Sometimes there are places which are too overwhelming and seem impossible to describe in a few words and photos. The Plitvice Lakes National Park in the heart of Croatia definitely belongs to those places. That’s why it took me almost two months to write an article about it. I had to choose from more than 300 photos and I thought it’ll be impossible to do so. But finally – after many hours of brain work and painful decisions – I managed to narrow it down somehow. Yes, the National Park is a UNESCO site, no insider tip and hugely popular. Yes, there are lots of visitors there and it might even feel crowded at times. But it’s all worth it: If you’re able to fade out the tourist groups in your mind and your camera lens, you’ll find yourself in a fairy tale-like paradise with countless waterfalls and turquoise to azure blue pools. The wooden paths take you right through the gorgeous sceneries, one prettier than the other, which means: You better bring your camera fully charged 😛
The weather was a bit on the chilly and rainy side, however I imagine this park must be beautiful during any weather and season. Personally I’d skip the high season from June to August, heat- and crowd wise. If you can’t get enough of these pics, check out my friend’s blog post too 😉
From Zagreb it’s a 2.5 hours drive. If you don’t want to drive yourself, there are frequent buses that run between the National Park and Zagreb’s main bus terminal. Timetable and bookings are available here. Due to the park’s popularity it’s advisable to book the tickets in advance!
The park is open year-round and can be entered through two entrances (only one stays open during the winter months). There’s an admission for every visitor which includes transportation within the park (trains and ferries). Further information can be found at their official website. The visitor area is well equipped with restaurants, shops and restrooms. The wooden pathways are well maintained and nicely integrated into the landscape, however they can be slippery and narrow when there’s a lot of people. Also don’t miss the hiking trails above and around the lakes which are less frequented and provide amazing views! The whole circuit including the Upper and Lower lakes are doable on a full day but that seems rushed to me. We were glad we stayed two days and with several photo stops you might want that extra time too 😉
If you want to stay overnight, there are a few hotels near the park entrances, but for a more personal experience, I’d recommend to stay in one of the plenty guest houses in the closest village of Jezerce. Just beware that evening entertainment is VERY limited and there aren’t not many dining options either. We grabbed a pizza and some ćevapčići at Bistro Vučnica and had a feast on our balcony 🙂
Have you been to the Plitvice Lakes National Park? What was your experience?