The major attraction of Slovenia
On many guidebooks as a cover you will find a picture of Bled. Many tourists come to Slovenia just to visit this small town, what I think it’s not right as Slovenia has way more to offer than Bled.
Perched atop a steep cliff more than 100m above the lake, Bled Castle is how most people imagine a medieval fortress to be, with towers, ramparts, moats and a terrace offering magnificent views. The castle, built on two levels, dates back to the early 11th century, although most of what stands here now is from the 16th century. For 800 years it was the seat of the Bishops of Brixen.
You can reach the castle on foot via one of three trails sign-posted ‘Grad’. The first trail starts from the car park behind the Bledec Hostel; the second is a tortuous path up from the Castle Baths; and the third starts just north of the Parish Church of St Martin.
Tiny Bled Island beckons from the shore. There’s the Church of the Assumption and a small museum, but the real thrill is the ride out by gondola. There is no charge to visit the island, except for what you pay to travel there, you are free to wander and visit the cafe and souvenir store. However, there is an admission charge to enter the church.
Bled’s greatest attraction is its exquisite blue-green lake, measuring just 2km by 1.4km. The lake is lovely to behold from almost any vantage point, and makes a beautiful backdrop for the 6km walk along the shore.
Vintgar Gorge Bled
When you are in Bled don’t forget to visit Vintgar Gorge. It is a perfect activity for another half a day after visiting the town.
How to get there:
By car: When you arrive to Bled (from the direction of motorway ‘Ljubljana – Jesenice’), turn right towards Pokljuka at the traffic light. Follow the main road and in Spodnje Gorje village turn right towards Vintgar. Park on the parking lot in front of a hut where admission fee is charged. On foot: Follow a track starting close by the tourist information in Bled town. It is about a 4 km to get to the Vintgar Gorge.
The completely impassable gorge was discovered at the end of 19th century. Considering the tourist development of Bled, wooden galleries were soon made through the gorge enabling the tourists to visit this creation of nature. In a beautiful natural environment river Radovna jumps across rapids and whirls in pools; towards the end of the gorge you will be surprised by a 13 meter Šum waterfall and an old stone railway bridge that crosses the gorge. It is a very refreshing walk, especially if you manage to avoid larger groups of tourists.