Bled Guide

Whether they’re staying in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana or skiing in the Julian Alps, few tourists come to Slovenia and leave without visiting Lake Bled. This impossibly beautiful place is one of the jewels of Slovenia and few visitors are not charmed by its dazzling blue waters, its tiny tear drop shaped island and the ominous looking castle that overlooks the lake from its position on the craggy outcrop above.

There have been settlements on the island and around the lake for centuries; at one point the owner wanted to extract the clay from beneath the lake to make bricks but fortunately this idea was never realised. It was an enterprising Swiss doctor, Arnold Rikli, who made Bled the resort town it is today. He developed Bled into a spa resort for wealthy Europeans, exploiting the thermal springs. It soon took off and even the Karadžordževići, the Yugoslav royal family, summered at Bled. When the railways came to Bled the town’s popularity quickly grew.

The lake itself is not large, measuring 2 kilometres by 1380 metres, so an easy walk around it only takes about an hour. However, with breaks to stop a while to take in its beauty and more breaks for liquid refreshment, it can fully occupy a whole morning or afternoon. There is plenty of interest around the lake: elegant nineteenth century villas, swans and scores of colourfully plumaged ducks and a wonderful canopy of trees.

The best way to see the lake and, of course, the island is by boat: in summer you can get across to the island by hand-propelled gondola or by hired rowing boat.  Visitors are deposited at a wooden jetty beneath a flight of stone steps which leads up to the 17th century baroque church. Inside the church there’s a brief exhibition outlining the history of the island, and models show the development of the church itself. The main part of the church is richly decorated; the altar is very ornate with intricate gold details. Before leaving the island visitors can ring the ‘wishing bell’. Its rope hangs down into the nave of the church: it’s customary for visitors hoping to be granted a favour to try their hand at ringing the bell. It’s not as easy as it looks as the many people who’ve tried and failed will testify.

Bled Castle stands on its rocky perch some one hundred metres above the lake.  It could almost have been lifted from the pages of a children’s fairytale book with its towers, turrets and moat, and it should come as no surprise to learn that Bled Castle is one of the country’s most popular venues for weddings (as is the tiny parish church on Bled island). From the ground there are two clearly sign-posted routes up to the castle; it’s quite a steep hike but definitely worth the effort.  A road train is a useful alternative for those who prefer not to walk. The summit is the best spot from which to appreciate the visual impact of the whole lake and it certainly is breathtaking! On the horizon are the dramatic snow-capped peaks of the Julian Alps and on the other side of the lake in winter you can see skiers descend the piste at the mini-ski centre at Straža. Inside the castle there’s an exhibition which outlines the fascinating history of the lake and the settlements which surround it. There is also the usual collection of miscellaneous items typical of such attractions – arms and armour, old coins and archaeological finds from the area.

Bled makes a great base for winter sports enthusiasts. The popular resort of Zatrnik is only a couple of kilometres away but many skiers prefer to base themselves in Bled where there is a wider choice of accommodation and more in the way of après-ski. Accommodation ranges from cheap and cheerful hostels and an abundance of private rooms within family homes, to modern spa complexes and luxury boutique hotels. For a truly unique experience there’s always Vila Bled, the lake-side residence where guests can book Marshal Tito’s Presidential Suite.

The area is popular with Slovenians, many of whom own a ‘vikend’ – a rural dwelling that where they go to enjoy the great outdoors – and with foreign buyers who have either settled permanently in the area or come for holidays. Rental potential is excellent because Bled is as popular in summer as it is in winter, giving the opportunity of a year round income if desired. Real estate in and around Bled includes modern apartments in purpose built blocks, cosy chalets and magnificent architect designed villas. Properties within the Triglav National Park are much sought after but older houses there may be small and subject to strict rules regarding redevelopment.

