Planning a magical trip to Lake Bled in Winter? This guide details all of the best Lake Bled Winter activities and includes where to stay, how to plan, and all of our top tips for visiting.
No Slovenia itinerary is complete without a visit to Bled. The alpine town looks like it’s landed straight out of a storybook, with the pinnacle being the astonishing Bled Lake.
Regardless of whether you visit Bled in Winter or Summer, there are tons of exciting things to do and look forward to.
The winter months are especially adventurous with Bled’s winter activities, including skiing, hiking, and ice skating. It’s easilt one of the best winter destinations in Europe!
Sound good? Let’s get to it then! Here’s a comprehensive guide to visiting Lake Bled in Winter.
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Winter in Lake Bled Essentials
Where to Stay in Bled in Winter
The great thing about visiting Lake Bled in winter is that accommodation is far less expensive than at other times in the year.
I’ve made some hotel and hostel suggestions below, or you can compare Lake Bled accommodations using the map further down.
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For a more local experience, we recommend checking out the guided tours on Get Your Guide:
Lake Bled Winter Activities
OK, now we’ve prepared you for your trip, let’s look at all the exciting winter activities in Bled that you have to look forward to.
From gentle strolls around the lakeside and visiting fairy tale castles, to a variety of winter sports and entertainment, there’s guaranteed fun for all the family.
1. Walk around Bled Lake
The first thing I suggest you do when arriving in Bled is to take a wintery stroll around Bled Lake. This way, you can get acquainted with where everything is, as well as take in the gorgeous view.
The total distance circumferencing the lake is 6km, so it isn’t all that far. It takes around 1.5-2 hours – perhaps more if you stop often for photos etc.
There is the odd cafe & restaurant dotted around the lake, but many close over the winter months.
2. Visit Bled Island
The small, tear-shaped Bled Island is essentially what makes Bled Lake so iconic and recognisable. The primary symbol is the chapel and bell tower of the unmistakable Church of the Mother of God.
Arguably the country’s most famous landmark, you can take in magnificent panoramic views from inside the church, which was once a temple dedicated to the pagan goddess of life and fertility.
Other features of the island include the 99-step staircase that leads visitors up to the top of the church tower and the wishing bell. Legend has it that if you ring the bell, you will have all of your wishes come true.
3. Getting to Bled Island in Winter
Bled Island is, well, an island, so naturally, you have to cross the water in order to get there. There are two options.
The first is to hire a rowing boat and paddle yourself over to the island.The other option is to take a shared boat.
The shared boats come in the form of a traditional Slovenian Pletna, which resembles a gondola.
4. Marvel the View from Ojstrica Viewpoint
It’s very likely you’ve already encountered photos taken at this very spot, which allows for jaw-dropping vistas over the lake and surrounding mountains.
To reach the viewpoint requires a reasonably easy hike. Only it can get icy during the winter months so appropriate shoes will be required.
5. Walk up to Bled Castle
Bled Castle is one of the top things to do at Lake Bled in Winter. Perched atop a steep 130-metre cliff edge, it’s reported to be one of the oldest castles in Slovenia.
Admire the view from the lakeside looking up, or climb up to the castle for a spectacular vista looking down.
You can also pay to get inside the castle which boasts a museum, restaurant, and wine tasting cellar.
6. Go Skiing
There are four main ski areas located around Bled, with the closest being Straza. Located just minutes from Bled centre, Straza is ideal for both experienced and beginners alike.
If you are a serious skier and prefer more adventurous slopes, Kobla and Vogel Ski Centres are only 20 and 30 km from Bled respectively.
At these more advanced ski resorts you can expect a series of intermediate runs as well as astonishing views over the Julian Alps.
7. Sample Traditional Bled Cream Cake
An amalgamation of puff pastry, eggs, cream, sugar, and all other kinds of yumminess, Bled Cream cake is a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth.
You can find traditional Bled cream cake at most cafes and restaurants in the town; however, we can personally recommend Villa Bled’s version.
8. Go Sledding
Sledding is one of the most fun and adventurous Lake Bled winter activities and it’s great because it’s suitable for all the family.
The town has several surrounding hills that become the perfect sledding terrains during winter. Some are steeper than others, providing a real hit for the adrenaline junkies.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can even join an exciting night-sledding tour. Either way, it’s recommended you go with a guide.
Book a Sledding Tour: Sledding Tour in Bled
9. Visit Lake Bled Christmas Market
One of our favourite things about visiting Lake Bled in Winter is the joyous Christmas Market, which brings added sparkle to the already captivating town.
The market starts at the end of November and runs into early January, where several stalls and activities make for great festive fun for all the family.
