Slovenia - Bled
Bled. A place of tranquillity and a couples weekend break of dreams.
The iconic royal blue 'Bled Lake' is the show stopping centre piece of this quaint little town and it is what drawers people from all over the world - people who are thirsty to drink up its stunning beauty.
You only need two - three nights here to get around all the sites of the town, to unwind and just enjoy its peaceful atmosphere. The great thing about Bled is - it is suitable to all ages. You can be a young backpacker wanting some peace and quiet during a hectic euro trip, an outdoor enthusiast looking for some water sports or a more mature couple wanting a romantic, relaxing walking break.
Walk around the pathways around the lake - this takes a while but is relaxing, and a beautiful thing to do on a sunny day. Seeing the lake from lots of different perspectives is worth it and generally just people watching, stopping every now and then on the lake side to sit and take it in, grab a beer or a gelato and just enjoy the scenery. You can hire a row boat if you want to be independent and row to the island in the middle of the lake. Alternatively there is an old style gondola that goes to and from the island every 45minutes and costs 14euros for a return trip.
Vintgar Gorge - The gorge walk doesn't take long at all and you will have it all to yourself if you go on opening at 8am. As soon as 8.45am hits tour buses start arriving and it gets busy and a bit of a people highway along the narrow board walks. Sadly this is not wheelchair accessible or pram friendly if you have young children - parts of the pathways are rocky and very narrow / uneven ground.
Bled Castle - The views of Bled, the surrounding mountains, and the lake are incredible from the castle. Go on a clear day when the skies are blue to get the most out of it - again tour groups swarm this place, so to avoid this go on opening early or later in the afternoon (after 3pm). Parking is expensive and limited, so I would advise to park somewhere for free down the the hill and walk up to it or cycle.
Pizzeria Rustika - This is a very cheap lunch or dinner spot with good beer and great fresh pizza. (The pizzas are so big I ended up taking half of it away in a box and it lasted me a further two meals!) It has a real ski resort vibe and the staff are incredibly friendly and will give you all sorts of advice on the area if you ask.
The Art Cafe - This is close to the markets and just set back from the lakeside a bit. Coffee is good here and very reasonably priced. The wifi is strong and fast, they do a continental breakfast for 6euros with a coffee. For lunches you can get a simple panini or toasted sandwich.
Vila Preseren - Want to 'woo' your lady on a beautiful date night or simply enjoy an incredible meal with a view - this is your place. Vila preseren is a lovely restaurant right on the lake side with a amazing wine selection, the tastiest fresh seafood presented like a work of art on a plate and their very own take on the famous 'Bled Cream Cake'. Definitely worth a visit.