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Plitvice Postcard View

Croatia is a beautiful country with sapphire blue water and envying landscapes. It is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers.

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must-visit destination when in Croatia. This park looks like it is straight out of fairy tale fantasies. What else would compare to this majestic land covered with nothing but lush greenery, crystal clear water, and beautiful waterfalls falling in cascades everywhere you look?

The park has always been on my top places to visit list. It was a DREAM to me every time I saw the photos on the Internet.

When I actually got s chance to visit it, it did not disappoint me – it was even better to see it for real.

If you plan to visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park, here are 11 things that you should know

1. How to reach Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Plitvice Lakes is close and easy to reach from cities of Zadar, Sibenik, Zagreb and Split in Croatia. There are also bus services between these routes.

If you plan on reaching by Car,  here is a rough estimate of how much time you should expect from different cities:

    • Zadar – 1 hr 32 min
    • Sibenik – 1 hr 52 min
    • Zagreb – 2 hr 7 min
    • Split – 2 hr 35 min

2. Tickets to Plitvice Lakes National Park

The tickets for visiting the park get sold out pretty fast, plan on buying them online at least 2 days in advance. You can buy them at the official website here. While buying the ticket you have to enter the entrance via which you will start the trail and your starting time. During the peak season, it is better to start early to avoid heavy crowds.

Waterfall at Plitvice Lakes
Waterfall at Plitvice Lakes

3. Entrance to Plitvice Lakes National Park

There are two entrances to the Lakes, Entrance 1 and Entrance 2. Both of them are pretty close to one another. Entrance 1 trail starts at the Lower lakes while Entrance 2 starts at the Upper lakes.  Personally, we enjoyed starting at Entrance 1, in this way we started at the lower lakes, walking in the direction of all the waterfalls and eventually reaching the upper lakes.

4. What is the best time to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Plitvice Lakes is a year-round destination. This park has its own charm in every season.

In winter, the waterfalls are frozen and have dramatic views.

During autumn, you can experience colorful views with leaves changing their colors.

Summer is the most crowded time here. When the park is full of admirers.

In Springtime, the waterfalls are flowing at its peak as the snow has melted.

The time to visit this place will depend on how you want to experience it.

Girl in Plitvice lakes wooden path
Plitvice in Summer

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plitvice lakes pinterest
Plitvice lakes Pinterest 2

5. What to expect inside Plitvice Lakes National Park?

Plitvice Lakes covers an area of 295 sq. km with its breathtaking waterfalls and lakes. The trails here are winding around the water and you will find wooden boardwalks everywhere.

The ticket to the park includes the ride on the electric car and the boat inside the park.

There are eight different trails from A to K, all offering different distance you would like to cover and the time required to hike these trails. The official site has details about routes and time you need to walk on each path Link to the official site.  The routes are marked inside the park and you will also find maps at various places.

6. Swimming and boat rentals in Plitvice Lakes National Park

Swimming is not allowed in the park as this is the UNESCO world heritage site. You can rent a small rental rowboat inside for a price of 60kn/hour. These boats are available for rent Kozjak lake.

Plitvice Kozjak lake boat port
Plitvice boat port at Kozjak lake

7. Wildlife at Plitvice Lakes National Park

The lakes are home to many wildlife species. The famous ones are brown bears, Eurasian lynx and otter. There are also many birds here, you can bring a pair of binoculars if bird watching is your thing. Also, expect to see a turtle and river snakes in the water.

Waterfall inside Plitvice lakes
Waterfall inside Plitvice lakes

8. What is the best way of hiking through Plitvice Lakes National Park?

This depends on the time that you have in your hand. The park is mesmerizing and you should plan atleast one complete day to explore it.

We stayed here for a day and half and here is our trail:  We started our trail at Entrance 1, following a circular path. On our way, we took the electric car at ST1 to reach ST3 and walked till Entrance 2. From the second entrance, we retraced our path, taking the free boat ride at P2 to reach P3.

In the end we hiked our way to the top viewpoints. The viewpoints at the top offer picture-perfect views of waterfalls falling into the lakes. This is where one of the postcard view of Veliki Slap is located. These views were the most satisfying stops of our journey. Not many people reach these viewpoints, and you will find these stunning places all to yourself.

Plitvice lakes postcard view
The postcard view

9. Places to eat near Plitvice Lakes National Park (Our experience)

  • Inside the Park: There are small eatery joints near St1 and P3 if you would like to grab a sandwich.
    Travel Tip: Bring a picnic at Plitvice lakes, the food inside the Park is average and there are places inside the park to have good picnic..
  • Licka Kuca is a nice restaurant that you will get in this small town. It is located near Entrance 1 of the park. We went here to enjoy dinner after visiting the lakes and were happy with our choice.
  • Near Entrance 1, there is another place for dinner at “House Katarina”. It has an excellent grill with a 3-course menu and a complimentary shot. They don’t have an extensive list to select from and the food here is good for the quantity that they offered.
    Travel Tip: They don’t mention the prices on the menu, but you can ask for the prices beforehand to avoid any surprises. Personally, we found it expensive with each dish costing around 25 euro per person.

10. Safety at Plitvice Lakes National Park

Brown Bears call it their home in the forests surrounding Plitvice lakes. Do not wander off the marked trails. If you happen to encounter a bear, evaluate the situation and back off slowly, do not run or you might land yourself in danger.

Travel Tip: The hiking trails at the lakes are long, sometimes you have to climb and the boardwalks can be wet, it is, therefore, advisable to wear proper non-slippery footwear. Avoid wearing flip-flops at the park.

It is challenging to capture its beauty in pictures, for its true beauty lies in wandering and hiking through the Park and being amazed at every turn and viewpoint.

plitvice lakes
Serene and Calm

11. Some more tips on visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Stay overnight near Plitvice lakes if you wish to start early and avoid the crowd. Plitvice lakes receive around 15 k visitors every day, needless to say, it can get crowded around 9-10 AM when the tour groups visit.
  • The town surrounding the lakes is beautiful with mesmerizing lush green mountains (I cannot emphasize on how green this place is). To top it all, the people in Croatia are very welcoming and friendly.
  • We loved to start from Entrance 1 since this had some fantastic views at the beginning of the trail.
  • A must visit viewpoint here is located at Veliki Slap where you will get the postcard view of this place. This is where we ended our day-long hike and spent some time to take in the best possible beauty of this place.

Plitvice view points
The secret view points are irresistible

Plitvice Lakes is a beautiful place in nature, I am sure you will have a fun time exploring this Park.

 

Let us know if you find this guide helpful or add a comment if you want to know more about this place.

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