Vintgar Gorge is a 1.6 km long gorge in the Julian Alps of Slovenia near Lake Bled.
More specifically, the Vintgar Gorge is located on the eastern edge of Triglav National Park, between the the hills of Hom (843 meters) and Boršt (931 meters).
The gorge was formed by the eroding force of the Radovna River, which continues to flow through the narrow chasm.
An enchanting walking path, made up of boardwalks, leads through the Vintgar Gorge from Pondhom village to the Šum waterfall. It’s an easy, family-friendly trail, which is accessible between late spring and early fall.
At the end of the gorge path, visitors have two options. They can return to the gorge entrance along the “Green Trail Vintgar – Sv. Katarina,” or along the shorter “Red Trail Vintgar – Blejska Dobrava.”
In other words, it’s not possible to hike the Vintgar Gorge out-and-back
We hiked the Red Trail Vintgar – Blejska Dobrava circuit trail and it took about 2 hours total with breaks.
Because the number of daily visitors is capped, there is a limited number of tickets available each day. Purchase your tickets online in advance at tickets.vintgar.si to guarantee your visit.
Note: strollers, wheelchairs, and drones are not allowed in Vintgar Gorge.
Vintgar Gorge Hike in Slovenia
- Trailhead: Vintgar Gorge Entrance / P1 Car Park | Google Maps
- Distance: 4.9 km circuit (red route)
- Time Needed: 1:50 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 249 meters
- Difficulty: Easy, suitable for children and dogs
- Minimum Elevation: 521 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 674 meters
- Toilets: There are public restrooms at the gorge entrance
- Where to Stay in Podhom: ECO Boutique Hotel AMS Beagle
- Where to Stay in Bled: Guesthouse Marko (budget), Vila Alpina (midrange), Hotel Starkl (midrange), Vila Bled (luxury), or Bled Rose Hotel
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Vintgar Gorge Map
Where Does the Vintgar Gorge Trail Start
The Vintgar Gorge trail starts at the P1 car park in the village of Pondhom, 4 km northwest of Bled.
The ticket area and gorge entrance is located just 90 meters from the top of the car park.
How to Get to Vintgar Gorge from Lake Bled
Vintgar Gorge is located 4 km northwest of Lake Bled. It’s feasible to walk (1 hour), or bike (20-30 minutes) to the gorge entrance.
You can also drive to the P1 car park at the Vintgar Gorge entrance, but there’s only capacity for 50 cars here. Another option is to park at the P3 LIP Central Parking Park + Ride and take the free shuttle to the gorge entrance.
Alternatively, you can take a short bus ride from the Bled Main Bus Station to the Podhom bus stop, or the Spodnje Gorje bus stop.
From both bus stops, it’s approximately a 20-minute walk to the Vintgar Gorge entrance. Look up bus timetables on arriva.si.
Another option is to take the Mamut direct shuttle to Vintgar Gorge.
Vintgar Gorge Parking
P1 Car Park
The P1 Car Park is the closest car park to Vintgar Gorge. This car park fills up quickly, since it only has capacity for 50 parks.
Location | Google Maps
Car Parking Fee | It costs 4 EUR per hour.
Motorcycle Parking Fee | It costs 3 EUR per day.
P3 LIP Central Parking P+R
If the P1 car park is full, it’s best to park at the P3 LIP Central Parking P+R.
The P3 car park is located 2.5 km away from the Vintgar Gorge entrance/P1 car park.
A free shuttle bus connects this park-and-ride parking lot with Vintgar Gorge.
The shuttle starts running 30 minutes before the gorge opens and 2 hours after the gorge closes. It operates continuously throughout the day.
Location | Google Maps
Car Parking Fee | It costs 7 EUR to park for 4 hours, or 15 EUR per day.
Camper Parking Fee | It costs 10 EUR to park for 4 hours, or 17 EUR per day.
P4 Car Park
The Bljeska Dobrava P4 Car Park is located in the settlement of Bljeska Dobrava. If you part here, you’ll have to walk 1 hour to the gorge entrance, following the red route.
Location | Google Maps
Car Parking Fee | It costs 5 EUR to park for 4 hours
Motorcycle Parking Fee | It costs 2 EUR to park for 4 hours
When to Visit Vintgar Gorge
Vintgar Gorge is open seasonally, usually between mid-April and late October. The Vintgar Gorge is always closed in winter.
The exact opening and closing dates are dependent on weather conditions and so they shift slightly each year.
This year, Vintgar Gorge opened on April 12, 2023. The gorge will stay open until mid/late October.
Opening Hours in 2023
The opening times change throughout the season. The last entry into Vintgar gorge is 30 minutes before closing.
