The Vintgar Gorge walkways are probably the most popular hike in Slovenia. At only 1.6 km, it’s a relatively short hike, but it’s absolutely spectacular. The gorge and river are phenomenal – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Slovenia and Europe, and therefore a place not to be missed.
Located in the Triglav National Park (the only national park in Slovenia), the Vintgar Gorge is just 4 km northwest of the center of Bled.
Although the route is only 1.6 km long, it is very important to bear in mind that the route is linear and only done in one direction. In addition, at the end of the walkways, there are two trails to return to the beginning. It is not possible to go back by car or back through the walkways.
Entrance to the walkways is controlled, and it is necessary to purchase a ticket.
General Information – Vintgar Walkways
- Name: Vintgar Gorge
- Start – Entrance to the canyon.
- End – Gorge Exit
- Distance – 1.6 km (walkways only)
- Time required – 2 to 3 hours, with time to return to the beginning by the trail.
- Physical difficulty – very easy if we only include the walkways. Easy to moderate if we include the return
- Technical difficulty – very easy
- Type – linear, one way.
- Signaling (1-5) – 5, there’s only one way.
- Highlights: River, Gorge, and Šum Waterfall.
Vintgar Gorge Timetable and Tickets
The walkways in Vintgar Gorge have controlled and paid entrances. After all, we are in Slovenia, everything is paid for.
In 2023, the price for adults is 10 Euros per person. There are reduced prices for children and seniors. Note that if you bring an animal, it also has to pay to enter.
If you go by car, you must also pay for parking.
Opening hours vary greatly depending on the time of year and even days of the week, so we suggest you confirm the opening hours for the day you are visiting. Anyway, the most popular time of day is between 10:00 and 13:00, so avoid this time if you can, especially in high season and weekends.
Our Vintgar Walkways Experience
The Vintgar Gorge walkways are one of the most popular landmarks in Slovenia, so it’s normal to be crowded. Still, it’s well worth it as it’s an easy, fun hike in beautiful scenery.
The Vintgar Gorge is about 1600 meters long and up to 250 meters deep. Since we are always on walkways, you don’t have to worry about the ground, safety, or even getting lost.
The official walk starts at the ticket office next to the main car park. See below for the best ways to get there, as this parking lot fills up easily.
After buying the ticket (you can also buy it online), you must validate it in the machine and start the walk. After a few hundred meters on the ground, we go directly to the walkways that run along the banks of the Radovna River. The walkways are a few years old but well cared for.
Along the way, there is no difficulty. The path is always flat or downhill. There are, however, some stairs, but nothing that makes the route challenging. Upon entering the walkway area, we will also cross the river several times on different bridges over the Radovna River.
One of the main attractions is the river’s waters with its beautiful turquoise blue color. Halfway through the trail, we come to an area where the gorge is quite tight but eventually widens again.
Just before leaving the limited access zone, there is a small dam, a bridge, and a waterfall – the Šum waterfall. It is one of the most beautiful areas of the walk, and the Šum waterfall, a few tens of meters high, is impressive.
After leaving, we have a small cafe, where you can have a drink and even eat some snacks, with a wonderful view. This cafe doubles as a post office, so you can buy and send a postcard. It’s a great souvenir.
From here, the official route of the Vintgar footbridges is finished, but we still have to go back to the car or the starting point. Since the path is only one way, it is not possible to go back through the walkways!
How to go back to the beginning or to the park?
To go back to the beginning, we have two options: go through St Catherine or Blejska Dobrava. We chose to go through St Catherine because, according to information we gathered locally, the route, although longer, is less challenging.
In addition, the trail through St. Catherine allows us to head towards P3, where we had left the car, thus avoiding having to go back to the beginning of the trail and take a shuttle. The beginning of the return route is very tough, with two steep climbs in just 1.2 km. It is also quite beautiful as it is a very dense forested area.
Arriving at the church, we are at a high point with magnificent views. Next to the church, there is a small cafe-restaurant, in case you want to have a drink. From here, you must decide whether you want to head to the starting point or Zasip and Bled.
We headed to Zasip as we had the car parked there, and it was easier than going to the start and returning to the park. The road to Zasip is more rural, passing through fields, a railway line, and small villages. It is also always flat or descending.
