I remember the 1st time I saw a photo of Plitvice Lakes National Park.
That image of numerous waterfalls spilling over a tree covered canyon forming turquoise pools looked too unreal to be from this planet.
PLITVICE LAKES NATIONAL PARK.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the largest and oldest national park in Croatia.
Each year, over 1.1 million people visit the lakes.
If you’re traveling in a tour like I was you have a greater chance of getting stuck at certain spots with other groups more often.
But there were plenty of times when we weren’t overwhelmed by other tourists.
However if you’re exploring the lakes by yourself you should have ample time where you’ll be free from the crowds.
PRICES AND HOURS.
The hours are 7am-8pm, 7 days a week, and the entrance fee is subject to change depending on the time of year you visit.
Jul & Aug – 180HRK($27USD)/80($12).
Apr-Jun, Sep & Oct – 110HRK($16USD)/55($8).
Jan-Mar, Nov & Dec – 55HRK($8USD)/35($5).
Very reasonable prices for what you’ll see and the time spent inside the park.
LAKES OF PLITVICE.
Currently there are 16 lakes and numerous waterfalls and cascades.
Waterfalls are constantly growing, evolving, and disappearing; which is what makes this park so fascinating.
The waterfalls of Plitvice are a result of travertine sediment buildup.
The travertine barriers grow at the rate of about 1 cm(0.4 in) per year.
Over many years they form new waterways while old ones dry up causing the area to always be changing.
The lakes are separated into the Upper and Lower cluster.
You can start from either side, but if you go from Upper to Lower you’ll be finishing your hike with a steep climb up.
If you walk the entire park it can take about 6 hours.
However, if you stop at Kozjak, the park’s largest lake(4km in length) you can take a free boat to the other side that saves about 2 hours of hiking.
While hiking the whole park might be fun, taking a boat gives you a different perspective of your surroundings.
The boat ride actually made the trip even more fun for me.
The whole round-trip from Split pretty much took an entire day, but it was completely worth it.
If you’re only visiting the Dalmatian Coast I’d still recommend Plitvice even though there are smaller falls closer.
But if you plan on visiting Zadar or Zagrab during your time in Croatia you might want to visit the park when you’re in one of those places as they are closer.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park was the highlight of my trip to Croatia and has become one of my favorite highlights throughout all of Europe.
Have you ever been?
My name is Jeremiah and I'm an Arizona desert rat in search of the next adrenaline pumping adventure.
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