Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia – the good and the bad
Vintgar Gorge is the first touristically arranged canyon in Slovenia. It’s become extremely popular with many tourists, including me, taking a trip from Bled to Vintgar to enjoy a few hours out into the nature, diving into the beauty of the Radovna River passing through the gorge (a deep narrow valley with rocky sides).
I arrived in Bled early in the morning, at about 9am so by the time I dropped my back at my Airbnb, I had already missed the 9:30 bus from Bled bus station going to Vintgar gorge. You can get a 1€ ride straight to the entrance of the gorge by jumping on the Bled-Vintgar Gorge-Zatrnik bus which is super handy because I’ve heard of some people taking a shuttle for around 6€ (can arrange at the bus station) and being dropped off quite a far walk (about an hour away) from the actual gorge so really recommend you taking that 1€ option. So I got the 10:30am shuttle which got me at the gorge by about 11am. They say it takes 10min but it really doesn’t. The roads are super narrow so although the place is just 4km away from Bled is takes a bit of time to get there. But please check the bus timetable before you turn up at the station thinking you can jump on a bus straightaway because the buses are not regular AT ALL. They actually have a bit of a funny timetable for a place that’s literally so touristy now, but we’ll forgive them for that 😀 See this website for an up-to-date bus schedule so you can plan ahead goo.gl/QXkr9L.
Super excited to have arrived at the gorge, I must admit so was a pretty large queue of tourists waiting to buy a ticket. So after about 20-25 min I was able to get my pass for 5€ (student ticket is 4€) and I dived into the stunning scenery. The place was absolutely gorgeous. The trail is a 1.6km walk on the side of the Radovna river which travels down the valley and it takes about an hour and a bit to walk from one end of the trail to the other. I must be honest with you and say that there are quite a lot of people walking the trail in both directions so arm yourself with peacefulness and patience because you might have to stop a few times along the way. BUT this only gives you another opportunity to breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the crystal clear water views 🙂 A trip to Vintgar Gorge is actually the perfect escape from the heat especially if you go in season because naturally the gorge is a lot cooler and can give you a nice break from the high temperature outside so you’re really up for a nice treat…
You’ll know you’ve reached the end of the trail when you hear the beautiful sound the of the Sum Falls falling down the valley. You can either see the falls from a little bridge standing just above it or can venture out to walk to it by taking a short trip down the gorge. The way to the bottom of the waterfall wasn’t marked and not many people were going for it so I didn’t walked down myself because I was a bit conscious I might get lost into the forest but if you feel adventurous (+ have a buddy with you!) and wanna take a break whilst watching the water fall down, you should definitely do it.
It was about 1pm and I was ready to leave and that’s when the fun part really kicked in 😀 I was told that the next bus going back to Bled was at 3:15pm (and it was Monday!) and to catch it, I had to walk all the way back to the start of the trail, the same 1.6km (crazy right 😀 ). So when you get to the end you’ll normally have a couple of options: 1) walk back 1.6m (1 hour) to get to the start and catch the same 1€ bus back to Bled, or 2) walk from the end of the trail back to Bled (about 1.5 hours), unless of course you’ve hired a car and you’ve driven to Vintgar Gorge 😀 However I was lucky (and chatty) and thankfully I got myself another deal 😀 There was a guy who was offering to drop a few people off to the start of the trail on his shuttle, for 5€ pp, what an amazing biz model LOL So immediately I thought, hm good idea but I don’t want to wait for the bus for 2 hours?! Then I started chatting to some people around, many of whom were equally surprised by this little transport situation and I was surpised to realise how many people actually drive to Vintgar Gorge. So me and a couple other gals got a lift from another solo traveler who offered to drop us off to Bled castle (that was my next stop) for free Yuppie 😀 I must admit, I was happy.
So, a few tips from me before you travel to Vintgar Gorge:
1) Check the 1€ bus timetable and plan for your return journey if you want to go back by bus.
2) Alternatively arrange for a shuttle to pick you up so you don’t have to stay for much longer than you want to (there is a little place right next to Bled bus station that offers shuttle service, bike hires, and all sorts of activities). Arrange with them to maybe pick you up from the end of the trail (there is a car park there).
3) Put on some really comfy trainers so you fully enjoy your minimum 2 hour walk (the trails are great but narrow and can be a bit slippery).
4) If you’re not in a rush, walk to see the Sum Falls and can even bring some lunch to have at the bottom of the falls (plenty of space to sit down and enjoy 🙂 )
5) Take a lot of pictures and enjoy your escape into the nature!
If you’ve found the guide above helpful, please share it with your friends on social media just so they know what to expect. Vintgar Gorge is a beautiful must see attraction but to ensure you have the best experience, a quick note of the points above would really make a difference 🙂 Have fun!
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