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How to Spend One Day in Lake Bled + Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves

How to Spend One Day in Lake Bled + Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves

Lake Bled and its surrounding area is one of Slovenia’s most beautiful places, making it a perfect day trip from Ljubljana.

In this post, I highlight why visiting three of Slovenia’s top attractions in one day, Lake Bled, Predjama Castle, and Postojna Caves, is an experience like no other. The lake’s natural beauty, the castle’s rich history and the cave’s unique formations make them unmissable destinations for anyone travelling to Slovenia or Europe.

I stayed for three days in Ljubljana and chose to visit these Slovenian landmarks on an organised day tour of Lake Bled, Predjama Castle and Postojna Caves. This took the hassle out of trying to get around by myself on public transport.

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Church on island in Lake Bled with small wooden boats on the water

What to expect on a day tour to Lake Bled from Ljubljana

After our small-group pickup from Ljubljana, getting to Lake Bled took around 45 minutes.

The Lake Bled day tour would include the following:

A pletna boat ride across the lake with free time to explore Bled Island.

A visit to Bled Castle.

Free time to look around Lake Bled and buy refreshments.

Entry to Predjama Castle and self-guided tour.

Entry and train ride into Postojna Cave.

Return travel to your Ljubljana Hotel.

Explore the fairytale setting of Lake Bled

Lake Bled is a stunning natural wonder in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. It’s where nature and man-made beauty come together with snow-capped mountains, green forests, and charming villages surrounding the lake.

Countryside around Lake Bled

But what makes Lake Bled truly unique is the tiny island in the middle of its crystal-clear waters.

This island houses the iconic 17th-century Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria church and bell tower, which can only be reached by traditional wooden boats known as pletnas.

A row of wooden boats on Lake Bled each with a coloured roof awning

Climb to the historic hillside setting of Bled Castle

Bled Castle has the most fantastic outlook over the lake, church and mountains, and once you cross the medieval drawbridge and enter the castle, you will find more to it than just a stunning view.

Angie in a black jacket standing on a terrace in Lake Bled with far reaching views of the lake island and countryside

Constructed in 1011, the castle, with its russet-coloured roofs, is a formidable backdrop to the lake’s romantic island.

A chapel, museum, and 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 for those dark winter nights back in the UK.

Cruise across Lake Bled in a pletna boat

The only way to cross to the island’s church is by a traditional wooden “pletna” for the 20-minute journey. It is one of those must-do activities in Bled.

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 on cobblestones and want to survive the trip without a twisted ankle!

Visit the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria

The 17th-century Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria Bled is one of the most iconic landmarks in Slovenia. Located on an island in the middle of Lake Bled, this has been a religious site since the 9th century.

The church’s origins date back to the 11th century when it was built by German-speaking settlers. Over time, it underwent several renovations and expansions, resulting in its current design.

One of the most remarkable features of the church is its bell tower. It stands 52 meters tall and houses six bells. The largest bell weighs over three tons and is known as “the boar.”

Legend says that your wish will come true if you ring the bell. I’m unconvinced, though, as I rung it and still haven’t won the lottery!

Inside the church, there are stunning frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ and Mary. The altarpiece is eye-catching, as seen in the photographs; Slovenian painter Franc Jelovšek created it in the mid-19th century.

Lake Bled and island with church

Taste Lake Bled’s traditional Kremsnita

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.

The pastry dessert is made with eggs, cream, milk, and sugar and was created in 1953 at the Park Hotel.

Over 15 million have been baked since then, so it’s fair to say they still produce the best “Kremsnita” in town.

While in Ljubljana, don’t miss out on activities that will help you to immerse yourself in the city and countryside

Discover the secrets of Predjama Castle

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.

White stone castle built into cliff face
Small stone entrance built in cliff

One of the unique features of Predjama Castle is its location, built into a cave system already present in the mountain.

The castle’s construction began in the 13th century and continued for several centuries as a defensive structure with thick walls, towers, and drawbridges to protect against invaders.

Predjama Castle boasts many impressive architectural features, such as Gothic-style windows, Renaissance frescoes on walls and ceilings, and original furniture from different periods, like Baroque and Rococo. Walking around each room, you can see chandeliers hanging from the ceilings, an unexpected sight in a fortress castle!

There are many unique spaces to see, like Knights’ Hall, where knights would gather before battle or the Dining Room, which still contains original utensils used by past residents.

The castle’s most famous resident was Erazem Lueger, who lived during the 15th century and was known as “the Robin Hood of Slovenia”. He used his position at Predjama Castle to rob wealthy travellers passing through the area.

Learn about the Legend of Erazem, his year-long siege, and how one of his servants eventually betrayed him.

Angie standing in front of a white brick castle built into the cliff face

Deep inside Postojna Cave

The final stop on our day trip from Ljubljana was at Postojna Cave. Here we would ride the world’s only double-track underground train into the heart of this subterranean wonderland.

The Postojna Caves are one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders. With over 20 kilometres of underground passages, these caves are the longest in Europe. They have been a popular Slovenian tourist destination for decades.

Exploring these caverns begins at the cave entrance, surrounded by lush green forests and stunning limestone cliffs. There are also a few shops and cafes to grab a snack before or after your tour.

One of the unique features of these caves is their karst formations. Water slowly dissolving away the limestone rock formed these fascinating structures over millions of years. They now have intricate patterns that seem almost otherworldly.

As we ventured deeper into the cave, we saw stalactites, stalagmites, and columns towering above us.

Wildlife in the caves

We learnt that the cave system also serves as home to various unique wildlife species. Bats, crickets and beetles have all adapted to life without sunlight.

Legend also tells of a creature that can live in these caves without food for up to 10 years. On your visit, learn about olms and whether these elusive cave-dwelling ‘dragons’ exist or are fictitious.

Interior of Postojna Caves in Slovenia

Conclusion

If you plan to visit Slovenia soon, don’t miss out on these amazing places. Getting from one to another is easier on an organised tour. You will also benefit from hearing about the history of each location from your tour guide.

If you are travelling around Slovenia on a road trip, visiting Lake Bled is a must-do and should definitely be part of your itinerary.

I enjoyed seeing some of Slovenia’s most beautiful places and would recommend the full-day or half-day tour to Lake Bled and Castle.

Please Pin for Future Travel to Slovenia

Are you looking for further European travel inspiration? Please check out the following posts:

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3 Sensational Nights in Venice: A Complete City Break Itinerary

 

WhereAngieWanders

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Thank you, it is a beautiful place to visit.

Victoria

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Loving this๐Ÿ˜ so good for inspiration while stuck at home

WhereAngieWanders

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Thanks, Victoria, glad you liked it.

Matthew WF

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

Lake Bled is just stunning! Definitely a must do when in Slovenia. The caves sound great too - will need to check them out next time :) thank you for sharing!

WhereAngieWanders

Wednesday 6th of May 2020

It is a very pretty area to explore.

the Curious Pixie

Sunday 1st of March 2020

I've always wanted to visit. It looks stunning Angie!

Linda Travelitic

Saturday 29th of February 2020

We are traveling around the Balkans at the moment and trying to figure out where to go next. Lake Bled is very tempting, it looks so beautiful in your pictures. :-)

WhereAngieWanders

Saturday 29th of February 2020

Yes, you must go and it is so near to Ljubljana that you can visit there as well. I have a separate post for Ljubljana that might help you make the decision.