The wider region contains some of Slovenia’s best known and most beautiful and breath-taking natural scenery. Among them is Vintgar Gorge, where the fast flowing Radovna River cuts through the rocks for over a kilometre, ending at Slovenia’s highest waterfall, Šum. A purpose made footpath with wooden bridges and stairways makes Vintgar easily accessible for all abilities but for serious walkers there’s the challenge of Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak. It’s said that a true Slovene scales the peak at least once in his or her lifetime. There are several tour companies offering accompanied ascents which usually take place over two days. The hardiest athletes of all take part in the annual Bled Winter Swimming competition. After Bled successfully hosted the World Winter Swimming Championships in 2010, the regional tourist board decided to launch an annual event in partnership with celebrated Slovenian endurance swimmer Martin Strel; in 2013 sixty-seven swimmers took part from nine countries, most notably British swimmer Haydn Welch who completed the first ever ice mile swim on Lake Bled.

After a hard day’s walking, or even without, a spot of rest and relaxation is in order. The spas at Hotel Golf and Grand Hotel Toplice are among the best in the country. They use water from thermal springs which average around 22 °C and offer an array of therapies as well as sauna facilities and Turkish style baths. Visitors on a budget can still take advantage of those thermal waters by bathing in the Castle Baths which have four outdoor pools and an enclosed area for swimming directly in the lake. There are other bathing places around the lakeside but the Castle Baths have the best facilities.

Many visitors take advantage of the good value packages on offer in Bled’s hotels which combine accommodation, meals and use of the spa facilities. There are, however, also some excellent restaurants in the town and in the surrounding villages. In town there’s a modest range of cuisines, while the countryside inns are the best places to go to try the traditional cuisine of the Gorenjska region. Anyone with a sweet tooth should try the famous Bled cream cake, known as ‘Kremna rezina’. It was invented by Ištvan Lukačević who adapted an old Serbian recipe but the Bled recipe has a protected designation of origin. Between crispy light puff pastry there are two layers, one of custard cream and one of whipped cream; the top of the cream slice is dusted with icing sugar. It’s the perfect treat with a cup of coffee.  Hotel Park even offers the chance to learn how to make the cakes yourself.

On the fourth weekend of every July ‘Bled Days’ takes place; it’s an enchanting spectacle where hundreds of floating lights are launched onto the lake, followed by an exhilarating fireworks display. An international violin festival takes place at the end of June and a world music festival organised by the town’s Okarina restaurant takes place in August.  December starts with the opportunity to buy Christmas presents at the St. Nicholas Fair then on 25th December the town celebrates Christmas with a performance of the Legend of the Sinking of the Bell, at the end of which a Christmas tree is sunk in the lake. On New Years Eve there’s the customary fireworks display watched by hundreds from the lakeside.

Just 40 kilometres from Ljubljana’s Jože Pučnik Airport, Bled is ideally situated for holiday home owners who might wish to visit for short breaks as well as longer stays. Shopping opportunities in Bled are rather limited but Ljubljana is just 60 kilometres away, and nearby Kranj has plenty of shops including some excellent boutiques and gift shops. Bled is well situated for road access to Italy and Austria, and for reaching all other regions of Slovenia.

Commuters can take advantage of the proximity of the capital while enjoying a laidback lifestyle in Bled and the surrounding area. Villages such as Ribno and Selo are ideally suited to family living while slightly larger towns like Radovljica and Lesce also have a lot to offer. As a location for a holiday home, Bled is difficult to beat; the scenery and activities available change with the seasons giving holiday makers plenty of reasons to come back time after time.


Bled is one of the areas of Slovenia,where property rentals are strong and the potential for capital gains on investment property are good. You can read more about Real Estate in Bled on this site and also review, the wide range of Properties for Sale  we and rentail we have in the region.

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News headlines

  • Adria to launch Ljubljana to Kiev route

    The Slovenian national carrier Adria Airways is to launch regular flights to the Ukrainian capital from Ljubljana Brnik airport, The route will launch in October and there will be three flights a week on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, with the return flights being on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

    As well as providing a useful link with Ukraine, the route is also expected to be an important springboard to other European destinations from Kiev. 

