One cannot run out of words to describe Bled. Its that good. Located in the north-west Slovenia, this place is as graceful and beautiful as possible. This October, we were finally able to visit Bled. The crowds were absent, it was quiet and it was fall time, so an abundance of colours all around.
Bled can be reached by regular buses from Ljubljana which takes people to the centre of Bled. From Ljubljana by train, the nearest station to Bled is Lesce-Bled which is almost 4-4.5 kms from the Bled centre. Also, the station Jesenice is the stop for people coming from the direction of Austria, which is about 3kms from the Bled centre.
One of the best things about Bled is that there are few places to actually visit and lot of time to relax and just take in the nature and the views. Although not comparable to the traditional castles of Europe, the Bled castle is still a castle and definitely worth a visit.
There are numerous ways to make visitors spend some money here. There is a fine dining restaurant here, a cafe for people just looking for a quick bite and drinks, a wine cellar where one can buy wine bottles, a print shop and multiple souvenir shops. There is also a special souvenir shop where hand crafted metal items made by local blacksmith families can be bought for decent prices. Frankly, I have never seen a castle before where you have so many options to spend some bucks. The cafe even has the famous Bled cream cake or “Kremna Rezina” and believe me, its sinful.
The castle walls and tower are also worth a visit as they provide panoramic views of the area around Bled. Although some of the sections have been renovated with new components, one cannot miss the old vibe.
After making our way down from the castle, it was time to make our way to Ojstrica, the view point on a hillock from where the most photographed pictures of Lake Bled are clicked. The way to Ojstrica is not a touristic walk, it is a raw hike through the woods with some steep climbing on rocks. However, if you’re able to make it all the way to the top, the view is completely worth it.
Otok island, the island in the middle of Lake Bled, is an iconic one. It looks different from each bend of the road as you walk around the lake.
You just cannot stop clicking.
As we had almost completed our walk around the lake, the sun was about to set in some time, making it a perfect time for a boat ride to Otok island.
Although the boats look sturdy, it feels a bit wobbly and creaky during the ride. But then thats the fun, isn’t it?
Otok island is small and theres not much to see except for a church. Also one can take a walk around the whole island on a well designed walkway.
As we made our way back to the main land, it was dusk and the castle lights were lit. This was the cherry on the cake.
We found Bled a bit expensive as compared to other Central European countries and cities that we have visited. This might be due to the influx of non-local tourists all round the year, we do not know. However, we do know that whatever it may be, Bled is a place not to be missed.