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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOne of the easiest and most popular day trips from Bled is to Vintgar Gorge or Bled Gorge, where through a 1.6 km long canyon runs the beautiful, green Radovna River with its pools, rapids, and waterfalls. A deep gorge, carved through majestic cliffs of heights up to 100 meters is located northwest of Bled, in the Municipality of Gorje .
Note that, some books and maps refer to it as Bled Gorge ‘Blejski Vintgar’, others as Vintgar Gorge ‘Soteska Vintgar’. But, the yellow-colored road-signs simply call it Vintgar, and there are plenty of them. It was discovered by Jakob Žumer, the Major of Gorje, and the cartographer and photographer Benedikt Lergetporer in 1891. In 1893, the gorge was opened to the public.
A charming, wooden walkway, built in 1893, crosses the Radovna River four times over rapids and pools before reaching the end. The gradient is gentle and the walking path is accessible for all physical levels, though it can get pretty slippery and wet.
The Vintgar Gorge ends at the magnificent, 16-meter high waterfall, Šum, the highest waterfall in Slovenia. There are snack bars at the beginning and the end of the walkway and picnic tables at several locations along the way.
When you get to the end of Vintgar Gorge, you have two options upon your return – either retrace your steps back along the gorge or from Šum waterfall, walk eastward over Hom (834m) to the ancient pilgrimage of the Church of St. Catherine with a beautiful view and follow the signs to Bled.
The Vintgar Gorge also includes two man-made sights. One is the single-arch, stone bridge of the Bohinj railway, constructed in 1906, which crosses the gorge 33.5 m above the trail, and the other, a dam from which the water is routed to the small, hydroelectric power plant under the Šum waterfall.
VisitingThe gorge is typically closed in the winter. You can visit it from April to November between 8 AM and 7 PM. The entrance fee to Vintgar Gorge costs €4 ($4.60) per person. Kids entrance fee is usually half the price. There is a free parking area available in front of the entrance to the gorge.
Getting ThereThe Vintgar Gorge is about 4 kilometers northwest of Bled and many people simply walk the full distance. It is an easy walk along country roads and through pretty villages that takes about forty minutes to an hour. Head to Prešernova Cesta, then North on Partizanska Cesta up to Podhom, from there follow the signs.
If you are not up for walking, take the tourist bus in the morning to the village of Zasip , climb to the hilltop of St. Catherine and venture along a path through the forest to the gorge entrance. Alternatively you can take a bus to Podhom and continue the short walk from there. It’s also possible to hire a taxi.
Places to Visit Nearby
Pokljuka GorgeThe Pokljuka Gorge is a hidden and refreshing gem during the hot summer months. The popular neighbor, Vintgar Gorge, attracts the majority of visitors and a lot of people bypass it. At first the terrain is a little difficult, but as long as you are wearing good hiking shoes it is fine and only takes around 20 minutes from the parking area to reach the most interesting part of the gorge. Especially after heavy rainfalls and in early spring there's danger of falling rocks. A helmet is highly advisable.
PokljukaThe Pokljuka plateau is 20 km long and almost as wide. It is covered with pine tree forests and pastures and spans on an altitude of 1,300 m above the sea level. It offers an amazing experience regardless of the season and its a hikers paradise with a wide range of walks available, from shorter strolls to longer, more challenging walks to the surrounding mountains.
OsojnicaOsojnica is one of the favorite viewpoints for photographers. There is an approximately 45-minute long walk along the steep forest path leading to Mala Osojnica (685m) and another 20-minute walk leading to the top of Velika Osojnica (756m). The ascent will reward you with the stunning views of Lake Bled and its surroundings.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Jan 18, 2015