Whenever I think of Slovenia, I’m transported to a happier place. A country where every road is as scenic and wonderful as your mind could imagine.
I’m not jumping the gun here. There are many other countries which are nothing short of heaven on earth.
So what makes it special? Why travel to Slovenia?
You know how when you’re traveling, you experience this one moment that gives you a big jolt of satisfaction. Your heart and mind are filled with a myriad of emotions. And you think (and you realize deeeeep down) all this was worth the time, effort and money.
That’s what travel within Slovenia is. It’s rewarding.
The country is one gigantic painting, skillfully mixing strokes of green, mountainous countryside with medieval architecture and invoking a sense of bliss in your heart. What makes it even better is the warmth of the locals who are more than eager to welcome you into their lives.
Where’s Slovenia? The former part of Yugoslavia sits between Hungary, Croatia, Italy, and Austria in Central Europe. Its capital Ljubljana (pronounced as Lu-Bli-Ya-Na) is a popular travel destination, the ultimate therapy for the sore heart.
My journey through the country took me to Bled, a quintessential town that’s one of the top places to travel in Slovenia, thanks to Lake Bled.
How far is Bled from Ljubljana? The town is an hour away from the capital. You can find frequent local buses leaving for Bled from the city’s bus station. Whether you’ve got a day or a week, you won’t be disappointed with your Bled excursion. Believe me!
So let’s find out the things to do in Bled and how quickly they’ll leave you with a beautiful memory.
One look at Lake Bled, and you’ll feel a genuine happiness come up in your eyes. This incredible, Emerald blue lake has become synonymous with Slovenia travel. And for a damn good reason.
As your eyes follow the outline of the lake, you see greener hills snuggled up inside the Julian Alps. Then you find the tiny Bled island in the far middle of the lake, sparkling. This island is home to the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary, built at the end of the 17th century along with a few other buildings.
The easiest way to become ecstatic is to hop on a Pletna boat to the island and take in the panoramic charm of Slovenia’s raw beauty. Or you can do any of the summer activities, based on your level of comfort, while you leisure away in Bled.
Four kilometers northwest from Bled lies the breathtaking 1.6 km-long Vintgar Gorge. This naturally formed gorge is caused by the calm Radovna river making its way through the vertical rocks of Hom and Boršt Hills, spreading tranquility as the waterfalls, pools, and rapids play beneath the wooden boardwalk.
With every step, you feel the sounds, the shadows, and the sun rays breaking down the invisible walls around you. As if they’re helping you embrace and absorb nature as a part of you.
Built in the 11th century, Bled Castle is the better-than-perfect cliffside medieval spot to bathe in the epicness of Bled, the island, and wider landscape. You get to experience the luxury of this view after conquering a short uphill hike through the woods along the lake.
And if you plan way way ahead, you’ll enjoy a serving of red wine as the sublime Lake Bled radiates beneath you.
Treat yo’ self
Bled Cream Cake (Kremna Rezina in the local tongue) will make your trip to Slovenia that much sweeter. This traditional cake is a godsend dessert made of butter, cream, and vanilla. What could go wrong? Nothing. Except you gobbling up a few calories.
But it’s a sacrifice worth making. I mean, look at it! Who can walk away from this scrumptious thing?
Hotel Park – home of the Bled Cream Cake – is situated beside the lake, an ideal place to lay back and ravish the dessert.
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Slovenia leaves you behind with a lovely aftertaste, and you need to be there to experience it first-hand. Otherwise, you’ll travel past a warm-hearted country that might change your idea of natural beauty.