  • Luton Town to Come to Slovenia for Training Camp

    The English football league club Luton Town, known as the Hatters, are coming to Slovenia in July for a week-long training camp. They players and coaching staff will be based just outside Maribor, at the same place where Scottish side Celtic was based for preseason training.

    Slovenia, and especially Maribor, has been keen to promote itself as a great location for such training events with excellent facilities and accommodation and additional attractions such as sports physio services and wellness centres, in particular, those available at the country’s numerous spa centres

  • Slovenian Music Superstar to Play in the USA

    Vlado Kreslin, one of the best known and most popular Slovenian musicians will play a convert in Cleveland, Ohio on 3rd December. Kreslin, who is often referred to as the ‘Slovenian Bob Dylan’ first came to prominence in the Yugoslavian days, as a member of the 1970s rock band Martin Krpan but his solo incarnation veers more towards the genres of folk-rock. 

    While Kreslin is in the States on a short concert tour, the Cleveland date is particularly special because around 40 percent of Slovene Americans live in the state, the greatest concentration od them in the US, and of them the majority live in the Greater Cleveland area.

  • Ljubljana to Amsterdam flights from April 2017

    Dutch budget carrier Transavia is to launch three weekly flights connected Ljubljana with Amsterdam from April 2017. Tickets are already on sale and start at €29 one way. The flights will take place on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

    As well as being an attractive destination in its own right, Amsterdam is a useful hub for flights to destinations all over the world, and especially for those looking for easy access to regional UK airports. 


  • Lendava to bid for European Capital of Culture title

    Lendava in the far east of Slovenia is making an ambitious bid to win the title European Capital of Culture for 2025. 

    Slovenia’s Minister for Culture has endorsed the bid, saying that it represents an important chance to decentralise culture and spread it to small towns, not just to concentrate it in the bigger cities.

    Campaigning proper will begin in earnest in 2019 but a conference has just taken place in the town to get the ball rolling. Organisers say that Lendava will make the bid along with partner towns, citing Croatia’s Čakovec, Austria’s Bad Radkersburg and Hungary’s Szentgotthard as possibilities. 


  • Celtic Football Club Coming to Slovenia

    Despite the Euros being in full swing, it’s that time of year when football supporters start thinking about the new season. How many new signings will their side make and how will those players fit into the existing team? Will they have a good run in the cup, or will they be fighting for survival once again?

    Following an age-old tradition of pre-season tours, this year Glasgow Celtic, one of Scotland’s biggest clubs has chosen Slovenia for its short trip abroad. The brief tour will kick off in Celje on 30 June before heading over the border to play Austria’s Sturm Graz on 3 July. The Bhoys, as they are known, will return to Slovenia to play Olimpija at Ljubljana’s Stožice Stadium on 6 July and the final match will take place at the Ljudski vrt in Maribor on 9 July.

    Celtic have met NK Maribor already: in 2014 they faced each other in a play-off for entry to the Uefa Champions League, and after the two legs Maribor came out the victors, winning on aggregate 1-2.

    This time, Celtic will be led by their new manager Brendan Rodgers who previously managed Liverpool FC.

  • Slovenia Estates Comes To Kobarid

    We’ve opened a new Slovenia Estates office in Kobarid, in the Soča Valley. This beautiful area has long been popular with Slovenian families as well as holiday makers and second home owners, and we are delighted to be able to based in Kobarid so we can better meet the needs of sellers and buyers in the far west of Slovenia.

  • Plečnik chair sells for 40,000 Euro

     A chair designed by Slovenia’s most celebrated architect Jože Plečnik has been sold at auction for over €40,000 and returned to its original home at the same time.

    Plečnik is usually associated with Ljubljana, having overseen the redesign of the large parts of the city in the first half of the twentieth century and his distinctive style is easy to spot. However, he was also responsible for a major reworking of Prague Castle in the Czech capital between 1921 and 1934 and this chair was part of that project, having been designed to sit in the study of the President at the time, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk.

    Plečnik actually had three of these chairs made but only one managed to stay in Prague Castle throughout the Communist period. In fact, for a long time curators there thought that chair was one of a kind until a second chair was returned to Prague Castle in a bad condition in 2006, and they were delighted when this third chair turned up at auction. 

