is bled dog-friendly

Is Lake Bled dog-friendly?

The stunning and peaceful Lake Bled is one of my favorite places on earth, so naturally I wanted to share it with our dog. Luckily for us, Lake Bled is a warm and welcoming destination for both dogs and their humans. Here is everything you need to know about visiting dog-friendly Lake Bled with your furry one.

How dog-friendly is Lake Bled?

Lake Bled, and Slovenia as a whole, are very accepting of traveling dogs. Given that the lake and its surrounding areas including the vast and picturesque Triglav National Park are natural paradises, Bled is a great dog destination where they can swim, hike, and even take a boat around the lake. Since many people bring their dogs to spend a few days among the trees, the local accommodations are really accepting. Many hotels and vacation rentals allow dogs, usually for an additional daily fee.

is bled dog-friendly

Likewise, restaurants are pretty accepting to dogs. Since you’d presumably be visiting when the weather is mild or warm, most restaurants have terraces where dogs are allowed practically 100% of the time. Many of the lake’s main attractions are perfectly suited to enjoy with your dog, so unlike a destination with many museums or similar sights, you won’t be giving up much, if any, of your holiday to bring the dog along.

Getting to Lake Bled with your dog

Getting to Bled with a dog might be one of the most challenging parts of your holiday. Driving is the easiest option since most accommodations around the lake have parking available. Driving also makes it easier for you to get to some of the more remote areas around the lake and region. If you’re not arriving by car, it’s still possible, just more complicated.

Private bus companies like Flixbus don’t allow dogs and neither do interurban Slovenian buses. However, you can reach Bled by train… sort of. There are two train stations near Bled, Bled Jezero and Lesce-Bled. Bled Jezero is closest to the lake but still about a 45-minute walk from the part of town where you’re likely to stay. Lesce-Bled is about 10 minutes away by car, or an hour to walk. Lesce-Bled has more frequent connections to major entry points including Ljubljana and Austria.

I recommend planning to arrive at Lesce-Bled and then taking a taxi or transfer. We used Bled Shuttle and Bled Taxi Transfer and they had no problem with our dog.

Getting around Lake Bled with your dog

Public transportation in Lake Bled is limited to buses, and dogs are not allowed on buses unless they are fully contained in a carrier. The good news is that Bled is perfectly walkable. In fact, you can get around the entire perimeter of the lake in about an hour and a half. If you want to visit local sights like Vintgar Gorge, you can either take a transfer or walk to the nearest Gorge parking lot and take the free shuttle, which is dog-friendly, to the entrance of the gorge.

Dog-friendly things to do in Lake Bled

Walk around the Lake

dog-friendly bled

The walk around Lake Bled is around 6 km long which is perfect for an early morning walk with your dog or a leisurely afternoon stroll that includes many sightseeing stops. There are multiple viewpoints and other points of interest including The Heart of Bled, the beach at Velika Zaka (and the wooden footpath leading to it.), and the Olympic Rowing Center. You’ll also find many restaurants and cafes with large terraces that overlook the lake so you can stop for refreshments.

Take a boat to Bled Island

Dogs are also allowed on the traditional pletna boats that do sightseeing tours on the lake. They are docked at several points around the lake so you can hop on one from pretty much anywhere. The boat tour has a 40-minute stop on Bled Island where your dog can also roam everywhere except the church. You can also rent your own boat if you’re not keen being packed into a wooden boat with 12 other people. But beware, rowing a boat is not the easiest thing.

Take your dog for a swim

dog-friendly bled

According to the official Bled travel website, dogs are only allowed to swim outside official bathing areas. And indeed, major swimming areas like the public lido, Grajsko kopališče, all have signs banning dogs. However on the beaches Mala Zaka an Velika Zaka, dogs were frolicking in the water along with everyone else.

