Lake Bled was added as a sort of pit-stop on one of our European road-trips. Starting in Munich, we drove through Austria, then Slovenia to Croatia. With our fast-paced itinerary, we allotted only 24 hours in Lake Bled. We 1000% did not regret going to Lake Bled. However, once we got to Slovenia, we wished we could have had more time to see more!
As someone who loved the area and would like to return to see more of Slovenia, I recommend staying longer. However, if your itinerary only allows 24 hours in Lake Bled (I get it!), you better make the most of them!
1. Paddle Boat
Once you arrive in Lake Bled, I recommend starting with a paddle boat rental; there are several paddle boat rental places along the lake.
- Cost is about 20 Euros for an hour and the paddle boat seats 4 easily
- The paddling is fairly easy and is about a 20 minute paddle to the island. However, we were also in a group of four, one of which was my husband, so if you are traveling solo it may be a bit of an exercise for you!
- If you aren’t a fan of paddling yourself, there are traditional Pletna Boats for rent as well for around 12-15 Euros which will take you with a group to the island and back.
2. Explore Bled Island
You’ll notice the iconic Bled Island as soon as you see the lake. While you are out paddle boating, stop and visit the island!
- The island is quite small and easy to explore; you can likely see the whole thing in about 30 minutes, but spend as long as you like because the views are beautiful!
- There is a parking space for paddle boats on the backside of the island
- The pletnas will dock at the other side, where you’ll climb the 99 stairs to the Assumption of Maria Church
- At the church you can pay to climb the stairs of the tower to ring the bell
- If you ring the bell, the tale says your wish will come true. But your wish will only come true at the cost of 6 Euros 😅
Paddling and exploring Lake Bled will likely take up most of the morning. I recommend packing a quick lunch then carrying-on with your explorations!
3. Take a walk around the lake
After you finish paddle boating and checking out Bled Island, take a walk around the lake! You can walk completely around Lake Bled in 1.5-2 hours, depending on how much you stop to admire the lake. It is about 6km (3.73 miles) around the lake and it is an easy stroll with no significant inclines or declines.
4. Hike to the Viewpoints
Once you get to the west side of the lake on your stroll around, take the hike up to the Ojstrica viewpoint and Mala Osojnica view point. The most iconic view of Lake Bled is probably located here!
- The trailhead is located at the west end of the lake and has a bench marking the beginning of the trail!
- The trail is rocky and rather steep, but isn’t long.
- You will come to a path that splits to Ojstrica first. It is about 20 minutes from the bottom to this point. Our best pictures were at the Ojstrica viewpoint, however, if you wish, you can continue about 20 minutes more to the Mala Osojnica viewpoint for higher views!
- Expect about an hour and a half to 2 hours to complete the whole trail unless you plan to sit and take in the views at the overlook for a while!
After you’ve done all that walking and hiking, have a nice dinner since you didn’t have time for a big lunch! I recommend finding one along the lake. We were told we had to have a piece of Lake Bled Cream cake (aka cremeschnitte aka kremna rezina aka kremsnita!!), which can be found at nearly every restaurant around Lake Bled 👍🏼😄
What to do with another Day
Nearly everywhere I go, I had wished I had more time to explore. This is definitely true with Slovenia! A couple of things we wanted to do that were close to Lake Bled:
- Do the hike along Vintgar Gorge
- Only 10 minutes from the north side of the lake near Bled Castle
- Short, easy walk along a beautiful gorge
- Triglav National Park
- about an hour from Lake Bled
- Home of the Vrsic Pass with beautiful views of the Julian Alps
If you have more than one 24 hours in Lake Bled, take the time to visit these locations! I hope to be back to do it and I’m already envious of you!