13 reasons for visiting Slovenia and Bled

Many tourists choose this destination as must see winter destination in Europe. Let this article inspire you with amazing things that you can do only here.

This is a destination where prices are 70% lower than in Scandinavia. Where are the days among the longest in Europe, and the winters are still cold enough to enjoy all the joys of the season. This is also a city that attracts tourists from all over the world in the summer. A place where you can ice skate on the lakes, visit the ski slopes and sledding tracks, go ice climbing, sledding, skiing or just enjoying the beautiful nature.

Bled – the best winter destination in Europe by our choice is a city in Slovenia, located on the outskirts of the Alps. Within just a few kilometres, you can reach all of the activities listed above. This way you can take your time to enjoy the various activities instead of driving in the car.

Winter Tours Slovenia

1. Sports and adventure activities with Altitude Activities :)

* We are no. 1 rated agency in Bled (rated by our guests on TripAdvisor)

Our goal is to make your visit to Slovenia unforgettable. For winter time, we have prepared a number of interesting activities for you, where our guides will make sure that your day is perfect.

If you like to be active in nature, do not get scared of some adrenaline during safe entertainment, Altitude Acitivties will make Bled your best winter destination in Europe.

Currently most interesting and desirable activities:

* Ice climbing – a half-day tour, departing from Bled every day at 8am. Head to the frozen waterfall and try climbing the perfectly frozen wall with our guides. You get all the necessary equipment from us, security is also 100% taken care of.
* Ski touring – a whole day tour for all who want to spend at least 1 day of your vacation in harmony with sport and nature.

* Active day – a special 9-hour tour is currently the most desirable activity in Slovenia as it brings together several activities during the visit of the famous Biathlon Center Pokljuka (location of annual World Cup events). First we start with cross-country skiing, we continue with snowshoeing, and the day ends with ice climbing. Here we also have the possibility to replace ice climbing with any other activity that we are offering.

Click and see all the activities you can enjoy in the best winter destionation in Europe – in Bled: www.altitude-activities.com/winter-activities

Bled - Best sport tourist destination in the world

2. Lake Bled

The famous lake with an island and a chapel in the middle of the lake is one of the main tourist attractions in Slovenia. One of the legends about the lake says that it was created because the surrounding farmers did not care about their cattle, so it often went to Mary’s chapel. When God got angry, he surrounded the surrounding meadows with water to protect the chapel from the cattle.

In addition to the activities in our company, the beautiful nature will add its bit to the mosaic and make Bled the best winter destination in Europe, which you will recommend to your friends in times to come.

On Lake Bled, you can cool in the summer as it becomes a very popular bathing place among the locals and tourists during the summer. In winter it often freezes, and the bathing place turns into a huge ice rink. But be careful when skating because the water in the lake is deep, in some areas up to 30 meters. That means you should always ask about the condition and thickness of the ice before skating.

The lake is also known for numerous international rowing competitions which can be viewed in live broadcast, adding another reason why we believe it is the best winter destination in Europe.

3. Lake Bohinj

It takes about 30 minutes driving from Lake Bled through scenic landscape to reach Lake Bohinj. The road follows the Sava Bohinjka river the entire time.

Lake Bohinj is included in the Triglav National Park and, like Lake Bled, represents an important tourist point both in the summer and in the winter season. You can swim in Lake Bohinj in the summer, the water will be only a few degrees colder than in Bled. Because of its position between the mountains, it freezes even faster in the winter.

Bohinj Lake is an excellent starting point for many hiking trails along the Triglav National Park and for skiing on Vogel and some other smaller surrounding ski resorts. It is also a popular location for parachuters in the summer. It is also possible to camp at the lake, and the lake and Sava Bohinjka river are an exceptional location for those who would like to enjoy fishing.

4. Kremšnita

If wild adventures, frozen waterfalls and natural lakes did not convince you that Bled is the best winter destination in Europe, you may be convinced of this by a unique dessert which gave Bled its culinary reputation.

They say that you cannot visit Bled without trying its most famous specialty – Kremšnita or Bled cream slice.

Kremšnita is the result of many years of trying and testing of various ingredients. The story was started by Mr. Ištvan Lukačevič, head of the confectionery at the Hotel Park in Bled where they started selling cream in 1953. Today, more than 65 years later, you can still enjoy the taste of this dessert at the same hotel.

