One of the main inspirations of our trip to Croatia and Slovenia was to visit the spectacular Lake Bled. Lake Bled is one of those places which you’ve undoubtedly seen photos off at some point but not really sure where it is. Well, it is in the small country of Slovenia. We based ourselves in the main city of Ljubljana which I’ll discuss in a separate post then did a day trip out to Bled and Piran – both of which I highly recommend!
It was an early morning start and we decided to do our tour with Slovenia Explorer who I highly recommend. Our tour guide was great, just the right balance of keeping us entertained but also giving us enough space to explore ourselves. The tour itself only had 6 of us on it which was a good number as it kept the day flexible. From Ljubljana, it was around a 90 minute drive out to the town of Bled where the lake and the castle is. The small building in the middle of the lake is actually a church and you can take a little trip out there.
We parked up near the waters and I was again astounded by how gorgeous the colour and clarity of the water is. I just don’t think I’ve seen such amazing water than on this trip! We hoped in one of the traditional boats which rowed us out and across to the small island. On the island itself, you can visit the church but we decided not too as it is about 5 euros to get in and ring the bell and I’ve been told the inside isn’t very exciting. Instead, we took a stroll all around the island, taking snaps out to the towns and the alpine mountains around. There’s a little shop and cafe on there too where you can have a drink and relax.
Once we had sailed back, we headed up to the nearby Bled castle which sits on the mountainside nearby, looking over the lake itself. We indulged in one of the traditional Lake Bled cream cakes which was essentially a giant custard, cream and pastry concoction – it was totally delicious (and about 10 billion calories). From the castle you can peer down and across the church and lake which gives spectacular views.
We wandered around the castle for awhile, it has a load of exhibits including some on the history of Slovenia and also on ancient book making in the region which was really interesting. It is definitely worth a visit, even if just for the view and the cake – it is totally worth it.
We stayed in Bled for the morning until about 1pm, you can do some pretty impressive walks in the area and there are even places where you can go and swim in the lake itself (though even in June it was pretty chilly!). It is definitely easily done in a day or a half day trip and I highly recommend adding it onto your Europe itinerary!
In the afternoon, we headed in the opposite direction, towards the coast and towards the small town of Piran. Slovenia is definitely one of those countries which is full of contracts – from the gorgeous Alpine town with ski resorts, to the coast which reminded me heavily of nearby Italy (which you can see from the nearby walls). Piran is one of the only towns along the coast, much of which has a lot of cliffs and coastline.
Piran is a walled city, similar to those I’ve been to in Croatia, full of orange topped buildings and ice cream shops. It was really warm when we went and we spent most of our time just wandering about enjoying the sunshine and coastline. There are a few museums in the area and I really enjoyed learning about the nearby saltworks where salt is still made today in the traditional manner. I actually ended up buying a heap of our souvenirs from here – bath salts and herbal salts too!
We went up the hill nearby which gave a spectacular view over the city and pier which was stunning. From there you could see out over the sea and with Croatia on one side and Italy on the other. I really enjoyed Piran and I think if you’ve only visited Slovenia then it is a must do. If you have been to Croatia first, then it is similar to some of the towns in there so it may not be as essential. They do have further tour from Bled then up into the mountains which would be a really good option too.
I had never thought of Slovenia as a holiday destination but how wrong I was, if you are looking for somewhere to go this summer then I really recommend it. From the very cool and chilled capital of Ljubljana to the sunny seaside, to the mountainous Lake Bled it really has something for everyone. And you can do it all easily in the same trip with the size of the country itself. Plus, you can fly direct to London in under 2 hours, so really, it is the perfect option for your next trip away!
Have you been to Slovenia?
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