A small lake in the cradle village of European skiing.
Lake Bloke is a small, artificial green silt lake in Slovenia, which is quite popular with the locals during swimming season. It is located in southern Slovenia in Bloke, the municipality famous as the cradle of skiing in Europe.
Apparently the people of Bloke were among the first to invent skis in central Europe due to the harsh winters in the Bloke plateau area. Their curious habit of using sleek wooden boards, which were slightly curved upward in the front, was first documented in 1689 by the prodigious Slovenian historian J. W. Valvasor. They used them to navigate the snow with the help of a stick for balance to get around for their daily errands and even funeral runs. The Blokes (heh) were pretty fast and agile with the skis even back then and we Slovenians have been quite the skiing nation ever since (our professional skiers and ski jumpers are actually great on the world scale). During winter, ski running is still popular in the Bloke area and if you want to know more about the history of skiing in Bloke, then read on here.
Besides skiing, the area is great for hiking, cycling, fishing, snowkiting and horseback riding. There are also a couple of local attractions, which are mostly significant from the local history perspective (they’re listed here, in Slovenian only) and although the Bloke municipality is trying to jump-start their tourism, the lake is the main attraction.
If you’re super into obscure local attractions though, Bloke has a 19 km easy hiking trail called Krpan’s trail, which passes by all of them, starting at the Bloke lake (the description on the link is again only in Slovenian, but you can always use Google translate to get a sense of it). The trail goes through several small villages and natural attractions like the swamp meadows of Bloščica and the canyon of river Iška. It looks quite nice, so I’m actually planning to give it a go at some point.
Impressions of lake Bloke
There’s a cafe with a nice wooden terrace next to the lake, as well as a playground for kids and some giant wooden bear statues, which are really the best part for me. Lake Bloke might be small and greenish, but if you’re nearby in the summer it’s a pretty nice choice for a swim or just to grab an ice cream. And, if you want to stay for a while, they now also have a fancy glamping resort.
Pair it with: Next up are a couple of reasons why you should find yourself nearby: the awesome and huge intermittent lake Cerknica (part of the Notrajnska regional park), the Cross cave (a famous underground Karst cave system with 22 lakes), Rakov Škocjan (a beautiful Karst valley formed by the Rak river), Kadice Gorge (full of beautiful tiny waterfalls with remains of a Roman wall) and the Snežnik castle (a castle in the middle of the lake with a 19th century museum). There are of course many other attractions in close proximity as well, since Slovenia is really small, but let these be enough for now. 🙂