One of my favourite walks, and sights, near Lake Bled is the Vintgar Gorge.
The Vintgar Gorge is said to be one of the most popular natural attractions in Slovenia and it is certainly one of the most beautiful. If you’re planning on visiting during July or August it’s great to head there before 9am and enjoy the whole place to yourself! The gorge was discovered in relatively recently in 1891 by a cartographer and photographer, almost entirely by accident. It sits between the vertical rocks of the Hom and Bort hills.
There is a path through the gorge now, but back in 1891, it would probably have been rather a challenge to get through. The Radovna River flows and rushes through the gorge and the pathway, constructed mainly out of wood, leads you along walkways, through rock galleries and across several wooden bridges that take you high above the rushing river. The Vintgar Gorge also includes two man-made sights; the single-arch stone bridge of the Bohinj Railway built in 1906 and the dam from which the water is routed to the Vintgar hydroelectric plant under the Sum Waterfall which, at 26 metres, is one of the highest in Slovenia.
There are many different ways to get to the Vintgar Gorge. Inghams provide a twice weekly tour departing at 9.30am on Mondays and Fridays offering ample opportunity to walk the 5km return trip and marvel at the beauty and diversity. The water is so blue and there are so many different birds and wildflowers. Interestingly, due to the micro-climate in the gorge these differ greatly to the vegetation normally characteristic for the area.
If you are feeling a little more energetic you could also walk from Bled to the gorge. This is a journey of approximately 10km. From Bled, the route leads north towards the village of Podhom. It is very well signposted and the scenery en-route is stunning. Once through the gorge there is a footpath heading south-east to the chapel of St Catherine above the village of Zasip. From here there are awe-inspiring views, possibly some of the best views of the area. From Zasip, you can either take a local bus back to bled or walk the 3km back into town, stopping of course, at a very good local bar in the village for afternoon tea or a cooling beer.
Lake Bled has many fantastic walks for all levels of walkers. There are fifteen walks around the lake and surrounding area which are well maintained and well signposted. The walks are numbered 1-15 and are all detailed on a free map available at the Tourist Office.
As an Inghams Resort Representative in Bled, I am fortunate to have done most of these wonderful walks and I love to share my knowledge with guests staying in Lake Bled. You don’t have to be a serious hiker to enjoy walking here either. There are also plenty of places to sit and admire the marvellous views, have a cup of tea and a ‘Kremsnita’ (a local sweet speciality made in Lake Bled since 1953!) or to take lots of photos to show your family and friends back home.
If you are coming out to see us in Lake Bled, you can find out all about the Vintgar Gorge walk and more during our Inghams Welcome Meeting.
We look forward to meeting you!
Blog by Yvonne MacFarlane, Inghams resort representative in Lake Bled.