This magical glacial lake, surrounding a picture-perfect church on a tiny island, is set against the backdrop of a medieval fortress and some of the highest mountains of the Julian Alps. You couldn’t get a setting more fit for a fairy tale. Lake Bled is situated in the north west of Slovenia, only 35km from the capital, Ljubljana’s international airport. Since it is so popular with visitors, take a tip from our photographers and visit very early in the morning to see the lake in all its dawn glory, before the crowds descend.

Church on shore of Lake Bled at dawn, Julian Alps, Slovenia (Guy Edwardes/Robert Harding)

St. Martin's Church on shore of Lake Bled at dawn, Bled, Gorenjska, Julian Alps, Slovenia, Europe

Lake Bled at dawn with Assumption of Mary’s Pilgrimage Church, Slovenia (Guy Edwardes/Robert Harding)

Lake Bled at dawn with Assumption of Mary's Pilgrimage Church, Slovenia, Europe

Bled Castle, Slovenia (Philippe Michel/Robert Harding)

Slovenia, Bled, Lake Bled and Julian Alps, the Bled Castle.

Lake Bled Island and the Julian Alps at sunrise, seen from Osojnica Hill, Slovenia (Matthew Williams-Ellis/Robert Harding)

Lake Bled Island and the Julian Alps at sunrise, seen from Osojnica Hill, Bled, Julian Alps, Gorenjska, Slovenia, Europe

View at castle at Lake Bled from a typical Gondola, Gorenjska, Slovenia (Guenther Bayerl/Robert Harding)

View at castle at Lake Bled from a typical Gondola, mist, steam, Julian Alps, Gorenjska, Slovenia

See more photos of Lake Bled here

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