April Weekends and Holidays | 9 am – 5 pm
April Weekdays | 10 am – 4 pm
May 1 – May 26 | 9 am – 5 pm
May 27 – June 23 | 8 am – 6 pm
June 24 – August 15 | 7:30 am – 7 pm
August 16 – September 10 | 8 am – 6 pm
September 11 – October 8 | 8 am – 5 pm
October 9 – End of Season | 9 am – 4pm
For updates on opening and closing dates, consult vintgar.si
Best Time of Year to Visit Vintgar Gorge
The best time to visit Vintgar Gorge is in spring, or fall.
We visited the Vintgar Gorge in late October and the whole experience was very pleasant.
We could drive to the P1 car park, directly at the gorge entrance, and purchase our ticket upon arrival. We didn’t have to worry about long lines, or parking.
If you visit Vintgar Gorge in summer, definitely purchase your entrance ticket online and visit early in the morning.
Best Time of Day to Visit Vintgar Gorge
The gorge is busiest between 10 am and 1 pm. We recommend either visiting early in the morning, within the first hour of opening, or late in the day, within the last hour before closing.
Vintgar Gorge Entrance Ticket
Adults | 10 EUR
Students, Seniors, and Disabled Persons | 7 EUR
Children (ages 6-15) | 3 EUR
Children (ages 0 – 5) | 1 EUR
Dogs | 3 EUR
We recommend purchasing your Vintgar entrance ticket in advance at tickets.vintgar.si, especially if you’re visiting in summer.
You can also purchase your entrance ticket in person at the gorge entrance. However, there’s a cap on daily visits, so there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a ticket.
If you purchased your ticket online, it’s important to arrive at the entrance several minutes before your scheduled entry time.
Vintgar Gorge Hike
The Vintgar Gorge trail is 1.6 km long and takes about 30 minutes to walk. Everyone follows the same trail through the gorge in the same direction.
At the gorge exit (Šum Waterfall), you can choose to hike the red route back to the P1 car park, or the green route back to the P1 car park. The red route leads back to the entrance via the Blejska Dobrava hamlet and a beech forest. The green trail returns to the gorge entrance via the St. Catherine church (Cerkev Sv. Katarina).
You can also hike back to Bled village, following the green route at first. Additionally, there’s a trail to the P4 car park.
We hiked the shorter red route, because the green route was closed during our visit. The choice was made for us.
Vintgar P1 Car Park – Vintgar Gorge Entrance – Šum Waterfall (30 – 40 minutes)
From the top of the P1 car park, follow the wide track to the log-cabin hut, which functions as a ticket booth and souvenir shop. They sell hot drinks, beer, non-alcoholic beverages, cream cakes, and ice cream.
Pass by the hut and follow the sign to “Gorge – Waterfall.”
After scanning your entrance ticket at the turnstile, follow the well-groomed gravel trail along the Radovna River.
After a few minutes, cross the river over a wooden bridge.
The boardwalk path hugs the east wall (or right side) of the gorge.
About 10 minutes later, the boardwalk crosses the river to the west side (left side).
Much of the appeal of the walk lies in the color of the water, which ranges from vibrant teals to emerald greens.
Clinging to the vertiginous rock wall, the boardwalk slithers through the narrowest part of Vintgar Gorge. This is the most dramatic section of the walk.
Another bridge crossing aids you to the right side of the gorge.
The trail continues along the river. The best part of the hike is now over.
There are more steps as you pass beneath the stone arch bridge, which spans the gorge.
The bridge is part of the Bohinj railway line, built between 1900 and 1906, which connected Vienna and Prague with Trieste.
Pass the hydroelectric dam and continue another 180 meters (about 3 minutes) to the gorge exit, marked by another wooden hut and several picnic tables. You can purchase beverages and snacks here as well.
Šum Waterfall – Bljeska Dobrava – Vintgar P1 Car Park (1 hour)
To start the return route to the P1 car park, turn left and cross the wooden bridge over the river.
The Šum Waterfall (Slap Šum in Slovenian) is directly under the bridge. From this vantage point, you can’t see the 13-meter-high river waterfall.
If you want a better view, you have to detour to the waterfall lookout point. Follow the sign to Viewpoint Šum (5 min).
Return to the bridge and follow the trail sign to “Entrance to Vintgar-Podhom P1” (1 hour) and the red-painted arrows.
Climb up the cement stairs and then follow the forest path to Blejska Dobrava, a small settlement in the municipality of Jesenice.
When you intersect with a paved road, turn left. The trail signs are frequent and ubiquitous, so there should be no confusion about where to go.
Pass by the inviting Natour Bar, which does a great job advertising their offerings, including local craft beer.
