Destination 3: Triglav, Vintgar Gorge and Lake Bohinj
Between the borders of Italy and Austria in northwestern Slovenia lies Triglav National Park. Triglav encompasses the eastern end of the Julian Alps and is the only national park in Slovenia. In March of 2012 I was able to spend a day in the park jogging around Lake Bohinj (stopping for pictures of course) and walking the platform and bridges of the Vintgar gorge (also known as Bled gorge).
The Vintgar gorge is located northwest of the town of Bled. The entrance to the park is not too difficult to find as there are signs posted once you near the tiny town of Krnica. The limestone sheer cliff faces of the gorge are cut by the deep green hued waters of the Radovna river. Wooden walkways hug the cliff face and cross over the river at several points. Arctic grayling and various types of trout can be seen in the deep pools throughout the gorge. Entrance is only a few euros and the walk is an easy one. The gorge ends at the Sum waterfall (about a 25 minute walk) but trail continues on.
Near the town of Bojinska Bistrica at the southeastern end of Triglav national park lies Lake Bohinj. The hiking trail runs the entire perimeter of the lake and is an easy walk. Parking is available at the east end of the lake in the town of Ribcev Laz near the church of Saint John the Baptist (locally known as Sv. Janez Krstnik). Surrounding the lake are the mountain peaks of the Julian Alps. The water of the lake is crystal clear with the same greenish tint seen in all of the area’s limestone rivers. At the end of the lake opposite of the town one can take a short detour to the Savica waterfalls. Unfortunately it was getting later in the day and I wanted to drive through the park with some daylight remaining so I skipped the falls. The post header shot was taken from the east end of the lake near the church. Light rain and heavy cloud cover made HDR a necessity for the shots I took around the lake.
On the way back to Italy I took route 206 from Kranjska Gora to Bovec through the heart of the park. The relatively warm temperatures at the lower elevations near the lake and the gorge quickly gave way to snow covered roads and sub freezing temperatures. The road is steep, thin at spots and there are numerous switchbacks making for a somewhat harrowing drive however the views were spectacular.
Next posts: The Italian Dolomites near Cortina D’Ampezzo