Ljubljana, Slovenia

Lake Bled Running Options

Creative Commons: ReflectedSerendipity

Lake Bled is a popular visitor destination 50 km from Ljubljana, known for its gorgeous lake and mountain setting, medieval castle, and Pilgrimage Church on Bled Island. There is wonderful running in Lake Bled, from a gorgeous loop around the lake to some pastoral hill running and more ambitious trail running options. A few of our favorite routes, which are all adjacent so can be mixed and matched.

Lake Bled Loop. 6 km, 3.8 miles. 87m gain. A popular 6 km loop around the lake, with fantastic views of the water and surrounding mountains. Most of it on a dedicated path or wide sidewalk. We start near the train station, but start anywhere. ROUTE MAP

Straza Hill. 3.8 km loop from lake, 240m. gain. If you fancy a fill climb with the reward of great lake views, this is a great option. Paths come off eastern end of the lake path near the Tourist Information Center. It’s a 180m climb over only 1.5 km, with 13-17% grades. The footing is easy. Combine with lake loop or other area paths. ROUTE MAP

Area Paths. Google Street View

Zaka Valley. 8.2 km, 427m gain with two climbs (optional). From the southern end of the lake, there are quiet hillside roads and paths in the Zaka Valley, with rewarding views. We’ve mapped an 8 km route as a guideline. This includes two optional, VERY STEEP climbs that are popular hikes: Mala Osojnica (160m gain over 1 km, grades up to 20%), and Velika Osojnica (270m over 1.4 km). You can eliminate the climbs and stick to the area paths instead. ROUTE MAP

Bled Castle. Creative Commons. Bex Walton

Paths Around Bled Castle & Podhom Loop. 8 km, 160m gain (optional castle path).  At the northern end of the lake, a cool run is to take the short path to the 11th century hilltop Bled Castle (Blejski grad) and then enjoy running on the scenic paths just west of it. Except for the optional castle climb (1 km, 100m gain), the paths are pastoral and flat. For a longer run, we’ve mapped a pretty loop to the Podhom train station, along a quiet road, Cesta v Vintgar, which has views to farm fields and mountains. Return on the gravel Sebenjska cesta farm road. (Cesta=road).

Bled Island Steps. Bled Island Blejski otok is a small island in the middle of Lake Bled, known for its pilgrimage church. The island is too small for running, but you can get your heart rate up on the Baroque stairway dating from 1655 with 99 stone steps leading up to the building. It can be busy and at times might not be respectful to run up these stairs.