Plitvice Lakes are one of Croatia’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. In this blog we share some insider tips from our Croatia Travel Specialists on what these lakes are all about, when the best time to visit is, where they are located and how to get there!
Both the largest and oldest national park in Croatia, Plitvice Lakes National Park covers area in both Zagreb and Zadar. Situated between two mountain ranges, a visit to this park is like stepping into another world. Endless pools of azure water stretch as far as the eye can see and are surrounded by lush forests… It is no wonder the area was proclaimed the first national park of Croatia on the 8th April 1949.
Although the park itself covers 73,000 acres, it is famed for its stunning turquoise lake system, comprised of 16 upper and lower lakes that cascade into one another. Stroll along several kilometres of boardwalk through lush forest and vegetation, passing waterfalls and caves as you go.
Enter through either Entrance 1, which will guide your through the lower lakes or Entrance 2, which will guide you through the upper lakes. Offering seven different routes and four hiking trails, the park caters to all different time frames and walking abilities. The longest of the routes can take up to eight hours, with the shortest taking just two to three hours.
It is easy to customise your route depending on what parts of the lakes you wish to see. If you get tired, a shuttle operates from designated areas of the park every 20 minutes. This is included in your ticket, as is a ferry trip within the park.
Plitvice Lakes is home to an abundance of spectacular sights. Some of the must-see sights include Veliki Slap (the Big Waterfall), which is an impressive 78 metres high, as well as Proscansko, the largest and highest lake in the park. For those wanting to explore every last inch of the lakes, rowboats are also available for hire!
This exquisite park is a must-see and many people agree! The best time to visit Plitvice Lakes is in the shoulder season, during April–May, September–October, when it is not too hot. However, we are aware that you can’t always avoid peak season. If you’re travelling in June and July, try to arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds. This also means that you’ll avoid the worst heat of the day– although the sparkling blue waters may look tempting, you actually aren’t allowed to swim in the lakes! The park opens at 7:00AM so be sure to set your alarm clock…
There are multiple ways to reach Plitvice Lakes depending on where you’re staying. From Zagreb and Zadar, a bus journey takes approximately two hours. The recommended amount of time spent here is between three and five hours, so a day trip is definitely doable if you plan your transport well. Buses stop outside both Entrance 1 and 2 meaning you can see the exact sights you wish to see. When leaving, check the small wooden huts nearby the entrances for a list of bus departure times.
For those who want to explore the lakes more in-depth, many tours operate from the nearby cities such as Zagreb, Split and Zadar. Accommodation is also available in the park for those who would like to spend more than one day exploring the area.
Plitvice Lakes is an icon of Croatia that you simply cannot miss seeing. This natural marvel draws people from all corners of the globe every year, and for good reason! Home to some of the most captivating waterfalls and alluring bodies of water in the world, a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park is an experience you will never forget…