A tiny town in Slovenia, Bled is nestled in the Julian Alps and home to the emerald Lake Bled. The idyllic lake is framed by mountains, and right in the middle of the water lies Bled Island, a little islet lush with greenery and dominated by a baroque church.
One of Bled’s iconic sights is the medieval Bled Castle, perched on a cliff and overlooking the lake. The castle boasts a drawbridge over a moat, a museum, a chapel and a panoramic terrace offering unspoiled views of Lake Bled with its church-topped island. To visit the 17th-century Church of the Mother of God on the Lake, you can take a ‘pletna’ (traditional wooden boat) to Bled Island. Legend has it that ringing the bell makes wishes come true, and the air is filled with the chiming of church bells rung by hopeful travellers. If you climb the 99 steps to try your own luck, one thing that’s definitely promised is an unforgettable view.
A picturesque little place, Bled offers plenty of opportunities to experience its natural beauty. The glacial Lake Bled freezes in winter, when you can ice skate, ski and sled on it, while it’s a peaceful spot for a swim in the summer months. For spectacular views of the blue-green lake and the surrounding scenery, you can hike up to one of the nearby viewpoints – Ojstrica, Mala Osojnica or Velika Osojnica.