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This year we went to Slovenia for the sixth time. Within Slovenia, the Vintgar Gorge is a must-see. We resisted it for five years, but we said: “We must….” this time. And we don’t regret it.

Entry to gorge

Gorge is located near the famous tourist Lake Bled. There is a vast parking lot in front of the entrance to the gorge in the village of Podhom, so finding a place to park was fine (even though we arrived at a terrible time). Of course, parking was not included in the price of admission. We paid the parking fee first, moved to the house where the ticket office was located and got in a rather long line.

Tickets online

I regretted not buying tickets online. I couldn’t estimate the exact time of our journey from Bratislava and was afraid that we wouldn’t get in if we didn’t arrive on time. It was only on the spot that I realized that my fears were unnecessary. If I had bought our tickets online for any given time on any given day, the turnstile would have let us into the canyon.

Lesson for the future: buy your tickets online to avoid unnecessary downtime.

We eventually purchased our tickets. The lady at the ticket office asked us where we were from, and when we said Slovakia, she handed us a brochure with a canyon description and a Czech map—thumbs up for the organization. Then we went through the turnstile and descended a slight hill to a wooden footbridge. We climbed it and walked the whole canyon on it (in some places, it turned into a bridge).

Footpath over Radovna

The Radovna River forms the Vintgar Gorge and is 1 600 m long. Although it was scorching, it was pleasant in the canyon. Some managed to wear a sweatshirt without any problems. Although some visitors say in their comments on social media that they have seen more beautiful canyons and it is not worth going there for the price, the opposite is true. Vintgar is a beautiful romantic gorge. The water is clear, and you can see fish in it. The cascades on the river roar beautifully, and if you look further afield, the river seems turquoise. Yes, the trail is crowded with people, but I understand that they, too, are curious like me and want to enjoy the beauty as much as I do. Fortunately, the trail is one-way, so “collisions” shouldn’t happen.

Šum waterfall

At the canyon’s end, we were waiting for the program’s highlight (especially for our son, a railway lover): the beautiful Šum waterfall and the stone bridge of the Bohnian Railway above. Beyond the waterfall, the end of the Vitgar Gorge awaited us. There were refreshments and souvenir shopping.

We could choose the way back to the gorge’s entrance and, therefore to our car. We had a choice of two roads – red and green. The one marked in green is a bit longer and runs alongside St Catherine’s Church. The road marked in red leads through the village of Blejska Dobrava.

Of course, we chose the shorter one, as there is also a railway station in Blejska Dobrava and our son needed to see it. After the Šum waterfall, by the souvenir house, we turned left, crossed a wooden bridge and started climbing the stairs quite steeply. We climbed up, and a forest path led us into the village.

Blejska Dobrava

There is excellent signage in the village. We found the railway station without any problems and returned to the road that was supposed to lead us to the entrance to the gorge. The forest road led directly above the valley. At least from a distance, we could still listen to the river’s roar. We walked over the whole gorge, past the hut at the entrance and reached the parking lot.

At its end is a guest house, which includes a restaurant. We had a good lunch there, and we could go on exploring the beauty of Slovenia. We went to Lake Bled…

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Katarina Cvikova
Katarina Cvikova

The Cvik family are enthusiastic athletes, runners, hikers and excursionists through the beauties of Europe.

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