Often when one thinks about travelling in Europe, the first places mentioned are usually Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, London or Athens. Not many have Solvenia (former Yugoslavia) on their European itinerary but here is where it should be on yours.
About 60 km from the capital city of Ljubljana, is Lake bled, a lake in the Julian Alps. It takes about 45 min by car. The lake derives its name from the adjoining city of Bled. The picturesque lake surrounded by the forests and the mountains is a treat to the eye. The lake is perfect for a one day visit but also has much to offer if you would like to stay for a multiple days. Due to its popularity, it is highly recommended to book your accommodation well in advance to avail reasonable prices. Recommendations for stay would be Bled Hostel for solo travellers or students and Panorama Apartments for families. Arriving before noon to the lake would allow you to enjoy it's serenity before the touristy crowds begin to flock in. It is possible to go for a swim in the lake during the warm weather. Scuba diving is another popular activity at this lake. Different water plants and unique fish species can be enjoyed by keen divers.
The medieval castle of Bled above the lake was built by Emperor Henry II and is frequently visited by tourists for the amazing views of the lake from above and the museum housed within the castle. It resembles a fairytale castle. The castle is open everyday and has an entrance fee. At the castle, there are cafés that serve the famous Bled cream cake or Kremsnita. It is a must try and you will not be disappointed. The puff pastry is made of cream and egg custard covered with powdered sugar. It is also a great spot to try slovenian wines at the restuarants.
The Bled island is the only natural island in Solvenia which undoubtedly makes it very special. The island houses several buildings but it is impossible to miss the sight of the 15th-century Pilgrimage church dedicated to Assumption of Mary located on the Bled island on the lake. It is to-date a popular church for weddings with the scenic background serving as a perfect backdrop for wedding photography. It was also traditionally considered good luck for the groom to carry his bride up the baroque styled 99 step stairway to ring the bell and make a wish inside the church. It is possible to climb to the top of the chruch and enjoy the lovely lake views. Colorful flat bottomed wooden boats (also known as Pletna) are used to reach the island and the church. A round trip would cost 12 euros per person. It is possible to hire a kayak for 15 euros and paddle to the island during nice weather.
My personal recommendation would be to hike around the lake. The views are spectular along the 6 km path and it is the perfect food for your soul to be surrounded by the forest. Marvelous countryside viewpoints like Mala Osojnica and Mala Ojstrica await you.
If you visit Lake Bled for a day trip or for longer, there is enough to satify the palate of every kind of traveller. You will not be disappointed for sure.