Travel Diaries 021: Vintgar Gorge, Slovenia's Own Middle Earth

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge may be the most beautiful place in Europe. There, I said it. A tall order, as Europe boasts an incredible amount of stunning locations, but after losing myself amongst the greenery and crystal clear water I found myself thinking "this is the most spectacular place I've ever visited."

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe

The Vintgar Gorge (or Blejski vintgar in Slovenian) is a 1.6-kilometer gorge in northwestern Slovenia, four kilometers northwest of Bled. Carved by the Radovna River, it is the continuation of the Radovna Valley. The sheer canyon walls you walk through are 50 to 100 meters high. The stream has created many erosive features such as pools and rapids, and terminates in the picturesque Šum Falls (literally, 'noisy falls'), the largest river waterfall in Slovenia.

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Given its close proximity to Bled it's quite an easy journey by car. I, on the other hand, decided walking there would be a great idea in thirty-degree heat, as my Lonely Planet guide suggested it was a quick, easy walk. Please learn from my mistakes and don't walk there! You'll be walking on the road for half the journey and most of the walk is uphill. Not the most pleasant experience, although luckily the location was gorgeous enough to make me forget the journey. This view of the valley kind of made the walk worthwhile too:

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe

The gorge is explored by following a narrow wooden walkway that clings to the canyon walls. And when I say narrow, I mean that in parts you will most likely have to wait for other people to pass by before you can continue. This was never an issue for me, though, as I was stopping almost every five paces to take a photo. The entire walk is astonishingly picturesque, it truly feels like you've stepped into some Elvish wonderland from Lord of the Rings.

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
(Not really feeling my look here (the walk to the gorge really took it out of me) but nevertheless, here I am looking like a hot mess in an amazing location).

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe
Entry to Vintgar Gorge is €4 however, I should point out that on icy days I believe it is closed off to visitors. A visit in summer is well worth your time, as it's beautifully cool amongst the mossy cliff walls and the freezing water beneath you.

Vintgar Gorge, Bramble and Thorn, Slovenia, Travel, Europe

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