  • Ljubljana to Warsaw Six Flights Weekly

    From 1 March flights will commence between Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport to Warsaw. There will be six flights weekly and they will be operated by Polish carrier LOT. Flight time is less than two hours and Warsaw gives Slovenian passengers a useful connection for onward travel to a variety of destinations including northern Europe and Scandinavia and even the United States.

  • New Bled Office

    We have opened a new office in the centre of Bled. This will serve as our base in the Bled/Bohinj/Kranjska Gora areas. The office is situated in the main shopping centre on the first floor next to Gallus Pizzeria. Lots of lovely properties from the area are displayed in the window!

  • We have opened an office in The Old Town

    We are pleased to annouce we have opened a new office in the heart of Ljubljana’s Old Town on Gornji Trg 1. We have shop front space so lots of lovely properties in the window. Please come and visit us whenever you can!

  • Slovenia real estate increases in popularity

    This year we have seen a marked increase in foreigners interested to buy Slovenian rela estate. Buyers from both the West of Europe, Russia and the US are taking advantage of low real estate price due to the Crisis in Europe before any rises are seen. Most popular areas are Ljubljana, Bled & Portoroz and with more and more sellers becoming very flexible on asking prices its fast becoming an attractive overseas destination for foreigners looking for both their own property as well as a secure long term investment

  • Slovenia Property Blog page

    We have now set up a new Blog page with news articles on Slovenian real estae, topical issues, news and featured & bargain properties. We will be updating the page each week with stories, so please check the page out for up to date information on Real estate in Slovenia. Click HERE to go to the page


  • Ljubljana Apartments moving faster

    This year we have noticed a marked increase in the both the number of enquiries about Ljubljana real estate as well as overall transactions, we ourselves have sold more this year than last and while generally it is still the foreign buyer who is buying enquiries from locals have also increased slowly. The feeling locally is prices in the city may have reached their low point and with faint signs of a recovery in Europe generally that feeling may well be borne out.

  • Slovenia real estate bargains

    There is more and more excellent value real estate in Slovenia now, with local owners unable to finance renovations or improvements themselves, there is a good supply of property in need of renovation at some very attractive prices. With Slovenia Estates project managing renovations, a project need not be a headache but a very worthwhile investment. Contact us for the best bargain real estate in Slovenia on the market.

  • We have moved

    We have moved to lovely new offices in Prule, the Old part of Ljubljana. With increased space, interiors designed by JVBdesignworks, and a fantastic shop front location we are looking forward to welcoming new & old faces to Žabjak 2, Ljubljana 1000.

  • Slovenia Self Catering

    Slovenia self catering accommodation is extremely popular and gaining more popularity as competition increases amongst available self catering houses and apartments and quality rises. We have some delightful self catering properties in Slovenia for vacation rental. They can be found here . We also know of many more available so contact us if you wish to rent a house or apartment in Slovenia for an unforgettable holiday.

  • Ljubljana Apartment Sales

    Further to the recent News we posted on “Ljubljana Sells Best” we wanted to provide more information on Ljubljana real estate. The sales are nearly always apartments and always in the centre of town. The demand from foreign buyers for houses in Ljubljana is low as they want to be located very centrally and this means apartments. Ljubljana villas in for example the Rozna Dolina area are also priced at a level that is too high for most Slovenia real estate investors.

  • Ljubljana Sells best

    This year we have sold more real esate in Ljubljana than any other year. It seems investors from various parts of the globe see Ljubljana as perfect place to buy. Small, neat and improving year on year, with a fabulous centre and old town and with prices at a very competitive level. The most popular areas being the historic old town and the centre, and despite no cars being allowed in the old town, buyers seem to accept this with the positives that come with that. See our Ljubljana real estate section for more details.

  • Portoroz real estate on the up

    We are experiencing a marked increase in enquiries and sales of real estate in Portoroz. The buyers are mainly from Russia and Ukraine, wanting Villas with sea views. Prices of Portoroz real estate remain high but have come down considerably over the past few years. Real estate in Portoroz is in short demand and quality property goes fairly quickly if priced correctly.

