Things to Do in Bled
- Bring comfortable walking shoes for exploring the town and its surroundings.
- Almost all of Bled’s sights can be reached on foot, although a tourist train runs around the lakeside every 45 minutes during summer.
- The path around the lake is flat, although some parts are gravel and may be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
Nestled into the foothills of the Julian Alps in northwest Slovenia, glacial Lake Bled is a place of spectacular natural beauty. Subterranean thermal springs keep the lake’s exquisite blue-green waters relatively warm during summer, making it a hot spot for water sports. Bled also makes a perfect base for exploring the Julian Alps.
Built into a rocky precipice in the Julian Alps foothills of northwest Slovenia, Bled Castle (Blejski Grad) sits high above the stunning blue-green Lake Bled. With moats, a drawbridge, ramparts, towers, and terraces with magnificent views of the lake, this 9th-century fortress is everything you would imagine a medieval fairy-tale castle to be.
With its picture-perfect church and ornate steeple peeking out above the treeline and perched on Bled Lake, tiny Bled Island (Bled Island (Blejski Otok) looks like something out of a fairy tale. Local tradition has it that a groom must carry his bride up all 99 steps that lead from the island’s dock to the church to ensure a happy marriage.
While the romantic position of the lovely Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (Bled Island Church) on a minuscule mound in the middle of Lake Bled is enough to attract thousands of visitors to it each year – it is one of Slovenia’s most popular wedding venues – it is also feted thanks to its internal ornamentation, 177‐foot (54‐meter) tower and dedication to the Virgin Mary. Starting out as a pagan temple many years before the advent of Christianity, the church has at various times been a small, wooden structure and a single‐aisle Gothic church, which was consecrated by the Bishop of Ljubljana in 1465. The freestanding bell tower appeared later in the same century and the church was reconstructed yet again in 1685 in its present Baroque style, with a deliciously OTT gilt‐encrusted altar and black marble and wood‐carved pulpits contrasting keenly with its serene white and cream aisles. Two legends surround the church: that men must carry their partners up the 99 steps of the 15th‐century stone staircase leading up to its entrance to ensure marital happiness; and that ringing the wishing bell – which dates from 1534 – on the left of the altar makes wishes come true.
The Vintgar Gorge—created over centuries by the waters of the Radovna River—draws visitors with its emerald green pools, dramatic waterfalls, and picturesque swimming holes. Visit to traverse bridges and wooden boardwalks suspended over the water, and see the Sum waterfall, which cascades into an emerald pool at the head of the gorge.
Located at the confluence of two rivers in northern Slovenia, Tolmin Gorge is one of the gateways to Triglav National Park. Known for its stunning scenery, crystal clear waters, moss-covered canyons, and rocky outcrops, Tolmin Gorge is one of Slovenia’s best natural attractions.
Located close to the center of Bled, Straza Bled hill offers year-round entertainment and panoramic views of Lake Bled, Bled Castle, and the Julian Alps. In winter, you can go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, while tobogganing, hiking, and an adventure park are available throughout the rest of the year.
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