The Slovenia Times

Vintgar Gorge caps visitor numbers

Environment & NatureTravels
The Vintgar Gorge, a popular sight near the alpine resort of Bled.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Vintgar Gorge, a popular sight near the alpine resort of Bled, has become the first Slovenian natural beauty spot to get a formal visitor capacity limit as more are likely to follow suit.

The gorge has been open to visitors for 130 years and is one of the most popular sights in the country. But increasing visitor numbers pose an increasing challenge, prompting adjustment measures.

"If we want to show off our natural beauties to the world, we must first make sure they are well preserved," Janez Poklukar, the head of the local tourism association, told reporters on 13 April.

This is why since 2020 visitors are being urged to move in one direction for a circular tour of the gorge. In 2021 online ticket sale was launched and last year, in cooperation with the Triglav National Park, the maximum number of visitors in the gorge was capped at about 250 people.

At the beginning of the month, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning issued a regulation under which only 245 people are allowed to the gorge at the same time, and the daily number must not exceed 2,290.

This will help direct the visitor flow, prevent overcrowding and increase visitor satisfaction as well as maintain the quality of life for the local community and preserve nature, Poklukar said.

Aleš Zdešar, who is in charge of spatial planning at the Triglav National Park, noted that the number of visitors to Slovenia's sole national park increased five-fold in the last 15 years.

"These are numbers that are really difficult to manage," he said. Last year the park drew up an action plan to manage visitor numbers and is working on limiting the number of visitors to other sights as well such as the Peričnik Waterfall, the Savica Waterfall and the Tolmin Gorge.


More from Environment & Nature