Bled ski resort
Beautiful Bled, and its eponymous glacial lake, is one of Slovenia’s biggest international tourist draws. Framed by the mighty Julian Alps, the area rose to prominence as a spa town, which once welcomed the Yugoslav royal family each summer before becoming a communist-era leisure spot.
Skiing at Bled is definitely more of an afterthought than the main attraction. Bled ski resort itself is tiny, with just two runs, which suffer from unreliable snow conditions. However, all is not lost for winter sports fans. The introduction of the Julian Alps Pass grants access to slopes at five ski areas in the region that includes over 100 pistes to sample – although most of these are a significant drive, or bus ride, away.
Bled is therefore no ski mecca, but there has been a push to market itself as an all round winter destination, which, with its beautiful scenery, atmospheric small town and plethora of après-ski activities, it certainly is.
The spa town of Bled sits on the shores of Lake Bled. It is located within the Julian Alps of western Slovenia, 50km (31 miles) from the country’s capital, Ljubljana.
On the slopes
Bled has just a very small local ski hill of its own at Straža, which is accessed by a double chairlift from the resort itself and a single drag lift. The ski resort is very low lying (503m to 634m/1,650ft to 2,080ft) so snow cover can be problematic and it is only open in the daytime at weekends, although floodlighting enables some skiing on weekday evenings.
Due to these limited possibilities, even beginners are likely to want to buy the Julian Alps Pass which covers three additional ski areas in the region, Vogel, Krvavec and Kranjska Gora, which are around an hour away, and are connected by bus (included in the pass fee) – with the exception of Kranjska Gora which is only accessible from Bled via private transportation.
Both Vogel and Krvavec are medium-sized ski areas and Vogel, the closer, has one of the biggest verticals and some of the highest slopes in the area (1,231m/4,039ft). A cable car lifts skiers from the lakeside to the slopes where there are good nursery runs located on a snowy plateau at the top.
Krvavec, which is located in the opposite direction back on the road to the capital Ljubljana, has invested heavily in new infrastructure in recent years, adding a six-seater chairlift that whisks skiers up to some of the highest lift-served slopes in the region.
It’s also worth noting that the Julian Alps Pass covers Straža’s skiing at weekends, but sadly not the evening night skiing during the week.