These hills serve as viewpoints, offering sweeping views of Lake Bled, Bled Island, and the medieval, clifftop Bled Castle. The magnificent mountainous backdrop is the Karawanks.
Like the Julian Alps, the Karawanks are part of the Northern Limestone Alps. This long mountain range forms the natural border between Austria and Slovenia. Hence, it’s called Karawanken in German and Karavanke in Slovenian.
The first time I saw a photo of Lake Bled, captured from Mala Osojnica, I wrongly assumed it was taken by a drone. I had know idea that this elevated vantage point was a mere 30-minute hike from Lake Bled’s southwestern shore.
Mala Osojnica, Velika Osojnica, and Ojstrica are all linked together by a single trail.
We recommend hiking to the Mala Osojnica viewpoint first and then continuing on to Velika Osojnica (optional), and lastly to the Ojstrica viewpoint.
The way to Mala Osojnica viewpoint is very steep and involves a sloping metal staircase-ladder, which is why we recommend hiking there first and tackling this circuit clockwise. It’s safer to ascend to Mala Osojnica than to descend from Mala Osojnica.
Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica: Lake Bled Viewpoints Hiking Guide, Slovenia
- Trailhead: Parkirišče Velika Zaka near Camping Bled | Google Maps
- Distance: 3.7 km lollipop-circuit
- Time Needed: 1:30 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 224 meters
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Minimum Elevation: 479 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 678 meters
- Where to Stay in Bled: Guesthouse Marko (budget), Vila Alpina (midrange), Hotel Starkl (midrange), Vila Bled (luxury), or Bled Rose Hotel (luxury)
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Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica Map
Where to Start the Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica Hike
The Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica Hike hike starts at the Velika Zaka car park on the west side of Lake Bled. Zaka is the name of the bay across from the car park.
If you’re traveling without a car, follow the Lake Bled circuit trail along the south shore to the Mala Osojnica trailhead. Exact Location: Google Maps.
From the Bled bus station, it takes 45 minutes to walk 3 kilometers to the trailhead.
Velika Zaka Car Park
The closest car park to Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica is Parkirišče Velika Zaka. This car park is located next to Camping Bled on the western side of Lake Bled.
Location | Google Maps
Pricing | 3 EUR for each started hour of parking. For example, if you stay 2:15 hours, the parking fee is 9 EUR.
Payment | Credit Cards, Cash (5 EUR, 10 EUR, 20 EUR, EURO Coins)
Mala Osojnica, Velika Osojnica, and Ojstrica Hiking Difficulty
This is a moderate hike. However, the trail is rocky and uneven. It’s not a well-groomed path.
It’s slippery after rain as well as in autumn, because of the leaves underfoot.
It’s essential to wear sturdy shoes with grip.
Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica Circuit Trail Description
Velika Zaka Car Park to Mala Osojnica Trailhead (10 minutes)
Starting at the Parkirišče Velika Zaka car park, cross the street to Lake Bled and turn right. Follow the sidewalk until the boardwalk begins.
Walk the full length of the boardwalk along Lake Bled. A few steps bring you back up to the street. Carry on for a few meters and then cross the street to reach the Mala Osojnica trailhead.
The starting point is marked with a bench and trail signs, indicating 30 minutes to Mala Osojnica.
Mala Osojnica Trailhead to Mala Osojnica (30 minutes)
The hike to Mala Osojnica follows a steep forest trail. Head into the forest and hike up the timber-reinforced steps. Soon, turn left on a narrow path, passing in front of a house.
At the wood stack, turn left to Mala Osojnica and hike straight up.
The view opens up to Lake Bled after a few switchbacks. Continue to ascend. After about 5 minutes, you’ll reach the base of a fixed cable line. Use the line to safely hike up a narrow passage.
A few minutes later, another fixed cable line brings you to the base of a steep metal staircase. Use the metal handrail along the ladder to safely ascent.
When you reach the top of the ladder, there’s a bench with another lovely view of Lake Bled.
The path continues to rise for a few meters. It then slopes down, before making a counter ascent to the Mala Osojnica viewpoint (685 meters).
The viewpoint area is flanked by a fence for safety reasons. There’s an info board and three benches here.
I love this particular viewpoint, because it offers an excellent angle of the Assumption of Mary Church (Cerkev Marijinega vnebovzetja) with its 52-meter-high bell tower.
Did you know that the Bled Island church occupies the historic site of a pagan temple, which was dedicated to the Slavic goddess of life and fertility? After the Christianization of the area in the 8th century, the temple was replaced by a church, dedicated to the birth of Mary.
From Mala Osojnica, there’s also a perfect line of vision between the island, castle, and Stol (2236 m), the mountain towering above the Savska plain.
Along with Stol, you can see the distinct peaks of Vrtača (2181 m), Begunjščica (2060 m), Veliki Vrh (2088 m), and Dobrča (1634 m).
While not as high, Straža (646 m) and the forested hills rimming the lake ground the scene. At sunrise, these hills are drenched in light, at first fiery orange and later soft peach.
Mala Osojnica to Ojstrica (15 minutes)
Continue in the direction of Ojstrica (15 minutes).
A narrow footpath cuts through the forest. There’s a short detour to a viewpoint overlooking the valley of Sava Bohinjska, marked with a bench. Shortly thereafter, the trail drops down to a junction.
