The Balkans in Eastern Europe is remarkably beautiful. With its remarkable landforms and a massive Adriatic sea skirting the sprawling coastline, the peninsular region is breathtakingly beautiful and worth a visit. Meanwhile, Croatia’s islands and rich nature is among Europe’s top attractions. Plitvice Lakes National Park in the heart of Croatia is the oldest and the most thriving national park. Those planning a trip to the beautiful European nation has another reason to rejoice – its Mediterranean climate towards the coast of Croatia is an advantage.
General info about Plitvice Lakes National Park
The national park predominates the forested region and covers approximately 300 km square of the region. Plitvice Lakes is particularly known for its vast stretch of lakes and adjoining landforms. Quite interestingly, the national park region is dominated by the massive network of 16 lakes neatly conjoined by almost equivalent number of waterfalls. The tumbling water bodies boast of turquoise water that is considered to be mineral rich and are known to possess medicinal benefits.
The lakes and waterfalls exist because of TUFA formation which eventually leads to the formation of tufa barriers. Tufa is the hollow, porous rock which is formed because of the deposition of dissolved calcium carbonate in the water by plants, algae, and mosses. The lakes of various size in Plitvice Lakes National Park are a result of the biodynamic process of developing tufa barriers.
All around, there are humbling views of water slipping through the carved rocks that have gained their shape after years of continuous water flow. The national park region is known to house some amazing bio-diversity and one can easily spot a massive colony of butterflies drifting above the wooden footbridges that run over the lakes.
Best time to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park
April – May & September – October are considered as the best time to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park when the weather is pleasant and perfect for a day tour. Morning hours (7 am to 10 am) are ideal to plan a visit to the park. The closing time of the park varies depending upon the season.
Plitvice Lakes National Park Map
How to reach Plitvice Lakes National Park
Zagreb Airport is Croatia’s international airport well connected with major international destinations. Buses are available from the airport to Zagreb main bus station. Buses to the Plitvice Lakes is easily available from here. 2 hours 20 minutes is the overall travel time from the bus station to the national park. Tickets can also be booked from the Zagreb Bus Terminal website. Direct buses are also available from Zagreb, Zadar, and Split to Plitvice Lakes.
Vital information about the Plitvice Lakes National Park
Where: Central Croatia
Area: 297 km sq
Altitude: 1279 m (maximum)
Timings: 7 am to 8 pm
INR 2700 for adults, 1200 for children (July & August)
INR 1650 for adults, INR 900 for children (September & October)
INR 600 for adults, INR 400 for children (November to March)
More information about the national park can be found here
Getting around the Plitvice Lakes National Park
The national park located in the heart of Croatia is truly a breathtaking wonder. If you want to experience the magical scattering colors then head there during Autumn. Plitvice Lakes, with its unique form of 16 lakes makes for a breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers grand vistas. The lakes system has been classified into Upper and Lower Lakes.
Altogether there are twelve lakes forming the Upper Lakes section. They are Prošćansko jezero, Ciginovac, Okrugljak, Batinovac, Veliko jezero, Malo jezero, Vir, Galovac, Milino jezero, Gradinsko jezero, Burgeti, and Kozjak. These lakes have been formed on the sturdy dolomite rock, are larger in size, and has gentler slopes when compared to the Lower Lakes.
The Lower Lakes system is made up of four lakes – Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluđerovac and Novakovića Brod. These lakes have embankment comprising permeable limestone that is responsible for the formation of the deep canyon with vertical cliffs. Finally, the lower lakes flow into one majestic waterfall – Sastavci, which eventually takes the shape of Korana River under the nose of the falls.
Altogether there are seven different routes that take tourists through the vast lake system, while there are four exciting hiking trails that are open to visitors year-round.
Popular activities in Plitvice Lakes National Park
While Plitvice Lakes National Park is famed for the sighting of the glorious waterfalls and lake system there are ample of activities that you can eventually take up if you want to make your visit worthwhile. Right from fun-filled activities to adventure pursuits, there are plenty of things to do in the national park region. Some of the most popular activities to take are:
1. Lake tour
Important things to keep in mind before heading to Plitvice Lakes National Park
- Move around in the places except for the marked trails
- Swim in the lakes
- Feed the animals in the national park region
- Harm the biodiversity in any way – like plucking exotic flowers as souvenirs
- Litter the garbage or leave anything back
- Take adequate precautions and carry hiking essentials like sunscreen, umbrella, raincoat, sunglasses, hat, light hiking clothes, and appropriate footwear.
- Look for the exact length of the hiking trails mentioned on their website.
- Check the weather forecast before heading to the park.
- Make the math after figuring out the weather conditions and trails so that you’ve ample time to complete the journey.
The mystical world of lakes and waterfalls are calling out for you! Planning a Croatia trip already?