It is already well known that Bled with its natural beauty is the #1 must-see sight and most photographed place when traveling to Slovenia. But have you thought about visiting other treasures in the local area yet? If not, I absolutely suggest you visit Vintgar Gorge, nowadays also a popular natural wonder in the vicinity of Bled.
Similar to Tolmin gorge, this place is magical, impressive, enchanting and a good choice for a day trip with your family. It’s easy to walk, at a favorable price and it’s easy to get to. When my husband and I recently visited Vintgar Gorge, we were super impressed by the natural masterpiece and realized why is this place so important tourist sight in Slovenia.
On a Sunday summer morning, we took a train from Nova Gorica to Podhom. After 2 hours of traveling by train, we started walking from Podhom to the gorge entrance which took us about 15 minutes. There are signs all the way, so no worries to get lost. When we reached a parking lot, we found also a bar and a hut where the admission fee is charged. You scan your ticket at the entrance.
And finally! Let the adventure begin!
Location: 4 km (2.49 miles) northwest of Bled
Distance: 1.6 km (0.99 miles) one way
Trip duration: 50 minutes
Altitude: 580 m (1902 feet)
Entrance fee (for 2019): Adults 10 €, children (6-15 years) 3 €, children (to 6 years) 1 €, students 6 €
Type of path: easy marked path
Opening times: Every day of the week; April – May 8 a.m – 6 p.m., June 7 a.m.- 7 p.m., July – August 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., September 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., October – November 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. During winter months is closed for safety reasons.
Highlights of the trail: steep depths, vertical walls, rapid Radovna river, pools, vegetation, the largest waterfall in Slovenia
Distances and transportation
- Vintgar from Ljubljana is 65 km (40,3 miles) or 45 minutes by car. Another option is traveling by bus from Ljubljana to Bled and then take another bus from Bled to Vintgar Gorge. The trip from Ljubljana to Bled will take you about an hour and fifteen minutes. A round-trip ticket costs 12.84 €. If you need to rent a car in Ljubljana simply check our guide.
- How to get to Vintgar from Bled? Vintgar from Bled is approximately 5 km (3 miles) or 10 minutes by car. There is parking for visitors in front of the gorge entrance and the parking fee is 5 €. You can also travel by bus from Bled to Vintgar for 1 € (return ticket per person). The shuttle bus runs several times per day from 15th June to 15th September. Find the shuttle bus schedule here.
Vintgar Gorge Map
- Make sure you wear good walking shoes (with grips on them and never wear flipflops) as some parts of the trail can become slippery even if it is no rain. Also, take a jacket with you as it does get quite cool but refreshing at the same time.
- Go early in the morning, right at opening time or before closing to avoid crowds.
About Vintgar Gorge
Located in the Triglav National Park, Vintgar is 1.6 km long gorge carved by the Radovna river, a crystal clear emerald green water. It was discovered in 1891 and was opened up for visitors for the first time two years later. It is said that the name “Vintgar” comes originally from the German “Weingarten”.
The long boardwalks, clinging to the cliffside with sheer rockfaces, are formed only a few meters above the river with the rapids, waterfalls, and pools, generating stunning views of the landscape. Furthermore, it gives you a sensation of adventure. Thanks to the particular climate, the vegetation and number of plant species this place is very rich and has been studied since more than a hundred years by botanists.
About the hiking trail
The trip is easy, about 1.6 km long and you can walk the gorge in less than an hour unless you want demanding yourself more, in this case, you will choose a different path.
The boardwalks are well maintained, very safe, have railings and very accessible to people of all ages and physical condition but not appropriate for wheelchairs or a stroller as there are steps and narrow turns. The path itself is very narrow, especially for passing and the ground in some parts was slippery. The trail leads you over wooden bridges, galleries and ends with a waterfall. Another highlight of the trail is also the single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, which crosses the gorge above the trail.
The route took us through the gorge and if I say we were both than amazed all the way, it is not enough though. So grateful to be there! There was a lot of tourist along the way, also many families with small children.
Emerald greenish beauty – the Radovna river, extremely clear water and you can see through it. A combination with the lush green vegetation makes this spot blissful.
Vintgar is a spectacular spot to photograph.
The trail ends with a bridge overlooking the 16 meters high Šum waterfall, Slovenia’s biggest fluvial waterfall. Here you can get to the water and swim, but consider that the water is freezing.
At the end of the path, you can relax at a nice cafe and a restaurant. There are also toilet facilities in the beginning and the end of the trail, but not along the path.
Once arrived at the end of the path you could choose two options – return the same way back or choose a longer path – walking to the church of St. Catherine and continue to the starting point.
As we decided not to walk the same way back, we chose a longer path, walking through the forest, over the Hom mountain to the ancient pilgrimage church of St. Catherine. It is a small charming church from the 16th century with a gorgeous view at Karavanke and Bled. The landscape is simply stunning. This spot is like perfect to make a break and also a beautiful viewpoint above the village of Zasip. Close to the church, there is a restaurant, a parking area and a space large enough for kids – a playground.
Very quickly, from Zasip village we could see in the distance scenic Bled castle. After passing through Zasip village, we were following the sign “Bled”. From there it took us about 20 minutes to arrive at our final destination – Bled.
Such a wonderful hike, we warmly recommend it.
Best time to visit Vintgar
The best time to visit Vintgar is the spring or fall months when the weather is pleasant and not crowded yet.
During the summer months (peak season) is not recommendable, as it becomes more busy with people. The advantage is a refreshing walk (as the gorge is cooler) in the summer heat.
Where to stay during your visit?
I recommend you to stay in Bled since the Vintgar is not far away. If you can afford yourself and your family, spend your night in a unique accommodation – glamping. Fun and comfort are guaranteed.
Address: TD Gorje
SI- 4247 Gorje
Phone number: +386 (0) 4 5725 266
E-mail: [email protected]
Enjoy the riches of turquoise beauty, a pleasant hike in Vintgar Gorge and have a safe trip!