The Vintgar Gorge is one of the most popular natural features in Slovenia. It lies a couple of miles north of Bled near the village of Podhom where the Radovna River cuts a deep gorge between the hills of Hom and Borst. It was only discovered in 1891 by Jakob Žumer, the Major of Gorje and Benedikt Lergetporer, a cartographer and photographer from Bled. The discovery was accidental and took place at a time when the water level of the Radovna river was very low. They started their exploration in Spodnje Gorje and headed towards Blejska Dobrava. They made it through the otherwise impassable ravine with great difficulty and discovered so much natural beauty that they decided to establish a construction committee. The gorge was arranged for visits, especially for visitors to Bled. A 1600m long trail was opened to the public on 26th August 1893 and is still used to this day. The walk is wonderfully cool as the sun hardly reaches the river. You get to see some fast water as the river flows quickly over rapids and waterfalls. If you start at the entrance near Spodnje Gorje, the walk should take you around 30mins to reach the 16 m high Šum waterfall. There are cabins where you can buy drinks at both ends of the gorge. At the eastern end you can walk up Hom hill to Zasip and then back to Bled. Visit my travelogue for more photos.
Open: Daily 8am-7pm. Admission: 700SIT.
The Vintgar Gorge is one of the most beautiful places in the area and possibly in Slovenia. The walk is quite easy, about 1.6 km from one entrance to the to the other, mostly on wooden decks. There is a beautiful waterfall next to the northern entrance.
The gorge is open daily from 8:00 to 19:00, but it is closed in the winter. The entrance fee is SIT 600 for adults, SIT 500 for students and groups of 10 or more and SIT 250 for children up to 14 years old.
See more pictures of the gorge in the travelogues.
This is a pizzeria/snack bar near St Catherine's Church on the top of Hom hill near Zasip. I rested here and had a drink after climbing Hom hill after walking through Vintgar Gorge. The walk back to Bled from here takes approx 30mins.
Open: daily 10.00 -23.00
Getting to Vintgar Gorge is pretty simple. If you obtain a map from the Tourist Information Centre in Bled, there’s a list of bus routes displayed on the back. There are 2 routes you need to get to Vintgar Gorge - Bled-Podhom-Zasip or Bled-Gorje-Krnica. Just tell the driver you wish to go to Vintgar Gorge and he'll tell you when to get off. The stop I got off at was about a 10-15min walk away from the entrance near Spodnje Gorje and a local guy, who lived nearby, showed me the way to go but it is also signposted. After visiting the gorge I decided to walk back over the Hom hill and through a village called Zasip back to Bled. This took about an hour and the walk over the hill is quite tuff in places. You can do this trip in about 2.5-3hrs. I took a bus at 14:40 and got back to Bled at about 17:15 in order to get the 17:30 bus back to Ljubjlana.
I decided to walk back to Bled from Vintgar Gorge which is quite a trek up and over Hom, a hill which stands at 834m above sea level. On top of the hill stands this beautiful little pilgrimage church dedicated to St Catherine. It was built around the year 1400, whilst its masonry portico and frescoes date from the beginning of the 16th century. The main feature of the church is its fortified wall that dates from the 15th century and encircles the entire church. It is possible to go right up to the church but I couldn't enter inside as it was locked.