Bled Island and Castle – Bled, Slovenia - Atlas Obscura

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Bled Island and Castle

This one-time health resort was used by aristocrats around the world. 


Bled is a small municipality in northwestern Slovenia that was once part of Yugoslavia and became independent in 1991. In the late 1800s Bled Island and village, located in the middle of glacial Lake Bled, were seen as a health resort by aristocrats from around the world. Today the island and the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church are known to be major tourist attractions. Bled Castle is an iconic landmark because of its location teetering on a cliff overlooking the lake.

The Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church was built in the 15th century and is known by visitors because of the 99 steps that lead up to the church. Traditionally, local grooms carry their brides up these steps while the bride remains perfectly silent, in order to bring them happiness in the future. The church also has bells that visitors ring for good luck. Tourists can hire boats to get to the church. 

Bled is famous for a dessert called the Bled Cream Cake which can be purchased at many of the cafes and restaurants in Bled.

Know Before You Go

Following the signs for Trail 6, the inclined trek begins. You will pass a small farm and then are quickly enveloped in the forest. After about 10 minutes, the trail splits to the right for the first lookout point, Ojstrica, which makes the initial steep climb pale in comparison. After a set of steep switchbacks, in the last five steps to the top, the view begins to emerge. The lookout point features zero barriers. There are no fences, no railings — just you and the wind and the rocks and the magnificent scene.

To reach Bled Island, you will need to take a boat.  You can take a traditional pletna row boat for about 15 euro per adult as of June 2021.

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