If you love nature and especially lakes, you must visit the Plitvice National Park. Walking through sixteen karst lakes of various sizes and colors, you can feel like in a fairy tale.
Published: May 13, 2022
Updated: May 27, 2022
Natural wonders of Croatia
"Croatia has been glorious," said Emilia Clarke, actress on Game of Thrones. You have to agree with her, especially when you visit the natural wonders of Plitvice Lakes.
The surrounding nature seems to be from another world. Numerous cataracts, including spectacular waterfalls in the form of narrow streams breaking through tuff sills, have already delighted many travelers.
Plitvice Lakes has been a national park since 1949, and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. It covers more than 296 square kilometers, making it the largest national park in Croatia.
This magical place is visited every year by 1.3-1.5 million people. They walk on wooden footbridges just above the water, take a cruise on the lakes, and admire the fauna and floraof Plitvice Lakes.
How to get to Plitvice?
Plitvice National Park is located in Croatia on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, south of Zagreb. It is located close to road 1, and the easiest way to get there is by car, or with a travel agency.
The Kingdom of Lakes is conveniently accessible from Ljubljana. From the Slovenian capital, you can go on Ljubljana to Plitvice Lakes Tour and reach the place by bus in just 3 hours.
You can also think about the Lake Bled to Plitvice Lakes Tour. In the morning you can pack a traditional Bled cake kremšnita for the road, and reach your destination in three and a half hours.
Is there a right time to visit Plitvice? … Yes! Any time! The Croatian National Park delights us throughout the whole year.
In spring, fresh green contrasts with turquoise water, and during the tour, we will have the birds' accompaniment. In summer, the lakes will glisten in the sunshine. In autumn, we will take a break from the crowds, and feel like we are in a real fairy-tale full of colors. I can promise you that the photos will come out amazing! In winter, we will see the kingdom of ice. You will not forget the view of spectacular frozen waterfalls for the rest of your life.
Plitvice are famous for their lakes. Why? The bodies of water were created by the rock dissolution process. Thanks to this, the water mixes with chemical compounds released during the dissolution and amazing colors are born — from grey through turquoise to green. Coloring is also influenced by the degree of sunshine and the vegetation present.
The vegetation of the park is very diverse. There are around 1100 plant species on its surface, and 70 of them are endemic. All these amazing things are hidden among ancient trees — the oldest ones are even several hundred years old! The forest is dominated by beech, spruce, and fir.
The animal kingdom is also diverse. In Plitvice National Park there are large predators such as the brown bear and the wolf. An important fauna attraction is Central Europe's most endangered mammal, the otter. The clear water shows us fish, such as minnows, trout, or rudd. Walking around after dark, you might spot bats — there are 15 species of them in Plitvice.
The park proposes four types of trails of varying length and difficulty. So everyone will find something for themselves!
Route A: 3.5 km, walking time 2-3 hours — We will start from entrance number 2, through the Great Waterfall, along the lakes Galovac, Milanovac, and Gavanovac.
Route B: 4 km, walking time 3-4 hours — Start is possible from any entrance. We will see the Great Waterfall and the nearby lakes. Part of the route is a boat ride across Kozjak Lake.
Route C: 8 km, walking time 4-6 hours — The route allows us to see the Lower and Upper Lakes and the Great Waterfall. We cross Kozjak by boat and return by bus from the Upper Lakes.
Route K: 18.3 km, walking time 6-8 hours — The longest route, leading along the shores of all the lakes without any means of transport (apart from a short boat ride near entrance number 2).
Beauty of nature
Plitvice Lakes are beautiful and diverse. They amaze with their fauna and flora. That’s why the Plitvice National Park is an ideal place for relaxation. So don't wait, just choose the date and travel to Plitvice! If you also want to discover other amazing places near Ljubljana check out Day Trips Slovenia.