5. Skiing

It is not coincidence that for many years now Slovenian alpine skiers have been in the very top of the World Cup, regardless of the fact that this is a country with only 2 million inhabitants. This part of Slovenia (the Gorenjska region) is the one from which most Alpine skiers come, and you can find the most ski resorts here.

The nearest ski resort in the vicinity of Bled is the ski resort Vogel. It is about half an hour’s drive, and you will reach it with a cable car from the edge of Bohinj Lake. Within one hour, you can reach other ski resorts, for example Kranjska Gora, Krvavec, Stari vrh and Cerkno.

You will pay significantly less for skiing tickets in Slovenia than in Switzerland, as well as in Austria or Italy. The prices for these ski resorts for adults range from 20 € (night skiing card skiing Stari Vrh) to about €35 for all-day ski pass, making it one of the most affordable and the best winter destination in Europe.

6. Fishing

If you are a passionate fisherman, then Slovenia will surely impress you with its water resources. In winter – if you buy appropriate permits – you can go fishing for the Danube salmon, otherwise you can catch river and lake trout, grayling, sheatfish, pike and many other attractive water monsters.

There are plenty of fishing opportunities around Bled, and Sava Dolinka will be a great choice for fly fishing.

7. Food tours

In addition to the aforementioned Bled cream slices, you can enjoy numerous delicious dishes in Slovenia. If you decide to visit Bled, we also recommend:

  • Bled cheese – made from local milk of cows grazing on the mountains in the immediate vicinity of Bled (Mežakla, Pokljuka and Jelovica). 10 litres of milk are consumed for 1 kg of this quality semi-hard cheese, and cheese growers need more than 2 months for it to grow and ripen.
  •  Carniolan sausage – a mixture of lean and greasy pork, mixed with millet porridge and properly seasoned, and dried for a few days in cold smoke, is one of the most recognizable culinary specialties in this part of the world.
  •  Mush – a simple dish made of boiled cornmeal or buckwheat flour, which is finally seasoned with cracklings. Mush was a very popular dish in the past. It is still used in conversation, for example, if a child is not strong enough or big enough, in Slovenia they will say that he will have to eat more mush.
  • “Govnač” – a dish made from cabbage and potato, which is also seasoned with cracklings or roasted onions.

Restaurants that offer typical Slovenian food will not be difficult to find in Bled and its surroundings. If we name just a few:

  • Pension Alp, Bled – their specialty is precisely the tasting of typical Slovenian dishes. Every Thursday they prepare a 5-hour “slow-food” menu with typical Slovenian food.
  • Restaurant Avsenik (Gostilna pri Jožovcu), Begunje – even more specialized in the offer of typical foods from Gorenjska region. The inn is only 8 kilometers from Bled.
  • Restaurant at Bled castle – typical Slovene food supplemented with a beautiful view of Bled, Lake Bled and its surroundings will surely be an experience that you will remember for the rest of your life as your best winter destination in Europe.

8. Wine tours

Almost half of all vineyards in the world are located in Europe and Slovenia is no exception here. Although Bled and its surroundings do not belong to the wine-growing regions, you can reach every wine-growing region in Slovenia with 1 to 1.5 hours of driving:

  • Drava wine-growing region
  • Lower Sava wine-growing region
  • Littoral wine-growing region

Some of the important and recognizable Slovenian wines:

  • Žametna črnina – one of the first varieties of wine that was grown in Slovenia. The oldest vine in Maribor also belongs to this variety. It is already over 400 years old and is one of the most important symbols of this city. The wine of this variety is also used as a part of the mixture for Cviček and Metliška črnina.
  • Cviček – this is one of only two wines of the world which consists of both white and red wine. The cviček is protected and limited geographically to the part of the Dolenjska geographical environment. Because of this, only a limited quantity can be produced, since the wine can not be called Cviček if it has the same composition, but the grapes are not produced in exactly this geographical environment.
  • Metlika črnina – wine that geographically comes from Bela Krajina. Its composition includes all the red varieties grown in this geographical area.

