Nothing prepared us for the beauty of Slovenia’s Bled and Lake Bled. A small town in northwest Slovenia, Bled’s claim to fame is its lovely picturesque lake and the thermal springs which have earned it exclusive spa resort status. To boot, a wealth of outdoor adventure travel activities are on offer here and in the surrounding area.
LakeBled, the jewel in the crown, is a picture of near perfection, a tiny island perched in its center and its castle, guarding the lake protectively from a high crag above. This beautiful lake, which is quite small, affords one of the most relaxing and lovely walks around its banks where one can take in the spectacular scenery. A visit to the church on the island is a must – public transportation is available by motorboat or gondola, but hiring a boat and rowing out is a much more satisfying and exciting experience. Overlooking the lake and perched atop a cliff, Bled Castle offers amazing views of the whole of the lake and the many valleys in the background.
A short drive from Bled, you come upon Vintgar Gorge, an impressive canyon whose wooden walkway built into the rock crisscrosses the Radovna River and affords great views of cascading falls and rapids. Walk in these beautiful surroundings, with the refreshing mist of the river spraying your face or take an easy white water rafting trip down the nearby river rapids. Vintgar Gorge is a superb place for adventure outdoors!
The Postojna Caves, a mere half hour’s drive from Bled, are without a doubt some of the most spectacular caves to visit. A small train takes you through approximately 4 km of the caves, where gallery after gallery of incredible rock formations in hues of black, red and bluish white astounded us. Spaghetti-like stalactites dangle from above while stalagmites appear as if candles melting in Gaudi-like structures, and in the background the oohs and aahs of spectators left gasping by the spectacle. Thin calcite curtains appear as fragile as to give an impression of fluttering voile cloth. Where the train ends, a tour on foot continues and takes you to the second of the cave’s highlights – a view of the Proteus Anguinus – the human fish, a remarkable tiny albino creature found only in these caves.
Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital is only an hour’s drive away. This is a great city, small enough to explore on foot, yet classically European. Stroll its quaint streets; hike up to its castle, visible from almost anywhere in town; enjoy the lovely houses in Tarnovo and Krakova neighborhoods as you wander along the banks of the Lubljanca. Ljubljana is first and foremost, though, an outdoor town. Let the sun shine and the city’s many nature lovers are out walking, hiking, cycling and roller blading.
Bled and its surroundings, the wonderful, unspoilt mountains,,its towns and even its capital city all present the best that nature, in all its splendor, has to offer. The myriad of relaxed recreation, activities and scenery in this region of the Balkans offer some of the best adventure travel holiday’s families can imagine.