Go to Bled Castle

Since Bled Castle is on a tall cliff, visiting the Castle has several dog-friendly hike options built-in. There are three ways up to the castle. The first is the Arnold Rikli path, which is a moderate walk through the forest that takes about 10 minutes. You can also enter through Slovenski trg square which is in front of St. Martin’s Church and joins the Arnold Rikli path. The third route is over Višce Hill from the village of Rečica, which takes about 20 minutes through the woods.

At the castle, dogs are allowed only in outdoor areas, such as the castle courtyards, but not the interior exhibits. They must also be kept on a leash. But the good news is that they can enter for free.

Do one of the many scenic hikes around Lake Bled

In addition to walking around the perimeter of Lake Bled and hiking up to Bled Castle, you can also hike up the surrounding hills with your dog. One of the easier hikes is the forest hike up Straza hill. Though you can also take a chairlift up the hill, only the hike is dog-friendly. The viewpoint at the top is one of the most beautiful in Bled, overlooking the whole lake, the castle, the Jelovica plateau and the mountains in the distance. At the top of Straza, you’ll also find the toboggan, which zooms you downhill on the sledding track that runs along the ski slope. According to TripAdvisor, some people take their dogs on it although that’s probably not something I would do.

activites in lake bled

The other uphill trails with great viewpoints in Bled are the Ojstrica, Mala Osojnica, and Velika Osojnica trails which are all steep uphill hikes to the west of the lake. The path to all these viewpoints leaves from the same place. Ojstrica is the most popular hike as it only takes about 20 minutes from the beginning of the trail through the forest. Both Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica can be accessed on the way to Velika Osojnica, which is the hardest to reach. So you can start your hike at Ojstrica, then continue to the peak at Velika Osojnica, and then pass by Mala Osojnica on the way down to create a looped circle. Parts of the path can be a little steep and slippery but the views are worth it.

Go to Vintgar Gorge

visit bled with a dog

Vintgar Gorge is one of the highlights of the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park. It’s also the easiest part of the national park to access if you’re in Bled. The gorge is 1.6 km of rushing rapids and clear waters, and the one-way visit includes one of two nature hikes back to the entrance. This is the perfect activity for you and your dog, who pays a reduced fee to enter the site. You can access the gorge by using one of the free shuttles that leave from several points around Bled. Your dog can also ride the shuttle as long as its leashed and muzzled.

Read more about visiting Vintgar Gorge here.

Dog-friendly places to eat in Lake Bled

Bled is exceptionally dog-friendly so almost anywhere you’d want to eat (read: highly rated) will also let you sit with your dog. Here are a few of our favorites.

Restavracija Sova

Restavracija Central

Blejska hiša

is bled dog-friendly

Our dog loved this steakhouse so much that he pulled us toward it anytime we went anywhere near it.

ARROI

Pizzeria Rustika

Restavracija 1906

À propos Cocktail Bar

Mega Burger

This street food joint has terrace seating.

Grajska plaza

Café Belvedere

Known for its views of Lake Bled and its outrageously overpriced coffee and Bled cake, it’s still a worthy stop if you’re going around the lake.

Oštarija Peglez’n

Kavarna Park (only in the terrace)

Market by the Lake

Old Cellar Bled

Špica Restavracija & Bar

Caffe Peglez’n

And yes, if you’re wondering, I’ve listed nearly all the good restaurants in Bled.

Bonus tip: Why go to a restaurant when the restaurant can come to you? Bled Breakfast delivers stocked breakfast and picnic baskets to your accommodation, which is also presumably dog-friendly. Their baskets are full of goods from local farmers and shops.

Vets in Lake Bled

Since Bled is fairly small, they don’t have a local vet. However, the closest vet is not too far should your pup need veterinary treatment. Located in Lesce less than 6 km away, Vet Klinika is open 6 days a week. You can take a dog-friendly taxi like Bled Shuttle and Bled Taxi Transfer. They also have an on-call veterinarian at 051 645 409 outside of working hours.

But hopefully your time in Bled is spent full of hikes and swims and with no vet visits. Neither you nor your dog will soon forget your wonderful visit to Bled.

dog-friendly bled

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