In the midst of forested hills set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks lies a small lake with an idyllic island in the middle, and a medieval castle dramatically perched on a cliff above the shore. The lake color changes with seasons and it goes from deep blue-green in winter to sapphire blue in summer. Considered as one of the most beautiful Alpine resorts in Europe, Lake Bled has been a tourist destination for centuries, while it also regularly tops the lists of the most beautiful places in the world.
As it’s to be expected for a place like that, many visitors have been looking for a perfect viewpoint of Lake Bled, something the locals know well and occasionally hike or jog to just for the fun of it. Indeed, there are multiple viewpoints.
Interwoven with hiking trails, the hills around the lake reveal postcard-perfect views of Lake Bled. However, one could argue that pretty similar views can be found anywhere on the loop around the lake, yet there is something different about ascending up from the crowds and soaking up the views in the tranquility of the forest.
Here is my list of the most beautiful viewpoints of Lake Bled.
It’s not a coincidence that Ojstrica is listed as number one viewpoint of Lake Bled. It has it all: the lake, the island and the high mountains in the background. Located just twenty minutes uphill from the shores of the lake, it’s easily accessible and thus available to practically everyone. Arguably the most beautiful viewpoint, this has been proved by an extensive list of photos of dreamy sunrises and sunsets of the lake by local and world renowned photographers taken just here.
How to reach it? Easy! If you park in Zaka, the trail starts from the road above the lake five minutes in the direction of Mlino. If you follow the trail, you should reach it in about twenty minutes.
A little further uphill, Mala Osojnica will surprise you with a broad view of the lake with the mountains right behind it. Its main advantages compared to the favoured Ojstrica is its 80 meters higher standing point, which gives an even broader perspective of the lake, and a unique view of the biggest landmarks. This angle thus genially aligns the Bled Island, the Bled Castle and Mt. Stol and Vrtača, the highest and the second highest peaks of the Karavanke Mountain Range, respectively.
How to reach it? Continue another twenty minutes on the same trail as to Ojstrica or take a direct but much steeper trail up from the lake. Note that the direct trail includes short climbs on ladders and is not really for the faint-hearted.
The highest and the most remote viewpoint of the trio, Velika Osojnica ascends up to about 750 m and looks at the lake from a romantic bench. The view is gorgeous but a bit obscured by the surrounding forests. While you rest your legs on the bench in the shape of a heart in the middle, let yourself be swept away by chirpy birdsongs and the dazzling view of the lake.
How to reach it? Continue another twenty minutes uphill on the same trail as to Ojstrica and Mala Osojnica and you’ll find it a few meters below the peak of the hill.
A 646-meter hill rising from the eastern shore of Lake Bled, Straža is the place to go to to have fun around Bled. From the top you can both ski down in winter and toboggan in summer, while the forest near the top hides an adrenaline park. However, Straža is also a place to go to for a relaxing hike in the shade of the forest and enjoy the views of Lake Bled.
There are several viewpoints along the trails on Straža and each opens to a completely different view, yet the one closest to the top offers a particularly nice view of Lake Bled.
With over a thousand-year old history, Bled Castle is considered as one of the oldest castles of Slovenia. It’s also the most spectacular one. Dramatically perched on a sheer cliff 139 meters above the shore, it overlooks the stunning 2.1-km long and 1.4-km wide Lake Bled right from above.
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Nevertheless, don’t visit the castle only for the views. Visit it for a glimpse of history like the castle printing rooms, which contain a replica of Gutenberg’s wooden press to demonstrate printing with loose lead letters and historical images. You can also visit the old castle wine cellar, a beautiful Gothic chapel, a museum of eventful history of Bled, and even a monthly exhibition of contemporary art.
How to reach it? You can either drive practically to the entrance or hike up from the main promenade around the lake starting from the Rikli Villa.
There’s nothing quite like the rush of adrenaline when the navigator fires up more gas into a huge hot-air balloon hanging above your head and the basket all of a sudden, yet pretty seamlessly, lifts off the ground taking you up into the air. After the first gasp you suddenly realize how fast the world around you is changing. Flying higher up out of the trees, an epic scene slowly unveils and you are left in awe, speechless.
“Oh my god, this is beautiful, wooow,” is the only noise I hear from the other side of the basket. The rest of the group remains silent, and the silence, overshadowed by resonant sounds of singing birds, is only occasionally broken by the tearing noise of the gas. The land is only just awakening. The blue water of the lake sparkles not too far away and the hills around it reflect in its still clear image. Here and there the glassy surface of the lake is interrupted by pletna boats, tiny dots rowing at unrecognizable speed towards the island to visit its idyllic church. The castle glistens on its rocky perch and the mountainous background rests sleepy in the velvety sunrise colors that reflect in playful morning mists.
The moment seems to last forever, yet the winds at a higher elevation pick up pulling the balloon further away and before you know you are flying towards the Karawanke Alps and landing softly in the fields at their foothills.
How to do the ballooning adventure over Bled? When I flew over Bled five years ago, I opted for the mainstream hot-air balloon trips provider Balonarski Center Barje and I loved it! You are welcome to read the Blog on the ballooning adventure. (Disclaimer: this link has NOT been sponsored and is merely my own opinion!)
More places with a perfect viewpoint? Please do share them with us in the comments!
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