Lake Bled and the Island of Bled
Lost in the lush greenery of the amazingly beautiful lake with emerald water, a small island on which there is an ancient church, a majestic castle on the rock and a huge range of mountains with snow-capped tops. Do you think this is an illustration to a fairy tale about a beautiful princess waiting for a prince?
The main attraction of Slovenia
It is a real place not far from the capital of Slovenia. The lake of immeasurable beauty, a heritage of the Ice Age, is called Bled Lake, it is decorated with a miniature Bled Island, topped with the ancient St. Mary’s Church with a bell tower.
Around all this beauty stretches tourist town Bled, not the cheapest resort, but a very comfortable place of dislocation, allowing to visit the most interesting places of the country. The backdrop for this natural splendor is the majestic ridge of the Julian Alps.
Holidays at Lake Bled
Lake Bled is surrounded by a modern road, so you can see it from all sides. However, tourists complain that no one cleared the lake shores of trees and shrubs, so that the approach to the water is somewhat difficult.
Among the popular tourist attractions are hiking through the picturesque surroundings of Bled. The lake is surrounded with a five-kilometer-long health walking trail, along which you can walk and admire the beautiful scenery, or jog.
Rest at the lake will suit fans of silence, solitude and beautiful nature. There are many hills in the vicinity, which offer incredible views of the lake with the island and the castle with the mountains. Up there are paths, climbing on which is equivalent to a fitness class. Such walks are good for both body and soul. After the walk you can choose a cafe with the most beautiful view of Lake Bled and order a local sweet – dessert “Kremna Rezina” and a cup of coffee to go with it.
You can ride on the lake as part of a tour group on a large covered boat or rent a covered boat-gondola (the locals call them “pletny”) and take a romantic walk on the water surface. Fans of casting rods can go fishing. In the clear waters of Lake Bled, there are trout.
High mountains do not let the cold streams of air in and create a special microclimate in the valley. In July and August, the waters warm up, and the bathing season opens. There are two official beaches in the town itself: a paid one near the Park Hotel, and a free one near Villa Bled.
For leisure activities for visitors to the resort of Bled there are tennis courts, a golf club, bicycle rentals and horseback riding. In summer, there are concerts and festivals near the lake. Resorts, hotels and cafes are open all year round, there are always tourists because the lake and the island are beautiful at any time of year. Besides tourists on the lake come to the athletes taking part in competitions in rowing.
The tiniest island
Isle of Bled is willingly visited by tourists and wedding corteges. For walks on the waters of the lake and across the lake are provided numerous boats. The island is primarily visited to enjoy the incredibly beautiful views and see the church. The boats dock at the small platform in front of the staircase of 99 stone steps, and it is also possible to dock at the side viewing platforms.
Couples come to the island to get married in an ancient church and take a photo shoot at the same time. And for the marriage to be strong and happy the groom must take the bride in his arms and carry her up the stairs to the church. By the way, this tradition dates back to the fifteenth century.
And what tourist attraction, especially one with centuries of history, does without legends and special signs? The story, with a touch of mysticism, is connected with the bell of the St. Mary’s Church. The bell was made in the 16th century at the request of the widow of the owner of Bled Castle. Her gift to the temple was sent to the island, but a storm hit, sinking the boat along with the people.
But the woman did not give up, gathered her belongings and set out on a journey to fall at the feet of the Pope and tell him of her misfortune. The widow was granted an audience at the Vatican, and the church on Bled Island received a bell cast in Padova. It does not hang in the bell tower, but near the church itself, in a place accessible to tourists.
There is a belief that it is enough to ring the bell and the deepest wish will come true. And the widow’s bell rests at the bottom, but sometimes, on dark nights, its mournful ringing breaks through the thickness of the water and reverberates through the neighborhood. Although the main ringing that can be heard throughout the area is made by tourists who have reached the bell of wishes.
After seeing the inside of the church, climbing the bell tower and standing in line for the bell of wishes, you can go for a walk around the island. There are boat docks on both sides, here you can walk up to the water and take good pictures. Beautiful views can be seen from the sides of the hill, the island is surrounded by a wooden walkway.
Once you arrive at the lake, you must visit Bled Castle, towering on a rock and reflected in the waters of the lake. It cannot compete in beauty with its French or German counterparts, but is much older and generally claims to be the oldest and most romantic castle in Slovenia.