10. Take a Festive Photo at the Heart of Bled
It’s gimmicky and cheesy no doubt about it, but getting a photo at The Heart of Bled a must do when visiting Lake Bled in Winter or any other time of year.
If you’re travelling with your significant other, you can seal your love by adding a padlock to the lover’s lock fence at the same time.
11. Go Ice-Skating
It’s quite hard to imagine, but some winters in Bled see the lake completely iced over. The ice can get so thick that people actually go ice skating on it!
From what I’ve heard, it’s rare to see the lake iced over in recent years. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go ice skating.
There’s a large indoor rink at the Bled Sports Hall and a smaller outside rink on the terrace of Kavarna Park.
12. Relax at a Spa
After a long day in the cold enjoying Bled’s winter activities, what better way to warm up and revitalise than spending a relaxing few hours at a spa?
Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of wellness centres in Bled, as well as some of Slovenia’s Thermal Spas. And I have a good feeling that they do pretty well over the winter months.
13. Day Trip to Triglav National Park
Triglav National Park is Slovenia’s only national park and surrounds Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps.
There are some incredible hiking opportunities in these parts, as well as breathtaking views, crystallised alpine lakes, magnificent waterfalls, and lush green forests.
Due to the slightly precarious nature of hiking during Winter, I would suggest making this day trip with an organised tour.
14. Day Trip to Postajna Cave and Predjama Castle
Located within Postojna Cave Park, both Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle are considered national gems in Slovenia. A visit here makes for a truly adventurous day trip from Bled.
Postojna is said to be one of the most captivating and impressive caves in the entire world.
Located within the same national park, Predjama Castle looks like something out of a twisted fairy tale.
Again, you can plan your own trip, or go as part of an organised tour.
Book Your Tour: Postajna Cave and Predjama Castle Day Trip
15. Cold Dip in the Lake
By now we’ve all heard the benefits of cold water immersion, so why not do in one of the most beautiful locations on earth?
If you’re in town for New Years Day you can join in with the locals for their annual tradition!
16. Visit Lake Bohinj
Lake Bohinj is just a 30-minute drive from Lake Bled, offering an equally beautiful but less-touristic lakeside experience.
A wintry day at Lake Bohinj might involve some winter hiking, taking the cable car up to Vogel, or visiting Savica Waterfall.
Book Your Tour: Bled to Lake Bohinj Tour
17. Luxury Dining at Villa Bled
If you have the means to treat yourself on your winter trip to Bled, I can highly recommend dining at Vila Bled.
Boasting gorgeous views over the lake, you can expect 5* treatment at what’s considered one of the top restaurants in all of Slovenia!
18. Do Nothing at All
While we loved all of the adventurous winter activities in Bled, some of our best experiences were doing nothing whatsoever.
It was quite satisfying to wrap up warm and find a peaceful spot on the lakeside to sit back, feed the ducks and enjoy the view.
Lake Bled has a way of conjuring up all the romantic vibes, and we’d cuddle up together feeling grateful to experience such natural beauty.
That is until we got too cold, and it was back to the Christmas market for more mulled wine!
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When is Winter in Lake Bled
The cold season in Bled starts toward the end of November and lasts until the middle of March. However, temperatures will be pretty mild at the start and end of the season.
If you want to experience that enchanting wintery vibe, your best bet is to visit in December or January. You will most likely get some snow alongside crisp, dry days .
How Long Should I Stay in Bled?
Bled might be a small town but it has a lot to offer. With all the exciting winter activities in Lake Bled, you could easily spend a week here and not get bored.
We spent 3 days in Lake Bled and managed to cram a lot into this time. But we both agreed we could have stayed longer, even just to relax and enjoy the chilled vibe of the town.
Also, bear in mind that daylight hours will be limited if you visit Lake Bled in the depths of winter.
Getting to Lake Bled in Winter
You’ll likely start your Slovenian adventures in Ljubljana. I suggest staying at least a day in Ljubljana before continuing your travels to Lake Bled.
Slovenia is a relatively small country compared to most in Europe. That means, getting around is pretty straightforward. But, best of all, it doesn’t take a lot of time!
For this reason, many choose to rent a car when travelling in Slovenia. The roads are quiet and in good condition, and you’ll be rewarded with astonishing views along the way.
Alternatively, you can use the public bus network. We used it a couple of times during our time in Slovenia and was always reliable. Be sure to use the official Slovenian bus network website to plan your route.
Enjoy Your Winter Trip to Lake Bled!
So there you have it, our ultimate guide to visiting Lake Bled in winter. I hope it’s got you excited about your trip.
If you have any questions or anything to add, please drop us a comment below. We love hearing from you!
Stay adventurous and happy travels.