Pretty much everywhere you go in Lake Bled is stunningly beautiful – but it’s extra special on the water. With Lake Bled boat hire, you’ll be able to explore the lake, look up at the stunning castle and even visit the picturesque island in the middle of the lake. Plus, it’s easy and relatively affordable to hire a boat on Lake Bled. Here’s everything you need to know.
I don’t exactly consider myself a water baby – I usually like to have my feet on solid ground! However, one look at the row boats on Lake Bled made me decide I just had to give it a try. I certainly have no regrets – it was a trip filled with lots of laughs, a couple of shrieks and some stupendously beautiful views.
So if you’re thinking of seeing Lake Bled by boat – do it!
Lake Bled boat hire: the basics
Chances are you’ve seen the beautiful photos of Lake Bled, especially if you’ve spent much (or any) time on Instagram. It’s one of those places that is constantly popping up on ‘most beautiful places’ lists, thanks to its rich blue colour and fairytale-esque island island in the middle.
One of the things I loved the most about Lake Bled is that there are no noisy speedboats or motorboats ruining the vibe. Instead, the only boats I saw were little rowboats and traditional covered pletnas.
Where do you hire a row boat on Lake Bled from?
There are actually several places around Lake Bled where you can hire a boat, or a kayak if that’s more your style. If you just wander around the perimeter of Lake Bled, you’ll find a number of places where you can rent a row boat.
We hired our boat from Grajska Boat Shed, which also adjoins a swimming pool if you’d like to take a dip in the lake. Another place I’ve heard recommended is the Grand Hotel Toplice, although it’s a little more expensive.
Here is a map showing some of the places where you can hire a boat:
How much does boat hire on Lake Bled cost?
The prices vary a little bit depending on where you hire the Lake Bled boat from. There are also both small (up to 4 people) and large boats (up to 8 people) available, but obviously the bigger ones cost more.
Even though there were only four of us, we hired the bigger boat as it looked like it would be squeezy in the small one. The cost was 20 euro for the first hour, and then 10 euro for every hour thereafter.
The worker there was kind enough to tell us they do have a 20-minute grace period, so you can hire it for up to 80 minutes for 20 euro. (Might want to check that one first, though, since he just seemed to be in a really good mood when we hired it!)
You don’t need to choose how many hours up front – you can just add on more afterwards. So don’t worry if you end up having too much fun on the lake and are late (like we were), they’ll just ask that you pay the extra before you leave.
FYI – it’s cash only.
How long should you hire the Lake Bled boat for?
It’s totally up to you. We ended up being on the boat for around 2 hours, but stopped for about 45 minutes on Bled Island. We were pretty slow rowers, and it took us around 20 – 25 minutes to get from the island back to the island.
So, you could definitely do it in one hour, but I think two hours was really nice as we didn’t feel like we were rushing at all.
Is boating on Lake Bled safe?
Our rowing trip did not start well. Our good friend Robin, full of gusto and confidence, volunteered himself as captain and chief rower. Minutes later, we had barely made it out of the boat shed and had managed to entangle ourselves in the rope from the nearby swimming pool. I think our friend the boat worker had the coast guard on speed dial at that stage.
Luckily, things improved drastically and quickly! Even as total novices, it was pretty easy to get the hang of rowing and the boat was very stable. Despite a couple of seemingly near misses (and shrieks from myself), we managed to stay defiantly upright.
So, boating on Lake Bled seemed very safe, and the boats were new and very well-maintained. I also appreciated that there were life jackets for everyone in the boat, just in case. Overall, I’d definitely say it was safe, as well as a lot of fun.
Where to go with a boat on Lake Bled
Anywhere you want! No, seriously – there are basically no restrictions on where you go on Lake Bled, so you can row yourself off to wherever your heart desires. Just listen to the call of the ocean (or lake, in this case).
The only restriction is that you can only pull up the boat on the island – not into people’s front gardens. So, if you do want a picnic spot – then the island it is.
Most people who hire boats on Lake Bled do end up making a stop on Lake Bled Island, with its famous church. Honestly, the island is pretty small and it’s not filled with things to do (I was too stingy to pay the 6 euros to enter the church, although I would have liked to ring the bell), however it’s nice to have a look around for half an hour or so.
There’s a pretty little walking path around the island which gets a nice view back towards the town and castle of Bled. Near the church, there’s also a café which does good coffee, gelati, and (absolutely unmissable IMO) Bled Cake.
What if you don’t want to row yourself on Lake Bled?
If you have puny, weak arms like me, or just don’t like rowing, then do not fear! There are other options. Most notably, you can take a pletna (traditional, flat-bottomed gondola) on Lake Bled, complete with your very own pletnarstvo, the title awarded to official oarsman.
If you’re travelling in a group, this works out to be a little more expensive as you will pay per person, not by boat. However, at around 14 euro per person (for a return trip to Bled Island), it’s pretty reasonable. Note that you’ll be sharing the pletna with up to 20 other guests.
An added benefit is that your pletnarstvo will likely be able to give you some information about Lake Bled, the history and the culture. So, a pletna on Lake Bled is a good option if you aren’t keen on rowing yourselves.
Like with boat hire, it’s hard to miss the pletna hire stalls dotted around Lake Bled. You’ll find them in Spa Park under the Spa Hotel Bled, Mlino, and the Rowing Centre Bled.
What to bring for boat hire on Lake Bled
Not much, really, since it’s a pretty chilled out ride. However, I’d recommend:
- Sunscreen, because it gets warm in summer and the reflection of the sun off of the water can leave you looking like a lobster very quickly!
- A light jacket, as it does get breezy (we were there in September and it was quite cool).
- Decent shoes, because Bled Island has cobblestones and can be really slippery.
- A waterproof bag for your camera/phone, if you’re paranoid like I am!
- Cash, because a lot of places don’t accept card and it’s just easier.