Lake Bled – Slovenia’s most magical attraction

Fairytale Lake Bled

If you haven’t already picked up on it, Lake Bled Slovenia took me by storm and every time I think about it, my heart beats faster. It was love at first sight, and the fact that the weather was perfect during the whole trip only added to my infatuation.

MORE SLOVENIA TRAVEL TIPS: GET MAPS, ITINERARIES AND SLOVENIAN PHRASES

LAKE BLED, SLOVENIA

Until recently, I had never heard of Lake Bled. I’m not even sure how it came on my radar – all I know is that when it did, I made it an INSTANT priority to visit.

Some have described the lake as enchanting. Magical even. So I was pretty excited to see if it lived up to the hype. I have visited a few phenomenal lakes before and I hoped this one would be just as great.

The verdict?

It was mind-blowing. M-I-N-D-blo-wing! Like stepping right into a fairytale that you never want to leave.

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Right?

THE FAIRY TALE CASTLE AT LAKE BLED

I arrived at Lake Bled from Ljubljana early in the morning. I had an adventure-packed day around Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj ahead of me, and I was SUPER excited to get started. First stop of the day was the castle, which was easily reached by car.

The castle is perched atop a high hill, steep and long, from which it overlooks the scenic Lake Bled. This medieval castle is over 1,000 years old and it’s the oldest in Slovenia. It’s also a great viewpoint for the lake, the romantic Bled island and the church on it.

Bled castle, Slovenia

It wouldn’t be a real fairytale without a castle, now would it?

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Feeling like Cinderella in her happily ever after

Bled Island, Slovenia

Introducing: Bled Island

Bled island is the only island in Slovenia. You can reach the island by a special boat with a roof, called pletna, or you can rent a boat. On the island there’s a Baroque church where many couples come to pledge their eternal love to each other. The stone staircase with 99 steps is especially famous in wedding rituals, and according to tradition it’s good luck if the groom carries his bride up all 99 steps.

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This is the upper courtyard

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And here’s the view from one of the terasses. Amazing, no?

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I can’t get enough of this view

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Especially from here!

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The stairs aren’t too shabby, either

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Here is the lower courtyard

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And a wine cellar

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The castle also has a Gothic chapel. It’s really small

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And here’s the upper courtyard from a different angle

HIKE TO OSOJNICA HILL

There are lots of things to do around Lake Bled, and hiking is one of the top activities. So, after an action-packed day, I hiked to the top of Osojnica hill to get a better view of the lake. Somehow I’d gotten the idea that this mountain top could be conquered with ease. Err, not the case.

Ironically enough, I’ve never considered myself a hiker, but somehow I always end up hiking when I travel. I don’t even like it. I always huff and I puff all the way up, and I’m never in good enough shape to actually ENJOY the trip. Yet, here I was in Slovenia; hiking and fighting my way up a steep hill while arguing with myself whether to retreat or not.

Thank you, Self, for this torturing experience. It turned out to be worth all the struggle when I finally reached the summit.

I hiked this hill to get that view –>

Lake Bled

Ta daaa

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Me, trying to look graceful after sprinting up the mountain

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Lake Bled

RAINBOWS AND UNICORNS

Lake Bled is surrounded by a wooden walkway, and so I wanted to take a walk by the shore before heading back to the glamping site. My attention was glued to the large lake trouts swimming right next to me when I felt the touch of sudden raindrops against my face. I looked up at the sky and actually squealed in delight.

Right there in front of me, as plain as anything could ever be, a rainbow descended from the heavens. The sky was full of gorgeous colours. I gasped full of awe. Brilliant, majestic, demanding my attention.

I stood still in amazement watching the sky and thinking how blessed I was to have seen this. Truly amazing.

Lake Bled

All it lacks is a unicorn

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Lake Bled is in the foothills of the Julian Alps

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.. that’s one of the things that makes it so beautiful

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Just before sunset, this light emerged

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… which make me think this is SUCH a magical place

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This is the wooden walkway that surrounds the lake

HOTELS LAKE BLED SLOVENIA (GLAMPING)

I do love being in the nature, and you know I love camping so when I found out that there was a glamping site at Lake Bled, I knew exactly where I was spending the night. If you’re like HALP ME, I DON’T KNOW THAT WORD, that’s OK. I didn’t either until recently.

