The Vintgar Gorge is a gorge located around 4 km north-west of Lake Bled, near the village Gorje. The gorge is carved by the Radovna River and is 1,6 km long. The trail along the gorge ends at the 13m high Šum waterfall, which is the largest river waterfall in Slovenia. Due to the proximity to Lake Bled, it’s perfect to visit the gorge during your stay at Lake Bled, which is what many people do. In this blog post, I’m telling you everything you need to know about visiting the Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia.
Slovenia is the first European country that officially ended the pandemic on 14 May 2020. However, precautions are still taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the Vintgar Gorge specifically, this means that the trail through the gorge is one-way only. Doing a round trip like that will take up 3 to 4 hours, as opposed to just 1 hour if you could return through the gorge the way you came. Check this website for more information about the precautions taken at the Vintgar Gorge.
How to get to the Vintgar Gorge
I walked all the way from the town of Bled to the entrance of the Vintgar Gorge. It’s a 4 km walk and it takes around an hour to get there. The walk is easy with a little bit of inclination. The scenery along the way is beautiful. I walked through mountain villages with, of course, a stunning mountain backdrop. I used directions on Google Maps which were accurate. Once you get closer to the gorge, there are also signs leading the way.
By shuttle bus
There’s a shuttle bus operating around Lake Bled that takes you to the most important sites around the lake, including the Vintgar Gorge. The shuttle bus costs only €1 per ride. Check this website for more information and current operation dates.
It’s also possible to visit the gorge by car. From Bled town it takes around 7 minutes to get there by car, which is way faster than walking of course. The downside of going by car is that parking spots fill up quickly. There’s a parking lot next to the entrance of the gorge and there’s another parking lot near the gorge which is a 10-minute walk back to the entrance of the gorge. During peak season (July & August), you might have to wait before a parking spot comes available. The parking fee is €5 for a car, €10 for a camper and €15 for a bus.
Discovery of the Vintgar Gorge
The gorge was discovered by a photographer, cartographer and the mayor of Gorje in 1891. The gorge was completely inaccessible at that time. Due to tourist development at Lake Bled and the surrounding areas, walking trails and bridges were created along and across the gorge. The gorge opened to the public in 1893.
The trail through the Vintgar Gorge
Nowadays, the Vintgar Gorge is often considered as one of the most beautiful places in Slovenia, which makes it a very popular place to visit. Especially during peak season (July and August), the walking trail along the gorge is packed with people. The trail is very narrow so be aware of that when visiting during peak season. The trail used to be a two-way path, which is kind of tricky when it’s crowded. Try to go early in the morning or later at the day to avoid most of the crowds. I visited the gorge on a Sunday morning around 10.30 at the end of June and, fortunately, it wasn’t too crowded. As mentioned before, the trail through the gorge currently is one-way only, which should help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The gorge itself is beautiful and impressive at the same time. The water flow is fast and it’s amazing to see how the water finds a way through the rocks. Just like everywhere in this region, the color of the water is emerald green. There are parts along the trail where you can get close to the water. You’re not allowed to get in the water because of the dangerous current.
The trail ends at a small café. From here you can take a short trail to the Šum waterfall, which I would recommend. There are signs that lead you to the waterfall.
Even though it was still possible when I visited the gorge, I decided not to do a round-trip through the gorge as the path was way too narrow and it started to get more crowded by the minute. I hiked back through the forest before continuing walking back all the way to Bled town. The walk through the forest is easy and the trail is well-marked. Be aware that it can be a bit muddy on the trail so wear appropriate shoes. As I returned directly to Bled town (and not back to the entrance of the gorge), my trail ended in the village of Zasip. From there, I followed the directions on Google Maps and found my way back to the lake.
Students: €7 (I always use my student card to get discounts, it still works even though I’m not a student anymore!)
Because of the coronavirus precautions, it’s advised to buy a ticket online in advance. Tickets are sold in a time slot, with limited tickets per slot. Check this website for current ticket prices and to buy tickets online.
The gorge is open from April to November.
I hope I’ve provided you with all the information you need to plan your visit to the Vintgar Gorge. Is Slovenia on your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below!
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