Lake Bled – Slovenia’s Gem
Hearing the name Lake Bled may not immediately conjure up a flood of imagery in your mind, however, once you have seen and experienced it you will never forget it. The reason being, this is an Alpine lake of astounding natural beauty engulfed in a wealth of legend with supposed restorative powers to boot.
An ancient church sits on an island in the middle of the pristine turquoise waters emanating a truly mystical feel and the scene is backdropped by the often snow-sprinkled Julian Alps, adding to the dramatic setting.
Once at the lake there are numerous activities to partake in that offer a variety of ways to experience this natural wonder. The church on the island is visitable and can be reached by traditional pletna boat, allowing guests to follow in the footsteps of the 12th century pilgrims who journeyed here from across Europe. The church bell was made in the early 16th century and is said to have been a gift from the Pope after the original bell crashed into the waters and sank to the bottom of the lake during a particularly perilous storm. Nowadays, visitors can ring the bell for its legendary good luck.
Another way to consume the beauty of this landmark is simply by viewing it from its surrounding nature. Measuring 1.2 x 0.9 miles the lake is relatively easy to circuit and unspoilt views can be found in a multitude of spots. For those who are willing to undertake the hour-long hike, the best vistas are found at Mala Osojnica.
Water activities are also plentiful on the lake. Visitors can hire kayaks and paddle boards or swim in the bath-like warm waters during the summer months. There are also thermal springs in the North-Eastern part of the lake, one of the reasons it was once regarded as a natural health resort.
Bled coachmen, known as fijakers, offer horse-drawn carriage rides along lake-side trails and there is a 12th century cliff-top castle that can be frequented. There are golf courses nearby, as well as skiing opportunities in the winter. Simply put, Lake Bled has something for everyone.
When it comes to where to stay during your visit, there are numerous stunning shore-side properties. A favourite of ours is the Grand Hotel Toplice which sits on the shores of the Bled with astonishing views of the lake, the island and the castle. The hotel’s Luisa Spa and wellness programmes are built around a thermal spring that refills the spa pools on a daily basis.
Additionally, the hotel offers exquisite dining options. Its Jezero Lounge sits on the hotel’s terrace offering unrivalled views and a menu that incorporates everything from light bites to extensive dishes, whilst its elegant gourmet Julijana Restaurant is so exclusive it only has space for 20 diners inside. The restaurant terrace can accommodate a further 20 covers, however, booking this coveted space is highly recommended, not least because head chef Simon Bertoncelj’s creative direction won the restaurant the prestigious Michelin Plate 2020 award.
There are many reasons why Lake Bled is such a popular destination for people who are looking to relax and recharge in pure luxury. To explore options and book a unique trip to this serene and surreal luxurious restorative spot, please get in touch.