Close to Lake Bled

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.

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

The gorge in winter

Closed during the winter

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 still used to be able to get in out of hours or out of season, like I did once or twice, it’s a great time to photograph it in the snow, and there’s no one to get in your way. But now there is a gate that blocks entrance when it’s closed.

Open for the season

The gorge is open from April to November. 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.

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

Shot from a rocky ledge off the boardwalk

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

Photographed from off the boardwalk

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

Taken from the first footbridge

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

From the walkway close to the second footbridge

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

From the footbridge early morning

The gorge is open from 8am to 7pm, but as with most photographic locations the best time is before 8am. Sadly it’s no longer possible to just go in like I did one morning because of the gate. But at lease you won’t encounter 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.

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

From the walkway near the second footbridge. This is a very tricky shot on a narrow corner. There is just enough room to setup the tripod, and it needs to be high to get this perspective. So definitely avoid the crowded times for this one.

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

The same angle but with a faster shutter speed to add more drama

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

It’s a great location for black and white shots too.

Vintgar Gorge in autumn, Slovenia

Autumn can be stunning at the gorge. This shot was taken right at the last bridge where you exit the gorge.

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

I took this at dusk, after the gorge had officially closed.

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

This is a great viewpoint looking back after you have crossed the second footbridge.

Sum Waterfall, Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

The 16 Metre high Šum Waterfall in Vintgar Gorge, near Bled, Slovenia.

The rapids culminate at the northern end of the gorge and cascade off a 16 metre high drop to form the lovely Šum Waterfall.

Sum waterfall, Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

Summer is a good time to photograph the falls, but it gets crowded so be patient, or use the tourists strategically in your shots if you can……

Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia

After heavy rain one summer

Opening times:

The Vintgar gorge is open for visitors  from 8.a.m. till 7.p.m. April to November.

Parking

There is free parking for visitors.

Coordinates for navigation

latitude: 46,3920°
longitude: 14,0844°

Entry is:

  • 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.

By foot:

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

Join me on one of my workshops at the gorge

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:
www.ianmiddletonphotography.com/tours/workshops/vintgar-gorge.html



For tips on how to get the best photos here, download my free ebook



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