Bled, a resort town in the Slovenian countryside, is located by the beautiful Bled Lake. The view over the lake with its picturesque island and church must be one of the most famous views in Slovenia. Bled is a tranquil an naturally stunning spot, well placed at the foot of the Julian Alps. Apart from tourist sights like the island church and Bled castle, Bled offers a sea of opportunities for the lovers of the great outdoors, with hiking trails aplenty.
Lake Bled is insanely picturesque. And so that you can take in every little bit of it from all directions, there is a trail going all the way around it. It's an easy and a very enjoyable walk of 2.2 km, which will take you just over an hour (probably longer actually as you will be stopping all the time to take photos - it's just too beautiful not to!). If you would like to grab a drink on the way while enjoying the view, there are cafes in Bled town, then there is a restaurant/bar by the rowing club and last but not least, Belvedere cafe (seen in one of the photos below), while a short climb from the lake, will offer stunning views.
If you want to go on the water, it is possible to rent a boat and go rowing or alternatively you can let someone else do the hard work and go on a traditional plenta boat which will take you to the island and back.
It is even possible to go IN the water (weather permitting of course) - there is a lido just below Bled castle.
Hiking Trail 6 - Osojnica
There is a multitude of hiking trails or different lengths and difficulty levels around Bled, which are all signposted and marked out on a map you can get from your hotel. The 2 reasons why we chose to go to Osojnica are a) It looked short on the map and was circular and b) Osojnica was described as THE place to go for photographers.
As it turned out, what the route lacks in length it makes up for in steepness. There were also some fallen trees blocking the way that needed to be climbed over. So just to warn you - it will be tough and do wear good hiking shoes. But it will be so worth it for the views! We only made it to Mala Osojnica (685 metres), but it is possible to climb a bit further to Velika Osojnica (756 metres), which is a detour from the hiking trail.
Vintgar Gorge is 4 km away from Bled (an enjoyable bike ride, and there is bicycle parking by the entrance to the gorge, so if you fancy a change from walking, do rent a bike).
The gorge was created in the ice age when the Radovna river was redirected and cut its way through the limestone. It's 1.6 km long and an easy walk along the river, mostly on a wooden walkway. There is a small entrance fee, but it's very reasonable and the money is used to maintain the walkway.
Bled Island and the Church of the Assumption
Bled Island is what the eye naturally gravitates towards when looking at Lake Bled because of the beautiful baroque church. You can either admire it from afar or jump on a pletna boat to take you across for a tour of the island.
According to a legend, if the man carries his lady all the way up the 99 steps, their marriage will be very happy, so men, if you are going to Bled with a special someone, you'd better start working out.
Whoever built Bled Castle certainly picked an interesting location. Perched on top of a cliff, the oldest castle in Slovenia is a dominant landmark of Bled. Its oldest mention dates back to 1011 and since then it has seen many owners. If you hike up the hill, you can visit the museum, eat in the restaurant and of course enjoy some lovely views.