which is 13m high. Not to be missed are also the waterfalls of "Pod Iglico", created by the stream Suha, in the area of Mount Iglica. A wooden staircase take visitors up to the top of the waterfall, where a beautiful view of the surroundings can be admired.
And if you like alpine landscapes, do not miss to visit the Triglav National Park, with its towering snow-capped peaks and its wild nature: it is one of the oldest parks in Europe covering about 4% of the territory of Slovenia, rich in unique and protected species of animals and plants.
Besides natural beauty, this area is also rich in history and culture. On a steep cliff above the lake there is an ancient castle, built around the year 1000, surrounded by high walls and fortifications and with a drawbridge used to enter still nowadays. You can have a walk through the rooms of the castle but also enter the Gothic chapel on the upper courtyard, built in the 16th century but still well preserved, decorated with beautiful frescoes. In the courtyard of the castle many cultural events and historical re-enactments take place every year, especially in summer.
Upon the island on Lake Bled there is the ancient Church of St. Mary of the Assumption, a building dating back to the fifteenth century, with a bell tower of 54 meters high. A special feature is the "wishing bell", which is on the last beam of the church nave. A local legend talks about the story of Polissena, a rich widow living in the castele of Bled. The lady, inconsolable over the death of her husband, melt a bell for the church of the island. Due to a strong storm, the boat carring the bell sank, but the sound of the bell can still be heard, coming from the bottom of the lake. At her death, the Pope sent a new bell for the little church on the island, the one which still can be admired.
In the area around Lake Bled visitors can practice many outdoor sports! A very popular activity is boating, a sport with a long tradition on the lake, which also has hosted international competitions. You can of course go swimming in the blue-green waters of the lake: it is very pleasant, especially in the northeast part, where the temperatures can reach 23 ° thanks to underground thermal springs. These warm water also fill the pools of some hotels in Bled, where you can relax and be pampered after a day of activities. The surrounding streams offer beautiful canyoning trails, and lovers of mountaineering and adventure will not be disappointed: Bled is a great starting point for excursions, hiking and climbing.
The culinary symbol of Bled are the sfogliatelle with cream, produced since 1953. In many other places in Slovenia they are replicated, but only here the lomg tradition and experience, gives these puffs a unique and incomparable flavor: not to be missed!
During your visit to Bled, you will find comfortable eco-friendly accommodations for a pleasant stay. Camping in the forests, hotel or farms where you can taste local food and small apartments: the choice is really very wide!
Cover image: lake Bled, m slike via Flickr
Author: Anita Cason