Continue following the paved path, passing hay racks and residential homes.
The long chain of mountains ahead are the Karawanks.
Soon, turn left to Vintgar – Podhom. The trail passes by a cattle farm and then enters a beech forest.
For the next 20 minutes, follow the wide, leafy forest trail. This path slopes down to the gorge entrance and the P1 car park.
Vintgar Gorge Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Swim in Vintgar Gorge?
No, swimming is not allowed in Vintgar Gorge.
Is Vintgar Gorge Worth It?
If you’ve never walked through a river gorge in the Alps before, then Vintgar Gorge is worth visiting.
If you have visited other gorges, like Partnachklamm and Höllentalklamm Gorge in Bavaria, or Liechtensteinklamm Gorge in Salzburg, then Vintgar Gorge pales in comparison.
We think Vintgar Gorge is overrated. It’s overwhelming popularity is tied to its proximity to Lake Bled.
Where to Stay near Vintgar Gorge
Luxury | ECO Boutique Hotel AMS Beagle is a lovely, small hotel in Podhom. It’s only a 10-minute walk from the hotel to the Vintgar Gorge entrance. Breakfast is included.
Budget | Guesthouse Marko is a top-rated guesthouse in Bled, walking distance to the lakeshore.
Midrange | JAZZ B&B is a friendly bed and breakfast with clean, comfortable rooms, a wonderful breakfast, and a shared kitchen. It’s a 10 minute walk to Lake Bled.
Midrange | Old Parish House is a cozy and clean bed and breakfast, 100 meters away from Lake Bled.
Top Choice – Midrange | Hotel Starkl – Heritage & Unique is a darling lakefront hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar. Breakfast is included. This family-run property stands out with its friendly service, exceptional cuisine, and location.
Luxury | Adora Luxury Hotel is a lakefront boutique hotel with 7 luxurious suites. Stay here for the lake views and dreamy location. Breakfast is available for an extra charge.
Luxury | Vila Bled is a historic lakefront hotel with 33 rooms. Set in a quiet area of Lake Bled, guests can enjoy the historical flair of President Tito’s former summer residence. Breakfast is included.
Luxury | Bled Rose Hotel is a modern, 4-star hotel in the center of Bled. The hotel features an on-site bar, an indoor swimming pool and spa, a fitness room, and private beach area. Breakfast is included in the room rate.
Look for accommodation in Bled.
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Slovenia Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Slovenia Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip.
When to Visit Slovenia
Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to travel to Slovenia is between May and late October.
The best time to hike in the Slovenian Alps is between June and October. For hut-to-hut hiking, we recommend planning your trek between early July and mid-September.
Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit Slovenia is between mid/late December and March.
It’s possible to visit Slovenia without a car if you want to concentrate your time in Ljubljana, Lake Bled, and Lake Bohinj.
When we visited without a car, we planned two linear hut to hut hikes.
Unless you’re trekking, we recommend renting a car, because many places are simply not accessible with transit. For example, there are no buses to Logar Valley, Vrata Valley, and the Košuta mountain pastures.
Check out our itineraries for road trip inspiration:
Use the intuitive Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Where to Stay
We’ve summarized our favorite destinations and accommodations in Best Paces to Stay in Slovenia, including Lake Bohinj, Logar Valley, Kranjka Gora, and Kobarid.
Top Things to Do
- Summit Mount Triglav.
- Eat Štruklji Borovničevi at Kofce Mountain Hut.
- Trek across Triglav National Park along this epic 4-day Triglav National Park Trek.
- Visit an alpine dairy like Koča na planini Dolga njiva.
- Stay in a farm stay like Tourist Farm Šenkova domačija in Zgornje Jezersko.
- Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Bohinj.
- Watch the sunrise at Mala Osojnica, overlooking Lake Bled.
- Hike to the Kamnik Saddle.
- Glamp in a treehouse like Ribno Alpine Glamping.
Slovenia Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Slovenia Hiking Guides
Slovenia is heaven on earth for hikers. We recommend allocating sufficient time to discover both the Julian Alps and the Kamnik Savinja Alps.
In Best Hikes in Slovenia, we’ve summarized the most thrilling day hikes and multi-day hikes across the Slovenian Alps, ranked by difficulty.
If you’re interested in hut-to-hut hiking, read our guide to Slovenian Mountain Huts and Hut-to-Hut Hiking in Slovenia.
More Things to Do around Lake Bled
More Slovenia Hiking and Travel Guides
- Lake Bohinj
- Logar Valley
- Kranjska Gora
- Viševnik Day Hike
- Seven Lakes Valley Day Hike
- Mount Vogel Day Hike