Republic of Slovenia, located in southern Central Europe, is a picturesque land full of mountainous regions, dense forests and a vast network of rivers. In fact, Slovenia ranks as the third most forested nation in Europe after Finland in Sweden, with more than half of its land area covered with Alpine and sub-Alpine forests of beech, fir and oak. One of the most water-rich countries in Europe, Slovenia is also marked by its biological diversity and natural resources that allow a plethora of flora and fauna to thrive in the land. Slovenia is a wonderful place to explore for anyone who loves the outdoors. It has rich panoramic sights of natural wonders like snow capped mountains, frozen lakes and dense alpine forests which are punctuated by medieval castles that stand upon majestic cliffs. One is transported to a different time just looking at sights like this.
Also read about: Hiking Lake Bled
One of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia is the picture-perfect town of Bled. Located near the Triglev National Park, Bled is a town built around an eponymous lake complete with a 17th Century castle that stands on the nearby cliffs. Bled is one of the most popular summer destinations for locals and tourists alike, who throng the town and the national park for the plethora of outdoor activities that take place over here around the time. The lake water stands at around 26°C during summers, which is perfect for swimming. It is also said to have therapeutic properties due to the underground geothermal springs that act as sources for the lake. The Triglev National Park is perfect for hiking and trekking, and there are also a few spots for more adventurous activities like whitewater rafting and canoeing. But it is during winter, when the influx of the tourist crowd greatly subsides, that Lake Bled acquires its real charm that is worth experiencing. The town experiences snowfall during winter, but temperatures generally remain between -1°C and 2°C. The Julian Alps and the Karavanke mountains provide cover from the harsh, chilly winds come down from the north, creating a comfortable atmosphere around the town. The lake and the castle look simply majestic at this time, as the mists rolling off the lake surface into the dense cover of forests make it look like a fairytale land.
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The closest airport to Bled is Airport Jose Pucnik Ljubljana. From here you can catch a bus to the town of Bled for 7 Euros, or a private taxi for 40 to 50 Euros. The bus station in Bled is only a five minute walk away from the lake itself, at the intersection of Cesta Svobode and Grajska Cesta. An hourly bus service operates between the town of Bled and the capital city of Ljubljana. The journey takes approximately 75 minutes.
The closest train station is the Lesce-Bled station, around 4 km away from the town proper. From Ljubljana, it takes slightly less than an hour to reach Bled with a train. Half hourly buses connect the train station to the town of Bled.
A more detailed article on getting from Ljubljana to Bled is here
Once you reach the town of Bled, there are many options for you to get around the area depending upon your preference. The town and the lake are small enough to be covered on foot. The lake is around 2 kilometers long and 1.4 kilometers wide with a small island in the center. You can get to the island using the traditional boats called pletna, which resemble giant gondolas. To travel around town and the nearby places, you can also rent a bicycle from local travel agencies. Or if you are adventurous enough, you can rent yourself a horse and cover the area on horseback.