We are not wine connoisseurs, because we specialize in adventures. Therefore, it would not be appropriate to talk too much about wines in Slovenia on this page. We can only confirm that Slovenia is a destination for all wine enthusiasts, which can also be a reason to visit the country and making it the best winter destination in Europe. For more information and testing of different wines, you can choose one of the guided tours. Some excellent suggestions can be found at www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g274862-Activities-c42-t205-Slovenia.html.

9. Bled Castle

Plan at least one hour for this important landmark in Slovenia. If you are excited about history and architecture and are looking for historical details, then you should plan at least three hours.

There is a museum in Bled Castle where the entire history of Bled and Lake Bled is presented in detail, from the settlement of the first inhabitants in the area.

Castle restaurant and weddings in Bled
The castle is open all year, which is why it is a must-see during the winter time for all guests who come to Bled. In addition to the museum and architecture you can also enjoy the excellent restaurant in the castle which we mentioned earlier. The castle and the restaurant are a popular spot for visitors who want to taste local dishes, and it is also the most popular venue for weddings. Couples from all over Slovenia get married in Bled, and often it is also chosen by sweethearts from abroad.

How to get to the castle?
The castle extends over the cliff directly above the lake. A footpath will take you from the lake to the castle which rises 139 meters high. The path is steep but still quite simple and you reach the top in about 15 minutes even if you are not in the best condition. It is also possible to go to the castle by car. The road leads to the castle from the other side of the hill, so you drive towards Bohinj and after a good kilometer, turn right at the mark for Bled castle.

The history of the Bled Castle
The castle was built in the 11th century, but was later damaged by two earthquakes. The first earthquake was in 1511, after which the castle was restored. The story was repeated also in the earthquake of 1690.

For a more precise historical and architectural insight into the castle and its surroundings, you are invited to see it in person when you arrive to Bled.

10. Visiting Ljubljana: the capital of Slovenia and party to the morning hours

Ljubljana is the city where tourism is flourishing compared to all European cities. We are sure that the reason for this is also the proximity of Bled :). A huge number of tourists travel this route every day. You will need about 1 hour to drive from Ljubljana to Bled, and there is also available an excellent bus connection. The bus takes you from Bled to Ljubljana or vice versa every half hour. For a more accurate timetable, check the timetable at https://arriva.si/en/.

The proximity of the capital of Slovenia is also one of the reasons why Bled could be the best winter destination in Europe.

Sights in Ljubljana
The list of all sights in Ljubljana certainly deserves a separate article, which we will write in the future. Below are some of those that we love the most.

Ljubljana Pub Crawl

A great choice for anyone who wants to party until morning hours and socializing with like-minded people. Regardless of whether you are travelling alone, in pairs or in a group, you will be able to join a group of different travellers visiting Ljubljana for a cheap “entrance fee”. In the center you will be welcomed by a hostess who will take care of interesting beer games and entertainment, and take you through the most popular bars and night clubs in the center of Ljubljana. The fee includes a free “shot-drink” in every bar you visit. The party usually lasts until late in the morning, so do not plan any major ventures for the next day.

Ljubljana Free Walking tour
If you want to see Ljubljana and all the sights in the old city center, you should definitely attend free guided tours around Ljubljana. In the high season from May 1 to October 31, free tours in Ljubljana can be made every day at 11 am and 3 pm. In the summer time, there is usually a third tour in the evenings. For those who visit Ljubljana in winter, these tours can be attended every day at 11 am. The guided tour lasts 2 hours and is in English. The meeting point is every day on Prešeren Square, guides will be waiting for you on the stairs of the large red church.

The Ljubljana Castle and the funicular
The ascent to the Ljubljana castle is short and easy, and you can also reach it with a modern funicular which has become the true symbol of Ljubljana in just a few years, and also possibly the best winter destination in Europe. The castle has a wonderful view of the whole city and the surrounding hills, and in clear weather you will see all the way to the Alps, the best winter destination in Europe.

Winter Tours Slovenia

11. Winter Hiking – another activity with Altitude Activities

Mountains are our love, and that’s why we also visit them in winter. If you join us on a winter trip, you can expect to pick you up at your accommodation in Bled or in the vicinity, or you can join us in front of the agency. After half an hour drive, we arrive at the starting point of our hike, located on the mountain Pokljuka, 1,400 m above sea level.

