11 May Day Trip to Lake Bled, Slovenia
Slovenia may be a tiny little country sandwiched between Italy, Austria, Croatia and Hungary, but the feather in its cap, the jewel in its crown, is Lake Bled. This magical, fairytale lake is rather small in size, but is arguably Slovenia’s most prized possession, appearing on postcards and in glossy features that grace the pages of travel magazines.
There are tours that go to Lake Bled, but since the weather was going to be rather dull and rainy, we decided it would be better to rent a car so at least we would have the option to do what we liked.
We rented the car through Hostel Celica and for 50 euros we were expecting a small runaround. Instead we were handed the keys to an automatic Mercedes. On the way out, the car rental man said in jest, “Just don’t bring back a smaller car” Right.
They say you can’t get lost in Slovenia because the country is so small. Wherever you go, you’re never far from where you started off. The trip to Lake Bled from Ljubljana took only around 30-45 minutes and was rather straight forward.
Lake Bled lies in the North West of Slovenia, on the edge of the Triglav National Park, which is the only National Park in the country. On the north side of the lake is a medieval castle, which reminded me of a castle that would feature in a Disney movie.
In the centre is Bled Island, which is the only natural island in Slovenia and if it hadn’t been so cold, we might have taken a boat trip to get a better view. Instead we were thinking of our stomachs and plumped for a restaurant on the banks of the lake where I enjoyed some delicious lamb chops.
Continuing past Bled we drove around the edge of Triglav National Park and saw some breathtaking scenic views. Gazing out of the window we saw beautiful green forests and mountain peaks in the distance.
We drove through a remote village full of chalet-style houses with piles of logs to be used for firewood. It was incredibly bizarre to see a village standing alone in the middle of a valley like that and it only reiterated to me how very different some people’s lives are.
We stopped at Lake Bohinj and had an ice-cream before continuing to Slap Savice (Savica Waterfall). It’s quite a hike up to the top up many stairs, but worth seeing the waterfall and the beautiful views of the National Park.
I would recommend renting a car because the drive is very scenic and extremely pleasant with winding roads. If you do it yourself you can stop whenever you like to take photos and admire the views. If you’re feeling adventurous there are lots of activities to do including horse riding, white water rafting, hiking and rock climbing.