Lake Bled in Slovenia is one of the most breathtaking, photogenic and special places we’ve ever visited: it’s simply captivating and a must see for all photographers. A picture perfect island in a turquoise water lake surrounded by lush green forest made for one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been and it was the highlight of our road trip throughout the Balkans. We spent an amazing few days at Lake Bled, enjoying the stunning views, relaxing by the shore and searching for the best photo spots. We’ve put together our list of the best photo locations in Lake Bled: it’s our guide on where to capture the best pictures of the lake.
Lake Bled Photo Tip: Like most photography spots, Lake Bled is at its finest before sunrise and after sunset and the lake is at it’s most still without the crowds – if you’re looking for reflections these will be your best times for shooting. Parking can also be very difficult at the lake and is only available at the west and east parts unless you stay at a hotel on the lake. The car park on the west side is closest to most photo spots but it fills up very early in the morning due to the campsite located beside it.
1 | Osojnica View Point
Mala Osojnica is a view point located 645 metres above Lake Bled and is our favourite shooting location. You’ll have to work hard for this view: it’s a tough 45 to 60 minute hike from the lake shore but it is 100% worth the work. After a pre-dawn hike we were able to enjoy this stunning view of Lake Bled all by ourselves as the sun rose over the back drop of the Julian Alps. It was definitely one of the most spectacular sunrises we’ve ever seen.
Lake Bled Photo Tip: when you reach the top of the metal stairs turn left (turning right will take you to a higher viewpoint) for this particular view point. After a few minutes you’ll reach Mala Osojnica with a bench and the view of Lake Bled. From here you can capture those iconic shots of Bled Island and Bled Castle against the backdrop of the imposing Julian Alps.
Lake Bled photo tip: during the hike up keep an eye out for shots of Lake Bled through the trees. There are lots of opportunities for natural framed shots of the lake, like this one of Bled Island with Bled castle in the background. It’s like something out of a fairy tale!
2 | Bled Castle
For another aerial view of the lakebe sure to visit Bled Castle which is located on the eastern side of the lake. Bled Castle sits on a hilltop overlooking the turqoise blue waters of Lake Bled. Entrance is €10 at the gate and the views across Lake Bled are spectacular – it is also a great location for some cool selfie shots overlooking the lake.
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3 | The waterside boardwalk
For beautiful reflection photos head to the boardwalk at the waters edge on the south west corner of Lake Bled. This location is great for sunrise as the sun light floods onto the lake over the mountains. The boardwalk is stable so there are no issues with your tripod for longer exposure shots. From here you can capture some great shot of Bled Island from the west with Bled Castle on the hilltop in the background.
Where to stay at Lake Bled
We recommend spending at least one night at Lake Bled for both the photo opportunities and to experience the beauty of the Lake early in the morning and late in the evening when the area is much quieter and serene without the crowds.
- Pension Bled: a beautiful little reasonably priced hotel located about 1 mile from the Lake. We spent a night here and loved the immaculate rooms, delicious breakfast and outdoor pool – check latest prices here!
- Vila Bled: on the shores of Lake Bled, we treated ourselves to a night here. The luxury property is President Tito’s former summer residence and has private lake access for guests. We loved the free parking, breakfast on the terrace overlooking Bled Island and the famous Bled Cream Cake, a hotel specialty – check latest prices here!
- Penzion Kaps: another great option just 150 metres from Lake Bled with great rooms and breakfast – check latest prices here!
4 | From the water!
Don’t be afraid to wade into the water if you spot some nice framed shots of Bled Island. I got the shot below after wading in knee depth among the trees on the south west of the lake as the angle of Bled Island was so nice.
Lake Bled photo tip: Neutral Density (ND) filters allow longer exposure shots during the day to give a blurred effect on water or other moving elements of a photo such as clouds. They’re perfect for making your photos pop. If you’re looking to take your travel photos to the next level we’d advise investing in some good quality ND filters – cheap filters will leave color casts or allow light leakage into your shots. Trust me I’ve ruined many photos with cheap filters before I changed to the NISI system! I used my NISI 10-stop ND filter and polariser to get this shot which would have been impossible without the filters.
The recently released Nisi 5 ND filter set is one of the best that you can buy. While it’s not cheap it is exceptional quality with no light leakage or color casts and the integrated circular polariser is super easy to use. The filter holder is compatible with the major brands (Lee, Cokin and Formatt) – check prices on Amazon now!
5 | Lake Bled from the sky
Lake Bled is one of the best places I’ve been able to fly a drone on our travels. As at the time of our visit to Slovenia (August 2017) drones are allowed to be used albeit within the typical rules e,g. not over people so Lake Bled was a drone paradise! I used our DJI Mavic Pro drone extensively during our trip and managed to get some great footage and photos of the lake. I love how easy it is to take panoramic photos with the Mavic Pro – for anyone thinking of getting a Mavic Pro for travelling our advice is do it! It’s been our best investment so far – check prices now
I’d highly recommend getting ND filters for your drone as they allow you to capture much more dynamic and colourful footage/photos while in sunny locations like Lake Bled – check out our post on Mavic accessories for more guidance.
6 | Bled Island
The iconic Bled island is a great photo spot in Lake Bled so be sure to rent a row boat or take one of the boat taxis out to Lake Bled island. The famous 99 step stone staircase leads up to The Church of the Assumption.
7 | Vila Bled
Vila Bled, once the summer residence of President Tito and now a hotel, has some of the best views of Lake Bled. We decided to stay here for part of our trip to Lake Bled and it was totally worth – check the latest prices here! Direct access to the lake, stunning views from the restaurant terrace and a private swimming area on the lake make for an incredible Lake Bled experience – one of my favourite photo spots was the Vila Bled private deck along the lake.
Photo Locations close to Lake Bled
If you have time we highly recommend visiting these stunning locations which are short drives from Lake Bled.
8 | Lake Bohinj
Often overshadowed by the more famous Lake Bled, Lake Bohinj is the equally as beautiful as it’s neighbour. It’s the largest permanent lake in Slovenia and the best photos are from above. There are some fantastic hikes in the area which give the best aerial views of the lake: the hikes to Mount Pršivec and Vogar both provide great photo opportunities. However, wcaptured the below shot from our drone!
9 | The Vintgar gorge
Only a few kilometres from Bled Town the Vintgar Gorge is a spectacular sight as the clear turquoise waters cut through the surrounding rocks. Arrive early in the morning to capture the best images from the boardwalk and the footbridges along the path. Again, it’s essential to arrive before the crowds to avoid a shaky tripod from boardwalk traffic on a long exposure.
10 | Lake Jasna
Surrounded by imposing mountains Lake Jasna is a breathtaking alpine lake close to Bled. the best photos are captures against the backdrop of the mountains but beware: Jasna is small and busy with swimmers so you need to pick your moment carefully if you want to capture the stunning reflections!