If you read my last post, hopefully you felt a bit charmed by the glacial waters of Lake Bled, even from afar. The Alpine lake is a favorite travel destination for Slovenians, Italians and Germans, bringing 8,000visitors to the region each summer. Most visitors spent their time basking on the sandy shores or swimming in the fresh waters. While this is a highly admirable vacation activity, there is so much more to the region than just the lake.
On my recent visit Maja of the Bled Tourist Board met with me to uncover some of the destinations more hidden offerings. Here’s a look at five things to do in Bled that take you beyond the lake. Don’t worry – there will still be plenty of time for sun bathing and a swim after!
1. Watch a printing demonstration at Bled Castle
The oldest castle in Slovenia, Bled Castle is more than 1,000 years old. In addition to stunning views, the castle also offers printing demonstrations using recreations from Gutenberg’s original machinery. Learn how the first books in Slovene were printed in 1550 and pick up an original printing of your own.
2. Visit Vila Bled
Once the summer home for former Yugoslavian dictator Josip Broz Tito, today Vila Bled is a four-star resort. Stay overnight for an elegant accommodation option, or enjoy a fine dinning or spa experience. Visitors can also rent boats here to row to Bled Island and visit the historic church.
3. Taste Bled Cream Cake
The one and only original Bled Cream Cake is sold at four locations in the town of Bled. Visit Park Restaurant and Café, Pizzeria Rikli, Restaurant Panorama or Sava Hoteli Bled for a taste of the original recipe that dates back to 1953. In a hurry? Sava Hoteli Bled offers the cake at a drive through.
4. Learn more at the Bled Information Center
Yea, yea, information centers have free maps. But the regional tourism and nature conservation center in Bled is far from ordinary. The newly remodeled space is home to a variety of state-of-the-art exhibits that will make you feel like leaving your materialistic life behind immediately for a life in these fresh, ethereal mountains. Climbing Mount Triglow is a rite of passage for Slovenians, but the movies here show you the best of the scenery without you even having to lift a finger – or a foot.
5. Hike to Vintgar Gorge
The third most visited attraction in Slovenia is Vintgar Gorge. This 1.6 kilometer ravine, paralleling a glacial river, culminates with Sum waterfall. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to experience this breathtaking sight during my visit. Guess that means I will need to plan another trip to Slovenia!
Note: My visit was sponsored by Bled Tourism. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.