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Camp Out at Awe-some Lake Bled

Published by Fan Li, Writer

Country: Slovenia

The Experience

Stepping off the train, a cool breeze welcomed us to Lake Bled. This glacial lake located in the Julian Alps harbors Slovenia's only island, a quaint and charming pastoral haven. We had originally planned to set up camp by the water, but as we peered into the distance under the dim moonlight, we learned that the lakeside near us was smothered in cement. The mountain it was, we decided.

Setting out, the hike was easy. The path was wide and the moon shined down on us with a welcoming glow. Within 20 minutes we had wound our way fairly far up the mountain, but visibility started to dwindle. The foliage grew thick and dappled moonlight shed only faint gleams on the ground before us. The backpacks grew heavier and the light from our tiny flashlight began to flicker. After an hour of hiking, with the moon barely visible above us we climbed to our resting plateau guided only by the light of a cell phone.

As we lay there, exhausted yet relieved, lightening flashed in the distance. Faint at first, we managed to convince ourselves that the flashes were extreme bursts of energy from powerful Slovenian fireflies. As the thunder began to roar, and the raindrops spattered on our faces, they washed away all of our admiration for this feigned species. Once it finally stopped, the air smelt of tilted earth and fresh cut grass. All was calm. We were surrounded by gorgeous mountains staring down onto the most spectacular niche of earth. The feat had been arduous, but worth it a hundred times over. With the dim moonlight casting a reflective glow over the accepting waters of Lake Bled, we quietly soaked in the moment.

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When to Go to Lake Bled

Promptly upon entering the Tourist Information Centre in Ljubljana, the staff will tell you a visit to Lake Bled is top of the list when it comes to things to see and do in Slovenia. Unlike the Cave Tours, Lake Bled won't cost you 30-40 Euros, you can enjoy its natural abundance for free! Add in a heavy sleeping bag and a tent, and you can camp under the stars of Lake Bled's beautiful night skies. In the morning enjoy a brisk swim in the fresh alpine lake waters. Words to the wise though, if you plan on camping make sure you scale the mountain before sundown!

One of the main attractions on the Lake is Bled Island. Here you can delight in the curious charm of the quaint establishments as well as the Church of the Assumption of Mary. A visit to Bled Island wouldn't be complete without the customary climb of the 99 steps up to the Church, and ringing the wishing bell to set your hopes free! Bled Castle perched on a rocky outcropping above the Lake, is the oldest castle in Slovenia according to written sources dating back to 1011. Occupying a strategic as well as scenic location, Bled Castle has long been a conferencing site for political figures in Slovenian history. Nowadays, the castle offers visitors a dining experience 130 meters above Lake Bled. It also hosts a museum in its baroque rooms, a wine cellar and a herb gallery for those who wish to bring home a taste of Bled.

The best time of year to visit Lake Bled is in May, when it's still too cool for mosquitoes but just cold enough for a thick sleeping bag. Anytime between June - September is also a good bet, as there is an abundance of outdoor activities to partake in and the weather allows for hours of enjoyment on the Lake.

Odds n' Ends

Island entry costs 3 Euros, and is open daily from 9am - 7pm, May through September, and 9am to typically between 4pm and 6pm from October - April. If the lake is frozen, visits to Bled Island are not possible.

If you’re looking to spend the day in the woods, Triglav National Park, only 4.5km away is a great place to go. One of the most popular sites to visit at the Park is the Vintgar Gorge, which ends at Šum Waterfall, the highest river fall in Slovenia. For further adventure you can enjoy the Pokljuka Plateau, about 20km from Lake Bled, lined with numerous trails that lead into the surrounding peaks and meadows.

Carpe Diem! Book to do this experience now!

Bled is often mentioned as the pearl of the Alpine region. It is unique with its emerald-green lake, a church on the island in the ...
Starting from $58.13 per person.

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