JC Travels: Exploring fairy tale destinations – Lake Bled, Slovenia
When I think of fairy tale destinations, one hits out pretty clearly – when we visited Lake Bled in Slovenia. It popped up on facebook recently that it’s been just over a year now since I headed over in our trip around Croatia, Montenegro and Slovenia. I have such fond memories of the whole trip, but one of the highlights was definitely Lake Bled. Netflights* have been doing some fairy tale dreaming too – Bled is definitely one of my faves, but Neuschwanstein is a very close second. I’m now doing all of the planning to get to the other 9 destination on the list!
Bled itself is about an hour from the capital city of Ljubljana and settled right in the Alps. I loved Slovenia as it was one of those countries which even though tiny in size has amazing variations. The City of Ljubljana is pretty much like the cool side of London but throughout the whole city, there are lots of students, it’s super environmentally friendly and the wine is super cheap – can’t really beat that right? Whereas when you’re down by the Coast it basically feels like you’re in an Italian village with bright blue seas and orange roofs.
And Bled is totally different again! Surrounded by mountains it feels more like a Swiss town and is often surrounded by snow. It’s of course famous for the crystal clear waters of the lake and the Bled Island which houses a little church and surrounding buildings. You know, travelling is actually one of these recommended steps to retire peacefully and I can’t think of anywhere I’d want to revisit more than here when it’s time for me to begin filling retired life with amazing experiences.
So what to do when you’re actually in Bled?! Well I have a view suggestions…
Get out onto the Lake
You can’t just look at that beautiful blue lake can you?! You gotta get out there and actually jump on. Now, you can swim in it but it is an alpine lake so it will be a wee bit chilly. But in the summer months then it would be ideal.
We headed over in a traditional row boat – there are no motors on this lake. They row in a particular style which decreases the wake from the boats. It looks almost impossible with them pushing their arms out together but the boat definitely picks up some speed. You can even rent your own boat and row yourself!
Visit Bled Castle
Bled castle offers it all – amazing views all over the lake which you need to see, and a heap of history to go alongside it all too! It basically sits on the giant hill overlooking the lake, so you can either hike up or take the mini bus of course!
Once inside, there are a heap of different exhibits to go in to learn more about the castle and the surrounding area, which as a history nerd I totally enjoyed. However, even if history isn’t your thing, you can probably spend the same amount of time just staring off into the beautiful view!
Eat Bled cream cakes
One of the best things of all travel is a local cake specialty! And that’s exactly what Bled offers in its giant cream cake. It’s basically crisp butter pastry, topped with vanilla cream which manages to stay perfectly set and then peaked with a thick layer of cream and icing sugar. It is so worth it and includes all of my favourite foods. We had them at the top of the Bled castle and I think I then needed to run up that hill a few times!
Now I have to admit, when I was there, I did most of Lake Bled with a tour guide and we were in a little mini van. But Erica recently went and decided to do it the active way! She jumped on a bike and did a cycle round the lake. But that’s just the first of the options – there are so many sports to do both in the lake and in the mountains around, ideal if you are looking for a an active holiday.
I really want to go back to Bled and explore more of the surrounding area – it’s definitely somewhere you can spend a bit of time in and Slovenia is firmly in place as one of my favourite places in Europe!
Have you been to Lake Bled? What fairy tale destinations do you want to go to?
*Post written in collaboration with NetFlights, but all Bled loving is my true love!