Glamping is like the glamorous kind of camping. It’s the luxurious way of getting back to nature. It’s still a camping site, but you live in a luxury tent, trailer or hut, often with a private kitchen and bathroom. It’s the VIP of camping.

My glamping site included a private hut with outdoors jacuzzi. A private bathroom with shower and towels. And a breakfast picnic in front of my forest hut. Amazing, I tell ya.

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My glamping hut in Slovenia

My glamping hut

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Inside the hut

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See that smoke? That’s from the Jacuzzi

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Here I am, having a picnic

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and a healthy breakfast

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The camping site is so incredibly serene

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Just look at it

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Not so healthy breakfast

A HAPPILY EVER AFTER AT LAKE BLED

You guys know how much I LUV sunsets and sunrises. I usually like to sleep in, but on this trip, I was up before sunrise almost every day. I didn’t mind, because THIS —>

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Worth getting up for at 4.30am? Definitely.

And this —->

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And this —->

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Aaaand this —>

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So, in short, Lake Bled was epic, and it’s one of those places I know I’ll return to again and again. It stole my heart. That’s for sure.

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Many thanks to Spirit Slovenia for generously hosting me in Slovenia, and thanks Grega from Hike & Bike for a super fun and active day. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own, regardless of who is footing the bill.

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Lake Bled is one of the most magical places in Europe. Like stepping right into a fairytale that you never want to leave. Here's why you should visit Lake Bled in Slovenia.

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62 Comments

  1. Brionny July 24, 2015 at 11:49 am - Reply

    This is the first I’ve heard of Lake Bled and it looks absolutely gorgeous! It definitely looks like something out of a fairytale. One for the bucket list I think. Great pictures 🙂 x

    • Miriam July 24, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Brionny! I hope you will visit someday. It’s truly extraordinary <3

  2. Rok Pletersek July 24, 2015 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I really find your article useful. It presents something different and adds value to the reader.The images are very HQ and nice colours.
    P.S. The eggs and ham look so delicious … Got immediately hungry 🙂

    • Miriam July 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm - Reply

      I’m glad to hear that. Thank you 🙂

  3. Camille July 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Just…swoon. Perfection much?! The words “fairytale” and “magical” really apply here… You should make a calendar with those sunset pictures!

    • Miriam July 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Camille! It’s definitely the most magical place I’ve been to this date.

  4. Amy July 25, 2015 at 2:27 am - Reply

    WOW! Go gorgeous and stunning.

  5. Jenny @ Till the Money Runs Out July 25, 2015 at 7:09 am - Reply

    Oh man, I have had Lake Bled on my radar for a while but I did not know about that epic glamping, with a fire heated hot tub option! I want!!

  6. Rebecca Olstroem July 25, 2015 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Wow-truly beautiful! I could see unicorns & pixies flying about the castle like Disney land (almost!) :-), but seriously, the tranquil beauty, the glamping, hike & bike and gorgeous views all made me want to put myself in the scenery & just “close the book” -thank you for sharing Miriam-it’s just gorgeous! ❤️ And your post are always a fun escape!

    • Miriam July 26, 2015 at 12:04 am - Reply

      Thank you, sweetness <3 Lake Bled is the perfect getaway and such a romatic spot as well. Loved my time there, but next time I'm bringing Thomas 🙂

  7. Breathtaking -I want to go!!

    • Miriam July 26, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

      It’s absolutely worth a visit, Emma!

  8. Julie July 26, 2015 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    I’ve been kinda saving Slovenia on my travel list because, like you, I just know I’ll be a goner after that. Instead, I’ve just gone to all the countries surrounding it. Because that totally makes sense! Anyway, now Lake Bled MUST be added to the list which originally just consisted of the capital, which means probably going during decent weather, etc. You’ve convinced me 🙂

    • Miriam July 26, 2015 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Julie, you will LOVE Lake Bled. And Slovenia has so much more to offer. I have posts coming up about Lake Bohinj, Vrsic Pass and Soca Valley that might inspire you to see more of this beautiful country.

  9. Franca July 27, 2015 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Wow! We were there a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it, wish we could have had the same experience you had, glamping in such place must be very special 🙂

    • Miriam July 27, 2015 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      It was absolutely amazing, Franca. I have the weather to thank for this experience, but I would love to revisit in the winter. I bet the snow would make the lake look even more fairytale-like.

