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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Bled

Bled Holidays

With an 11th-century castle, an island-bound church whose bell grants wishes and its very own cream pastry, Bled is like something out of a fairy tale. Add to that endless outdoor adventures and a lake fed by thermal springs, and this resort is about as good as it gets.

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Fairy tale pretty

Bled is one of Slovenia's most popular holiday resorts, and with good reason. Set in the foothills of the Julian Alps and along the puddle-shaped Lake Bled, its 11th-century castle and iconic island have been likened to storybook settings. If you're looking for a holiday to Slovenia that's postcard-pretty, you've come to the right place.

Days in Bled largely revolve around quiet walks along the lake and through nearby gorges, but that's not to say there aren't ample opportunities for adventure. White-water rafting trips or paragliding excursions from nearby peaks will get your adrenaline spiked, while Bled's local delicacy, a decadent cream cake, will stop those hunger pains.

Big portions of Chinese at Peking Restaurant

Peking restaurant is a great option if you're hungry, as they serve big portions of Chinese food that arrive quickly. The menu is vast, but the wonton soup comes particularly recommended. They do serve a good fried rice, which can be accompanied by anything from beef chop suey with mushrooms to crispy duck.

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Lake Bled

Arriving in Bled, you can't help but stumble upon Lake Bled, the town's namesake. This body of water is so large, you'll find it around every corner. The coastline offers some pretty breathtaking views of the scenery too.

All in all, it's about a six kilometre walk around the perimeter of Lake Bled, but you can hire a boat to explore it via the water as well. Electric boats or rowboats with a personal driver are available while thermal springs keep the water on the warmer side, so swimming is an option well into autumn. There are swimming areas on the western and northern shores as well.

In the centre of Lake Bled is a tiny island that's home to the Church of the Assumption. It's a 14th-century Gothic spot with frescoes and gold-tinted features, not to mention a 15th-century belfry whose bell is known to grant wishes to those that ring it three times.

Bled Castle

Overlooking the whole of Lake Bled from its high, hilltop perch is Bled Castle, a picturesque structure whose stone walls and red roofs are straight out of a fairy tale. According to written documents, it's the oldest in Slovenia, constructed in the 11th century.

True to its fairy tale form, Bled Castle has all the royal amenities you'd expect – a drawbridge with a moat, frescoes, a pair of courtyards and a chapel. Also inside are exhibits exploring Bled's ancient history, and in the summer, the castle plays host to outdoor cultural events and an archery tournament.

There's also a restaurant on hand, complete with show-stopping waterfront views. But you don't need to dine here to drink in the surroundings – with a visit to the castle alone, they come complimentary.

Outdoor adventures

With the Julian Alps on one side and Lake Bled on the other, Bled is a resort where outdoor adventures come by the barrel. By land, water or even by air, there are plenty of ways to explore this endlessly-green landscape.

Bled shares the Vintgar Gorge with the nearby town aptly named Gorje. Once inaccessible due to its natural circumstances, Vintgar became the first gorge in Slovenia that was revised for the public. Bridges skim along the 1.6 kilometre-long gorge, cutting over the rocks and beside waterfalls, making for some pretty incredible walks.

On Lake Bled holidays it's also possible to head out for trips involving kayaking, canoeing, white-water rafting and even canyoning, which is essentially white-water rafting without the raft. And as if that wasn't enough, there are helicopter tours and paragliding adventures from nearby peaks to get your heart racing.

Kremna rezina

You might not be totally familiar with Slovenian cuisine, but once you set foot in Bled, it won't take long for you to get acquainted with the local delicacies.

Bled is known specifically for its own brand of pastry, a decadent cream cake that's heavy on the fluff factor. It's made of a light puff pastry stacked high with vanilla cream and custard, and is known locally as kremna rezina. You'll find it at just about every cafe in the resort, though the Park Hotel serves up one of the originals.

When it comes to restaurants, Bled offers a healthy variety. You've got a number of Slovenian eateries on hand, plus spots specialising in wider Mediterranean and European cuisine. Pizza, seafood and grilled meat make a special appearance, as do views over the lake.