Little Bridge Gorge.. (Mostnica)
Quite simply, the best gorge in Green Slovenia! And this is saying something!!
But Mostnica (Little Bridge), is not just a 1-3 hour walk along a spectacular gorge hidden in the forest, it also leads on to an amazing day trip hike up into the Alps to find a double waterfall of the same name.. total walk time approx 5-6 hour, lunch and swim included!!
This amazing secret walk is hidden away just a stone's throw from lake Bohinj and is so often missed by visitors to the lake, who either have too little time or more likely, just don't know how close this gorge actually is! There are so many walks in Slovenia that you will sadly never find as they are so poorly marked with little disappearing and appearing RAF red circles that even confuse the locals.. so another good reason why this walk is so special is cos it's easy to follow and the signs are also pretty good!
It took us several years of living here in Green Slovenia before we actually realised where the gorge was and how ridiculously easily it could be accessed! Then it was like an extra bonus to find the simple path leading all the way up to the waterfall.
How to spend a day at Little Bridge Gorge:
Most of our guests will drive here and either, 1) just spend 1-2 hours walking up and down the gorge, then go spend the rest of the day at lake Bohinj or 2) spend a lovely full day, walking up the gorge and continuing to the waterfall along a stony Alpine track & back.
It also depends on how much walking your family, group or companions can do, but if you are reasonably fit, you can easily walk up & down the gorge along the fantastically maintained path and then the walk to the waterfall is also along a stone track, so more walking than serious hiking.
The first thing you need to do is find the car park and this will be the trickiest task of the day! We don't normally go into micro detail for our "Secret Places" articles, as the idea is for you to get enough info to at least know about a special or new waterfall, river, castle or another place you might like to go in Slovenia if only you knew.. but believe us, we need to tell you more about finding this car park, so apologies for the next paragraph..
The car park is the start of the marked trail to the gorge, so if you intend to drive and park here.. From the beautiful Bohinj lake bridge with church, drive into the stunning little village of Stara Fuzina. There is a triple fork in the village centre and a bridge that leads this main road out of the village, (past a lovely pub, by the way, where you can get great food) and 2 other little roads before the bridge. Ignore the main road over the bridge and the road that leads straight ahead, you need the least likely road, which is the one on the left that goes sharply up and it feels like you are heading into someone's driveway, but keep the faith and snake up through this part of the village and along a very narrow road that will finally lead you to the Mostnica car park!
If you have parking in Bohinj already, then you could just walk up to here to avoid parking in a busy car park, but this will add up to an hour to your day, not really a problem when walking in paradise!
BREAKING NEWS: We also found out about a "Park & Ride" service available in the busier high summer months from the tiny main town in Bohinj, called Bohinj Bistrica, approx. 7 km from the lake.. You can leave your car here, stress free, at a Park & Ride in the centre, then get a free bus to the bridge.. (this bus also continues to the end of the lake, so if you have a ride on the pleasure boat across the lake you can get a lift back to the bridge and your car).
We also need to warn you to put more than you might think you need in the parking meter at the Mostnica car park, as it is so beautiful here, you might struggle with just 2 hours to get to the gorge and back, so maybe pay for 3, especially if you have a pick nick. And if you are going to the falls and back then 5 hours might do it, quick walkers not stopping for photos or food might do it in 4, but pay for 6, just in case and enjoy your day.
(We have absolutely no problem paying for parking in these special places like Mostnica as so much stunning nature in Green Slovenia is totally under priced to visit. Any money that can go back to the local people to keep the paths maintained etc is a good thing.. But we just wish they would spend a little more money on improved signs!!)
If you walk a few metres away from the car park you will get a great view of the lake, by the way, so don't miss this! Then walk back to the corner of the car park and follow the signs to the gorge, ("Korita" in Slovenian). There is a really cool hut with a crazy steep roof not far along where you pay a small entry fee, (worth every penny) to proceed and then we recommend you walk on the right hand side up the gorge, hugging the waterside where possible.
In the middle of the gorge you will see the elephant and at the top of the long gorge there is a pretty bridge. This is where you cross over and follow the stunning crystal clear water back down on the other side if you are heading back to the car and on this side you will see completely different, hidden views!
This amazing gorge is long, narrow, wide, powerful, colourful, freezing cold, breath taking, even scary at times, but it is so many more things than just a river cutting through a slice of rock. Any other country in the world would consider themselves very lucky indeed to just have just one of Tolmin, Soca, Cramp or Vintgar gorges, to name just a few. But here in Green Slovenia we have so many of these beautiful gorges of every shape and size and then.. we also have Mostnica gorge!
Maybe you will agree with us that this is the best gorge in Slovenia, maybe you will not.. It doesn't matter, what does matter is you will most certainly have a wonderful day in nature and the challenge to go see the other stunning gorges in Slovenia and compare!
We don't need to tell you the obvious things like take your rubbish with you and just wait a few moments in the shadows while a noisy group rushes off to take their selfies.. then you can have your own little stretch of crystal clear water sliding over jagged rock to sit next to and enjoy your sandwiches.
If you are doing the full walk to the waterfall:
To go further, leave the gorge behind for a few hours after the top bridge and follow the signs for the "Slap", (waterfall). The signs are actually pretty good, sometimes they are yellow circles, painted on trees. Remember Slovenes are born walking in the mountains, so if there are ever any timescales on a sign, please take it with a pinch of salt, unless you are a mountain goat. Slovenians are hopelessly optimistic with their timing estimates, so make a note you will very probably need longer than the number of minutes displayed on the signs!
You need to be a reasonable walker to step up along the very beautiful forest path. Follow the yellow circles and pretty soon you will spill out onto a wide stony road that you just follow all the way up into the mountains and to the waterfall.
You go past 2 pubs on the way where you can get food, very often a hearty bowl of Slovenian soup will be plenty and will surprise you at how it can fill your tank! The further you walk, the more you feel the mountains are wrapping around you and sucking you up into the Alps. The second pub serves really fab food and is also a signal that you are very close to the falls.. On a good day you can hear it.
Remember you are NOT doing this walk to see the best waterfall in Slovenia.. you are doing this for the gorge, the forest, mountains, the meadows, the little metal shepherd's huts, the hiking and the nature day out. Sometimes, depending on time of year or rainfall, this double waterfall can be a little weak, but it sits in an absolutely stunning kinda rocky forest bowl. You have to go quite near the edge, if you want to see the second part of the waterfall flowing below the main drop, so be careful.
We went once in summer and were greedily disappointed that the falls themselves were a bit flimsy.. silly really as what else should you expect in summer! But then we went with some guests JUST a week later and there had been some rain in the Alps and we were really very surprised at how much bigger the water flow was! (See above).
So generally, the best times to see the Mostnica falls and the Little Bridge gorge are when there should be more water and less people in spring or autumn, or after some heavy rain. But even on a hot summer's day, there will be fairy tale places to find, where you will be very tempted to swim or dip your toe in the icy cold, stunningly aqua fresh water.. now that will cool you down!