South of Maribor and Mount Pohorje, near Slovenska Bistrica, you will find this 6 km long gorge valley. Bistriski Vintgar is a pleasant gorge in the eastern part of Slovenia that can be easily reached with children. A quiet, peaceful excursion destination, an ideal half-day program for the whole family in winter and summer.
The trip takes place on the banks of the Bistrica stream, which formed the valley. One of the advantages of the gorge is that it is not closed in winter either, so you can even visit it during your ski break.
|Bistriski Vintgar gorge||Details|
|Address||Zgornja Bistrica 158, 2310 Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia|
|Ljubljana distance||1.5 hour / 110 km|
|Major cities nearby||Slovenska Bistrica, Maribor, Ptuj|
|Season||Jan - Dec|
|Opening hours||00:00 - 24:00|
|Duration||2 - 5 hours (short and long trail)|
|Attractions||Sum waterfall, Roman mine|
|Attractions nearby||Rogla treetop walk, Lovrenska lakes and marshes|
Vintgar vs. Bistriski Vintgar
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The Bistrica stream flows in the Bistriski gorge and the Radovna river in the Vintgar gorge. The two gorges are 2 hours apart from each other.
Unfortunately, the similarity of their names easily confuses everyone. To complicate matters further, a waterfall in both gorges bears the same name: Šum.
Where is the Bistriski Vintgar gorge?
Address, map, distances, cities, approach
The closest towns to the gorge are Slovenska Bistrica, Maribor and Ptuj. The gorge is located next to the village of Zgornja Bistrica, 4 minutes from the centre. The gorge valley is located south of the Pohorje Mountains.
- Address: Zgornja Bistrica 158, 2310 Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia
- Distance from Slovenska Bistrica: 10 minutes / 4 km
- Distance from Maribor: 30 minutes / 26 km
- Distance to Ptuj: 35 minutes / 30 km
- Distance from Ljubljana: 1 hour 10 minutes / 110 km
Locals and domestic tourists enjoy hiking in the area, so there is not always room in the smaller car park in front of the gorge entrance. If the car park is full, look for the nearest option. Parking in front of the gorge is free. The tour starts from here following well-signposted signs.
You can walk along the road for 6 km along the river Bistrica, in a wonderful natural environment. You don't have to be an experienced hiker to explore the gorge, anyone can walk the easy/medium difficulty trail. The hike takes around 4 hours to complete.
The elevation is not significant and the hiking trail is well signposted.
|Bistriski Vintgar hike (Long version)||Details|
|Elevation||Under 200 m|
|Trail||Signed, well-marked, easy to follow|
|Starting point - Endpoint||Entrance of the gorge (parking lot)|
You can see a Roman quarry and in the gorge a "flat" waterfall, the Sum Falls.
- Sum Waterfall from the parking lot: 45 minutes (one way)
- Roman quarry from the car park: 30 minutes (round trip)
From this point, you will return to the gorge valley where you can see the 20 meter Sum Waterfall. The waterfall is not vertical, but a multi-step waterfall that continues to float on the lying stones.
You have been hiking for about 2-3 hours now when you return from the valley to the car park.
Long hiking trail
The long version of the tour is 16 km long, 6 hours long, and you have to overcome a level rise of roughly 600 meters. In this case, you will visit a mill, the gorge, and the huge tree trunk.
If you want to go for a longer hike, you can hike to one of the thickest pine trees in Europe with a diameter of 6 meters. Unfortunately, the tree was cut in two by a bolt of lightning.
Nearby, you will also find the Stampohar mill in the Ančnikovo gradišče forest. This trail needs extra 3 hours (round trip) to finish.
The gorge is open from 0 to 24 hours, there is no closing - as the gorge is free to visit. That is why Bistriski can be visited in winter. If you are skiing in Maribor, it is worth coming over for a trip.
Admission to the gorge is free, there is no entry. Parking is also free. Please note, that there is no washbasin or toilet in the gorge.
No. Unfortunately, the valley is not accessible by stroller or wheelchair.
Yes, there are no restrictions on dogs.
Attractions in the area
The two most popular attractions are the Rogla treetop walk and the Lovrenska lakes. Both are unique and family-friendly programs. For visiting the canopy, you will only need 1 hour, while visiting the Lovrenska lakes, please calculate 3 hours.