One of the most popular walks in the vicinity of Lake Bled is without a doubt, Vintgar Gore, a mere 5 km away from Bled. There are several different ways to get to the gorge: you can either take a local bus to the village of Podhom, from which it’s a 5 minutes’ walk to the entrance of the gorge, or, if you fancy more of a challenge, you could take a bike, but do be aware that it’s up hill all the way there!! Good thing is, it is downhill all the way back 🙂
Me and my colleague Claire, accompanied with my “full of energy” dog decided to pick “the something in the middle” way. A nice and easy walk from Bled, all the way through the gorge and back. We picked a nice, sunny day and with the sunshine the colours of the meadows and, of course the water colours of Radovna river running trough Vintgar Gorge are just unreal.
From the centre of Bled walk in the direction of the main bus stop, and carry on along the road going up to the castle (direction West). Passing the small supermarket, on the first crossroads go straight and follow the signs to Podhom. On the way to Podhom you will pass wonderful meadows full of wild flowers and hidden little villages with just a few houses. It takes approximately 1 hour until you reach the entrance of the gorge.
The entrance fee is 4€. There is a small café at the entrance, and also one at the end where you can have tea or a coffee, or an ice cream – after all you are on holiday J and then you can take as much time as you need to walk through the gorge. I can assure you that you’ll make so many stops along the way to admire the beauty in nature. Clear water, amazing blue and green colours of the river, wild flowers growing all around, the quaint wooden bridges connecting both sides of the gorge and we lost count of the number of stunning waterfalls along the way….
The walk through the gorge, along with all of the photo stops, takes about 45 minutes to an hour. Once you come to the entrance/exit on the opposite side, it is the end of the gorge. There is a little bit more to see, if you pass the bridge on the left side of the entrance.
Going back you can trace your steps and return same way, which is a little easier because it’s downhill all the way to the resort though Claire and I decided to go uphill from the second entrance. On the right side of the little hut by the entrance you will see a small direction board on which is also the way back to Bled. It is another 10 to 15 minutes walk slightly uphill through the woods. The path is clearly marked, and when you come to the open space you will see why it was worth it. The views are breathtaking. You can see the whole valley around Lake Bled, and all the mountains surrounding the area. On that viewing point you will also find the small but no less beautiful, St. Catherine church. From that point, going back is downhill all the way. There is also a nice pizza restaurant, so if you are at all hungry, this is a place to stop. From there, continue forward, following the signs to Bled. You will pass Zasip village – in which there is also a nice restaurant (another reason to stop) , a few more meadows, and before you know it you will be back in Bled.
So, the walk is moderate to easy, and with all the stops, it takes about 3 to 4 hours but it is a truly great day out with spectacularly memorable scenery.
Words & Images by Renata Stivan, Resort Representative in Lake Bled.