About the Hiking Trail
The emerald green Lake Bled in northwestern Slovenia is a popular destination from tourists around the world. Many go to the incredibly picturesque church on the small island in the middle of Lake Bled by row-boat or stroll along the eastern lakeside where the town of Bled is located. If you want more of a view from the top onto the beautiful lake and island, we recommend that you take a hike to one or more of the viewpoints above the lake. Mala Osojnica is exactly such a viewpoint, and it is a relatively short hike to there from the parking lot at the Bled Jezero train station. Here it costs 6 euros to park for 4 hours but you can also park closer and more expensively at the Velika Zaka parking lot for 3 euros per hour. The GPX trail below starts at the Bled Jezero train station, and also goes past the Ojstrica view point.
Lake Bled – Osojnica Hiking Trail Details
|Distance||4.6 km (2.85 miles)|
|Highest Point||679 m (2227 ft.)|
|Lowest Point||483 m (1584. ft.)|
|Total Ascent||286 m (938 ft.)|
|Total Descent||298 m (977 ft.)|
|Hike Conducted||August 2021|
|Temperature||16 C (60 F)|
|Duration||2 h 25 min|
|Average Heart Rate||n/a|
This trail details are gathered from a GPS device used on the actual hike. Please note that you might need more or less time than us to execute this hike.About Trail Details
Lake Bled – Osojnica GPS Route and Trail Description
GPX route helps you with the navigation on a hike. It can be used with a smartphone, handheld GPS device or a GPS watch.About GPX Route
Reaching the starting point
To come to the starting point at the Bled Jezero station by car you drive along the European highway E61 which cuts through the western half of Slovenia. Then you take exit 3 called Lesce, and shortly after take the second exit in the roundabout to follow signs for Bled and drive along the country road 209. After driving for 3 kilometers on 209, you will come to a roundabout in the center of Bled downtown. Here you take the first exit onto Ljubljanska cesta which after 500 meters turns into Seliska cesta, and after another 1.5 kilometers turns into Reciska cesta. After having driving altogether 2.4 kilometers from the roundabout in the center of Bled, you turn left onto Kolodvorska cesta which you then follow for 1.4 kilometers. First the cute little station house will come up on your right, and then the parking lot.
You can park here for 6 euros for 4 hours or 10 euros for the whole day. The parking machine doesn’t give back change, so do try to bring the correct amount. When we parked there, a guy had been hired by the local tourist board to simply sit and change visitors’ notes to coins, but if you come out of season you might not be so lucky. Since the starting point is next to a train station, you can of course also arrive by public transport. You can find departures on the Slovenian Railways website – but expect around 1½-2 hours travel from the main train station in the capital Ljubljana, usually with a train change in the industrial town of Jesenice.
From the starting point at the parking lot at the Bled Jezero train station, you continue walking further down the Kolodvorska cesta towards south, which runs more or less parallel to the lakeside. After walking for about 700 meters you come to the Velika Zaka lake beach, parking lot and a few bars and restaurants. You walk past all this, but shortly after you pass the road leading into the Bled camp site, there will be a path on the meadow to your right leading westwards up to the forest with a signpost for the viewpoints Ojstrica and Velika Osojnica. You take this path and follow the signs for Ojstrica. The path goes up through the lush green forest, following what looks like a more or less dried-out riverbed or downhill stream full of medium size rocks for much of the way.
It is somewhat steep and we absolutely recommend that you wear proper hiking footwear with good traction and preferably also ankle support. We saw way too many people in soft slippery sneakers, and a few even gave up. After walking for about 1.5 kilometers altogether, you will reach a signpost for the viewpoints Ojstrica, Mala Osojnica and Velika Osojnica (Mala means “Little” and Velika means “Big”). Ojstrica is only a quick (and steep) detour on the way to the other viewpoints, so we do recommend you swing by. The hike up to this summit is very steep, and thus a rail with a steel cable has been put up. Even with good hiking boots you might find it hard to watch your step as the cliff has been worn pretty smooth (and slippery when wet!) by the many visitors to the viewpoint. It was a bit crowded on top, but not in a queue-to-the-top-of-Mount-Everest kind of way.