  • Luxury Hisa Zeenia for Slovenia holiday rental

    We are pleased to announce the availabilty of this wonderful, magical House for rent in Slovenia. Hisa Zeenia is a truly magnificent house available for a Holiday rental in Slovenia all year round. With outdoor Natural swimming pool and 7 bedrooms, landscaped gardens and all located in the stunning Soca Valley its one of the best holiday properties to rent in slovenia. Click here for more

  • Prekmurje Property

    We are seeing a marked increase in the Prekmurje region again. Both Slovenians and foreigners are enquiring about property in Prekmurke, especially old style houses with some land. Renovation projects remain popular and views a must. Prices have come down since the crisis and with the Euro falling it has become a very attractive area to look at.

  • New section here

    As you can see this is a new section we have just added, to keep our customers up to date with whats going on with Elite and real estate here in Slovenia. It will be regularly updated.

  • A Bargain!

    Does it get any cheaper than this for a renovation project, a lovely village, a quiet street, some land all for €25000! Click here

  • New Properties added

    We have been out and about over the past few weeks seeing and adding new properties to our website. Over the next few weeks many more will be added so its a good idea to register for updates if you wish to be kept informed of whats new in Slovenia real estate.

  • Another Beauty – Karst Project

    We are pleased to announce another superb development in the popular Karst region. Beautiful, modern villas in a rural setting, super views and highly energy efficient, these represent Slovenia real estate at its best. For details click here, a full presentation of visuals will also be found here. For more details just contact us.

  • Lipica Villas

    Together with a partner agency we are soon to be launching a beautiful new development in Lipica, just opposite the entrance to the famous Lipica Estate where the famous Lipizzaner horses are from. This represents Slovenia real estate at its finest…Click here for a sneak preview

  • Summer Here!

    The good weather has arrived just in time for the holidays and the three public holiday days here in Slovenia. Blue skies 26 degrees, everything green its a very beautiful time!


  • Good Weather means enquiries

    Its always interesting to see the corallation between good weather and increased enquiries for Slovenia real estate. Over the past few weeks when its been cold and rainy enquiries were low, now people see the sun is coming back and the enquiries have risen. Forget the moon! We are ruled by the sun!

  • Success in Moscow

    We are happy to report that our attendance at the Moscow Real Estate fair was a great success, we were the only representation Slovenia had and that proved effective. There was much interest in Slovenia especially in the €150-€250,000 price range. Many of the visitors to the Croatia stands were also coming our way so its good to know that many consider Slovenia as an alternative to Croatia.

  • Soca Interest

    Interest in the Soca region of Slovenia has reached the highest level in two years. People have always loved this area for Slovenia real estate for its beauty but it seems people are really seeing all the benefits of this popular area and preferring it to other areas.

  • Karst Interest, new stone villas

    We have seen a marked increase in enquiries for the Karst (Kras) region of Slovenia, we will soon be selling stone villas in a new exclusive development in Lipica, home of the famous Lipizzaner horses. We will publish more information once we start the marketing campaign

  • Moscow Fair

    We will be promoting 4 fabulous new developments at the fair as well as all our beautiful properties on our books. As well as meeting all the agencies we work with and several we will hopefully be working with in the future.

  • New Site Comments

    We have recieved many kind comments about our re designed site, Thank you to all those that sent emails with such great comments. We also received some great suggestions about what people would like to see on the site and we will be working on including many of these suggestions!

  • Katja to get Licence

    Our Office general manager Katja Keber is studying for her real estate licence, let’s hope she gets it soon!

    Katja has been with SE for 4 years and has a great understanding of how Slovenia real estate Market works so we expect her to pass first time!

  • Off to Moscow

    The SE team will be attending the International Real Estate Fair in Moscow in April, we will be promoting selected properties and projects on our books.

    The show is Russia’s largest real estate show and in the past Slovenia real estate has not been presented before, so a first for Slovenia and Elite!

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