The hike lasts from three to four hours and has easy to medium difficulty. After three hours we reach the final point where each hiker receives the reward – an exceptional view of the highest peak in Slovenia (Triglav) and the other highest peaks of the Julian Alps, adding the worth to the best winter destination in Europe.

Good to know:

  • Hikes are possible every day
  • We provide all the equipment, you only need proper footwear and clothes
  • The minimum age for participating is 8 years
  • There is no minimum number of people

To sign up for Winter Hiking with Altitude Activities, visit www.altitude-activities.com/winter-hiking-in-julian-alps.

See also other mischiefs that we can do together in winter: www.altitude-activities.com/winter-activities

12. The pletna boat

The pletna boat is a special experience and another specialty that makes Bled the best winter destination in Europe. The pletna boat on the lake is possible all year long, if the weather allows it and if the lake is not frozen.

What is pletna
Pletna is a wooden boat that has a flat bottom and must meet certain criteria so that it can sail on Lake Bled. It can be up to 8 meters long and up to a maximum of 2.35 meters wide. The main element of the composition is solid wood, and some elements are metal. Pletnar (pletna driver, a boatman) rows while standing. In addition to the dimensions, the municipal decree also limits the number of pletna boats allowed on Lake Bled.

Its name supposedly originates from the fact that the roof was sometimes “knitted” (pleten) and the other theory is that the name developed from the German word for flat bottom (plateboot).

How much does it cost
The price for a drive is €14/person and includes a half-hour return trip to the island in the middle of the lake.

13. Local hospitality

This is probably not the reason why you would choose Bled for the best winter destination in Europe, but it will also make your stay here very enjoyable.

Other useful information

How to get to Bled?
You can reach Bled by car, excellent bus connections from Ljubljana, by train or by car. If you are traveling by train, the train station is 4 km away from the center of Bled, so we recommend to take Bled taxi or bus, and the distance can also be walked within one hour which is suitable for the best winter destination in Europe.

The closest airports are:

  • Ljubljana Airport (Jože Pučnik Airport): 36 km
  • Klagenfurt Airport (Austria): 84 km
  • Trieste Airport (Italy): approx. 170 km
  • Venice Airport (Italy): approx. 280 km
  • Zagreb Airport (Croatia): approx. 200 km
  • Salzburg Airport (Austria): approx. 240 km
  • Vienna Airport (Austria): approx. 400 km
  • Graz Airport (Austria): approx. 210 km
  • Budapest Airport (Hungary): approx. 580 km

Where to stay?

In Bled, the most desirable apartments are in the immediate vicinity of the lake, but the price of these apartments is usually somewhat higher. Four apartments are located in the immediate vicinity of our agency. Please contact us if you would like to book them.

In Bled, you have the possibility of renting many apartments and hotels in the winter, and in the summer you can stay at the campsite by the lake. The best winter destination in Europe is also beautiful during the summer.

Altitude Activities recommend that you book a stay at Bled for at least one month in advance, since the capacities in the high season and occasionally during slower months are also quite occupied.

Weather conditions in winter                                       

Winters in this mountainous part of Slovenia are usually dry, but colder than elsewhere. Temperatures often drop down to -15 degrees Celsius from December to February. About every four years, Lake Bled freezes and offers special skating experiences. In the mountainous regions, snow stays much longer, in some places until June which is perfect for the best winter destination in Europe.

Where to rent a car in Bled?

You can rent cars in various agencies in Bled:

  • Budget
  • Ideal rent
  • Europcar
  • Avantcar
  • Hertz
  • Atet

We hope that this convinced you that Bled is the best winter destination in Europe and that we will soon meet you in person, at one of our adrenaline activities. You can read about the most fun things at www.altitude-activities.com/blog/15-adventurous-things-to-do-in-lake-bled/

Altitude Activities Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice 2023 Award

Proud recipient of a TripAdvisor 2023 Certificate of Excellence
Thank you all for the great reviews!

Trip Advisor 5 stars

Aleksandra (our guide) provided an excellent day out with lots of beautiful sightseeing and lovely hikes! It was a full jam packed day (10 hours) which had enough breaks with a lovely spot for lunch. We loved it so much that we are going to go on another tour with Alpine Activities!

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DECEMBER 17, 2023

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