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Ojstrica: Lake Bled’s Best Viewpoint

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The Ojstrica (pronounced “oystreetza”) viewpoint (aka Mala Ojstrica) perches high above the unbelievably picturesque Lake Bled giving you a bird’s eye view that encompasses the entire lake including Bled Island with its quaint church and Bled Castle. The whole view has the occasionally snow-topped Julian Alps in Triglav National Park as its backdrop. We spent a lot of our five days in Lake Bled hiking the surrounding area and hills looking for the best viewpoints of this beautiful lake and we both agreed that Ojstrica was the best Lake Bled viewpoint as it let you really see all of Lake Bled’s highlights at once. We liked it enough that we hiked up to the viewpoint two times so we could see the view at different times of the day.

Visiting Lake Bled

You can visit Slovenia’s Lake Bled on a day trip or can choose one of the many reasonable hotels and Airbnbs to stay longer. We strongly recommend staying overnight as the area has enough highlights to keep you busy, including a trip to nearby Vintgar Gorge.

Complete Guide to Lake Bled

How to Get to the Ojstrica Trailhead

Most people will be staying in Bled town so the starting point is whatever part of the lakeshore trail is closest to you. Follow the trail around the lake, taking time to enjoy the closer up views of Castle Bled and the island as you circle it. At the far western end of the lake the hiking trail to the Ojstrica viewpoint starts. From Bled town the walk is about 3 kilometres.

A small sandy beach on Lake Bled near Bled Campgroud
The small sandy beach near Bled Campground and right before the trail to Ojstrica

If you have a car there is a paid parking lot about a 10-minute walk from the Ojstrica Bled trailhead in Velika Zaka village near Camping Bled.

The Ojstrica Lake Bled Hike

The trail is not well marked so if you walked from Bled past Bled Castle counterclockwise you look for the path on your right (west side away from the lake) just past Camping Bled.  Until now your walk has been pretty flat but now its time to gain enough elevation to get a view over the lake and surrounding area. You will pass a small house on your left on the way up. After about 15 minutes of walking you will see a sign for Ojstrica. The path now becomes much more narrow and steep but it is only another 5 minutes and there are some trees to hold onto to help you along the way. Watch your step on this section.

Once you reach the viewpoint you can see it is definitely worth the climb. The view of the lake and surrounding area is the best to be had. You can hear the bell from the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria on Bled Island as people ring it for good luck. There is a small bench where you can sit and enjoy the views or you can perch on the the rocks closer to the lake.

The view from Ojstrica, Bled's best viewpoint that shows the Julian Alps, Bled Island and Bled Castle

This portion of the hike is about 1 km each way and will take about 20 minutes with 130 metres in elevation gain. If you start in Bled town and walk around the lake, up to Ojstrica and back it will be around 8 kilometres in total.

The Bled Island and church in forefront of view from Ojstrica Lake Bled

How to Avoid the Crowds at the Ojstrica Viewpoint

While Slovenia is nowhere near as busy as many other European countries, Lake Bled is one of the most popular stops and attracts over a million visitors a year. There isn’t a lot of room at the summit of viewpoint and it won’t be as enjoyable if it is crowded up there. However, there are a couple easy ways to avoid the crowds. The first is to come early or late in the day. There will be fewer – or no – people and the light is better for pictures. Sunset on Ojstrica can be particularly beautiful. We went up the to viewpoint twice. Once in the middle of the day when we had to jockey with people for pictures. People were polite and took turns going to the front rocks but it was not particularly peaceful. We also went up another day just before sunset and had an amazing time just sitting and enjoying the view knowing that we weren’t inadvertently getting in the way of someone’s picture. The other way to decrease the chance of crowds is to visit in a shoulder season. Lake Bled is significantly busier in July and August. We visited in late September and the weather was perfect for hiking and the crowds were far smaller.

Crowd of people at Ojstrica viewpoint.

The Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica Viewpoints Loop Trail

You can add the Mala Osojnica viewpoint to the trail and make it into a loop. The trails to each viewpoint start in almost the same place. There are signposts for both. We went to Mala Osojnica first then used a trail through the forest along a ridge to cut over to Ojstrica without having to go all the way back down to the lake. Mala Osojnica gives a closer and more framed view of Bled Island but lacks the expansiveness of Ojstrica. The loop is only 3 km with 200 metres of elevation gain bringing your total hike to and from Bled town to roughly 9 km. You can follow this AllTrails map to make finding your way easier.

The two viewpoints offer slightly different vantage points of Bled Island and the lake so we would recommend going to both if you can.

Tips for Hiking Ojstrica Viewpoint

The route is mostly an easy climb on a dirt path but there is one noticeably steep section and one area with large, loose rocks so we recommend wearing decent walking shoes. We did see people go up in sandals and even one woman with a bit of heel on but they didn’t make it look easy. In the rain the trail becomes slippery and in the winter there can be some snow so it would be even more important to wear good shoes then.

Dress in layers. In the fall, when we were there, it was cooler and breezier at the summit and I was happy to have a layer to put on after I cooled down from the uphill hike.

Bring water and snacks. The whole hike from Bled will add up to 2-3 hours and you may also want to stay at the top for a while. If you are coming for either sunrise or sunset bring a headlamp for when it gets dark.

Once you are back down to the lake there is a small beach nearby so if you want to cool down you can go for a swim and relax before heading back.

Where to Stay in Lake Bled

There is a great selection of Lake Bled hotels and apartments. Although the best ones do book up, if you plan early enough you should be able to find good choices in every price range. Here are a few excellent options:

Grand Hotel Toplice is a high-end option right in town with amazing views over the lake and the alps. It has all the amenities including pool, spa and restaurants.

A midrange option that is conveniently located only 100 meters from the lake, Old Parish House offers some rooms with a lake view and an excellent included breakfast.

Adora Luxury Hotel is a beautiful place with a commanding location overlooking Bled Island.

Old Bled House is a wonderful, traditional spot located right in the heart of Bled town.

Meanwhile, Vila Alpina is a terrific budget choice on the western side of the lake.

Another budget option just a 10-minute walk to the lake is Rudi Hiti’s Guest House. The location ensures peace and tranquility, especially in the garden. It also has free bikes to make your visit to Vintgar Gorge very easy.

How to Get to Lake Bled from Ljubljana

Lake Bled is only 55 kilometres from Ljubljana. It is easy to get to using a car, bus, train, taxi or tour. For more details read our post on how to get from Ljubljana to Lake Bled.

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