vintgar gorge

What to know about visiting Vintgar Gorge

Vintgar Gorge is a beautiful and deep gorge carved by the Radovna River that lies just 4 miles from Bled. Despite its proximity to Bled, visiting Vintgar Gorge can seem a little complicated. But with a little bit of planning, you can easily enjoy this incredible wonder of Slovenia’s Julian Alps.

Visiting Vintgar Gorge

Vintgar Gorge is a 1.6 km gorge with crystal-clear waters and rushing rapids and waterfalls that leads to the largest waterfall in Slovenia, Šum Waterfall. The one-way visit through Vintgar is relatively simple to follow and easy to walk regardless of your fitness level.

vintgar gorge

At the entrance where you scan your ticket, you will also get a helmet which you’re required to wear while you walk through Vintgar. You can even follow the audio guide to learn more about the gorge and the hiking paths that follow. Once you get to Šum Waterfall at the end of the gorge trail, there is a small shop where you can buy souvenirs or refreshments. This is also where you’ll deposit your helmet. Then you must make your way back to the entrance via one of two paths.

visiting vintgar gorge bled

The shortest path back is the River of Trees Trail which is an easy forest trail where you can see the local flora and fauna and the settlement of Blejska Dobrava. This makes it perfect for a hot or rainy day as the trees will keep you relatively shielded from the elements. However, if it is rainy or has been raining, prepare for a muddy trek. The path is 2.7 km long and takes about an hour and a half after you get to the end of the gorge. Since the path takes you above the gorge, you can hear it roaring below you for some parts of the walk.

vintgar gorge slovenia

The second path is the King of Triglav Trail, which is 4.1 km long, not including the gorge. It’s a sunny trail that is more scenic and offers views of the mountains of Triglav National Park. Along the way, you’ll also pass St. Catherine’s Church and many pastures, finishing off at a majestic view of the Julian Alps. The audio guides for both trails are available on the official Vintgar website. You can also scan the QR code at each stop on the trail. If you prefer a more informational experience, you can can also opt to take a guided tour which are offered in Slovenian and English at set times of the day.

In total, the visit should take at least 3 hours. Once you’re back at the entrance, you can have a snack at the visitor’s center before taking a shuttle back into town.

Getting tickets to Vintgar Gorge

Though you can buy a ticket when you arrive, the best way to visit Vintgar is to buy a ticket and book an entry timeslot online. This allows you to see how busy it is throughout the day so you can visit when there is the least crowding on the narrow wooden footpath through the gorge, allowing you to have a more peaceful time and get better photos. Generally, the gorge is busiest from mid-morning to early afternoon. Visiting first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon means you’re more likely to beat the crowds.

visiting vintgar gorge

If you happen to miss the entry time on your ticket, your ticket is still valid for entry that day and for entrance the following day for the first and last two hours of the day. So if your plans change at the last minute, you won’t lose your money. Children and dogs are allowed in the gorge, but you must buy reduced price tickets for both.

How to get to Vintgar Gorge

visiting vintgar gorge

There are no visitor parking lots at the entrance of Vintgar Gorge, so you have to take the free shuttle from one of the three Vintgar parking lots, which you can reach either by car or on foot. The closest parking lot to the gorge is the Vintgar Central Parking Area LIP. The shuttle from this lot leaves every 20 minutes. If you don’t have a car, this lot is about a 30–40 minute walk to Bled. Vintgar Parking Area Bled Castle is the closest one to Bled, but it is closed until July 1, 2024. The shuttle to Vintgar leaves every hour from this lot. The third lot is in Blejska Dobrava, and it also runs every hour.

If you’re not driving but walking or using public transport in Bled, you can also take a free shuttle that runs every hour from the Bled bus station, but that is also not in operation until July 1, 2024. Alternatively, you can walk directly to Vintgar Gorge, which is a 4 km walk. But keep in mind that you will walk a minimum of 4.3 km- 5.7 km on your visit to the gorge, so if you’re planning to hike round-trip from Bled, you’re looking at over 12-15 km of walking.

A lazy alternative is to take a private transfer or a taxi from Bled. Some private shuttle buses drop you off at the start of the gorge and pick you up at the end of the King of Triglav trail. So if you prefer the other hike, this would not be a good alternative. The problem with these shuttles is also that they will pick you up at a pre-determined time which limits your ability to move at your own pace. We used Bled Taxi Transfer, but other taxi companies like Bled Shuttle, provide the same service.

Tips for visiting Vintgar Gorge

visiting vintgar gorge slovenia
Want to know how to get better pictures of Šum Waterfall than this? Read on.
  • The gorge is only open from the end of April/early May until the end of October/early November.
  • It’s a few degrees colder down in the gorge. If you’re visiting during a cooler season, you may want to check the official website for the current temperature to ensure you’re dressed appropriately.
  • When you exit the gorge, Šum Waterfall will be under you, which is a bit of an awkward angle to enjoy a waterfall. After you return your helmet, you can take a short walking route to a platform where you can see the waterfall in full.
  • Hiking shoes are a must, especially if it’s been raining. The wooden walkway can be slippery when wet and parts of the hiking trails can be muddy and slippery.
  • You can pay by cash or card at the entrance or for refreshments.
  • There’s a turnstile at the end of the gorge on your way out. You cannot return to the entrance by doubling back inside the gorge. The route is one-way, so build in the time in your visit for your return hike.

As the most spectacular attraction of Triglav National Park, the Vintgar Gorge is a must-see, especially because its proximity to Bled makes it accessible even if you don’t have a car.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Discover more from GnomeTrotting

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading