Lake Bled, getting There
This summer, we decided on a last-minute road trip adventure with our kids to explore Slovenia. We stayed for approximately one and a half weeks, with the first part of our journey based in Ljubljana. The second leg of our trip was dedicated to exploring the southern region of Slovenia.
Lake Bled is truly a slice of paradise and a must-visit during your time in Slovenia. Located just 55 minutes by car from the capital city (about 59 km), you can easily spend a full day or a bit less, just like we did. When traveling with young children, you either need to be incredibly well-organized or take your time, arriving around 11:30 am, as we did.
Nestled in the heart of the Julian Alps, this natural gem boasts a postcard-worthy landscape with its crystal-clear blue lake, picturesque island, and medieval castle perched on a hill in the background. Lake Bled encapsulates the charm and magic of Slovenia, and here are all the essential details for a stress-free day visit.
Where to Park ?
Find your parking spot ahead of time to make the most of your day at Lake Bled, it’s crucial to know your parking options if you’re arriving by car. Alternatively, you can choose to use the bus or train for transportation.
Once you arrive, several parking areas are available around the lake, each providing convenient access to the main attractions. Rates vary depending on the season, parking duration, and proximity to the location. In the summer, for example, the parking lot we used, which you can find on my Mapstr, cost us 3 euros per hour. It’s located on the more touristy side, next to the railway station. Keep in mind that when it comes to paying for parking, you can also use your mobile.
What to Do at Lake Bled in One Day with Kids
Whether you’re a fan of relaxing by the water, seeking outdoor thrills, or exploring culture, Lake Bled has something to offer every traveler. You can take a refreshing swim in the cool lake waters for a memorable dip or opt to hike along the picturesque trails that surround the lake. Adventure enthusiasts can tackle a high-flying ropes course for a gravity-defying experience. Whatever your preference, Lake Bled promises unforgettable activities amid an enchanting landscape.
It’s entirely possible to explore the lake in one day, provided you’re well-prepared. If you prefer a more relaxed vacation, spending two days there to rest and enjoy all the offered activities is advisable.
Swimming: Firstly, it’s important to note that swimming in the lake is entirely possible. So, don’t forget your swimsuit and beach towel. Swimming can be quite enjoyable even if it’s raining (which was the case for us in the middle of August). There are several spots where you can swim. For example, right next to the parking lot we used, many people were swimming. Additionally, there was a building with shelter from the rain while you wait for it to stop. If you continue on the path towards Camping Bled (about a 15-minute walk), you’ll find more swimming spots.
Hiking: On the same side of the lake and a 15-minute walk from the chosen parking area, you can go hiking. If you want a unique view of Lake Bled or simply love hiking, consider Ojstrica and Velika Osojnica. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the first destination and around 40 minutes for the second. Be aware that this time can vary, especially since the trail isn’t very easy. The slope is quite steep, which can be a bit challenging with young children. Personally, I couldn’t make it all the way as the last 300 meters had a very steep incline. Kriss, on the other hand, made it to take some photos with the beautiful view. Additionally, we had rain on August 1st, so the difficulty was doubled due to slippery terrain.
Other Activities: If you’re not into hiking, you can spend a few hours at the Pustolovski Park adventure park. It offers various activities and courses for both kids and adults. If you enjoy slides, Summer Tobogganing is the place for you. Located in the southwest of the lake, this attraction offers beautiful views of the lake as you ascend to 131 meters, combined with the adrenaline rush of a 40 km/h descent.
Where to Eat at Lake Bled
You have 3 options when it comes to eating during your Lake Bled adventure. You can, of course, pack a picnic and snacks. If you realize you’ve forgotten something, like baby food, for instance, you can always rely on the nearby convenience stores. Just a reminder, you might not find the same baby foods as you do in France, but there are yogurt and cookies available.
The second option is to purchase your picnic lunch on the spot, still from the local convenience stores. For instance, there’s a supermarket, not very large but with a decent selection, right next to Camping Bled and not far from the hike leading to Mala Osojnica.
Finally, you can try one of the on-site restaurants. You have choices. For example, right next to the campsite and the supermarket, there’s a pizzeria. For our part, tired from the rain and hiking, we opted for the Stratus Int guesthouse restaurant, not far from the parking area. They serve hamburgers as well as local cuisine, including soups and traditional dishes.
We couldn’t leave without visiting the iconic place and trying the well-known dessert, the famous “kremšnita,” a cream cake emblematic of the region. To do this, we got back in the car and went to Villa Bled or Café Belvedere. This place is simply stunning. You can’t leave the lake without visiting it. Even for a snack, it’s definitely worth it. It’s worth noting that the dessert is a bit pricey, at 9 euros per slice, but there are also set menu options, such as a piece of cake with lemonade for 14.5 euros. However, the view is truly superb.
Checklist for a Day with Kids
If you’re traveling with family, Lake Bled is also an ideal place to spend quality time with your children. Don’t forget to bring swimsuits and towels for family-friendly swimming in the shallow, safe waters of the lake. Pack comfortable shoes for easy hikes with little explorers. Here’s a brief checklist of essentials for a day at Lake Bled:
- Hiking baby carrier and trekking gear for families with young children;
- Rain boots and waterproof parkas for the whole family;
- Picnic and snacks if you don’t plan to dine on-site;
- Swimming essentials: swimsuits, towels, sunglasses, hats for kids, sunscreen;
- Change of clothes in case of rain (as a reminder, we were there on August 1st and had rain for most of the day);
- Games and toys for the kids.
As you’ve seen, you can easily spend a full day at Lake Bled. There are also other activities to consider. For example, you can visit Bled Castle, situated in the northwestern part of the lake, rent a paddleboat for a leisurely ride on the lake, or make your way to the Church of the Assumption of Mary on Bled Island. To reach the island, you can rent a traditional wooden plenta boat.
In summary, Lake Bled in Slovenia embodies the essence of a perfect travel getaway. With its captivating landscape, diverse activities, and delicious cuisine, it’s a destination that will leave an unforgettable mark in your memory. A day at Lake Bled is more than just an outing – it’s an experience that awakens all your senses and deeply connects you to the nature and culture of this Slovenian gem.