Nestled in the foothills of the Julian Alps, Bled is a picturesque town on the edge of a glacial-carved lake that’s watched over by an 11th-century castle. It’s famed for its charming pilgrimage church where locals often wed and is on the doorstep of the dramatic Vintgar Gorge.
Things to do in Bled
Perched atop a precipice overlooking Lake Bled is the medieval Bled Castle, which now functions as a museum detailing the lake’s history. Admire its Romanesque tower, Renaissance courtyard buildings and Gothic-style chapel while soaking up the panoramic views across the lake.
A highlight of visiting Bled is riding a gondola-style boat to Bled Island and its Church of the Assumption. Beautifully preserved frescoes in the Baroque-style church depict scenes from the Virgin Mary’s life while a 52-metre-high tower rises above. There are 99 stone steps leading to the church, with it considered good luck for a groom to carry his bride up the steps before ringing the wishing bell.
A short drive north of Bled will take you to the Vintgar Gorge, which was carved over thousands of years by the Radovna River. Wooden boardwalks snake their way between the 100-metre-high walls, with the azure blue river alternating between tranquil pools and thundering rapids. The gorge is also home to Slovenia’s largest river waterfall, the 13-metre-high Šum Falls.
Getting around Bled
Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport is around 30 minutes’ drive from Bled and has flights to destinations across Europe. Both trains and buses connect from the Slovenian capital to Bled, which can be explored on foot or by bicycle. Boats are readily available for hire to reach Bled Island.