  10. Becky Padmore July 27, 2015 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Wow stunning you’ve really captured it’s beauty!

    • Miriam July 27, 2015 at 11:46 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Becky! Beauty is all around in Slovenia.

  11. Jess July 28, 2015 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Wow this place is so magical, I’m surprised it isn’t more popular. Definitely worth a visit to Slovenia just for this!

    • Miriam July 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm - Reply

      My thought exactly, Jess. It truly is a hidden gem and I hope you get to visit someday.

  12. Silvia of Heart My Backpack July 29, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Bahh I can’t get over your photos! It looks like you were crazy lucky with the weather too – a true fairytale!

    • Miriam July 29, 2015 at 12:37 pm - Reply

      I was crazy lucky with the weather for sure. Would love to see it during winter and snow!

  13. Tania July 29, 2015 at 12:56 pm - Reply

    Wow is amazing! It must have been a magical experience. Nice pictures! I can’t wait to go to Slovenia 🙂

    • Miriam July 29, 2015 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      Aside from Uyuni, Bolivia, this is the most magical place I have visited. Lake Bled is so enchanting.

  14. Hannah July 30, 2015 at 8:53 pm - Reply

    How utterly amazing! I’ve never heard of Lake Bled. Thanks for putting it on my radar. 🙂 The pictures are breathtaking!

    • Miriam July 30, 2015 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      I’m glad to hear that, Hannah. And thank you! Lake Bled is absolutely amazing – do visit 🙂

  15. Maya July 31, 2015 at 6:40 pm - Reply

    Your photos are gorgeous! I’ve been to Slovenia few times and always enjoyed it a lot. Mostly rafting and biking in Triglavski national park and Bovec. But you made me put this lake on my list for future visit!

    • Miriam July 31, 2015 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      I’d love to try rafting and white water kayaking in Bovec. It seems like the perfect place to do that!

  16. Stane August 1, 2015 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    Its nice to hear u had nice time in my country. I would recommend u more places to visit here, but if i tell u the truth, where ever u will go u will find something wonderful. Bovec and Soča river is a nice way to start. Rafting there, will blow u away. If u like active vacations u cant miss with Slovenia.

    • Miriam August 2, 2015 at 12:01 am - Reply

      Stane, I absolutely agree. There’s beauty all around Slovenia! I have posts coming up about my trip to Bovec, Vrsic Pass, Kobarid and Dreznica. They are all amazing places.

  17. Sarah Lynn August 4, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous photos!
    Truly breathtaking scenery and the glamping…where do I sign up? Lol
    Sarah Lynn

    • Miriam August 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm - Reply

      Right next to me, Sarah; I’d LOVE to return 🙂

  18. Amy August 7, 2015 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Wow, incredible sunrise pics! Lake Bled looks amazing, we’re hoping to get there sometime next year, glamping also sounds like a great idea 🙂

    • Miriam August 8, 2015 at 12:00 am - Reply

      Thanks, Amy! It’s worth a visit for sure. Are you passing through Central Europe on your road trip?

  19. Mojca September 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Well, you have unicorns quite near. In Lipica Stud farm in Karst region. They are magnificent Lipizzaner horses, native to Slovenia. 😉

    • Miriam September 8, 2015 at 1:46 pm - Reply

      I’d have to visit them next time I’m there 🙂

  20. Pedro @travelwithpedro February 18, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Miriam, I was in Lake Bled last year and absolutely loved it. The castle is very interesting, with the drunk monk and those views of the lake are really worth the trip. I also stayed at Camping Bled, and what an experience! That hot tub was the cherry on top of the cake!

    Great pictures, by the way!

    • Miriam February 18, 2016 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      I didn’t meet the drunk monk, but he sounds fun 🙂 I’m glad you had a great experience at Bled and the glamping site, too!

  21. Allison January 30, 2017 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Im just eating all of your posts up! So, do you need advance tickets for the castle or the trip to the island? And do you remember how much it cost? Love, love, love all of your pictures! We have 3 1/2 weeks in Europe this summer and the more I read of your blogs, the more I want to extend the 8 days that we have in Slovenia! I feel like we could happily spend the whole time there!