After we made our way down from Ojstrica, we followed the signpost towards Mala Osojnica (at 680 m above sea level) which is closer and requires less ascent than Velika Osojnica (756 m). That means that you follow the path which first curves towards south, and then west 400 meters after having descended from Ojstrica. Walking a few hundred meters towards west, you come to a small viewpoint with a single bench which looks towards south on the Sava Bohinjka valley rather than the lake to the north. I first thought this was Mala Osojnica, and was less impressed. Fortunately, Mala Osojnica is just another few hundred meters walk towards north and here you get the full and beautiful view on Lake Bled. More people were gathered here, but they quickly scattered when it started raining 5-10 minutes after we reached the summit. We then sat on the bench most shielded from the rain and gave the little one her lunch, enjoying the view.
From the viewpoint, you can of course go back the same way you came but we chose to take the shorter, albeit much steeper and more interesting way down by following the rocky path towards north. Soon you come to an extremely steep staircase which is almost a ladder, basically going vertically down. The steps are narrow, so do take your time here because a fall could be fatal. As Blaz said: “It feels like doing a via ferrata without the security of the cable!”. After you finish this extremely steep climb down, the somewhat steep path zigzags down the tree-covered mountainside. Here and there you are rewarded with a look onto Lake Bled – much more stimulating than the generic boreal forest around us when we walked up to the viewpoints.
After having walked 3 kilometers altogether, the forest gives way to a small flowery meadow with two wooden houses. The path, however, then leads you back into the forest as it takes a sharp turn towards west. Once inside the forest, you will see that you are taking the same way down to Velika Zaka as before and there is just a hundred meters walk till you reach the lakeside. We chose to have something warm to drink in the bar and then relaxed at the lakeside beach before we went back to the car at the Bled Jezero train station. Besides the bar, Velika Zaka has a mini-market, an ice cream stand and a restaurant so you have plenty of options for refreshments.
I was wearing the Houdini Merino base layer, Boob Design Merino bra, CimAlp Interstice pants, Falke TK2 socks and Scarpa Marmolada boots, while carrying the CamelBak Rim Runner 22, packed with snacks and extra layers, such as my CimAlp Cedera soft shell jacket which came in handy when it started to rain at Mala Osojnica.
Equipment under scrutiny
Houdini Desoli Merino Base Layer
The long-sleeved Houdini Desoli Merino base layer was absolutely brilliant for this hike as the weather was rather cold (for early August, at least) but the humidity very high after multiple rainfalls. I can’t remember when I last sweated so much outside a sauna, but the Houdini top kept me warm and comfortable, although it was mostly drenched with sweat. It did, however, dry quick once the hike was over and we were shielded from the rain. It was also completely stink-free, so I had no problem going to a restaurant in town wearing it. Read the full review of the Houdini Desoli Merino base layer here.
CamelBak Rim Runner 22 Backpack
The CamelBak Rim Runner 22 daypack has truly become a fixed part of my hiking attire. It’s lightweight, yet spacious, and the backpanel offers excellent ventilation. The “extra” hydration compartment can luckily be used for other stuff as I prefer drinking from a bottle rather than a hydration system. You can read more in the review of the CamelBak Rim Runner 22 here.
Conclusion and photo gallery
The hiking trail from Lake Bled to Mala Osojnica is great for seeing the lake from above in all its splendor. It is well-marked and can be done by most people, but there are steep and slippery places so do wear appropriate hiking footwear as a very minimum. The trail to Mala Osojnica and the other viewpoints is very popular, so you are sure to meet other hikers, but although we went in the height of the season it generally wasn’t too crowded, except perhaps at Ojstrica. The climb down the stairs/ladder from Mala Osojnica is not for people with a fear of height or vertigo; you’ll need to keep it together on those narrow steps. Otherwise, take the same way down as you came up.
If you have any questions about this hike, please drop me a line in the comments below.