Travels take you to many beautiful places and shows you many new sights – each vivid, unique and stunning in its own right. But occasionally you come across some places that are so stunningly perfect that you just conclude that it has to be a dream. And Vintgar Gorge situated in the Triglav National Park is definitely one such place.
We visited Vintgar Gorge as a day trip from Ljubljana and took an early bus from Ljubljana Avtobusna postaja to Bled. The local bus was really nice with stunning views outside during the entire drive and free wifi inside in the bus 🙂
While planning for the this trip we were under the impression that the gorge is near the city. But when we reached Bled and asked for direction to the gorge, we realized that it’s actually 3.5 kms outside Bled and we need to either walk or cycle there. We decided to leisurely walk to the gorge and also explore the picturesque countryside. Many people drove by but we kept following the long winding roads, beautiful clouds and numerous signages to reach our destination.
The walk was beautiful passing through the small village of Podhum with its quaint houses, gardens, fields, water pumps and streams. There were also some unique flowers and plants around here.
Towards the end of the walk we followed a river and reached the entrance to Triglav National Park and the Vintgar gorge. There is a small fee of Euro 4 at the entrance that you have to pay in cash (they do not accept cards).
We entered the gorge and started walking on wooden platforms, more than a 100 years old, sometimes along and sometimes crisscrossing through the beautiful gorge.
The Gorge was discovered in 1891 by Jakob Zumer, the Major of Gorje, and the cartographer and photographer Benedikt Lergetporer, quite by accident. The river Radovna (that flows through Vintgar) was very low then and they were able to walk through the otherwise impassable ravine. They were so taken by the natural beauty of the place that they decided to set up a construction committee to make this place accessible. These wooden bridges were then constructed and the trail opened for tourists in 1893. These platforms are still in use today.
We started walking along these bridges to see the Radovna River flowing swiftly though the gorge. The water of the river is green, crystal clear and so cool. In some places its racing along (as if late for a meeting) and in some places it was flowing so serenely as if it had all the time in the world. We also saw numerous ducks, birds and in some shallow areas even fishes in the water.
In numerous places the water was cascading over stones and either making small pools or throwing up beautiful rainbows. In some places the rainbow was actually bouncing along the water (because of the strong flow of the river). The gorge was surrounded by a thick forests with different shades of green, brown and red-yellow all around.
And to complete this beautiful backdrop was the beautiful light blue sky, a nice contrast to the other colors around. It was a perfect summer day and hence we managed to capture some beautiful pictures of the Gorge.
The wooden pathway in the gorge ends at a Šum waterfall, the highest river fall in Slovenia. Though I have seen much bigger water falls in India, this one still seemed like a nice end to the trail.
At the end of the trail was a small kiosk, overlooking the waterfall, that was serving drinks and small snacks. We ordered tea, sat on its small deck and just soaked in all the nature around us. There is also a small bridge here that has a beautiful backdrop of hills and forests, for a perfect selfie shot.
People who still haven’t had their fill of this place can continue further. At the waterfall the trail leaves the Radovna river and rises up a track heading south-east to the chapel of St Catherine above Zasip. This point has one of the best views of the Karavanke mountain range, the Ljubljanska valley, Bled and its surroundings and the Mt. Triglav. We didn’t try this because we were late and still had to see lake Bled before taking the train back home.
This is a definite must visit on your next trip to Lake Bled.