Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. It is a beautiful park filled with a series of interconnected lakes and cascading waterfalls. The water is so incredibly clear and some lakes are bright blue in colour. The Plitvice Lakes are one of the most beautiful places in Croatia and definitely worth visiting when you’re in the country!
Plan a trip to the Plitvice Lakes
Where to stay
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is only a 2.5 hour drive from Split so can easily be done as a day trip from there. It is also only a 2 hour drive from Zagreb and so can similarly be done as a day trip from Croatia’s capital. However, if you want to enjoy a full day of exploring the gorgeous azure-coloured lakes I would recommend overnighting nearby. Plitvice is also a very popular tourist spot and so to avoid the crowds I would recommend arriving earlier in the day which can be best achieved by staying close by.
We stayed at House Petra in Rakovica which is only 5km away from Entrance 1 of the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
When to go
The Plitvice Lakes are most beautiful in summer, however July and August can be very busy times for the park. I would recommend going in June or September to avoid the European summer holidays. Whenever you choose to go make sure you arrive early on the day to avoid sharing the space with too many people.
There are various different routes around the park where different routes show you different lakes and waterfalls. Visitors entering the park at Entrance 1 can choose between four routes, marked in green on the info panels. Visitors may also ride on the electric boats (Kozjak Lake) and the visitor trains, by presenting their valid park entrance ticket. My advice is to not get too caught up in routes and just wander around absorbing all the beauty. Anything you see here is pure magic so don’t get too hung up on the details.
We left the chilly hills of Slovenia and welcomed the 30 degrees of Croatia with open arms. We arrived at our accommodation in Rakovica which is a small town just outside of Plitvice. A friendly Croatian mama, who spoke very little English, welcomed us into her home. We were given some cherry liquor and cherry juice made by their family. They also gave us a pot of home cultivated honey and a massive bowl of cherries from their trees. Such incredible hospitality and sweetness.
From our balcony we overlooked the rolling fields that were dotted with the rusty orange coloured roofs. Such a rustic beauty that made you truly feel like you were in the countryside. Walking through the fields we saw that they were littered with poppies and butterflies which all contributed to the picturesque nature of this area.
Eight kilometres of walking, two bus rides and a ferry trip later we were able to announce that we had seen one of the most beautiful places in the world; the Plitvice Lakes. We paid 110Kn to get in and children paid half price. But honestly you are unable to put a price on the magnificent beauty that we were so incredibly privileged to experience. We walked along the rustic boardwalks, each turn in the path tempting us deeper and deeper into this seemingly magical world.
The waters had an almost luminous quality which highlighted the innocent fish that were the lucky few permitted to swim in these crystal clear waters. The water flowed over the rocky cliffs, cascading ever so gracefully into the turquoise pools that lay beneath. It was almost surreal in its unusual perfection.
After the ferry ride we stopped for lunch at the restaurant within the nature reserve. A half chicken cost 32Kn each and truly was a bargain for the price. It was deliciously succulent and filled us for the final section of our journey.
No part of these lakes were left untouched by the lens of my camera. What felt like a thousand photos later we arrived at our car. We felt that we truly had done the place justice with the six hours that we had spent marvelling at the lake’s beauty.
It is a true natural wonder of the world. The secluded walkways taking you into a world filled with mystery and wonder.