Sustainable Development is the Only Possible Path for Bled

Bled Local Selection, Boris Pretnar
Bled Local Selection, Boris Pretnar

“If your destination is sustainable and green-oriented, that alone won’t be a reason for tourists to visit, if it isn’t, there won’t be anyone.” (Albert Salman, Founder of the Green Destinations initiative)

The sustainable path Bled, one of the most recognizable faces of Slovenia, began in 2017, when the destination decided to join the Green Scheme of Slovenian tourism. Slovenia’s greatest poet’s – Prešeren’s “image of paradise” had to prove its sustainable orientation and actions in six areas, which include the tourist economy, cooperation with the local population, environmental protection, and protection of natural and cultural heritage. In the first year, Bled received the golden sign of the green scheme, and then on the international floor under the auspices of the Green Destinations Foundation, it has received important awards every year so far, from waste management awards to ranking among the 100 most sustainable destinations in the world.

Bled is one of Slovenia’s most famous tourist gems and a great point for MICE activities. It’s a treasure of natural wonders, known worldwide for its beautiful lake and island. The Bled Island, an icon of Slovenian geography, is celebrated throughout the nation’s history, having been praised already by its greatest poet France Prešeren.

Here is an island circled round by waves,

In our days it’s a pilgrim shrine to Mary;

Against the background stand the snowcapped giants

And fields that spread before them; Castle Bled 

Reveals still greater beauties to the left. 

The hillocks on the right conceal each other.

Carniola does not have a prettier scene

Than this one: it is truly heaven’ s twin.

Baptism, France Prešeren

Bled’s commitment to sustainability is based on many products, and above all on the way of life of the locals, who set high standards in this field both for themselves and for their guests. Untouched nature and smart management of the environment in Bled, which also has the first “zero waste” hotel in Slovenia, are not just letters on paper, but a reality that is constantly being upgraded.

Some of the highlights of Bled’s green path are hotels and small accommodations carrying internationally recognized eco-labels, organization of plastic-free events, strengthening ties between local food producers, with restaurants and hotels, introduction of the local collective brand Bled Local Selection and many sustainable transport options. There are more than 30 charging stations for electric vehicles in Bled, and old-fashioned carriages and more than a hundred years old pletna boats being some of the most sustainable transport in Slovenia.

The remarkable cultural heritage, which is actually the apple of Bled’s eye, has undergone many renovations in recent years. The two attractions, Bled Island and Bled Castle, look better than ever after many years of renovation and offer the visitors an exceptional insight into the history of Bled and the wider Gorenjska region.

Peaceful walk and exceptional views await the visitors of the renovated walking path under the Lakeside promenade in the central part of Bled, and the maintained Bled lakeside parks. Standing on the shore of the lake, makes it instantly clear what the poet meant with the referral the image of paradise. And it is clear why the citizens of Bled adopted their sustainable policy and committed themselves to preserving this paradise for future generations.