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.
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 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.
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. Out of season it will be a little easier as there are less visitors, but be prepared to have to move.
But, there are some good locations off the boardwalk, in particular on a rocky ledge between the first and second footbridge. See photos below. But do so at your own risk.
No more dawn or dusk shots
The gorge is open daily, but as with most photographic locations the best time is early in the morning. Sadly it’s no longer possible to just go in at dawn like I did one morning because of the gate. But at least 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.
The rapids culminate at the northern end of the gorge and cascade off a 16 metre high drop to form the lovely Šum Waterfall.
- April, May 8.00 – 18.00
- June 7.00 – 19.00
- July, August 7.00 – 20.00
- September 8.00 – 18.00
- October, November 9.00 – 16.00
Parking for visitors at the gorge is €5.
Shuttle bus €1 (more info here)
Coordinates for navigation
- Adults: €10
- Kids 6-15 years: €3
- Kids to 6 years: €1
- Students: €6
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