Lake Bled is one of my favorite hidden European gems. The clear, blue-green water; colorful pletna boats; and cliff-top castle make it feel like something out of a storybook. The island in the center of the lake (not pictured here) adds to its beauty and boasts a small church that can be visited. The calm lake does not allow motorized boats, only adding to its tranquility. In order to visit the church, visitors must take a pletna boat (pictured here) out to the island. Pletna boats are flat-bottomed boats usually owned by a family with the job of oarsman passing down generation to generation. They also provide a shade spot from which to take in the entire lake from its center, as well as the surrounding snow-capped mountaintops.