As one of the most popular places for tourists in the country, visiting Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia is a must on most people’s itinerary through this country. As an easy day trip from the capital of Ljubljana (especially when combined with the iconic Lake Bled), visiting Vintgar Gorge is something that is a must on many traveller’s Slovenia wish lists.
However, it can be hard to know exactly what you need to do in order to visit this iconic place. There is actually quite a lot to know about visiting Vintgar Gorge that isn’t necessarily provided by the area’s own website.
So if you’re planning a visit to Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia and want to know all of the details, you’ve come to the right place. Here I will outline everything you need to know about getting to Vintgar Gorge, the prices for entry, the opening times and how to plan your time and route once you’re there.
Getting to Vintgar Gorge
Getting to Vintgar Gorge can prove to be the first challenge when it comes to visiting this place, especially if you’re relying on public transport (or if you’ve had a bit of a late start). If you’re wondering how to get to Vintgar Gorge, read on for the best advice.
Getting to Vintgar Gorge from Ljubljana
Looking to do a day trip to Vintgar Gorge from Ljubljana? It’s relatively straightforward, especially if you aren’t relying on public transport.
By far the easiest way to reach Vintgar Gorge from Ljubljana is by car. I highly recommend renting a car in Slovenia (you can browse deals on Rentalcars.com) if you want to explore a bit outside of the capital as it makes everything so much easier.
The drive from Ljubljana to Vintgar Gorge takes about 50 minutes. The one thing to very much keep in mind is that the car park at Vintgar Gorge can fill up quite quickly (especially in the summer months) so it is best to get there as early as possible.
If you want to get to Vintgar Gorge using public transit, there are a few different options available to you. Mostly, you do need to get to Bled first and then find your way to the Gorge from there. There are countless bus connections every day from Ljubljana to Lake Bled and it can be very easy to get there.
If you wish to take the train, you must connect in the town of Jesenice (about 20km from Bled) before continuing on as there are no direct trains from Ljubljana.
I have more information about how to get to Vintgar Gorge from Bled in the next section.
If you don’t want to deal with public transit and also aren’t keen to hire a car, then your best bet to visit Vintgar Gorge would be to go via organised tour. There are lots of options available from Ljubljana, such as this full-day tour which also includes a visit to the beautiful Lake Bled, as well!
Getting to Vintgar Gorge from Bled
If you’re not renting a car and driving to Vintgar Gorge directly, you’re likely going to end up in Bled before getting to the gorge. There are a couple of ways to get to the gorge from Bled, however, so you do have a number of options.
If you’re driving, Vintgar Gorge is located only about 10 minutes from Bled (a little bit more than five kilometres). This can make it easy if you happen to be staying in Bled and you won’t have to get up too early in order to make it there at opening time.
If you’ve taken public transport to Bled, then you have a couple of options in order to reach Vintga Gorge. The first and simplest is to get the shuttle bus from Bled to the gorge. This bus, run by the company Mamut, runs every hour and will shuttle you between the gorge entrance and their office in Bled.
Unfortunately, however, they are only open from April-October so you don’t have any other option in the winter months. You can book your transfer online in advance with Mamut.
If you’re feeling more active, Vintgar Gorge is only about 5-6 kilometres from Bled (depending on your starting point) and it is completely possible to walk there easily. It is well signposted and you can make it to the gorge in under an hour — the hike is also relatively easy. You can also very easily walk back to Lake Bled after!
Guide to Visiting Vintgar Gorge
Let’s talk about actually visiting this beautiful gorge and what to expect while you’re there!
First and foremost, I would absolutely recommend that you get to the Vintgar Gorge as early as possible. By that, I mean to get there as soon as it opens.
We got there at opening time and were able to enjoy the beauty of the gorge with fewer people around. When we got back to the car park by the time our visit was over, the main lot was completely full and the overflow lot was filling up quickly.
The wooden pathways along the gorge are narrow and if you want to go at your own pace, it’s easier to do this with fewer people on the path — especially if you want to stop and get some great photos.
If you are not a morning person, it can be worth it to visit close to the closing time, as well, if this suits your schedule more, however, I can’t personally attest to this. According to the website, the most popular times to visit the gorge is from 11AM to 1PM.
The walk along the Vintgar Gorge itself is very easy along wooden pathways that wind over and along the gorge itself. The walk is about 1.6 kilometres long and, if you’re moving slowly and stopping to enjoy the view, expect to spend about 30-45 minutes walking along it.
Once you’ve exited the gorge area, there are some signposts that will take you on a quick, 5-minute detour to the Sum Waterfall viewpoint. This is located down some stairs right at the end of the wooden pathway and it is very much worth visiting for some iconic views of the gorge.
At one point, it was possible to simply turn around once you reach the end of the wooden pathway and work your way back to the car park that way. However, these days the tickets are one-way only and there are a couple of different routes to take to get back to the car.
The first option is to take the Strma stran route, which is the quickest of the two but also the most difficult. This one will take about 45 minutes for you to get back to the car park but it’s worth noting that is is very steep and not a great option for those who aren’t as fit. The path takes you along the top of the hill over the gorge.
The second option is the St Catherine’s route. This route will take longer, but the walk itself is quite easy and is really enjoyable. This is the route that Michael and I took. The first bit from the end of the gorge is through the woods and is a mild uphill walk.
This trail will lead you to the St Catherines Church and will then wind you down around the hill through some beautiful open pasture. You can even get great views of Bled Castle from the walk. This route will take about one hour all in.
Regardless of which route you take, everything is very well signposted along the trails and you will also get a map and pamphlet upon entering the gorge outlining the routes, as well.
Vintgar Gorge Opening Times
The opening times at Vintgar Gorge vary depending on the time of year and even what time of the month you are arriving. The opening times are listed explicitly on their website, however, I will tell you here, as well, if you don’t feel like navigating to another page.
If you’re visiting Vintgar Gorge in the months of April and May, it is open from 10AM to 4PM. In the month of June, the gorge is open from 8AM to 6PM. During the months of July and August, the gorge is open from 7:30AM to 7PM.
If you are going to visit the Vintgar Gorge from the 1st to the 19th of September, it will be open from 8AM to 6PM. From the 20th of September to the 10th of October, it’s open from 8AM to 5PM. And then from the 11th of October onwards, the gorge is open from 9AM to 4PM.
These are the opening times at the time of writing in October of 2021, however, I would highly recommend verifying on the website to ensure that you get the accurate opening time.
Vintgar Gorge Price
The Vintgar Gorge can actually be one of the more pricey destinations to visit in Slovenia, however, it isn’t really going to break the bank and there are some discounts available to those who qualify.
The standard adult entry ticket to Vintgar Gorge is €10. The entry price for students with a valid ID and seniors is €7. For children ages 6-15 years, entry is €6 and children under 6 years can enter for €1.
If you happen to be visiting Vintgar Gorge with a furry friend, know that pet entry is €3 per animal.
If you have your own vehicle, parking at the gorge is €5 per car.
Visiting Vintgar Gorge is one of the top things to do in Slovenia and it is absolutely worth the trip out there. This incredible natural site is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the beauty of this nation and you’re sure to enjoy your time spent there.
Are you planning a trip to Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia? Have you visited before? Let us know in the comments!