An Alpine Fairytale in Lake Bled, Slovenia: A Cream Cake with A View

Those of us who were children in the pre-digital era will remember fondly the magic invoked by reading fairytales, illustrated with pristine lakes, grassy meadows, and Sleeping Beauty castles – the kind of havens which seemed so enchanting that we believed they only came to life in fairytales. When I caught a cursory glimpse of Lake Bled, its emerald sheen creeping into view on our short journey from Ljiubljana, it became clearer than the first winter dew that those picture perfect scenes occur in real life as well.Lake Bled view turquoise

Lake Bled and Bled Castle

The medieval Bled castle provides an ideal clifftop vantage point from where to absorb the picturesque view of the lake, which is named after the island it surrounds and despite my apprehensions about the weather, no amount of grey cloud dampened the experience. There is a small cafe and a museum on the castle grounds but we were too enamoured by this Slovenian jewel to avert our eyes from the lake. I was falling for Bled. I couldn’t help myself.Lake Bled lamppost boat view

The Churches of Bled

bled island church of assumption
The Church of the Assumption, Bled Island

The beautiful church of the Assumption casts a proud silhouette on the island of Bled and for a fee, you can ring the bell and make a wish. With its tapering spire and Gothic design, it is this monument that hallmarks the island of Bled.

What I found charming was that aside from being a dreamy but secret European gem for tourists, this lake very much belongs to Slovenia’s community. Rather like its sister Lake Bohinj, the tranquil waters of Lake Bled are full of frolicking locals in the summer, relieving themselves of the midday sun with a rejuvenating swim. The government has taken active steps to preserve and respect this area of natural beauty that has come to mean so much to Slovenia’s tourism industry by prohibiting hotel construction at the waterside.

Church St.Martin Bled
The Church of St.Martin

The Bled Cream Cake

And of course, how could anyone leave Bled without pausing for cake at the Bled Park Hotel, famed for its Kremsnita cake, known commonly as the Bled cream cake – with layers of creamy custard enveloped between filo pastry sheets.

I had read about this time and again when planning my Slovenia trip and for those of you who know me well and are wondering – no, I did not choose Slovenia purely to try out the Kremsnita. It’s a classic recipe, timeless and in no need of redesign. It is a less is more cake. And how I wish I could sample some more. I have eaten cake at many places in my life but never with a backdrop as idyllic as this. Bled is serenity. Bled is perfection and Bled is the stuff of dreams and imagination.cake view

Numerous tour operators offer both half and full day guided trips to Lake Bled including Roundabout Travel with whom we travelled. If you are freestyling your visit, then you may want to allocate a little bit more time to walk around the circumference of the lake or to wait until twilight to see how the waters evolve under the dusky glow.

 

Part of a monthly travel blog link up. This month’s fantastic theme was “Room with a View” so check out some other inspiring views from my fabulous fellow travel bloggers.

 

Disclaimer : I was a guest of Roundabout Travel Slovenia on their Alpine Fairytale Tour, which was a full day excursion including a visit to Bled but I am opinionated, little lady and all views, good or bad, are entirely my own.

52 thoughts on “An Alpine Fairytale in Lake Bled, Slovenia: A Cream Cake with A View

  1. Wow! We would love to visit here one day 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:03 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting guys – I hope you do get to see it – it’s so magical!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! Bled is simply stunning and I’m super eager to visit myself!

  3. I’ve seen this place in the pictures posted by my friends who recently been there and I could not believe how lovely and charming it is. Now I see, absolutely amazing! Wish I could go there soon :-).

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:05 pm

      Thanks Agness – I’m sure you’ll hopefully get a chance to go being based in the Netherlands now! K didn’t even know about this beautiful place until I saw so many great blog posts – this is why I love travel blogging so much 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  4. no question about it – bled is one of the prettiest places on earth! great post!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:06 pm

      That’s a real compliment to the place coming from someone as well travelled as you Andrew! Thanks so much for the kind words and for reading this 🙂

  5. Look at the smile on your face at that piece of cake!! I can completely understand why though 🙂 The boats on the lake look like the long-tail boats in Thailand – none of this looks like it’s in Europe at all. It is definitely from a fairytale.

