Plitvice Lakes are the landmark of Croatian nature. For many, the place is equal to paradise. Thanks to the crystal clear water of the lakes, that is insanely green and blue, there’s no exaggeration in saying that it’s one of the most beautiful natural places in the world!
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a group of sixteen lakes that are connected by a series of waterfalls and surrounded by endless woodland.
Here are some tips for visiting Plitvice Lakes in Croatia (along with plenty of photos). I hope that they will be your inspiration and help you in planning your own trip!
How to get there?
The best idea is to visit this place at the begging or at the end of your Croatian trip. It’s because the lakes are in the north part of the country, whereas most of the other attractions are situated along the coastline and on the islands. Plitvice Lakes National Park is located about halfway between Zagreb and Zadar. If you are going to Croatia by plane, it’s a good idea to land in Zagreb, rent a car at the airport and go straight down to the park. You can visit lakes as a last stop before flying back home.
Driving to the lakes from Zagreb takes about an hour. Parking lots are available for 7 Kuna per hour. Another solution is to take a bus that goes directly to the lakes either from Zagreb or Zadar. This is also a convenient way of traveling, because the buses are modern, with AC, which is a blessing during the hot summer.
How much does it cost and when to go?
The rates do vary through the year and prices are lower for kids and students.
As an adult in peak season (1 Jul-31 Aug) you will pay 180 Kuna (around 26 USD). It’s a one-day ticket, which is also a contribution to continued protection and maintenance of the Park, so at least you are paying for a good purpose.
The National Park is opened all year and access is available from 7am to 8pm daily. Here you can find the complete operating hours and prices: http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/plan-your-visit/operating-hours-and-prices/
I believe that every season is beautiful in the lakes. During the summer the colors are amazingly blue. On the other hand, an autumn with the colorful levees makes this place picture perfect. And the white winter will transform it into a magical fairytale wonderland. Hard to choose!
What to do there?
Firstly, you need to remember that swimming or fishing is strictly forbidden in the lakes. The first thought you have when you see them is that you want to jump right away! Understandable – they are crystal clear. But that is the main reason you can’t. Plitvice Lakes National Park is on UNESCO World Heritage listing.
No worries, there are plenty of things to do in such a beautiful place! You have a few types of lakes and waterfalls to visit and you can choose between different hiking trails: shorter (from 1,5h to 2,5h) and longer (from 9km and 21km). You will need to hike a little on some of them so be prepared for an active day. Walking on those trails will take your breath away. Wherever you will look, there will be perfectly clear and azure water.
The ticket price includes electric boat rides on Lake Kozjak and panoramic train rides. Both fun and scenic!
Remember to pack a healthy snack, water and you are ready to go! If you forget about foodstuff – no panic, there are a few cafes and restaurants in the park (most of them are in wonderful spots).