Bled, Slovenia

The alpine town of Bled, along with its stunning lake and towering castle, is undoubtedly one of the top tourist destinations in Slovenia.

Bled, Slovenia

Bled, Slovenia

Bled island

Bled’s most famous feature is the crystal-clear lake which has an island (the only real island in Slovenia) crowned by the 55-metre tower of the Baroque Church of the Assumption. The island in its lush greenery also hides other interesting island buildings, like the bell-tower, church, chaplain’s house, provost’s house, small hermitage and some mysterious legends.The backdrop of mountains makes this view especially irresistable. Visitors can take a boat tour to the island on characteristic pletna boats, which include half an hour to wander around or visit the church.

Bled island

Bled island in winter

Lake Bled

Lake Bled is 2.12 km long and up to 1.30 km wide. Its maximum depth reaches up to 30.6 m, making it ideal for diving exploration. 6 km long trail around the lake is just long enough for simple recreation (walks or bike rides). This trail also leads to sightseeing rises – Castle Hill and nearby hills with splendid views. Take a rest on one of the benches and enjoy the view on the lake with an island and the Karavanke mountains in the distance, and observe the ducks and swans playing on the surface of the lake. Rowing is a very popular sports activity in this area as Bled can pride itself with a long tradition of the rowing sport and with hosting international rowing competitions. During the summer visitors can cool down in the lake or enjoy on the Castle beach which each year attracts a great number of tourists. In extremely low winter temperatures the surface of the lake freezes and you can ice skate on the surface.

Lake Bled

Lake Bled

Bled Castle

Perched quite dramatically high up on a cliff overlooking the lake and town, Bled Castle is the stuff of children’s dreams. First mentioned in the year 1011, it is officially the oldest castle in Slovenia having celebrated its one thousand year anniversary in 2011. Built and added to haphazardly over the centuries, nowadays the castle is a photogenic mash of styles. Of the many sights located on the castle’s premises, you can visit a small but informative museum of the region’s history from the first human settlements till the present day, a 16th century chapel, the wine cellar, an herbal gallery, a recreated Gutenberg printing press (that still sees heavy work printing souvenirs for visitors) and of course a restaurant with breathtaking views of the lake below and mountains beyond.

Bled island and castle

Bled island and castle

The legend of the Sunken bell

Once upon a time lived a young widow in the castle of Bled. Her husband was killed by robbers and his body was thrown into the lake. She was so inconsolable that she gathered all her gold and silver and cast a bell for the chapel on the island, in memory to her husband. But the bell didn’t arrive there. The bell, the boat and boatmen sank during a terrible storm. The desperate widow sold all her property after this accident. She offered the proceeds for the construction of a new church on the island. She left Bled and lived the rest of her life in Rome as a nun. After her death the Pope had heard of her misfortune and of her good deeds during her life as a nun, so in memory to her he decide to make a new bell. He said that anyone that rings the bell three times and believes in God, his or her wish would come true.

Bled castle

Bled castle

The attribute that makes Bled so special is most certainly its surrounding nature. It has shaped the most beautiful forms, gave them a touch of delicacy and coloured them in wonderful colours. Glide across the blue-green surface of the lake, visit the lake island covered in lush greenery, take a walk through the gorge of the wild river Radovna, descent into a mysterious karst cave, climb on the surrounding hills and plateaus or indulge in the intact nature of the Triglav National Park. Your relaxation is guaranteed.

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