This beautiful and fairytale-esque area of Slovenia shows no bounds when it comes to things to see and do. From exploring the charming Bled Castle to hiking some of Mother Nature’s very best examples of natural beauty, you won’t fail to be impressed. Here is a selection of 7 things to do in and around Bled that will no doubt whet your appetite and inspire a trip here.
1. Visit Vintgar Gorge
Located just 4km away from Bled and winding for 1.6km through the deep crack created by the powerful Radonva River, Vintgar Gorge (Blejski Vintgar) is one of the most striking spots in this area of Slovenia. Embark on a walk through the gorge, following the paths and bridges gauged into the impressive sheer cliff walls which tower over 330ft above your head. The river ravages powerfully below you, seeking small snippets of peace in calm pools before resuming its rapid cascade over the river bed. Pause at the galleries along the trail and enjoy the atmosphere. The Sum Waterfall, the highest in Slovenia which drops 26m, marks the end of the gorge. Follow the trail up past St Catherine’s Church and through meadows which provide great views over Karavanke mountain range, the Ljubljanska valley and Bled itself.
2. Bled Castle
Bled Castle, nestled on a rocky outcrop overlooking Lake Bled, really epitomises Slovenia. It’s a storybook image and holds a great deal of childhood charm! This Medieval castle is the oldest in Slovenia and is a popular attraction amongst visitors. Inside you can admire the impressive frescoes and the Gothic Chapel. Outside there are two courtyards, upper and lower, each affording fantastic panoramic views of the Lake.
3. Kayaking on Lake Bled
Many visitors choose to experience Lake Bled on a tourist boat, but by hiring kayaks you can enjoy Lake Bled in a different and perhaps more personal way. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or have never kayaked before, there are different options available ranging from simple equipment hire to lessons and even tours. Paddle across to Bled Island in the sunshine and you will be hard pressed not to enjoy yourself.
4. Drive the Vrsic Pass
This high mountain pass swings through the Julian Alps and was originally built for military purposes but now makes for an excellent sightseeing route through some stunning landscape. You will need to travel around 50km with car hire Slovenia to reach the beginning of the route, but the journey is well worth it. The pass itself winds its way through 50 hairpin bends on its way from Upper Caniola to the Trenta Valley. At each and every bend there’s a new, breath-taking view to enjoy so be prepared for frequent stops and plenty of camera snapping.
5. Emerald River Adventure
A great introduction to the area surrounding Bled, the Emerald River Adventure makes for an exciting and entertaining day out. Taking you on an exploration of the Triglav National Park and the Julian Alps you not only get to some beautiful natural sights but also partake in a range of activities from river rafting on the River Soca to hiking through forests and past mountains, waterfalls and lakes.
In such beautiful surroundings, it makes perfect sense to explore and do some hiking. The good news is that there are plenty of hikes in easy reach from Bled with a range that is suitable for all abilities. Pick up a local hiking map and look for the corresponding numbered routes. The number 6 route comes highly recommended and begins in the southwest corner of Lake Bled, rising to the summit of Velika Osojnica which sits at a height of 756m. The climb is relatively steep but once you reach the top you can enjoy the rewarding views over the lake, island and castle with the peaks of the Karavanke in the background. Aim to reach the summit for sunset and the views are even better.
7. Cycle the Vrata Valley
Vrata Valley is one of three found within the Triglav National Park. Arrange bicycle hire and explore this beautiful forested amphitheatre on two wheels. Head for the two beautiful Pericnik waterfalls; you can climb to the first but the second, higher waterfall isn’t easily accessible. Be sure to visit the Pocar farmhouse too. This historic building has now been transformed into a museum and provides a fantastic insight into the history of the valley and past residents of the house. This really makes for a wonderfully unique day out, in a beautiful setting.
Bled is one of the most popular areas of Slovenia and continuing to grow in popularity as the well- kept secret gradually gets out. This is just an example of some of the activities on offer so rest assured that there is plenty more.
Guest author: Kerri Ware for Economy Car Hire.