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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Top 5 Things to Do in the Lake Bled Area...that aren’t Lake Bled

One of the most famous spots in Slovenia is the beautiful Lake Bled and it is so breathtaking! However, if you have a car – or willing to do a combination of train/bus -- there is so much more to see and do in the area around Lake Bled. Therefore, these are our Top 5 things to do in the Lake Bled Area.....that aren’t Lake Bled.

We’ll of course, share some important things with you about Lake Bled as well – especially a can’t miss hike to get the best view of the lake!

Top 5 Things to do in the Lake Bled Area – Not including Lake Bled.

No. 5 – Vintgar Gorge

This gorge is just down the road from Lake Bled and it one of the most visited gorges in Slovenia; my guess is because of its easy access to Lake Bled - just 4 km northwest of Bled. It is just on the eastern edge of Triglav National Park and the gorge is 1600 meters long and 250 meters deep. The trail through the gorge has you walking mostly on a boardwalk up above the running water below. There is also a small waterfall at the beginning of the gorge.

However, the entrance fee to the gorge was pricier than most of the other places we visited in Slovenia; and honestly, we didn't find it any more spectacular. The price was 10 Euro per adult and 2 Euro per child 6-15 years old. There was also a fee to pay for parking – 5 Euro.

Two children looking over railing at Vintgar Gorge near Lake Bled Slovenia
Vintgar Gorge - Slovenia
Mom and children at Vintgar Gorge near Lake Bled, Slovenia
Vintgar Gorge - Slovenia

However, one thing in particular to note is that the gorge is ONLY one-way traffic. While the hike through the actual gorge isn’t too long, to be able to get back to the parking spot at the beginning of the route, it ends up being a pretty lengthy hike. There are two options: (1) a circular route that is 5.7 km or (2) Circular route that is termed the ‘steep side’ and is 4.3 km.

We had visited Lake Bled and done a hike to the viewpoint earlier in the day, so we opted to do the Circular route that was less steep. However, once getting through the gorge, you had to hike through a forested area that was about 1.2 km long and 80 meters of altitude difference, plus walk the rest of the way on the side of the road back to the parking lot. The kids were getting tired after doing two good-sized hikes, so Alex volunteered to walk back to get the car and pick us up at the café that was at the top of the forest. This was a huge time saver with the kids not having to walk all the way back. But even Alex didn’t think it was ideal to walk back most of the way on the road. However, the kids did enjoy playing at the playground at the café while we waited for Alex to come to pick us up.

Overall, we enjoyed the actual gorge hike, but the return back to the parking lot (that ended up being longer than the actual gorge walk itself) kind of dampened the experience for us. However, if looking for something more remote, less cost and shorter, we’d recommend checking out Mostnica Gorge, which is less trafficked and included in our list below.

The next three places in our list are all in close proximity to one another near Lake Bohinj, which is about a 30-minute drive from Bled. In fact, to get to Bohinj, you have to go through Bled. However, this area is more off the beaten path and less touristy than the famous Lake Bled and all three places are part of Triglav National Park. However, you’ll notice in our next blog post that those places are also within Triglav. This is because the park is so expansive, plus the mountain range in the middle makes it difficult to access one end of the park from the other. We found it easier to explore more of the southern part of the Park and then explore the northern part of the Park from separate base points.

No. 4 – Savica Waterfall

This waterfall is about 15-20 minutes up the road from Lake Bohinj. This waterfall is actually unique in terms of waterfalls, in that its original watercourse is hidden underground in a cave tunnel. It eventually comes up from under the ground at the site of the waterfall and is 78 meters high. Then its water eventually flows into Lake Bohinj.

Family at Savica Waterfall near Lake Bohinj, Slovenia
Our family at Savica Waterfall - Slovenia

Upon arrival you do have to pay 3 Euros for parking and then an entrance fee of 3 Euro for adults and 1.50 Euro for children 7-14 years old. It’s a short hike (about 20 minutes) – mostly up stairs – to the top for a viewpoint of the falls.

No. 3 – Mostnica Gorge

This gorge within Triglav National Park is about 15-20 minutes from Lake Bohinj – the opposite direction of Savica Waterfall. The narrow 2 km long gorge was formed due to tectonic sinking of the Bohinj valley and glacial deepening and erosion, and today provides beautiful views as you walk along the edge of it.

View of river that pathway follows through Mostnica Gorge in Triglav National Park Slovenia
Mostnica Gorge - Triglav National Park, Slovenia

There is the option to pay 12 Euros to take the road up to a spot at the top of the gorge, or you can park at the little gravel lot just outside Stara Fuzina for about 2 Euro/hour and hike in. The parking lot was full when we initially arrived mid-morning so we had to wait a few minutes for others to come back to their cars to leave.

We had to hike in a bit from the parking lot to get to the information kiosk where we were able to chat with a person and pay the entrance fee of 3 Euro per adult or 1,30 Euro per child 7-14 years old.

Once entering the ‘official start’ of the Mostnica Gorge, we followed the gorge up the pathway with several amazing views of it as we went up. The total hike up the gorge was about 2 km.

