I can’t believe I never heard of Lake Bled until a few months ago, and now I’ve got to spread the word. It’s stunning. The whole time I was there I couldn’t get over the overwhelming natural beauty. The lake is the bluest of blues and every vantage point of either Bled Castle or the Church of the Assumption was picture perfect.
But that’s not all. There’s a lot more to Lake Bled than just those landmarks. There’s hiking and gorges and toboggans and canyons! So if you’re planning a visit or need some more convincing to get it on your bucket list, here are 7 things to do in Lake Bled, Slovenia.
1. Walk Around the Lake
This is probably the first thing you’ll want to do when you get to the area. You really can’t help it when it’s so gorgeous! It’s about a 6 kilometer walk around the lake, and be sure to factor in extra time for stopping and taking pictures along the way. I feel like I stopped every 10 minutes! As you walk around you can get a feel for where the restaurants, gelato shops, boat rentals, and swimming areas are, which you may want to hit up later.
2. Eat Bled Cake (With a View)
As if you didn’t feel like you were in heaven already with the beautiful scenery, when you try Bled cake you’re going to taste a little slice of heaven, too. Bled cake is a creamy, custard-like cake with a crisp, light crust finished off with a healthy dose of powdered sugar. It’s the culinary hallmark of the area, and you just can’t miss it while you’re there. And if you’re a dessert lover like me, you will be very tempted to get two pieces!
I highly recommend trying a slice at Cafe Belvedere (marked on the Google Map at the bottom of the post). It’s a quick stop if you’re on your walk around the lake, and the short hike up to the cafe will get you this gorgeous backdrop:
3. Hike to Mala Osojnica
If you haven’t realized it yet, Lake Bled is all about those nature views. I promise you won’t get enough of them. And if you want to feel better about eating 3 pieces of Bled cake, the hike up to Osojnica point (685 meters) will definitely burn some calories. It’s where I took the first picture in this post.
You can take a detour to do this as you’re walking around Lake Bled. There will be signs for Ojstrica and Osojnica, two different mountains with lookouts onto the lake. For Osojnica, follow the path behind the sign in the picture above, and continue to follow the signs for #6. You can get by walking around the lake in sandals, but the trek up to Osojnica is steep and I recommend sneakers or at least closed toe shoes. See that long set of stairs?! It might not be the best idea to take small children.
If you’re interested in what the Ojstrica viewpoint looks like, check out California Globetrotter’s post on Lake Bled.
4. Visit Vintgar Gorge
You probably haven’t had enough of the lake life already, and I promise we’ll go back there. But you must go to Vintgar Gorge. I don’t know how many times I can describe things in this area as beautiful, but I just have to. The gorge is more of a raw, natural beauty compared to the lake, and when you visit you walk along the wooden planks right next to the rushing water and rock formations.
Once you complete the 1.6 km walk through the gorge, you can either turn back around and return to your car the same way or take a different return route on the hillside. The hillside route is longer, but so worth it! We walked through grazing areas with cows, donkeys, and horses, and had more countryside views.
As far as getting to the gorge, you can walk there from the Lake Bled area, and it takes about an hour. If you’d rather drive it takes about 15 minutes and parking is free. For opening hours and pricing, the Vintgar Gorge information page.
5. Ride the Summer Toboggan
Riding a summer toboggan is a pretty cool thing to do in itself, and it’s even cooler when you get views of Lake Bled. It’s located at Straza, one of the hills surrounding the lake, and you take a chairlift to the top to start your ride. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t holding on to the brake practically the entire time!
What’s great about Straza is that there are tons of family friendly things to do there. There’s the summer toboggan, the Pustolovski Adventure Park, and trails for hiking or mountain biking. It’s a must visit for families in Lake Bled.
Thank you to Infrastruktura Bled for the summer toboggan photo.
6. Go Canyoning with Altitude Activities
I love walking around a city to take in the sights, but sometimes I’m ready for adventure. And that’s exactly what you get canyoning. Canyoning is where you make your way from the top to the bottom of a canyon by jumping into the river and rappelling down cliffs, and it’s awesome!
This was definitely one of my favorite parts of my Lake Bled trip. Usually the extent of my nature experience when travelling is taking a hike, but canyoning was a way more intense way to appreciate Slovenia’s wilderness. I mean, I jumped off cliffs into that emerald green water!
As crazy as it looks, the only things you need to bring with you are a swimsuit and towel. They provide the transportation, all the gear, and your guide will keep you square on all the safety stuff.
If canyoning doesn’t seem like your thing, Altitude Activities also offers other tours like rafting, horseback riding, mountain climbing.
Thank you to Altitude Activities for the photos.
7. Take a Dip in Lake Bled
One of my biggest questions before heading to Lake Bled was, “Am I allowed to swim in it?” YES! Some areas are marked as no swim zones, but you can swim in Lake Bled. And it’s FREE! The water was a bit chilly, but you can swim all the way across the lake or around it if you wanted to.
I marked the area that I swam at on the Google Map below, and there’s a small grocery store right across the street to get cheap eats while you chill lakeside. But there are plenty of other great spots for swimming that you should scout out when you take your walk around the lake.
Marked on the Google Map I have all the things talked about in the post, as well as recommended restaurants and the approximate location of our Air BnB.
Lake Bled is a great destination for outdoor lovers and families, and I hope that these 7 things to do inspire you to get there.
Feel free to comment below with any questions, and I’d love to hear about your trip if you have already been!