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Wooden BoardwalkPhoto: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
After your transfer from Bohinj to Bled, the day is yours! You may like to saunter around Lake Bled, take a pletna boat to the island to visit the Assumption of Mary Pilgrimage Church, rent a SUP, feast on kremna rezina (Bled Cream Cake), or visit the Vintgar Gorge. The following information describes a trip to Vintgar Gorge, which is especially recommended.
You’ll be brushing shoulder-to-shoulder with throngs of other tourists as you shuffle along the wooden boardwalk in the depths of the Vintgar Gorge, but when you see the sapphire-blue waters of the Radovna River, and the deep gouge it has carved into the earth, nothing else will matter.
For 1.6 kilometres the Radovna River thunders through the chasm, with vertical walls from 50 – 100 metres high. The footpath crosses above waterfalls, passes under overhanging cliffs, and squeezes through tight sections of the gorge, continually providing a view to cascading drops and swirling eddies. After 1.6 kilometres, the river emerges from the gorge with a grand finale; the 13 metres high Šum Waterfall. From here, you can walk to Bled (4 kilometres) or return through the gorge and take the shuttle bus.
You can take a shuttle bus to/from Vintgar Gorge, which stops at many locations around Bled. This runs approximately hourly. Further information here: http://www.vintgar.si/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/letak-A4-shuttle-bus-2019_tisk.pdf
Further information on Vintgar Gorge opening hours and entrance fee here: http://www.vintgar.si/?lang=en
Be careful as path, and especially the wooden boardwalk, may be slippery when wet.
There are some exposed edges; be sure to read instructions carefully, stick to the main path, and don’t wander close to the edge. Use handrails where provided.
Stick to the main path and keep away from the fast-flowing river.
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
Vintgar Gorge has been open to the public since 1893, only two years after its discovery. The chasm walls range from 50-100 metres deep over its 1.6 kilometre length, and at its narrowest are only a few metres wide (as you’ll experience as you squeeze through!). There is a small hydroelectric project which you will pass just before reaching the Šum Waterfall.
St Katherine’s Church
St Katherine’s Church dates to the 1400’s and has a classic gothic style, though it has been renovated in the 16th and 18th centuries. It is an old pilgrimage church.
Food and Drink
There is a café which sells drinks, ice creams and basic snacks at the Vintgar Gorge entrance and near the Šum Waterfall.
There are a few local restaurants in Zasip, if you choose to walk back to Bled.
After disembarking from the shuttle bus, buy your entrance ticket at the nearby cabin, and then bear left onto the footpath marked Vintgar Gorge, scanning your ticket to pass through the turnstile. It is important to keep your ticket to enable you to return through the turnstiles on the other side!
The footpath is along wooden boardwalk and gravel paths that criss-cross the Radovna River and squeeze through the gorge.
After 1.6 kilometres, having passed through an exit turnstile, bear right of the café and head downhill, following the sign to Waterfall Viewpoint. Turn left to cross the bridge and then immediately turn left to admire the Šum Waterfall from the viewing platform.
From here you can either walk to Bled (4 kilometres) or return through the gorge and take the shuttle bus back.
To walk to Bled, follow the gravel footpath away from the Šum Waterfall hut and towards Bled. After 1.2 kilometres, as you reach a paved road opposite the 15th century Church of St Katherine, continue straight on, passing the church on your left.
At 4 kilometres, as you reach a junction in the centre of Zasip, bear left, following the signpost to Bled. Remain on this road to finish in Lake Bled.
Book recommendations for this region:
Such is the way of hiking in the mountains that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weathers; sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, as is plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.
Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.
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