Lake Bled had always been one of our top places to go visit for the longest time and so we were so glad when everything aligned for us to go and visit Slovenia. Slovenia has probably been long one of the unassuming European countries to visit - it does border the more famous Italy, Austria and Croatia however don't underestimate what Slovenia has to offer - I'd say it's a real gem until everyone else stumbles upon it!
Bled Castle was an obvious choice to be one of the first places we visited around Lake Bled as it offers amazing views over the Lake. It is also apparently one of the oldest castles in Slovenia. There's an entry fee into the castle so if you're not keen for the entry fee you can follow a small trail just to the side of the carpark to get to the free vantage point - although a small caveat the view of the lake is slightly obscured from this point!
Not satisfied with the view of Lake Bled & the church on the island we decided to then hike up to Ojstrica, which you can easily get to in about 20 minutes, and from we enjoyed one of the best views that Lake Bled has to offer - the lake, the island and the gorgeous alps right behind - I could not have wished for more!
After we saw the lake from up top we decided to take a stroll around the lake. It's a mere 6km around the lake, so if you so fancy you could even go for a quick jog around the lake! In the warmer months you'll see people dipping into the lake to cool off (yes you can swim in the lake!) however as we visited early in the season we decided to hire a row boat for an hour for 15 euros. Yes, it may seem like an extremely touristy thing to do but on a beautiful day where the waters are calm this is more inviting than you would think it is!
Lunch was next on the agenda but we decided to go light & jumped into the first cafe we saw that was near the start of the walk up to Ojstrica.
We continued our walk around the lake and decided to wait till sunset to watch the hues in the sky change. We ended up watching the sunset from the boardwalk-ed area of the lake, however I'm sure whatever vantage point gets chosen will be amazing either way!
We booked a table at Ostarija Peglez'n for the night and wow were we well fed for the night! I had read rave reviews about the fish soup here so we started off with that and then the group of us ordered a seafood platter for the group and the restaurant really ensure the best of the local produce is served!
Ready for more amazing outdoor vistas we drove up to Vintgar Gorge just north of Lake Bled and sort of snuck through (it wasn't entirely peak tourist season yet when we went so it wasn't officially open) & walked along the boarded walkway
After we enjoyed the gushing waters of the gorge we took an easy drive to Zelenci Springs, north west of Lake Bled. Matt might have gotten confused somewhere and kept telling us these were hot springs, but upon touching the water they definitely weren't hot springs! Despite the springs being cold, they were so beautiful & calm it didn't actually matter what the temperature of the water was!
It was really an outdoor photographer's dream around the Soca River and wherever and whatever the angle we looked we were constantly amazed at what nature had to offer!
If outdoor activities are up your alley, the Soca River is definitely somewhere to visit - there is a seemingly an endless list of activities you can do - from white water kayaking, zip lining, fishing and hiking just to name a few!
Absolutely famished after our day's adventures we popped into Pizza Rustica in Lake Bled for some amazing, local pizzas for dinner. A group favourite was the pizza covered in truffle - an ingredient so popular in the area. Always keen to finish the night with something sweet we rolled around the corner to Slascicarna Smon to try out the famous Lake Bled cream cake!
Our final day in Slovenia was spent embracing the outdoors as we had done the past couple of days. First up on the agenda was a gentle walk up to the Vodnikov lookout which on a clear day gives a stunning view of Lake Bohinj. We unfortunately were not blessed with clear skies but it was still a beautiful view nonetheless.
We find ourselves constantly drawn to waterfalls wherever we go and the final day in Slovenia was no different. The Savica waterfall is to the left of Lake Bohinj and costs 3 Euros entrance fee. You'll find a lot more crowds at this waterfall compared to the Kozjak waterfall as it is the most visited waterfall of the region!
The short walk up to the waterfall worked up an appetite in all of us so we dropped by Gostilna Erlah for a spot of local lunch. The fish was highly recommended by the waitress and I can say it did not disappoint!
Recharged with our full bellies we admired Lake Bohinj from up close and strolled around, another day another lake right?