Escape from Zagreb
Spend a day exploring new places off the beaten track

Bled & Ljubljana

“Experience pure beauty in the Slovenian Alps”

Visit the magical Lake Bled in the north of Slovenia and walk amongst a stunningly beautiful alpine landscape. There is the possibility to visit a medieval castle perched high on a cliff top, overlooking the lake below. After drinking in the beautiful scene, visit Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.

Departure point:

From your hotel

Departure time:

~ 09:00

Price:

560 €

- Entrance fee +25 € / Price per person

Return:

to departure point around 19h

Included:

Lake Bled

Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia

Hotel/apartment pick up and drop off

Professional English-speaking driver

Air-conditioned vehicle with high-speed internet

A good time guaranteed

Itinerary:

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in Zagreb at 9:00 and then drive west for approximately 2 hours. Throughout the journey, you can enjoy a fast Wi-Fi connection in the vehicle. We will arrive at Lake Bled around 11:00 and enjoy the wonderful view! There is the option to venture out onto the lake in the traditional style – local boatmen and their "Pletna boats" have been transporting passengers here since the 5th century. Visits out to the island depends on the weather conditions and come with a small ticket price. There is also the possibility to visit Bled Castle and dine in a wonderful restaurant with a beautiful view out to the lake and surrounding mountains (additional fees will be charged). Departure is at 14:00 – we’re headed to Ljubljana, approximately 1 hour away. Here you will have some free time to explore the most significant Slovenian attractions: Ljubljana castle, Tromostovje, Dragon bridge, Prešernov square and Annunciation Church. Our expected return to Zagreb is 19:00.

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Good to know:

  • Lake Bled is the only Slovenian island
  • The Pletna is a traditional boat on the lake
  • Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia
  • Passengers must have passports (and visas if necessary) to cross the border

Read more:

