Tolmin Gorge in Triglav National Park in Sloveni gets really different ratings in the reviews on Google Maps. From “beautiful” to “totally overrated” everything is there. This almost scared us off, but thank God we visited the Tolmin Gorge anyway. It is the only gorge near the famous Soča River and the only one in the Triglav National Park besides the Vintgar Gorge.
The nature and landscape at the Tolmin Gorge are really beautiful and the water of the Zadlaščica River shimmers in the most beautiful shades of blue as it rushes past you. We will tell you now what you can experience in the Tolmin Gorge, where you can park and what else you should pay attention to.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
The Tolmin Gorge Slovenia
The Tolmin Gorge (also called the Tolmin Basin) covers the entire area of the basins of the two rivers Zadlaščica and Tolminka before they flow together. The basins (or the gorge) of the Tolminka River are about 200 meters long, 60 meters deep and up to 10 meters wide. The basins of the Zadlaščica River are slightly shorter at 100 meters, almost 50 meters deep and only 3 meters wide at the narrowest point.
After you have paid the entrance fee and received an overview map of the gorge, you first descend a staircase. From here you can already look down on the extensive area of the Tolmin Gorge. At the bottom you are directly at the river Zadlaščica and can also go to the water, so that our dog Aaro could drink and play in the water. Funnily enough, there is a very small piece of real sandy beach here!
Fun Fact #1: You are just at the deepest and southernmost point of the Triglav National Park!
The Thermal Spring
You will cross a wooden bridge and continue to the left. There you walk along the Zadlaščica river, which is much wilder than before on the sandy beach. The colors, which range from turquoise to emerald blue, are also much stronger here. At the end of the gorge – or the area you can reach on foot – there is a thermal spring, where water with about 20 degrees flows into the otherwise only 5-9 degrees cold river.
Surface water here seeps into the depths, where it is heated by geothermal energy and rises to the surface again. This is common in Slovenia, but very rare in the Julian Alps. However, the thermal spring is so inconspicuous that you wouldn’t notice it if there wasn’t a sign about it.
From here you go back to the fork and meet the Tolminka River, which joins the Zadlaščica here. Here is a quite nice suspension bridge that stretches across the Tolminka River and takes you out of the area of the gorge. Here you can leave for other hiking trails in the surroundings.
By the way, you have to scan your ticket at a revolving door here if you want to get back in. The only reason to leave the area through the revolving door is to take a picture on the suspension bridge. This is not absolutely necessary, so don’t worry if you lose your ticket.
Fun Fact #2: At this point there is free wifi. This really only works around the revolving door, but it’s very helpful because otherwise you’ll hardly have reception in the gorge.
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From the Bear’s Head to the Devil’s Bridge
In the further course you go back up the stairs to the so-called Bear’s Head. This is a small rock wedged between 2 high rock walls and reminded us a bit of Kjeragbolten in Norway. Everywhere here the rock walls are quite wet and shimmer green from all the moss that grows on them.
You then continue up and past the currently closed Dante’s Cave, and then up to the exit of the Tolmin Gorge. Theoretically you can go back the same way you came, but it is nicer to take this exit. This way you will walk a circular route through the Tolmin Gorge and see another highlight.
At the top, you will end up on a road with little traffic, which will lead you over the so-called Devil’s Bridge (by the way, a very popular bridge name in Slovenia). Here, and on the way back to the entrance of the gorge, you have a wonderful view of the Tolmin gorge, as you look down on the river from a height of about 50 meters.
If you follow the road further, you will be back at the entrance after a few minutes. We spent a total of 2 hours in the gorge. If you don’t dawdle as much as we did, you can probably do it in an hour.
Tolmin Gorge Tips
Overnight stay near the Tolmin Gorge
Only a few kilometers away from the Tolmin Gorge you can find the Apartments Volče*. Here you have large and nicely furnished apartments that have a kitchen, living room and of course a private bathroom. Of course, there is also free Wi-Fi and in front of the door the huge pool is waiting for you. What more could you want?
- beautiful fully equipped apartments near the Tolmin gorge
- own parking spaces and free WLAN
- huge pool right in front of the door
- perfect view of the Slovenian mountains
The entrance fee to the Tolmin Gorge is relatively expensive – at least in the high season. In the low season there is a reduced entrance fee. However, we think that the price is definitely worth it.
The entrance fees for the Tolmin Gorge in detail
- High season (July, August): Adult: 10€, children 6-15 years: 5€, 0 to 6 years: 1€
- Shoulder season (May, June, September): Adult: 8€, children 6-15 years: 4€, 0 to 6 years: 1€
- Low season (March, April, October, November): Adult: 6€, children 6-15 years: 3€, 0 to 6 years: 1€
By the way, dogs always enter the gorge for free.
Is the Tolmin Gorge worth it?
We think: Yes, definitely. The experience here is really wonderful and although we have already spent a few days in the Soča Valley, we could not get out of the amazement here. The steep rock walls, the rushing water of the river and the green shimmering moss everywhere. You won’t forget the Tolmin Gorge in a hurry.
Free Entrance to the Tolmin Gorge
Before our visit to the Tolmin Gorge we read that the entrance fee would be totally overpriced and that you can visit the Tolmin Gorge for free, if you only know how. After our visit we can say: There is no legal way to enter the Tolmin Gorge for free.
But what works is to look at the gorge for free from the Devil’s Bridge. The view from up here is really spectacular and you can see large parts of the gorge. You just have to walk past the ticket booth and after a few hundred meters you automatically end up on the bridge (Google Maps).
Parking at the Tolmin Gorge
When you visit the Tolmin Gorge there are 2 possibilities for parking. A few kilometers away there is a free parking lot (Google Maps), where a free shuttle bus goes directly to the entrance. But this is only during the high season. If you are there in the off-season or simply do not want to wait for the bus, you can walk in about 20 minutes along fields and past cows a very nice path to the entrance. Directly in front of the entrance of the Tolmin Gorge there is another parking lot (Google Maps), which costs 3 Euro per hour. Out of season (before Easter and from October) this parking lot is free.