Before I had even parked the campervan in its spot I was already in love – with Slovenia in general, our campsite in particular, and Lake Bled specifically. We were staying for three nights, but we already knew we could easily have spent our entire 3-week trip camped right here, on the shores of a lake I had dreamed of visiting ever since I saw pictures of it in a local travel magazine.
Our campsite was fantastic. A little pricey, but totally worth it. We had a stand with a shock of thick green grass, soft underfoot, in the shade of tall pine trees. No lake view, but a mountain vista kept me happy. The facilities were clean and modern, there was a great kiddies playground onsite, and the lake itself was within easy walking distance. Because we were staying for more than 2 nights, they also gave us discount vouchers for various activities around town, which was an unexpected bonus.
People, the pictures don’t lie. This lake is indeed an unbelievable shade of turquoise.
Even though it was drizzling when we arrived late afternoon, we immediately went for a walk alongside the lake. Aidan loved feeding the ducks and searching for fish in the shallow water.
Bled Island and Church
The next day, when the sun was out, we hired a rowing boat and made our way to the island to have the quintessential tourist experience. We visited the tiny St Mary’s Church and rang the bell (said to be lucky if you can get it to toll three times – alas), after which we sat around eating ice cream and just enjoying the lovely ambiance: church bell ringing, blue sky, blue water, green mountains. So idyllic!
We used our complimentary vouchers to take the shuttle bus to Castle Bled. It’s not an incredibly interesting castle – the interior houses a rather dull historical museum – but it’s totally worth the entrance fee just to see the lake from above. We had cream cake, Slovenia’s signature dessert, at the castle’s café. I would rather call it a custard tart, but whatever you call it, it was delicious!
We enjoyed it so much, in fact, that we completely missed the last outgoing bus and had to walk the 13 km back to the campsite. The little one was a trooper and spent 80% of that distance on his own two feet! We walked for close to three hours, first through a residential area past locals’ houses, then past the church with its beautiful tiled roof, and then along a footpath beside the lake. We were exhausted when we finally reached the campervan, but it was such a lovely walk that we considered ourselves lucky to have missed the bus.
Unfortunately, we never got the chance to just wander through the town itself. We drove through it quite a few times and it looked like a cute place with a nice holiday vibe. Some people may complain about there being too many tourists, but since we camped outside of town, we never felt overwhelmed, even though it was mid-June and high season. That being said, when we passed through again 2 weeks later there was some sort of music festival happening and the place was hopping! Could be luck of the draw, I guess.
Swimming in the Lake
In fact, the only time we were really aware of other people were the one night, right before a thunderstorm, when we went swimming in the lake. Everyone was camped out on its shore like it was the beach and the grass was packed. The little one and I braved the freezing cold water for a few minutes, but fled when lightning starting lighting up the sky.
Lake Bled was the highlight of our holiday, which is a little unfortunate because while we had a great time travelling through the rest of Slovenia and Croatia, nothing could really quite live up to it again.
Until we saw Lake Bohinj. But more about that later.
Is Lake Bled on your bucket list? Have you been there already? Did you also fall completely in love with this beautiful part of Slovenia?