The route through Blejska Dobrava is a little shorter (4.3 km) but takes 75 minutes to complete as it involves a lot of climbing, including a long staircase. If you go this way, you’ll get to the starting point. From what we read, there is also a restaurant if you want to have lunch. However, we didn’t take this route.
Best time to do the Vintgar Gorge walkways
This is an activity to do with nice weather. Since it is completely outdoors, rainy days should be avoided. But even if it’s just cloudy or grey, it spoils the experience a bit, as the sun gives a special glow to the fabulous turquoise waters of the Radovna River.
Thus, fully enjoying this beautiful pedestrian route can be difficult in winter. Summer will have less rainy or cloudy days, so the gorge will show all its splendor.
However, there is another problem. This is one of the most popular destinations in Slovenia, so it’s likely to be packed with foreigners and locals. If you plan to go in high season, avoid the period between 10:00 and 13:00, as it is the most popular.
So, if you can choose the time to visit the Vintgar Gorge, we suggest you go in May/June as you will have a good chance of sunbathing and, in principle, not many people. You won’t have the walkways all to yourself, but it will be enough to make the most of it.
Who can do this hike?
First of all, it must be emphasized that to walk the walkways of the Vintgar Gorge, it is also necessary to take a trek from the end back to the beginning or the car park. There’s no other way.
The walkways are quite short and without much difficulty, so it is accessible to anyone who is used to walking. Plus, they are always descending.
However, the path after the end of the walkways is much more difficult and involves a lot more walking. Almost anyone can do it if taking it slow, but the effort is much greater than the walkways themselves.
We, therefore, suggest this route to anyone who enjoys walking outdoors and can walk about 5 km, with some steep climbs. Children used to walking shouldn’t have any problems either.
Seniors and people with less mobility should pay attention to the total distance, not just the walkways. The walkways would be easy, but the paths to get back to the start are much harder and longer than the walkways. We took this path with our parents, who are not used to walking, and it was quite hard for them.
What to pack for the Vintgar Gorge walkways?
Despite being in a national park and a mountainous area, the walkways make our lives much easier, so you don’t need specific materials for this walk. Even on the way back, which is not on footbridges, nothing special is needed as they are well-maintained and heavily used paths.
We only advise you to bring the following:
- Water (minimum 1l per person, in summer, take more).
- You can take snacks/snacks to eat along the walk, but at the end, there is a very nice little cafe with a magnificent view. We advise you to stop there for a while to enjoy it.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Comfortable clothes.
- Warm clothing in winter. Don’t forget that in the mountains the weather changes very quickly.
- Camera and cell phone, as there are many opportunities to take beautiful pictures. Mobile phones are also to be used as GPS, especially before and after the walkways, because you won’t need a GPS during the walkways.
- Small backpack to carry all this.
How to get to the Vintgar walkways?
As the walkways are quite close to Bled, getting there is relatively easy, but there are some details that you need to be aware of.
The best way to reach the walkway entrance is undoubtedly by car or taxi. If you want, you can go by public transport, it will involve an extra walk of a few km. Let’s first explain how to get there by car, because that’s what we did.
Although a car park is next to the entrance, it is small and fills up quickly. It is also more expensive as it costs 4 Euros per hour. Anyway, if you arrive early or go in the low season, you can probably park there.
When the park near the entrance sells out, we have to go to one of the other parks. These are quite far from the entrance but are cheaper. The one we used (P3) is priced at 7 Euros for 4 hours. Since it’s far from Vintgar, a shuttle takes hikers to the entrance. The shuttle is free.
An important note is that you must pay attention to which park you park in, as there are several, very far from each other. As there is no access by car at the end of the walkways, returning to the park can be complicated and will involve a nice walk. One option is to go back to the entrance and take the shuttle back, another is to walk directly to the entrance.
If you travel by public transport, you have three hypotheses:
- Walk from Bled to the Vintgar entrance (10 km, and takes about 3 hours)
- take a bus to Podhom (takes about 25 minutes)
- if you come by train, you can get off at Podhom station (only 15 minutes on foot).
Where to stay when doing the Vintgar Gorge Walkways?
When planning to visit the Vintgar walkways, the best place to stay is in Bled or one of the closer villages. It’s really close to Bled, so close that if you like long walks you can walk, so it’s quite a lot.
Check the map below for some of the best accommodations in Bled.