There is the option to keep going on a longer trail that would take you to Mostnica Waterfall; however, we opted not to go that far, as we had done a lot of hiking the day before. Instead, we stopped at the Voje Mountain Hut for some snacks, including pie. One of the best views while eating pie that I’ve ever had!

No. 2 – Lake Bohinj

This lake is located just past Stara Fuzina and is a peaceful lake tucked into the valley, which was formed by glaciers. The water was cool, but at least comfortable for early September, and the kids enjoyed playing in it a little bit. There is a cute little church and bridge that hug the shoreline and because of it being in a more remote area, it was less busy than Lake Bled.

Mom & Children SUP on Lake Bohinj with church and bridge behind in Slovenia
SUP on picturesque Lake Bohinj - Slovenia

We decided the best way to explore the lake was to do it by Stand Up Paddleboards (SUP) and we really enjoyed going out on the water this way. The cost to rent a SUP was only 10 Euro for the hour and the kids riding along in the front. They had an absolute blast!

No. 1 – Planina Zajamniki

This alpine pasture above Pokljuka definitely takes a little bit of effort to get to, but it’s well worth the effort for the astounding views it provides and it’s laid back and classical alpine feel.

Two dozen cottage huts over alpine pasture with Julian Alps in background. Near Pokljuka, Slovenia.
The beautiful alpine pasture of Planina Zajamniki above Pokljuka, Slovenia.

There are over two dozen wooden cottages that stretch out across the open pasture in a line. These cottages were traditionally used as summer homes to the dairy farmers and herdsmen tending to their cattle who graze in the pastures there. We read in the summer it’s possible to purchase dairy products from these cottage huts, but when we visited in early September there weren’t any of them selling anything – although we were officially in shoulder season so they might have just finished up.

Two Cows with cottages behind them grazing in the green alpine fields of Slovenia.
Cattle grazing in alpine pasture of Planina Zajamniki, Slovenia

There are a variety of ways to get to Planina Zajamniki, including biking, hiking, cross-country skiing or driving; but regardless of which option you choose, you’d need a car to explore this remote area. We opted to drive there on our way to Kranjska Gora. However, it would probably be more time efficient to visit it while visiting some spots near Bohinj, as it is only 45 minutes from there. However, you can also come directly from Lake Bled and it is about 45 minutes as well. Google Maps didn’t necessarily find the right route when we punched it in, so if you’re like us, we found the GPS coordinates to be the most effective way to find this magical spot. The GPS Coordinates are 46.31152, 13.93716.

If wanting to hike or bike to the plateau, then I’d recommend checking out this blog from Moon & Honey Travel, as their information was helpful when we were trying to figure out how to get to the right spot.

To get to this spot by car we headed to Goreljek and then there was an unpaved road that takes you to Zajamniki – a total distance of about 6.9 km. The road was gravel and there were some hilly and narrow sections, so I’m not sure I’d recommend taking a vehicle there if there was snow or ice on the road – especially if you had a little rental car like we did. Upon reaching the point, we just parked our car on the side of the gravel road and walked a short distance down to the lookout point. We were the only vehicle there checking it out at the time; however, there were a fair number of cyclists and hikers who had come via the other routes to visit.

Two kids with alpine pasture & Julian Alps behind them in Slovenia
The kids about to check out the alpine pasture below - Planina Zajamniki, Slovenia.

This picturesque spot was one of our favorite spots to explore. We walked on the pathway through the cottages and even visited with some of the alpine cattle who were grazing in the fields and didn’t seem to be phased by visitors in their area.

But if you’re in the area, you definitely can’t miss out on Lake Bled!

While there are a large number of other things to do within a short driving distance from Lake Bled, you definitely can’t miss out on exploring this spot as well. It really does look like something out of a fairy tale.

One great way to explore the Lake is to take the path that goes all the way around the lake – you can see the quaint little island in the middle from all different angles. There is also a wooden boardwalk in one section that puts you right up against the water for an uninterpreted view.

There is also the option to take one of the boats, paddle boats or SUPs from the shore to the island and explore the little town and church. You can also explore the Bled Castle that rests upon the hill overlooking the lake below. We decided to just explore by walking around.

However, the #1 recommendation we have to exploring Lake Bled would be to take the short, but steep hiking trail Mala Osojnica.

The trailhead starts on the southwest side of the lake. The trail isn’t long by any means, but it is a completely uphill climb to the top. However, the kids thought it was pretty awesome and pretended they were climbing a mountain – there was even a small little section with chains and some stairs. Our 7.5 and 4.5 year old seemed to be fine with the trail, but if your child doesn’t enjoy steep inclines while hiking then a carrier would probably be best. Some things we had read classified it as a steep, and sometimes challenging due to the incline. However, we thought the incline was doable and we had done some steeper hikes in the past, so I think this would probably be more so advice for beginner hikers.

Dad and kids looking at Lake Bled from
Overlooking the Magical Lake Bled from Mala Osojnica Trail - Slovenia

The views from the top were absolutely astounding and gave a magnificent bird’s eye view of the lake below. One of my favorite parts was just the calmness that was occasionally interpreted by the bell ringing from the church on the island. After visiting, we can see why Lake Bled is so popular and special!

We’d still definitely recommend checking out Lake Bled, but don’t forget these Top 5 other spots to visit near the Lake Bled area as well!

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