Lake Bled, Slovenia
A scenic forty-five minute drive from Slovenia’s capital will take you to one of the most serene and romantic places that is yet to be overrun by American travelers: Lake Bled. Surrounded by the majestic Julian Alps, the lake and the tiny town of Bled offer a chance to relax and enjoy the natural wonders of Slovenia. With a magical island that seems to float in the middle of the lake, a fairy tale castle perched on a hilltop and a handful of eateries, visiting Bled will inject a dose of relaxation into any itinerary. In my case, Lake Bled was a perfect foil to urban and sight-seeing heavy Vienna. Bled can also be easily reached from Italy or southern Austria. Bled is romantic, slow-paced, breathtaking, full of genuine people and absolutely worth a visit.
Activities in Bled
There is a clearly marked footpath that takes you around Bled’s most interesting site, the lake. Circumnavigating Lake Bled can easily be done and there are plenty of opportunities to stop along the way. Hiring a boat and driver to paddle you around the lake or take you to the island is another great way to experience the lake. As tradition states, each groom has to carry his new bride up the steep stairs leading up to the onion domed church in the middle of the island. Lucky for me, I was on my honeymoon. It’s a good thing I was fit enough to show I’m a worthy groom.
Slovenian Food is Good
There are a handful of restaurants, pubs and cafés that serve delicious food in Bled. Wherever we ate, the food was local, thoughtfully prepared and we were treated with respect by the proprietors. Not having any expectations on what exactly Slovenian cuisine would be, I was pleasantly surprised. Our first night, since it was asparagus season, I had a lovely asparagus risotto with shrimp at Penzion Meyers. We frequently ate at a family owned Osteria right on the lake that served fantastic food. There are also plenty of casual places to eat that serve pizza and beer at a great price. If you order pizza, be sure to ask for gypsy sauce! For my wife (the foodie), we had to try the sumptuous creamy “Bled Cake” during one of our requisite coffee stops.
Where to Stay in Bled
Penzion Kaps, Želeška cesta, 224260 Bled SI, +386(0)31 546 730. This lovely B & B is built in the Alpine style and is lovingly cared for by Peter and his family. Peter’s father has hand made all of the beautiful furniture with accents that make up each comfortable and well appointed room. It is located 100 meters from the Lake. The self-service bar (soft and alcohol drinks) is very convenient. The breakfast buffet is plentiful and fresh. On our last night, they kindly offered to make us a basket to go since we were departing so early in the morning. Free internet.
There are plenty of other family owned B & B’s like this within the same neighborhood. We chose a family owned B & B over a big, generic hotel that may have better lake views but no charm.
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For more images on Lake Bled click here