Turn left here. About 100 meters later, you’ll arrive at another junction.
Here, you can decide if you want to detour to the higher Velika Osojnica viewpoint (30 minutes out-and-back). It’s not a must-do. We walked up there the first time we hiked this circuit and it was our least favorite viewpoint, because the views are somewhat obscured by the trees.
If you hike to Velika Osojnica, return to this junction in order to continue the descent.
Bear right to Ojstrica (10 minutes) and descend the steep, rugged trail through the forest.
After about 8 minutes, turn left to detour to Ojstrica. The trail ascends, bringing you to the base of a fixed cable. Grasp the steel cable to safely hike up the polished limestone rocks.
The rocky summit of Ojstrica is usually crawling with visitors, because it’s the easiest viewpoint to reach from Lake Bled.
The viewpoint is crowned with a bench, which might be the most famous bench in all of Slovenia.
From this angle, Bled Island is directly in front of you and the castle is off to the left. It’s also a very satisfying view.
Ojstrica – Lake Bled – Velika Zaka Car Park (20 minutes)
Enjoy the hilltop of Ojstrica and then retrace your steps to the last junction along the main trail.
Descend the rocky, leafy trail.
When the path divides, you can either bear left (this is the quickest way back to the car park), or bear right in order to walk along the lakeside boardwalk again.
We turned right. The trail crosses a meadow and leads back down to the familiar Mala Osojnica trailhead. From here, cross the street and follow the boardwalk back to the car park.
Lake Bled Viewpoints Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is the Best View of Lake Bled?
The best view of Lake Bled is from the Mala Osojnica viewpoint.
Is It Better to Watch the Sunrise or Sunset from Mala Osojnica?
We’ve hiked up to Mala Osojnica for sunrise and sunset
Sunrise is far better.
If you go up for sunset, Lake Bled and Bled Island will be in shadow. If conditions are clear, the Karawanks will be illuminated, but everything in the foreground will be dark.
Sunrise is a splendidly long affair. It takes quite a long time for the sun to rise high enough to light up Bled Island, but it’s worth the wait.
Where to Stay near Mala Osojnica and Ojstrica
Budget | Guesthouse Marko is a top-rated guesthouse in Bled, walking distance to the lakeshore.
Midrange | JAZZ B&B is a friendly bed and breakfast with clean, comfortable rooms, a wonderful breakfast, and a shared kitchen. It’s a 10 minute walk to Lake Bled.
Midrange | Old Parish House is a cozy and clean bed and breakfast, 100 meters away from Lake Bled.
Top Choice – Midrange | Hotel Starkl – Heritage & Unique is a darling lakefront hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar. Breakfast is included. This family-run property stands out with its friendly service, exceptional cuisine, and location.
Luxury | Adora Luxury Hotel is a lakefront boutique hotel with 7 luxurious suites. Stay here for the lake views and dreamy location. Breakfast is available for an extra charge.
Luxury | Vila Bled is a historic lakefront hotel with 33 rooms. Set in a quiet area of Lake Bled, guests can enjoy the historical flair of President Tito’s former summer residence. Breakfast is included.
Luxury | Bled Rose Hotel is a modern, 4-star hotel in the center of Bled. The hotel features an on-site bar, an indoor swimming pool and spa, a fitness room, and private beach area. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
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Slovenia Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Slovenia Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip.
When to Visit Slovenia
Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to travel to Slovenia is between May and late October.
The best time to hike in the Slovenian Alps is between June and October. For hut-to-hut hiking, we recommend planning your trek between early July and mid-September.
Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit Slovenia is between mid/late December and March.
It’s possible to visit Slovenia without a car if you want to concentrate your time in Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Lake Bohinj.
When we visited without a car, we planned two linear hut to hut hikes.
Unless you’re trekking, we recommend renting a car, because many places are simply not accessible with transit. For example, there are no buses to Logar Valley, Vrata Valley, and the Košuta mountain pastures.
Check out our itineraries for road trip inspiration:
Use the intuitive Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Where to Stay
Top Things to Do
- Summit Mount Triglav.
- Eat Štruklji Borovničevi at Kofce Mountain Hut.
- Trek across Triglav National Park along this epic 4-day Triglav National Park Trek.
- Visit an alpine dairy like Koča na planini Dolga njiva.
- Stay in a farm stay like Tourist Farm Šenkova domačija in Zgornje Jezersko.
- Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj.
- Watch the sunrise at Mala Osojnica, overlooking Lake Bled.
- Hike to the Kamnik Saddle.
- Glamp in a treehouse like Ribno Alpine Glamping.
Slovenia Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Slovenia Hiking Guides
Slovenia is heaven on earth for hikers. We recommend allocating sufficient time to discover both the Julian Alps and the Kamnik Savinja Alps.
In Best Hikes in Slovenia, we’ve summarized the most thrilling day hikes and multi-day hikes across the Slovenian Alps, ranked by difficulty.
More Things to Do around Lake Bled
More Slovenia Hiking and Travel Guides
- Lake Bohinj
- Logar Valley
- Kranjska Gora
- Viševnik Day Hike
- Seven Lakes Valley Day Hike
- Mount Vogel Day Hike