Croatia gems: Plitvice lakes

If you are an avid traveler, there’s no way you haven’t heard of Plitvice lakes in Croatia. It’s a very famous attraction in Croatia (gets more than 1 million visitors every year) and the biggest national park in Southeast Europe. You can reach it by travelling from Zagreb to Zadar, it’s almost in the halfway.

And no wonder it’s so well-known – the park is amazing and is a must-seе. And despite being a popular attraction, it’s actually not that crowded and you may stroll around quite undisturbed. It’s also a perfect place to visit with kids.

The name Plitvice comes from plitvak (meaning shallow in Croatian) – referring to the shallow basins filled with water, which later became lakes.

The park itself is an amazing sequence of 16 azure, green and turquoise lakes, waterfalls, caves and cute strolls amid forested hills, with an altitude difference of 900 meters! The highest waterfall here, Veliki slap, has its waters falling from 78 meters height.

Veliki Slap waterfall, with waters falling down from 78 meters

The park is very well organized: there are two main entrances, from which detailed maps and signs walk you through the entire park. There are well-marked trails and wooden bridges that let you get the perfect view on any lake and waterfall.

Well-maintained trails and bridges let you enjoy any lake and waterfall from the best possible angle

There’s a waterfall, lake or a cave literally everywhere you turn your sight to

There are also shuttle buses and boats (included with your entrance ticket) that take you to the key points in the park (very useful for visiting with kids), but you can as well cover all attractions by foot.

Ferries can take you between the two clusters of lakes, but you may as well cover the distance by foot if you stay for the whole day

It took us 5 hours to visit the park, but that was in quite a hurry. I’d recommend spending at least a day there (the park is open between 7 am and 8 pm in the summer) since there’s so much to enjoy and take photos of.

My favorite waterfall

More about those 16 lakes: they are separated into an upper cluster (12 lakes, at 636 m height) and lower cluster (4 lakes, at 503 m height). The total surface covered by the lakes is about 2 sq km and they extend over a distance of 8 km.

Awesome tree reflection in the still lake waters. Unfortunately, swimming in the lakes was prohibited.

It’s interesting how the lakes were formed: the Plitvice region has karstic rock, mostly dolomite and limestone. When the rivers passed over the limestone and chalk rocks, their waters were picking up travertine (calcium-rich material) and deposited it downstream. With the years this deposit process created terraced barriers which enclosed the water and shaped up the lakes.

View to the terraced lakes

Turquoise water

The park area is home to a large variety of animals, birds and fish, and you can actually see some of those pretty close when walking around.

Park fauna 🙂

While travelling to the park, we passed by many villages and cute little houses giving rooms for rent. So, it’s pretty easy to get accommodated here and spend a few more days in this mountainous area. Plitvice lakes is a plateau surrounded by 3 mountains, so there are plenty of routes to walk and riverside areas to have picnic on. Take your time and enjoy this amazing place on Earth.

One Response to Croatia gems: Plitvice lakes

  1. fajowe gry says:

    It is actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *