Hidden away amongst the snow capped Julian Alps in Slovenia are the crystal clear waters of Lake Bled. The turquoise waters glisten in the sun and are surrounded by colourful forests and vivid snow-capped mountains in the backdrop. Could this be one of the most beautiful places on earth? I planned to find out! I heard about Lake Bled on my Ljubljana City Break last year and I had seen so many beautiful pictures of Lake Bled. There was one image of the lake taken in autumn that that really caught my eye and that had made me long to return to Slovenia to visit Lake Bled. This year I decided I would book a Lake Bled Weekend Break in November so I could try and recreate this picture myself.
My Lake Bled Weekend Break
Flight Time From London: The published flight time from London to Ljubljana is 2 hours and 15 minutes, however the actual flight time was around 1 hour and 55 minutes.
Airline & Airport of Operation: Ljubljana is the closest airport to Lake Bled and it be can reached from London Luton airport with Wizz Air and from Gatwick and Stansted with EasyJet, as well as from some regional airports across the U.K. I chose to fly with Wizz Air from London Luton as I much prefer the service on Wizz Air compared to EasyJet and I had also joined Wizz Air’s members club earlier in the year for my flight to Gdansk. My flight cost a mere £24 return after my discount. I departed at 6:05am on a cold Saturday morning in November and returned late morning the following day.
Transfer Time to Lake Bled: Ljubljana’s airport is located 22 miles from Lake Bled, which takes around 30-40 minutes by road. For this trip I used an airport transfer company called goOpti, which I had used before when I visited Ljubljana. With goOpti you can book many options from private transfers to a shared shuttle bus. As my time in Slovenia was quite limited I opted for the private transfer which cost €34pp return.
Where to Stay on a Lake Bled Weekend Break: For this trip I stayed for one night at the Best Western Premier Lovec which was located in the town of Bled, a few hundred yards from the eastern shore of the lake. I booked this on hotels.com and paid £115 for a deluxe lake view room for the night.
Top Attractions on a Lake Bled Weekend Break
Walk around the lake and view point
It goes without saying that while visiting Lake Bled a walk around the lake is an absolute must. On arrival the lake looks much bigger than it actually is and the idea of walking around the lake can seem quite daunting. Do not be fooled because it’s not as big as it first seems. There is a path which you can follow completely around the lake which is approximately three and a half miles, and the walk takes around 90 minutes if you just walk around the lake without stopping. But where is the fun in that?
There are many cafes and restaurants dotted around the lake should you need to stop for refreshments, and also many rowing boat hire centres. I hired a rowing boat from the far side of the lake and rowed to the island where I moored the boat up and had a look around the island. There is a small church which you can visit, as well as a cafe and souvenir shop. I hired a two person boat which cost €10 for an hour. This was plenty of time to get to and from the island as well as having time to explore and relax with a drink on the terrace.
Also at the far end of the lake is a path up into the mountains, which does get quite steep the further you go, but the effort is definitely worth while as the view from the top was absolutely amazing. This view point is where I had planned to head for so I could attempt to recreate the picture which I had previously seen of Lake Bled. The path is signposted Ojstrica and labelled point of interest no. 6.
Later in my journey when I was approaching Bled Castle I found a small stall selling mulled wine for €2. I treated myself to cup and enjoyed it while sitting on the shore of lake mesmerised by the jaw-dropping views over the lake and surrounding mountains.
Bled Castle is perched high on the top of a hill overlooking the whole lake as well as the town of Bled. Bled Castle is a medieval castle dating back to 1011 and has been added to over years with Romanesque and Renaissance additions. The castle isn’t huge, but is definitely worth a visit while on a Lake Bled weekend break, even if it’s just to take in the spectacular views.
Entrance to the castle is €10pp and this gives you access to the courtyard where you can enjoy the magnificent views, as well as the museum and art galleries which are located in the castle buildings. There are also souvenir shops, including a live forge where hand-made metal works are produced and a printing shop where you can purchase hand-made certificates produced with an old fashioned roller print. You can also enjoy a drink or meal with amazing views in the bar and restaurant.
Restaurant Recommendation: For lunch I did have a restaurant in mind, but on arrival I found that it was only open during the summer season, so I had to find an alternative. I came across Vila Prešeren which was located right on the bank of the lake, with a huge terrace overlooking the lake. Despite visiting in November, it was a reasonably warm day so I decided to sit outside on the terrace for my lunch.
For my lunch I decided to go for a lighter option and chose a platter of assorted cured meats, local cheeses and trout pâté, served with a bowl of fresh bread. I enjoyed this with a glass of locally produced sparkling wine.
Local Delicacy: Trout and trout products from the trout which are sourced from the lake are a big delicacy in Bled. On my trip I didn’t try any actual trout, apart from the trout pâté with my lunch and it was extremely delicious.
Top Tip: All the shops in Bled closed at or before 5pm, so if you need any essentials for your stay, make sure you visit early enough.
Currency: The currency in Slovenia is the Euro, and at the time of writing this the exchange rate was approximately 1.1 Euro to the Pound.
Weather: I visited Lake Bled in early November and the weather during my visit was forecast to be overcast on the Saturday and similar on the Sunday but with some light rain. When I arrived in Ljubljana airport it was extremely overcast and very misty, but luckily on the way to Lake Bled much of the cloud had burnt off and it turned out to be quite a sunny day. The temperature was around 12 degrees during the day, dropping to a few degrees in the evening.
Best time for a Lake Bled Weekend Break
Lake Bled has year round appeal, depending on what you are looking for. For summer it is a fantastic lake resort with warm temperatures, great for water sports, sunbathing or just relaxing in the towns many bars and restaurants. During the winter it turns into a snow-covered winter wonderland, fantastic for relaxing.
Recommended Duration for a Lake Bled Weekend Break: I stayed in Lake Bled only for one night and this was just the right amount of time to spend exploring the town and surrounding area. Ljubljana is just over an hour away and is a stunning weekend break destination. A good idea would be to visit both destinations during the same trip.
Conclusion: I was extremely impressed with Lake Bled, and going back to my question, the answer is yes – it is definitely one of the most beautiful places on earth, well one of the most beautiful places that I have visited. I plan to visit Lake Bled again in the future as I would particularly like to see the beautiful scenery during the summer months as well as during winter when the landscape will be snow-covered. Lastly… did I manage to recreate the picture which I had previously seen… I hope so!