Situated about 4kms from the famous Lake Bled, Vintgar Gorge is just one of the many stunning locations to be found in the beautiful country of Slovenia. It’s also one of the most accessible, which on the downside also means that you’ll share this experience with hundreds of other visitors. However, it’s a fantastic location for capturing fast flowing rapids and a waterfall. Use long exposures to smooth out the flowing water for a dreamy, etheral effect, or fast exposures to freeze the water droplets and add drama.
The gorge is officially closed during the winter due to the danger it poses when the ice between the rocks freezes. It’s also quite slippery, and the 1.6km-long part wooden, part gravel walkway can be quite treacherous. However, while it is officially closed, you can still get in so if you dare to do so, like I did once, it’s a great time to photograph it in the snow, and there’s no one to get in your way. But be aware of the risks….
Open for the season
However, as of yesterday the little barrier has been lifted and the gorge is now open for the season. There are two entrances, but the main one is at the village of Podhom, where there is plenty of free parking.
There are many great viewpoints from the wooden walkway, but during busy times it can be very difficult setting up a tripod on the narrow boardwalk, as you’ll either be having to move it constantly, or wait for people to walk by and the vibrations they cause to stop. So for these shots it’s best to go in early morning or late evening, especially during the summer months, to avoid the crowds.
But, there are some good locations off the boardwalk, on a rocky ledge between the first and second footbridge. See photos below. Again, do so at your own risk.
The gorge is open from 8am to 7pm, but as with most photographic locations the best time is before 8am. Again, it’s possible to just go in like I did one morning, but beware of encountering one of the attendants who come through sweeping the walkway before opening time. I encountered a very irate one, but he gave up when I pretended I didn’t understand Slovene.
The rapids culminate at the northern end of the gorge and cascade off a 16 metre high drop to form the lovely Šum Waterfall.
- Adults: 5€
- Kids 6-15 years: 2,5€
- Kids to 6 years: 0,8€
- Primary school groups: 2€
- Students: 4€
Getting there by car:
From Bled: from the traffic lights at the top of the hill beside Hotel Krim, head along Prešernova Cesta out past the castle on towards the village of Gorje. You’ll see signposts for Vintgar as you get closer to Gorje.
It’s possible to walk there. From the bus station head out along Prešernova cesta then turn on to Partizanska cesta to Cesta v Vintgar. This will take you to Podhom, where signs show the way to the gorge entrance. To return, either go back the same way or, from Šum Waterfall, walk eastward over Hom (834m) to the ancient pilgrimage Church of St Catherine (signed ‘Katarina Bled’)
For more info check out the Vintgar Gorge website: www.vintgar.si
I run one or half day workshops at the gorge, so if you would like to get some hands on learning check out my page for more info: