Are you planning a trip to Vintgar Gorge? You need to read it first.
February 11, 2022
Vintgar Gorge is said to be one of the five most beautiful places in Slovenia. I wouldn’t argue with that. It’s definitely an experience you’ll remember for quite a long time. Not only because of the scenic route but also because it’s kind of adventurous.
Back in 1891 when the gorge was discovered it was extremely difficult to reach. Fortunately, Slovenians were creative enough to make this place accessible to the public without destroying the natural heritage. We, as tourists, are grateful for the chance to unearth the picturesque route above the crystal clear Radovna river, cross the safe wooden bridges, observe walls of the gorge carved for thousands of years, and spot different plants.
The path, which leads along wooden sidewalks and bridges is around 2 kilometers long. The final point of it is a 13-meter-high waterfall Sum, the biggest river waterfall in Slovenia. You’ll also walk under the 30-meter-high railway bridge, which is eagerly photographed. It’s all about the stunning views of the landscape opening up in front of you and having an unforgettable day.
Although I am not afraid of heights, looking down at the swift-flowing Radovna river, quite often 5 meters above ground, made me a bit dizzy. Luckily no one jumped, the safety railing prevented that. My kids, even though very lively on the daily basis, also stomped more cautiously than usual. Maybe they’ve seen the fear in my eyes or maybe they’re scared a bit. It’s really important to be vigilant and keep an eye on your offspring.
There’s only one direction to follow and as of 2020, it’s not allowed to return the same way, like before. Two alternative ways were prepared instead:
Circular Route Šum – Blejska Dobrava – ‘Strma stran’ 4,3 km – 75 min
Once you reach the waterfall Sum, choose the shorter way leading to Blejska Dobrava. It’s around 20 minut hike till you reach the city. At the church of St Stefan, you can admire the beautifully restored village. Follow the path till you reach the forest, you will return at the entrance to the Vintgar Gorge.
Circular Route Vintgar – St Catherine 5,7 km – 85 min
From the cabin with souvenirs and refreshments at the final station of Vintgar Gorge turn right and follow the path through the forest. This is the path we’ve chosen. It’s demanding, but once you reach St. Catherine Church the magic happens. It’s the beautiful view of the surrounding area that is simply rewarding. But it’s not over. There’s a playground for kids and a snack bar there. From St. Catherine, you can choose a path to Bled or a trail back to the Vintgar gorge parking spot. (Zasip). It’s another half an hour step through the meadow with some scenic view.
I do not recommend taking a stroller or buggy unless you want to carry it on your back. The wooden trail is pretty narrow, even for two people crossing, not to mention the forest path later on. If you have babies, I suggest carrying them in a baby carrier. Older kids may walk on their own, the wooden path has a barrier, so it’s safe. But you need to keep in mind the youngster’s capability. Is he/she able to hike around 6 kilometers?
Set your GPS coordinates to the following address Vintgar Fortuna, 4247 Zgornje Gorje, Slovenia. Either from Jesenice or Bled, there’re signs directing you straight to the parking place. Look for Slovenian: “Blejski vintgar” or “soteska Vintgar”
The Vintgar is not open year-round. The season starts in April and ends in October. It’s closed during the winter season, as the wooden paths might get slippery.
April, May 10:00 – 16.00 June 8:00 – 18:00 July, August 7.30 – 19.00 1. – 19. September 8.00 – 18.00 20. Sept – 10. Oct 8.00 – 17.00 From 11. to 31. October 9.00 – 16.00
Keep in mind that between 10 am and 1 pm, the gorge is the most crowded.
Parking for bikes is free, while you can park your car for 5 EUR per day. It’s better to be early to get the spot for sure.
Tickets and souvenirs can be bought in the log cabin at the entrance. Tickets are also available online.
It depends on your schedule and individual preferences. You can sprint through the gorge and the alternative returning path within max 3 hours. But I suggest you take it slowly. Grab as many memories, photos as you can, refresh yourself at the snack bar, indulge in the quaint views. Ask yourself. When will you come here again, if ever?
WHERE TO SLEEP IF YOU WANT TO VISIT GORGE VINTGAR
The possibilities are endless, but I suggest booking way in advance, especially if you’re planning to go during the summer season. We booked our accommodation only a month before the arrival time, and that’s a mistake. I got the impression that we were left with not much choice. Accommodation in Slovenia is the most expensive part of your trip, so better check the offerings. Villages closest to the Vintgar Gorge are Podhom, Zasip or Spodnje Gorje, but the guesthouses here are limited. You can also find your room/hotel in Bled, it’s only 5 kilometers away from Vintgar Gorge. You can also consider Jesenice town for your stay. We stayed in the lovely, secluded village house Dom Pristava, which is surrounded by pure nature. Just behind the guest house starts several hiking paths!