Lake Bled is often described as the “Jewel in Slovenia’s crown”. Famous for the emerald green lake, the only natural island in the country and a medieval castle overlooking looking the town from one of the many hills in the area, one word to describe the island, the lake and even the town itself is “petite”. But there is so much going on.
is almost an anytime destination, but during the summer it is at its best with sports events and lots and lots of music, climaxing with Bled Nights and Bled Days.
Festival Bled is a classical music event featuring extraordinarily talented young musicians from around the world, most of whom are studying in the region. There is usually a jazz component. The festival, was founded and is led by internationally known violinist and native of Bled, Jernej Brence. It is held in the first two weeks of July. The young musicians participate in masterclasses with leading virtuosos and famous music teachers.
During that week and throughout the second week there are concerts from the masterclass tutors and other established classical musicians. As an example, in 2017, the jazz masterclass line-up included classical and jazz singer Jadranka Juras, guitarist Jani Moder and jazz and rock drummer Janez Gabrič who plays with the legendary Slovenian band, Laibach. The classical masterclass included violinist Michael Frischenschlager, Finnish violinist Päivyt Meller, Sandor Javorkai from Hungary, Poland’s Piotr Jasiurkowski Poland and cellist Karmen Pečar.
The concerts are not just for serious music aficionados. The music is very accessible and often the concerts are by ensembles and musicians playing in a unique and entertaining way. If nothing else, should you be in Bled and the jazz music concert with the young musicians is on at the same time, do not miss it.
For up-to-date information on the Festival including concerts and venues. visit the website
Okarina Festival begins just as Festival Bled ends. They share some of the same venues – Festival Hall and Bled Castle – but they are very different events. For Okarina, a stage is built on the Promenade giving the audience incredible views of the musicians and mountains in the background as the sun sets. Musicians from around the world come to play in this unique setting. The 27th Okarina Festival from July 27 to August 6 2017, each evening at 8:30 pm at both Bled Castle and Promenade. The festival is held around then every year.
For news of the line-up and details of venues plus profiles of the artists, visit the festival website
is another international festival of talented singers. While it is open to all ages, it predominately features children and young people. In 2017. it will be held between 18 and 23 July.
Guest DJs and Clubs throughout the summer play dance music inside and out. One of the most popular places in Kult Klub, Ljubljanska cesta 4. There are updates on their Facebook
Sports events are usually on the water. Serious and family runs and half marathons take place on the lakeshore.
Then there’s the food! Taste of Bled tops off the best of the summer along with Bled Nights where 10,000 candles float on the lake at the end of the celebrations. Breath taking.
If this adds to your desire to visit Slovenia, pop by on of the 145 or so eurochange
branches across the UK first for your euros.
Davy Sims is the author of the book “A Firsthand Guide to Bled, Slovenia