Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia
Many of you probably know how gorgeous Croatian coast is, with numerous islands and endless hidden beaches… But Croatia is much more than that. Do you know that Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is one of the world’s great natural wonders and often considered as the most beautiful national park in Europe? Who wants to visit this fairy tale place which boasts 16 dazzling terraced lakes and several smaller lakes, cascading one into the next, 90 waterfalls, many caves, caverns and some kilometers of boardwalk?
If you keep on reading and check out our photo gallery below, you will see it is a must-see place.
Various wooden trails will guide you around waterfalls of all sizes and shapes that plummet into crystal clear pools below, where you can spot many fish and fallen trees.
Stunning scenery everywhere you turn in the Park.
Surrounded by extraordinary nature… If you stop for a minute and enjoy the beauty with your eyes closed, you will be awarded from nature by the beautiful sound of the water, birds and if you are lucky enough other animals 😉 Feeling the fresh air on your skin and some ray of sun will make the moment unforgettable.
You will surely stop for a second with your camera and catch your favorite parts of the park…
Isn’t it amazing to know the lakes’ colors constantly change, from azure to green, grey and blue, due to the quantity of minerals and organisms in the water? It’s really mesmerizing.
What should you see?
This area is a home to a wide range of rare fauna and variety of bird species, but you will most likely only see fish. Plitvice Lakes National Park is forested with Alpine and Mediterranean vegetation.
The best way to explore this area is to walk (you will be offered maps for a number of different sightseeing walks), choosing from one of the four different hiking trails. The shortest route takes 2 to 3 hours, the longest up to 8 hours. You can also choose one of the seven different trails to tour the lake.
Cycling is another activity you can do, unfortunately not within the park but edge parts of the park. The cycling trails are organized and marked.
Exploring the lakes with amazing views is also possible by electric boats (ride across the largest lake in the park) or panoramic train that rides up to higher points in the park (the rides are included in the entrance price).
Consider that swimming or any other water activity anywhere is prohibited in the Park, yet you can hire a small rowboat.
Plitvice Lakes trail map
When should you go?
Any time of a year is beautiful and each season sees the Park on different colors, from green in Spring/Summer and colorful in Fall to mystic scenery with snow and ice.
The peak season or summertime brings a crowd of people, taking the same direction on a narrow trail and the water is low. Our recommendation is traveling in Spring, late Summer or early Fall when the level of water is still high, the weather is still good and fewer people.
Whatever season you travel, the solid footwear is recommended, especially if you choose to travel in a lower season when there is a possibility of snow and mud on the trails.
Before you travel check the weather condition as certain trails may be closed.
How to get to Plitvice Lakes?
You can get to Plitvice Lake National Park from Zagreb (the capital of Croatia), Split or Zadar by bus or join an organized group tour. It takes about 2 hours from Zagreb and Zadar by car and 2,5 hours by bus.
Plitvice Lakes National Park map
Biodiversity of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia
Accommodation at Plitvice Lakes and nearby
Choosing appropriate place is quite important. Choosing accommodation near Plitvice lakes will help you to access the lakes earlier and easier and you will save on the National Park parking fee. A better option is to choose one of the four hotels within the Park. In this way you save money on visiting the Park – your daily sightseeing ticket is good for two days.
Hotel Grabovac is a three-star hotel, about 8 km north of the Park with free shuttle transfer included.
Hotel Jezero is a three-star hotel in the very heart of Plitvice National Park.
Hotel Plitvice is a two-star hotel next to the entrance to the Park with renovated rooms.
Hotel Bellevue is a two-star hotel, located next to Hotel Plitvice.
Some of the private accommodation:
House Biba & Leona is a beautiful cozy private place, situated next to a waterfall. In the nearby is a restaurant, bar and a market. The property is rated as the best in Rastovača.
Villa Sumrak, located within the Park, in Plitvica Selo offers apartments with terrace, spacious garden and barbecue.
Campsite Korana features wooden bungalows with buffet and à la carte restaurant, terrace, a bar and a shop. The property is 8 km north of Plitvice. A free shuttle transport from and to the Park.
Autocamp Borje is 15 km south of the Park. Close to the camp is a restaurant, shop and a bar.