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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrSlovenia's most popular resort with the beautiful lake and the tiny wooded island, ‘Maria of the Lake’, which is crowned by an idyllic baroque church, will charm you for sure. Although it can be bustling in high season, generally, the town is relatively laid back and relaxed.
The sub-alpine climate perfectly compliments this stunning scenic area of Slovenia. Summers are hot with swimming available in the lake while winter temperatures decrease to permit ice skating and skiing. In the summer months, there are numerous events.
The festival not to be missed is the Bled Days festival with a spectacular display of thousands of egg shell candles lighting up the lake, followed by fireworks, traditionally held in the second half of July. A scenic 6 kilometers long footpath around the lake takes you past some great villas, mostly from the beginning of the 19th century, including the former residence of Tito, today it's called the Hotel Vila Bled. Along the way, grab a cup of coffee and a delicious kremšnita cake from one of the many lakeside cafés.
If for some reason, you don't feel like walking around the lake, then you can take the tourist train. You can get off at the other end of the lake or do the round trip. In the summer, you can refresh yourself in the cool blue waters of Lake Bled.
There are designated areas for swimming but most people ignore them and swim wherever they like as their is no visible policing on the lake. There are also some great places to enjoy the glorious sun set across the lake. As is the case with many popular destinations around the world, Bled can be a little overpriced and swarming with tourists in mid-summer. But with a sweeping alpine panorama, fairy-tale island, cliff-hanging medieval castle, and lakeside promenade, it's definitely worth a visit.
Bled Island & Church of the AssumptionThe tiny, tear-shaped Bled Island is home to the Church of the Assumption, a baroque building dating from 1698. Go inside to see some fresco fragments from the 14th century, a large gold altar and part of the apse of a pre-Romanesque chapel. Legend has it, if you make a wish as you ring the church bell, your wish just might come true. The most recognizable symbol of the lake can be reached with a traditional pletna or by renting a rowing boat. If you are a good swimmer, you can also swim to the island. But be aware - if you swim to the island, you won't be able to explore the church unless you ask someone to bring you clothes by boat.
Bled CastleThe oldest castle in Slovenia, Bled Castle, standing on a mighty steep cliff, rising more than 100 m above the lake, with towers, ramparts, moats, and a terrace is offering magnificent views. The castle is a home to a museum collection that traces the lake’s history from earlier times to the development of Bled as a resort in the 19th century. You can reach it on foot via one of three trails sign-posted Grad. Bled Castle looks pretty high up but the walk to get there is rather short and easy if you are fit.
Bled GorgeBled Gorge is a deep gorge, carved through majestic cliffs of heights up to 100 meters, located on the edge of Triglav National Park is only 4 kilometers from Bled. The highlight of visiting the gorge is the 1,600 m long wooden walkway that crosses the swirling Radovna River.
Food & DrinkThe local cuisine is another major draw, try some fantastic regional flavors such as Karst ham, deer prosciutto, beef in Karst sauce with grilled polenta, veal stew, cottage cheese roulades, and specialty cakes. Be sure to taste the town's specialty, a vanilla-custard-and-cream cake called »kremšnita«. The best ones can be found at Slaščičarna Šmon, a little cake shop tucked away in Bled’s quiet Old Town streets. This cake was first created right here in Bled, at the big, red Park Hotel. Slightly less renowned, but just as tasty, is grmada with the remains of cakes, rum, milk, custard, and raisins, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
Getting there & AroundMost people take the trip to Bled from Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Buses run every hour with a journey time of 80 minutes. Similarly, trains run around every hour with a journey time of around 1 hour. Keep in mind that while buses stop in the center of Bled, the train station is in a smaller village called Lesce, which is 4 km away. But regular local bus service run between Bled and Lesce.
The surrounding areas are easily explored on foot, with a range of interesting walks. The scenic walk around the lake itself is a good start, from which you can climb to the ramparts of the castle for fantastic views.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Jan 14, 2015