    PS: All your stories about Slovenia have definitely made me want to visit though. Adding it to the list as we speak!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:08 pm

      You should definitely go Ayla – it’s just such a beautiful and great value European destination – and small enough to be able to see quite a lot of the place even in a short time – and you know perfectly well that your smile would have been just as big if you were having the cake there too! 😀

  6. Oh I’m so bummed I didn’t make it out there when I stopped in Ljiubljana! It looks absolutely magical. Next time I’ll plan to stay longer in Slovenia instead of just pass through. Next time for sure. Great post & nice pics!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:10 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Mandie – to be honest, I didn’t even know about this place till earlier this year – just makes me wonder what other incredible areas of natural beauty are out there that aren’t even on my radar! If you are ever back in that part of Europe, definitely worth a visit 🙂

  7. Bled looks so gorgeous in the sunshine! I went for the day from Ljubljana, and it rained – but it was still very atmospheric. There just wasn’t much of a view! I’d love to go back and try the cream cake 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:13 pm

      It was quite overcast most of the day we were there too with just a few glimpses of sunshine here and there but like you say, I really think it’s so atmospheric whatever the weather! The cream cake is so simple but delicious Molly – I could have easily had a 2nd slab 😀

  8. Bled looks stunning! I’ve put it on my travel wishlist

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:14 pm

      Thanks so much for reading Suze – I’m so glad you like the look of the place as I myself only discovered it from reading other travel blogs – hope you make it there soon 🙂

  9. Bled looks so so stunning. It’s on my bucket list. The cream cakes just add to the moment.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:15 pm

      Thanks so much! The view is so stunning and like you say, the cake is just…err…the icing on the cake! (Sorry for the terrible pun!)

  10. What beautiful pictures, and what a beautiful place to have an afternoon tea!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:17 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind words Fuschia – it’s a really magical little lake and it feels like something straight out of a fairytale to be able to enjoy a cup of tea and a traditional cake with that view 🙂

  11. Amazing! I went to Bled ages ago, and would love to return. I didn’t realize they had cream cake there. Yum!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:20 pm

      I know what you mean Julie – it was such a charming place that I already feel like I’d love to return one day! The cake is so delicious, I don’t know what secret trick they use to make the custard taste so good – I was saving space for it all morning 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting!

  12. Cake + Travel + an island. Perfection!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:21 pm

      Well said Enma – very well said indeed 🙂

  13. That’s the perfect view as it has cake; you win hands down! I need to visit; adding to my list for next year xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:24 pm

      Haha, thanks Kelly – I thought you might approve of cake featuring in there! I definitely think you should visit – I know it’s more touristy than it used to be but it’s still much less so than many other central European countries so now is a great time to visit I think 🙂 x

  14. This place does look like a fairytale and I keep hearing so much about it! Lovely photos!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 4, 2014 — 9:25 pm

      Thanks so much Becky – really appreciate it 🙂 It feels like a fairytale location and I’m so grateful to the travel blogging world for opening my eyes to it 🙂

  15. Hi, my girlfriend and I planning to visit Bled in October this year. Do you or anyone know when the fall colors will be most vibrant, early, middle or late October? Also, when we’re these pics taken?

    Thank you.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 8, 2014 — 9:40 pm

      Hi Steve! Thanks so much for reading and commenting and I hope you both have a wonderful time in Bled! I’m not sure myself when the colours would be most vibrant but I’ll try and ask the Slovenes I know on Twitter and will let you know if I find out! These pics were taken in May this year when it was a little overcast but generally warm with a little bit sunshine here and there 🙂

  16. I’ve read so many posts on Lake Bled, and yet every time I see someone else’s pictures I pause and stare at it for ages. The place looks simply stunning, and I really hope to make it there to witness it with my own eyes!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 8, 2014 — 9:42 pm

      I really hope you get a chance to visit it Emily – I used to stare at the photos the same way until I finally saw it for myself this year 🙂 It really is a bit like a fairytale lake – I can’t believe I didn’t know about it until recently!