    • Miriam January 30, 2017 at 11:06 am - Reply

      I’m very glad to hear that, Allison 🙂

      I didn’t buy tickets for Bled castle in advance, and the price was 10 EUR for adults and 5 EUR for children up to 14 years. Slovenia is an amazing country and still quite uncrowded. You could spend 3 days in Bled with a day trip to Bohinj to do some biking and other activities. And then maybe spend 5 days in Soca Valley and 1-2 days in Ljubljana. You will still get to see a lot! Which other countries are you planning to visit in Europe?

  22. Allison January 30, 2017 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks Miriam! We will be in Switzerland 4 days (Grindlewald/interlaken), then Italy for 4-5 days, Slovenia for 8 nights, Croatia (Pula) for 3 nights, and then back to Italy for another 5 nights. It would be so easy to nix Croatia and add those nights to Slovenia, but my son is teaching himself Croatian and really wants to make it there. So much to do, so little time!

    • Miriam January 31, 2017 at 11:42 am - Reply

      It sounds like a great itinerary! If you get time, I highly recommend visiting Lauterbrunnen, which is very close to Grindelwald and Interlaken (and is the most beautiful town of the three). It’s a stunning valley with 72 waterfalls.

      Also if you ask me, Croatia is definitely worth visiting and it has some of the best European food and wine. Rovinj, Labin, Porec and Motovun are particularly charming, and they’re in close range of Pula. Let me know if you need any tips for Croatia. I have lots of recommendations and you’ll also find tips in my Croatia archive here: http://adventurousmiriam.com/croatia/

  23. Allison February 1, 2017 at 5:49 am - Reply

    Love these suggestions! I’ll check them out…thanks!

  24. Allison February 1, 2017 at 7:07 am - Reply

    So here’s a question. We plan to rent a car for Slovenia and quite possibly Croatia, too. Should we rent in Italy or take a train into Slovenia and get one locally? Do you know if we could use the same one in Croatia or if we should have a Slovenian car rental, train ride into Croatia and then pick up a Croatian car rental? I welcome any advice!

    • Miriam February 1, 2017 at 9:23 am - Reply

      I’m afraid I don’t have much experience with renting cars in either Slovenia, Italy or Croatia. However, a friend of mine rented a car in Slovenia last summer and drove it all the way to south Croatia. It was the cheapest and easiest choice and their rental company let them deliver the car in another country. If you find a company that lets you do this (I suspect it’s pretty common), I would pick this option.

    • Peter September 17, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

      From what I heard you can get them quite cheaply at the airport at EasyJet. Just go to: https://cars.easyjet.com

      • Miriam September 19, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

        Thanks for pitching in, Peter!

  25. Allison February 1, 2017 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    Great, thanks!

    • Miriam February 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome! Have a great trip.

  26. arjee June 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Hi Miriam,

    Your website is very insightful. Your Blog and vivid travelers like you inspires me a lot! I need some help and hoping some advice from you. I live in U.S. We are planning a 10-day road trip in July starting from Vienna and ending at Zurich. I planning to spend one night in Vienna, 1 night in Slovenia, 3 nights in Croatia. 1-2 nights in Venice and rest in Swiss. I know the trip sounds very rushed. Can you suggest few good places in Slovenia, Croatia and Swiss to optimize my travel. Thanks, a bunch!

  27. arjee June 7, 2017 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks Miriam. I will follow your suggestions!

    • Miriam June 8, 2017 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome. Have a great trip, Arjee!

  28. Anonymous July 27, 2017 at 9:05 pm - Reply

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions Miriam ! I used your website as my tour food. I even dined at the restaurant recommended by you are Vrsar. I think safely say that this is one of the best vacations I ever had.

    • Miriam July 28, 2017 at 12:42 am - Reply

      So glad to hear that! Both Slovenia and Croatia are amazing countries, and the food is absolutely delicious!

  29. Bojan November 22, 2017 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    Hello Mirian,
    Thanks fir great review and pictures of my country. I am living 20min ftom Bled (by car) . i was soooo many times, but I still love vibration in this place. Soča valley, Vršič, Kras. …all is beautiful . And as you say Croatia coast and sea is also beautiful . Almost half of Slovenian people spend summer holidays in Croatia.
    all the best from Bojan.

    • Miriam December 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      Hi Bojan, thanks for dropping by! You live in a wonderful place – Slovenia is one of my favorite countries!
      All the best from Denmark

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