I first visited Lake Bled in Slovenia in April 2018 and instantly witnessed first hand how beautiful the country is and that there is so much more to Slovenia than what first drew me there. After my perfect visit in spring I wanted to headRead More
Could Lake Bled be as perfect as a Disney picture postcard?
I was inspired to visit Lake Bled, Slovenia after I kept seeing Instagram posts by amazing photographers that I follow. It was always the same view, the iconic picture postcard of the island in the middle of the lake. Based on this single image I decided I needed to check it out for myself.
I booked a flight to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia and Bled is about a 30 minute drive away and really simple to get there. Bled itself is absolutely stunning and I spent much of the 2 days just exploring, mainly walking around the lake, hiking up the hills and taking photos of the natural beauty of the area. There is a very natural and healthy feel to the area with the locals enjoying the recently arrived spring. It was one of the first sunny weekends they’d had all year, apparently the streets were covered in snow just a few weeks ago, but the weather while I was there was just perfect, spring in all its glory.
You can walk all the way around Lake Bled, it’s about 6km with lots to see on the walk around. Places to swim, boats to the island, boating clubs, cafes and restaurants. At the far end of the lake, furthest from the town, there is a wooden jetty that offers stunning views of the island, and is the closest point. This is one of the best places to photograph the island, particularly at sunrise as the sun rises from behind the island. Also at the end of the day the setting sun lights up the buildings on the island, so this really is one of the best views in Bled.
Right opposite this jetty you will see signs for hike route 6, which takes you high to the top of the mountain so you can view Bled in its entirety and really appreciate the island. It's quite simple to find the route up, but some parts are really steep - you've been warned - so take plenty of water, unlike my first trip when I forgot. The view once you are at the top is really worth the hike.
One of my favourites times to photograph a place is just before sunrise, which means an early start. The first morning was cloudy with the mountain tops hidden and the skies were blue while the lake was as still as a mirror. The second morning there was more of a light misty cloud and the skies had a stunning hue of pink. On the second morning I saw nobody else, and given the sunrise was stunning I was so pleased I woke up to catch this sunrise again.
On my final day I drove to Lake Bohinj which was about a 30 minutes drive away. Well worth a visit and the entire area set up for water sports, swimming and an outdoor lifestyle.
All that I saw of Slovenia was beautiful, and for sure I’ll come back in a different season and I feel very lucky to have seen the conditions as I did.
Sleep | I found a wonderful hotel - Villa Istra which is right on the lakes edge, my room was on the top floor with roof windows and views over the island. The hotel was a real find and I would recommend it being a small boutique independent hotel which only has a handful of rooms, maybe 9. It’s right on the Lake and turning left around the lake takes you to the most beautiful parts. Also 50 yards away are several restaurants and a local shops.
Eat | Restaurant Sova Bled almost next to my hotel was fantastic. Being a man of routine, I ate there twice. The food, wine and service was fantastic and there are 2 chefs who run the place that are known for their fantastic food. Topped with the closeness to the lake you can’t go wrong and I highly recommend it.