The Slovenia Times

Bounds on boating in Bled

Boats on Lake Bled with the island in the background. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Bled is perhaps the most photographed tourist destination in Slovenia, but returning visitors to the charming lake have no doubt noticed the proliferation of all types of vessels in recent years filling up the lake with screaming colours. The local community has now decided it is enough.

The Bled Municipal Council has decreed that as of June, hydrofoils, sports equipment with any type of propulsion, and kitesurfing are no longer allowed on the lake. Popular stand-up paddle boards have been spared, but they cannot land on the the picturesque lake island.

The change has been met with grumbling by people who love to hit the lake in the summer, but Bled Mayor Anton Mežan is unapologetic and says the decree is about "order and safety."

"Boards with various types of propulsion will no longer be allowed on the lake. Last summer they were whizzing among the swimmers, which could have caused accidents," he said in a recent statement.

Only vessels specifically listed in the municipal decree are legal. These include the traditional pletnas and tourist boats that tourists take to visit the island, along with small wooden boats, sports rowing boats, small sailboats, boards without propulsion, and stand-up paddle boards.

While stand-up paddle boards are not exactly popular among local officials, they decided not to ban them entirely, just prevent them from landing on the shores of the lake island, where dozens of them would often clog up the few jetties.

The municipality says Bled Island is classified as a cultural monument of national importance and an "exceptional landscape motif" that is a symbol of not just Bled but Slovenia at large. All uses of the island must therefore be subordinated to that.

But stand-up paddle boards ruining the view is not the only reason why they are being kept away from the island. "Being at such places demands a certain dress code and conduct," the municipality said.


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