Bled offers a brilliant backpacking destination with its glorious lake the star of the show
This Slovenian town is a huge hit among travellers who are often taken aback by the beauty of its lake and surrounding areas.
What to do
Most of your stay in Bled will be centred around the glorious lake which has found its way on to many Slovenian postcards. You can stroll leisurely around the water in a little over an hour, having a browse in any of the shops you wander past. There are a couple of diving platforms for those of you looking to make a splash but if you are looking to keep dry, a range of kayaks and canoes can be hired out cheaply.
You should take any boat to the small island (Blejski otok) and visit the small church which is based there. You’ll struggle to find a more tranquilly located place of worship and they even let you ring the bell once you’ve paid the four euros entry fee. Perhaps even more idyllic is the Vintgar Gorge which is just a short bus ride away from Lake Bled. The 1.6km gorge twists and turns between the rocks and the vegetation, treating you to a vast array of glorious colours on the way.
For those of you after more of an adrenalin kick, head to the Straza, a big hill which backs onto the lake at Bled. In the winter it acts as a ski slope but during the summer the chair lifts are still in operation for the summer toboggan run. It’s just eight euros for a ride down in which you can reach speeds of 40km/h, enjoying a delightful view of the water on the way.
When to visit
To make the most of the lake you’ll want to visit between May and September where daily temperatures will usually reach at least 20 degrees. The warmer weather does bring rain with it though so if you would prefer to increase your chances of having a drier holiday then April or October are good options.
Where to eat & drink
The Public Bar and Vegan Kitchen, although a little tricky to find, is a great place to grab a ‘not-so-typical’ burger at a reasonable price. Finding tasty vegan/vegetarian food can sometimes be tricky abroad but here there is a focus on serving real quality. Also a hit among tourists is the Pizzeria Rustic. You can eat in or get their thin-crust pizzas delivered to your hotel room and there is a huge range of them to choose from.
Red n’ Black is a place which can meet all your needs whether it’s a big serving of warm porridge in the morning or some fantastic cocktails in the evening. We particularly recommend it as a place for evening drinks though as their selection is great and the ambiance is wonderful.
Where to stay
You can get plenty of bang for your buck at the Garden House Bled that offers beds in dorms starting from around £15 a night. It wonderfully combines the community feel of a hostel with several shared areas but also the luxuries you would find in an upmarket hotel such as a sauna on the roof. It is rather more on the quiet side though and any solo travellers should instead opt for the Castle Hostel. This centrally located place is full of other travellers from all over the world and there is always an incredibly social atmosphere. The staff always go the extra mile, determined to ensure all their guests make the most of their time in Bled and beds are available from just £8 per night. Like much in Slovenia, that’s a real bargain!