Escorted Rail Tours to Bled
Explore the culture and landscapes of Slovenia
With its immense natural beauty, Bled, together with its
surroundings, ranks among the most beautiful alpine resorts. The
city is renowned for its mild, healing climate and thermal lake
water. Lake Bled was formed after the recession of the Bohinj
glacier. Following the last ice age, the glacier deepened the
natural tectonic hollow, the result being a lake that is up to
6,955 feet (2,120 metres) long and 4,528 feet (1,380 metres) wide,
and has a depth of over nearly 100 feet (30 metres).
The thermal springs that lead into the swimming pool at
the Grand Hotel Toplice enable pleasant swimming and successful
treatment of stress-related illnesses, exhaustion, neuro-vegetative
disorders and age-related fatigue. Analyses of the thermal
water at the Grand Hotel Toplice show the temperature of the spring
to be constant at 23°C. The breakdown of the analyses show that 10
litres of water contain 1520cm3 of free carbonic acid and 5.36g of
naturally occurring salts.
The only natural island in Slovenia is situated on Lake
Bled. The island has several buildings, the main one being the
Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Mary (Slovenian: Cerkev
Marijinega Vnebovzetja), built in the 15th century. The church has
a 171-foot (52-metre) tower and there is a stairway with 99 steps
leading up to the building. The lake is also well known among
rowers since it has good conditions for the sport. It hosted the
World Rowing Championships in 1966, 1979, 1989 and most recently in
August and September 2011.
Take a winding trail from Velika Zaka to Mala Osojnica
(2,247 feet or 685 metres). This peak offers the finest view of
Lake Bled and its outlying areas, with the Karavanke, the Kamnik
Alps and the Gorenjsko plain in the distance. This is one of the
favourite viewpoints for photographers. All the well-known
panoramas of Bled have been shot from there. Another 20 minutes of
walking separates us from the top of Velika Osojnica (2,480 feet or
756 metres), affording an even more sweeping view than Mala
The cave under "Babji zob"
Babji zob or 'Hag's tooth' is an outlooking point above
the village Kupljenik near Bled. This approximately 984-feet
(300-metre) long cave is adorned with beautiful stalactite
formations. A special feature of this cave is spiral stalactites,
so-called helectites, and large calcite crystals, which are rare in
Slovenia. The tradition of visiting this cave dates back to the
19th century and has continued to the present day through the Bled
Society for Cave Research. The Society has arranged paths and
electrical lighting to enable safe access to the cave.
The "Iglica" waterfall
In the abyss caves of Iglica, just above Bohinjska Bela,
hides a 59-feet (18-metre) high waterfall on the Suha stream. It
falls over a vertical wall of Permian limestone. In the village
there is a signpost to the waterfall. The access is very easy.
The mile (1.6 kilometre) long Vintgar Gorge carves its way
through the vertical rocks of the Hom and Bort hills and is graced
by the Radovna, with its waterfalls and pools. Set in the immediate
vicinity of Gorje, the ravine is approximately 2.5 miles (4
kilometres) north-west of Bled.
The Julian Alps (Slovene: Julijske Alpe, Italian: Alpi
Giulie) are a mountain range of the Southern Limestone Alps that
stretches from north-eastern Italy to Slovenia, where they rise to
9,396 feet (2,864 metres) at the Triglav mountain. They are named
after Julius Caesar, who founded the municipium of Cividale del
Friuli at the foot of the mountains. A large part of the Julian
Alps is included in the Triglav National Park.
The Triglav National Park
The only national park in Slovenia, lies in the immediate
vicinity of Lake Bled. The territory of the National Park is
very picturesque and varied. The highest mountain in Slovenia,
Triglav, after which the park was named, lies in its centre. From
Triglav, deep and sharply cut valleys, mainly of glacial origin,
open on all sides in the form of a fan. The valleys and plateaux
are covered by a carpet of green forests and meadows. Bold, high
pointed mountain peaks rise above them, with dark and deep abysses.
Clear mountain streams and small rivers run in the numerous gorges
and beautiful ravines and troughs (Vintgar, Mlinarica, Mostnica)
and flow into two larger rivers, the Sava and the Soca.