  17. It does look like a truly magical place and I love your likening of it to a fairytale! The cake looks pretty scrumptious too 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 8, 2014 — 9:43 pm

      The cake was DELICIOUS Catherine – I could have easily eaten a second portion if it wasn’t for how greedy I’d have looked around everyone else!! The tour we were on was called The Alpine Fairytale tour but it only took one quick peek at the lake to realise why they name it that! It’s a beautiful little part of the world! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  18. Wow! Such pretty pictures. Fairytale is the ideal word indeed 🙂 And that cake looks delicious!! Slovenia seems beautiful.. Glad you had a great trip!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 8, 2014 — 9:56 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Nita – it is such a hidden gem of a European country – some of my friends and family weren’t even sure where it was when I told them I was going and I myself got inspired to go there after seeing some beautiful travel blog posts about it – charming country and Bled is definitely one of its most beautiful treasures. Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  19. I stayed here for 3days and would gladly go back given the chance. Also the cake was delicious

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 15, 2014 — 3:17 pm

      Isn’t it just delicious – and with those views!! It’s just so picture perfect that I can’t believe I hadn’t even heard of it for most of my life!

  20. Beautiful photos of such an idyllic fairytale place. I have a friend who is from Slovenia and I have always adored her Lake Bled pictures. How lucky for you to have gone on such a lovely tour. That Kremsnita looks so delicious! You really had the best view to eat it too.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 15, 2014 — 3:20 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind words Mary! I too had seen some stunning photos of it before going and it really does live up to the expectation and the photos – it’s a magical view (and the delicious cream cake is definitely the icing on the cake!!)

  21. Always lovely to read of another convert! I’ve been in love with Slovenia for 28 years – so much so that I’ve bought a house there to retire to. The amazing thing is that although Bled is indeed gorgeous (try this picture I came across today – https://twitter.com/Cindy62200/status/565413623980642304/photo/1 ) it’s in third place for me after Bohinj and the Soca Valley.

    And on the scenery and cake theme, try Gibanica if you’re ever in either of those places, and for an extra treat try Strukli dumplings anywhere around Kobarid.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) February 14, 2015 — 8:53 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment Bill – how lovely that you’ve bought a home for retirement out there – it is such a beautiful place to retire to and it sounds like you discovered the magic of Slovenia long before most tourists and visitors came to know of its charm! I’m partial to a bit of dessert so I must admit I did manage to seek out both Gibanica & Strukli & completely agree they were delicious ☺

      1. Always glad of an excuse to enthuse about Slovenia – my friends are all used to it now! Yes, I first visited in 1986 – my ex-wife and I were escaping the rain and midges of our native Scotland but wanted somewhere that looked as good. I knew of Bled from chess history (two of the most famous tournaments had taken place there) so when we saw the pictures in the Yugotours brochure of the time we were hooked. Went to Kranjska Gora and adored the mountains, visited Bohinj and fell in love, and kept going back and exploring. Occasionally visited other alpine countries but Slovenia always felt like home.

        After my mum died I took dad there on holiday a few times and explored the Soca area (and the wonderful restaurants) and one day drove up a steep mountain road, crested a hill, and saw this breathtaking view of Dreznica for the first time and were hooked. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/19/Dre%C5%BEnica_village_-_Slovenia.jpg/250px-Dre%C5%BEnica_village_-_Slovenia.jpg

        We both said simultaneously – “wouldn’t it be wonderful to live here?” 2 years later the impossible dream came true. My house is in Kosec; just a few hundred metres above Dreznica with a glorious view down over the village. Heaven on Earth.

        Delighted to hear you’ve sampled their gorgeous desserts – did you try the wild berries concoction that translates as “love boat”? Lucious flavours.

        1. Oops – wrong image link to the thumbnail instead of the larger image, try this one

        2. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) February 16, 2015 — 11:51 am

          What a lovely story Bill – thank you so much for sharing it here 🙂 That view looks so breathtaking and serene – how wonderful that your home in Kosec is so close to this natural beauty! I haven’t tried the “love boat” – what a sweet translation!! It sounds delicious and I really like desserts with berries – I was so surprised by what a wonderful foodie destination Slovenia is – hadn’t realised it at all till I went!

  22. I really like the infos you provided in that post. You also linked to some of the great websites that are closely related to Bled and I consider that a large plus for newcomers. I am really glad you enjoyed yourself. All best

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) July 17, 2015 — 10:18 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind comment Rok – I’m delighted to hear you liked the post! Bled was such a beautiful place ☺

  23. Hi! i’ve done Bled too! Don’t you just love the cream cake? If you want you can read about my impressions of Bled on my blog:)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2015 — 10:34 pm

      I absolutely LOVE the cream cake and such a magical view to be able to look at whilst eating it! Thanks so much for commenting and introducing me to your blog. I’m looking forward to reading your Bled posts and future posts too 🙂

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