The Vintgar Gorge Is Only A Short Distance From One Of Slovenia`s Loveliest Tourist Attractions, Bled Lake
This stunningly attractive gorge is only about four kilometres from the popular tourist destination of Lake Bled in Slovenia and for this reason it is sometimes known as Bled Gorge . It was first discovered in 1891 and has now been open to the public for almost 120 years.
The Walkways Through The Gorge Above The Radovna River (Photograph Courtesy of KRAJI-Slovenia)
The gorge was found by local photographer Benedikt Lergetporer and map maker Jakob Zumer, the mayor of Gorje village. They immediately recognised the significance of their find and bridges and wooden walkways were soon constructed to allow visitors to view their stunning discovery.
Over the years the walkways have been renovated many times and although a railway bridge was built across it and a hydroelectic dam constructed below it, the natural beauty of Vintgar Gorge has changed little since it was first discovered.
Located in the north west corner of Slovenia, Vintgar is only a few kilometres away from the popular tourist destination of Bled Lake. The gorge itself is on the north eastern edge of the Triglav National Park, the only national park in the country.
Entrance To The Triglav National Park
Mount Triglav, at 2,864 metres, (9,396 feet) is the highest mountain in the country and part of the Julian Alps. It is the Radovna River, flowing down part of this mountain range, that has cut the Vintgar Gorge.
The Radovna River runs for 1.6 kilometres though the wonderful gorge it has created with the sheer rock walls climbing from 50 to 100 metres above.
There is a small charge (4 euros in 2012) to enter the gorge, and at either end are refreshment bars and toilets. It`s a good idea to wear shoes with a decent grip, as the walkways can get wet at times. They are also not ideal for childrens buggies, although youngsters can usually do the walk fairly easily.
A lightweight waterproof jacket is also a good idea, as even on a warm day the drop in temperature down in the gorge is very noticeable, being as much as 10 degrees cooler.
One Of The Refreshment Bars At The End Of The Gorge (Photograph Courtesy of KRAJI-Slovenia)
The walk along the gorge can take around 45-60 minutes, depending how long you spend taking photos and admiring the crystal clear waters of the Radovna River, where fat trout can often be seen swimming.
The walk along the gorge can take around 30-45 minutes, depending how long you spend taking photos and admiring the crystal clear waters of the Radovna River, where fat trout can often be seen swimming.
It is worth looking out for the railway bridge that passes high overhead at one point, many people miss it.
At the end of the Vintgar Gorge the river drops about 17 metres and creates the Sum Waterfall which is one of the highest in Slovenia.
The gorge is not open all year round, during the winter it is officially closed, although it is still possible to enter.
However, the walkways when they are covered with ice and snow can become dangerous so visiting when closed is not advisable.
The Sum Waterfall (Photograph Courtesy of KRAJI-Slovenia)
On the other hand, during the summer months the gorge can get very crowded, especially when the tourist buses arrive from Lake Bled, so early morning or late afternoon are the best times if you want to avoid the crowds.
It is actually a nice walk to Vintgar Gorge from the Bled Lake should you choose to do that, otherwise it is only a few minutes by car or bus and there is plenty of room to park at the gorge.
For those that like to have a more in-depth experience, with explanations about local history and the sights you may see, then there are some really good guided tours you can book quite reasonably in the town of Bled.
Whichever way you choose to explore the Vintgar Gorge, I know you will find it an incredible gorge to visit!
Here is a map of Slovenia with the location of Vintgar Gorge indicated by a red star