Destination: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Assuming you ever find yourself in the alpine region of Europe and are looking for a quaint, scenic, low-cost, relaxing, mildly-tourist, has-it-all, kid-friendly destination to spend a good weekend, I give you Lake Bled, Slovenia.  Lake Bled is a picturesque glacier lake complete with alpine backdrop, church on an island, and overlooking castle.  A tourist destination for many years, and so many activities available, it’s a real gem for families looking for a easy, fun weekend together. The boys and I spent a long weekend at Bled in August and had no shortage of activities to keep us busy. What is there to do:

  • Stroll around the lake
  • Take a boat ride across the lake to the picturesque cathedral on an island in the middle
  • Hike up to the castle overlooking the lake where you can bottle your own wine, stamp your own coin, or make your own paper
  • Ride the toboggan down the slope
  • Rent a boat and paddle your own way across the lake
  • Hike the nearby Vintgar Gorge
  • Check out the market next to the lake selling crafts, food and souvenirs
  • Pay a little entrance fee to the quaint spot of beach on the lake complete with dock and designated swimming areas
  • Climb like monkeys through the Pustolovski Rope Park

vintgargorge Food: If there is such a thing as Slovenian food, I didn’t get it here.  What we did have was pizza.  As with most tourist destinations in Europe, pizza was always available. Pretty good pizza too. And with kids, that is a-okay.  There is even one grand pizza joint with a large playground near a cozy patio with good beer.  I call that a win-win-win.  Pizzeria Briksen Bled We did have a piece of that famous Bled Cake, and it was pretty delish.  We’ve been scorned before by locally famous cakes. Never again, Black Forest Cake, never again.  If you want Bled’s best, I suggest this locale. The Castle: We’ve seen many-a-castle in our time, and this castle was actually one of my favorites, for the kids at least.  There were interactive activities in every area of the castle.  Of course, they all cost money, but nothing extravagant.  For under 20 Euro, Jonathan was able to bottle wine that we got to bring home.  The attendant was in costume and character, and he walked him through the process of pouring, corking, waxing and signing the official certificate.  Bottling wine: everyone wins! IMG_4418 Accommodations:  The easiest thing to do in Bled is find a cozy apartment in the area.  We nabbed up a little place in the suburbs around the lake.  It was easy to walk down to the lake each day and when you’re going for stress-free and perma-wine-buzz for two days straight, this is good.  And cheap too! Thumbs Up: We loved how compact it was.  As you can see, there was so much to do, and right there on the lake. Again, you can park your car for a whole weekend and walk to various attractions without wrestling with a metro system map.  It was all so peaceful.  The scenery was beautiful and calming.  We even fed swans, which was only peaceful until the swan turned out to be a real a-hole, which as it turns out swans apparently are.  But as I was saying, Lake Bled is great if you want a break from the overwhelming city.  For kids, it’s not intimidating, but friendly and accessible. Kids’ opinion: bledkids Assuming you’re either living in Europe or traversing the country with the family, and had the chance to waste a day or two in Lake Bled, I would say, do it.  It’s beautiful, relaxing and just touristy enough that they speak English and have plenty to do without being overwhelmed by busses and groups.  A hidden gem, for sure. Enjoy! purejoy Quick note: I am eternally grateful for the harassers who held me to my word and called me out on my broken promise.  I would forever remain a “project starter” if not for you, so thank you.

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