A beautiful fairy-tale world lies a mere 200 km away from Zagreb in northern Slovenia. Nestled amongst the foothills of the Alps is a lake of exceptional beauty. Timeless and deeply romantic, this lake and its surroundings offers a chance to explore cultural sites filled with the spirit of the past, reveals insights into traditional Slovenian culture and shows off a wonderful natural diversity. In the centre of this unique lake is the sole Slovenian island, reachable only by boat. Traditional wooden boats called Pletna are manned by members of an age-old profession. The history of these boatmen dates as far back as 1590, when only members of 20 families were allowed to be trained in the art. This profession was commonly passed down from generation to generation - so perhaps you will meet someone with generations of Pletna boating experience running deep in their blood. On the beautiful island is the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. According to local history, a temple devoted to the goddess of Slavs was once on this site. It was destroyed during wars fought with local Pagans and replaced with a Christian church. Over hundreds of years the church was rebuilt and refurbished to match the changing artistic styles; finally resulting in the 17th century model we see here today. It is a wonderful piece of Baroque architecture, complete with a lavish, gold covered altar and a 54-metre-high bell tower. Inside the church, attached to a wooden beam is a “wishing bell” - a Zvono želja. An old romantic, yet tragic folklore can explain its presence. A young widow called Poliksena was so desperately sad after the death of her husband that she gave all her gold and silver in order to have a gold bell in his honour. All was going to plan and the final step was just to get the bell over to the island… but a terrible storm broke out and the boat sank – taking the bell and the boatmen under. In despair, the broken-hearted lady took a religious oath and became a nun in Rome, where she remained for the rest of her life. The Pope, having heard her story, sent a new bell to the island after her death – which is the one we now see today. However, the locals claim that during quiet, peaceful nights at Lake Bled a sad, groaning ring from the original bell can still be heard echoing up from the dark depths. After an enchanting boat journey, there is a short stairway on the island to reach the church. It is said that the visitors who ascend the 99 steps and ring the bell are giving respect and honour to Virgin Mary and so will have their greatest wish granted. It might just be worth a try! This charming island also hosts many weddings and a local tradition dictates that the fiancé must carry his bride up these steps to insure a long, successful marriage. Overlooking this idyllic island and its magical church is Bled Castle, perched high on a cliff top. This is the oldest castle in Slovenia - first mentioned in the writings of King Henrik II in 1011. Today the castle is the location for an interactive museum filled with lively multimedia content explaining the history of Bled and its surroundings. An impressive reconstruction of the Gutenberg printing press offers the chance to get acquainted with the printing industry of the 16th century. From the Castle’s high vantage point, visitors are able to gaze out over the walls and breathe in a truly magnificent view of the lake, the church and the distant Alps. Soak in the view while dining on the delicious local cuisine available in the castle restaurant - there are not many places with such a breath-taking view! A visit to this beautiful landscape must be accompanied by a trip into Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. Ljubljana’s history goes as far back as the Roman times; a settlement called Emona was founded here. Due to its exceptional geographic position between countries and continents, it makes sense that this area was always inhabited. A settlement named Ljubljana was first mentioned in the 12th century. The origin of the name causes animated arguments amongst experts; some associate it with word – “ljubljena” meaning “beloved” in Slovenian, while others believe it is connected to the Roman term for a flooded river or the name of a Slavic deity. Ljubljana is adored by visitors who are enchanted by its charm and culture - many of whom frequently return to this friendly city to soak up its lively atmosphere. One particularly special national holiday gives an interesting insight into the Slovenian mentality and their true dedication to culture. Slovenia is the only country to have a day completely devoted to a person who made significant cultural achievements - a poet by the name of France Prešern. The central square is dedicated to him and his poem “Zdravljica” is the current Slovenian national anthem. 7 bridges cross over the river Ljubljanica which runs through the city. The Tromostovje Bridge is made up from three smaller bridges and this has become one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city. The Mesar's Bridge is dedicated to couples, where it is possible to hang a padlock and throw the key into the water below - symbolising endless love. Šuštar Bridge is recognisable for its 12 magnificent stone pillars and it is one of the oldest bridges in Ljubljana. Yet the most famous of all the bridges is the “Zmajski” – the Dragon Bridge. Statues of large dragons stand guard on the bridge into the city, welcoming visitors and reminding locals of an old legend. Local folklore tells of how the Greek hero Jazon and the Argonauts went in search for gold. Upon meeting the Kolhid king, Jazon stole his gold and kidnapped his beautiful daughter Medeja. The escaped victors fled along the Danube, through the Sava region, and finally to Ljubljana, where they were stopped in their tracks by a very scary beast - Ljubljana’s Dragon. Yet this did not to stop Jazon, who gained victory over the dragon and celebrated the victory here in Ljubljana. However, the dragon still remains a symbol of the courage and power connected with Ljubljana and its history. It is essential when visiting Ljubljana to take a trip up the hill to the “Ljubljanski grad”, - the city castle, which is home to a museum and a chapel dedicated to St. Jurij (the patron saint of Ljubljana). Enjoy the unforgettable 360° view over the city and across to the surrounding mountains. But don’t forget the famous Tivoli town park and make sure to admire the stunning architecture found all over town; allow time to slowly meander through the streets, noting the beautiful town hall and the church of St. Nikola. Ljubljana keeps up with other famous European capitals and even advances ahead. The desire for a clean environment and the local eco friendliness is well ingrained into the way of life here - the city centre is celebrated as a car free zone with free electric taxis available for the disabled and elderly. This legislation not only has a massively positive environmental impact, but also encourages the growth of local community and the bustling, welcoming atmosphere which radiates from both the main thoroughfares and quaint side streets. This modern and vibrant city is the meeting point for different art movements and embraces modern art as much as it does the serenity of the green, natural world which surrounds it. Here you will find hospitable citizens will welcome you to explore their city, which they so carefully maintain for the enjoyment of new generations and visitors alike. It is impossible to leave Ljubljana with only one memorable experience; instead by allow this small city to wow you with its depth and emotion, you’ll find yourself reminiscing over countless good memories and longing to visit again.

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