This coastal hugging country in Eastern Europe had never really caught my attention. That was until I saw a photograph on Instagram that was so beautiful I saved the photo and told myself – one day I shall visit this place! The place in question was the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Here are my travelling tips for visiting the lakes.
Plitvice Lakes is one of Croatia’s most popular tourist attractions. It was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979 and it definitely is something to be preserved and protected. It’s beauty lies in it’s sixteen lakes that interconnect by a series of waterfalls. Creating an extensive maze of water, as well as being set in deep woodland. Wooden paths add to the magic of the place as you walk inches above the clearest, sapphire and emerald green water you will have ever seen. The national park is also home to Croatia’s tallest waterfall Veliki Slap at 78metres tall. As well as an array of fauna and animals, including the brown bear. We only managed to see a toad!
How To Get There:
The Lakes are located roughly half way between Zagreb and Zadar. For this reason the coastal city of Zadar is a good place to stay and fly into from the UK. Which was a very smooth journey, the airport is small, you can walk straight through the airport, collect your bag and get on the city-airport bus all in 10 minutes flat. There is a bus that goes directly to Plitvice Lakes from Zadar bus station. In August there were two morning buses 08:30 and 09:00, both taking around 1.5 hours, for the price of around £18 return you cannot complain. However, beware the bus will be extremely busy in summer, so get there early to ensure you get a seat! There is a return bus at 17:00, and a couple either side of this time I believe.
Arriving at the Park:
There are two entrances when you arrive by bus and the bus will take you to both. Entrance 1 is nearer the lower lakes but only has one ticket office so the queue could be massive in summer. Entrance 2 is nearer the upper lakes and has two ticket offices. When you have eventually purchased your entrance ticket (180Kuna, not bad at all!) you will have a choice of 8 trails around the park. All of varying length from 2-3hrs to 6-8hrs. There are boats and little buses that are included in your ticket. Just make sure you pick a suitable timed trail if you are getting the bus home too. You will still see plenty even if you can’t see the whole park. There are hotels nearby if you wish to fully explore every corner of the park. I would have done this if I had more time here.
Tips to bear in mind:
– Spend as much of the day there as you can, stay overnight if you can.
– Wear something a bit more substantial than flip flops, you need to walk uphill and there’s quite a bit of walking, also accidently tripping over or kicking your flip flop into the water isn’t ideal.
– Take plenty of water for the day and food for lunch and snacks. There isn’t an abundance of food stalls dotted around the park – that would somewhat spoil the naturalness!
If you are unsure whether to make the trip to Plitvice then don’t be, I hope you will be as inspired by my photos as I was with the photograph I saw. It was one of the most beautiful places I have been and would definitely go back – a real jewel of Croatia. I can’t really say much more other than go and enjoy the beautiful country of Croatia!