Being part of Triglav National Park – the only national park in Slovenia – Pokljuka Gorge is unspoilt place of nature.
It is situated on the edge of Pokljuka Plateau, a karst plateau covered with vast forests that lies 8 kilometres (4 miles) northwest of Bled.
Because of its proximity to famous Vintgar Gorge, Pokljuka Gorge is often passed by.
This relatively wild gorge in Pokljuka features a cave with natural windows, ancient hiking trail and wooden galleries.
Pokljuka Gorge or Pokljuka Hole?
Reading about Pokljuka Gorge, you might have come across the term ‘Pokljuka Hole’. Some locals would only use the latter when talking about the gorge near the village of Krnica. It might be a bit confusing, but there is an explanation behind it.
Pokljuka Hole (or Pokljuška luknja in Slovenian) is a cave with three natural windows that you will find at the end of the gorge. For centuries, locals walked through that cave – that has entrance and exit – on their way to Pokljuka Plateau.
They hiked to Pokljuka Plateau to collect resin or wood for making charcoal. They needed charcoal for iron smelting which was common in the villages near the gorge until the end of the 19th century.
Therefore, early inhabitants of the nearby villages were only interested in the part of Pokljuka Gorge that was important for their survival – and that was Pokjuka Hole. And that is why they named the whole area of today’s gorge Pokljuka Hole.
Prince Andrew Galleries
Another attraction inside the gorge is a wooden bridge that was built in 1930. Locals named it ‘Prince Andrew Galleries‘. That bridge that is attached to a steep wall of the gorge connects its upper part with the lower part.
Prince Andrew – after whom the galleries are named – was the son of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia, and was born in Bled. At the time when the wooden galleries were built, Bled was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Fossil gorge that is also a natural monument
Like Vintgar Gorge, Pokljuka Gorge is one of the natural monuments, located close to Bled. The hiking trail that runs through the gorge is part of the Slovenian Mountain Trail, as well as the Slovenian Geological Trail.
While walking through the gorge, being surrounded by steep walls, have in mind that around 205 million years ago there used to be a sea. That was at the time when dinosaurs inhabited our planet.
- PRACTICAL INFORMATION -
LOCATION: Pokljuka Gorge is located in the Municipality of Gorje, a small municipality near Bled.
GET THERE: If you are starting your journey in Bled, drive (or cycle) towards Pokljuka and through the villages of Spodnje Gorje, Zgornje Gorje and Krnica. See the route in pictures:
When in Krnica, you will see a big yellow signpost on the right side of the road pointing towards Mojstrana and Zg. Radovna. Follow this signpost and turn right onto a road running through the village of Krnica.
Stay on the main road in the village of Krnica only for a while then turn onto a narrow road to the left. Follow that road (at some point that road turns into a narrow macadam path) until you reach a parking area next to the entrance to the gorge.
BUS: You can take a bus from the main bus station in Bled and get off in the village of Krnica that is located close to Pokljuka Gorge.
From the bus stop in Krnica (see it on the map), you will need to walk for about one kilometre and a half (around one mile) to get to the gorge entrance.
You can check the bus timetable here or call +386 45 74 11 14 (Bled Bus Station) for more info.
SHUTTLE BUS: From end of June until mid-September, you can take a shuttle bus to get to various natural and cultural attractions in Bled and nearby, including Pokljuka Gorge (you need to get off in Krnica).
The shuttle bus stops at various locations in Bled (main bus station, Bled Union bus stop etc.) and costs 1 EUR. There are two different bus routes. You can download the shuttle bus timetable here.
INSIDE THE GORGE: The gorge is around two kilometres (one mile and a half) long. It takes around one hour and a half to walk through the gorge and back to the starting point (parking area near the village of Krnica).
The terrain inside the gorge is pretty wild, therefore trekking shoes are recommended (some rocks could be slippery, especially after the rain). The trail through the gorge that goes slightly up is mostly shaded with some open spots.
RECOMMENDATIONS: If you are going to hike through Pokljuka Gorge in early spring, I would recommend you to wear a helmet to protect your head in case of rock fall.
GEOCACHING: There is an EarthCache hidden in Pokljuka Gorge. Hint: You will need to visit Pokljuka Hole and figure out how many holes (entrances, natural windows) it has in order to find the cache.