Lake Bled is the most photographed spot in Slovenia and one of its most beautiful, with Bled Castle sitting high on a rocky outcrop overlooking a small island home to a fairytale church. It makes a perfect day trip from Ljubljana and a great place to add to a Slovenia itinerary on one of Europe’s best road trips.
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As we had 3-days in Ljubljana, we decided to venture out on one of the days to join an organised Day tour of Lake Bled, Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves.
Lake Bled and Bled Castle
Bled Castle has the most fantastic outlook over the lake, church and to the mountains. Constructed in 1011 the castle, with its russet-coloured roofs, is a formidable backdrop to the lake’s romantic island. However, once you cross the medieval drawbridge and enter into the castle, you will find more to it than just a view.
A chapel, museum, wine cellar offering tastings and working blacksmiths allow you to discover the history surrounding Slovenia’s oldest castle. We were fascinated by the designs in the blacksmith’s shop and couldn’t resist buying a candleholder to use on those dark winter nights back in the UK.
Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria
The only way to cross to the island’s church is by rowing boat, and so we boarded a traditional wooden “pletna” for the 20-minute journey. Once on the other side, it is quite a steep ascent before you are at the church, so make sure you have comfortable shoes.
On our tour, several guests wore high stiletto heels that don’t work well when you need to walk for long and want to survive the trip without a twisted ankle!
The church dates back to the 17th century although a church has been located here since the 9th century. Inside the church, you will see a rope attached to the “wishing bell”. Legend tells that if you ring the bell, your wish will come true. I’m not convinced though as I rung it and still haven’t won the lottery!
After our trip back across the lake, we wandered around the shore and finished our time here with coffee and the delicious Bled cream cake, a speciality of this area. Made with eggs, cream, milk, sugar and light pastry you may want to take another walk after consuming this calorific treat.
The desert evolved in 1953 at the Park Hotel where over 15 million have been baked since then. It may be fair to say they still produce the best “Kremsnita” in town.
Predjama Castle is a stark contrast to Bled Castle. Built at the entrance of a cave it is the largest cave castle in the world with a labyrinth of tunnels running underneath its walls.
Explore the castle’s history and find out about the Legend of Erazem, his year-long siege and the unfortunate way in which his life ended!
The final stop on our day trip from Ljubljana was at Postojna caves where we were able to ride the world’s only double-track underground train into the caves. View the stalagmite formations and walk around sections of this voluminous cave before searching for the elusive cave dwelling dragons.
Legend tells of a creature that can live in the caves without food for up to 10 years. On your visit, learn whether this baby “dragon” really exists or is purely fictitious.
After a full day of sightseeing, we returned to Ljubljana and stopped off at one of the many cute bars that line the river running through its centre.
We had enjoyed seeing the Slovenian countryside and its charming landmarks and would recommend doing either the full day tour or a half-day tour to Lake Bled and Castle if you have less time to spare.