Aquamarine lakes are fringed with mossy veins and sunshine-dappled woodlands in Croatia’s natural treasure, Plitvice Lakes National Park. Covering almost 300 km2 , and comprising 16 lakes, Plitvice is the largest of Croatia’s eight national parks and was the first established, back in 1949. As well as being just generally amazing, with its (hiding) brown bears, enthusiastic schools of fish, tall falls and war-torn past, Plitvice is known for its vibrant lakes, which miraculously morph between shades of blue and green depending on the mineral and organism levels in the water.
My best attempts to describe the serene beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site just wouldn’t come close to conveying why I felt such awe when exploring the waterfalls, cascades, caves, karsts and woodlands. So, to come closer to doing it justice, here is a collection of photos I took while walking around the upper and lower lakes.
Tips for exploring Plitvice Lakes and National Park:
Karana campground is a great spot to stay, only 6km from the park entrance. The grounds have little bungalows with two beds in them and there is plenty of room for tents, campers and caravans. A very filling buffet breakfast is served from 7-9am every morning. There is also a bar, restaurant and well-stocked shop on site, and a free shuttle to the park entrance at 9am daily, returning at 5pm.
If you prefer a bed closer to the park, there are a couple of hotels actually in the park, which charge a premium for location but also allow a second day entrance on the first day ticket.
If you are looking at private accommodation in the area, be sure to confirm lifts to and from the park. The roads are winding and not that friendly for road-side walking.
If you have luggage to store, the information centre at the main national park entrance will hold your bags between 9am and 5pm for a small fee.
Buses to and from Plitvice are frequent and easy, despite a limited amount of online information about them. We caught a bus from Zadar bus station to Plitvice (final destination is Zagreb) for 90 Kunas per person. There are a few buses daily – one super early and a couple in the afternoon – and tickets can be bought from the station attendant. Be sure to check which company your ticket is with, as often the buses pull into the wrong bay and leave promptly after dropping off passengers. The bus stops just across the road from the main park entrance, and although the bus doesn’t routinely stop at the campground, you can ask the driver and they should be able to drop you off.
Buses from Plitvice to Zadar or Zagreb are just as easy. The information centre on the opposite side of the road to the main park entrance (use the over-road bridge) has timetables and lots of other useful information. You will be able to buy your ticket from the driver. We paid 100 Kunas with under-carriage luggage to get to the central bus station in Zagreb.
One day tickets into Plitvicka Jezera nacionalni park cost 110 Kunas for an adult and 80 Kunas for a student (who may or may not actually need to present a student card).The ticket includes one ride on the ferry that crosses the large lower lake and the bus shuttles that loop the park.
If you make a full day of it, you can see both the upper and lower lakes in one day and still make a bus to Zadar or Zagreb, it just depends how quickly you walk and if you want to catch a shuttle bus to speed up your loop.
The national park is open all year around, but make sure you use the main entrance only during off-peak times, as other entrances close for periods of the year.
27 thoughts on “A Photo Walk in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia”
Stunning pictures! I was in Croatia a couple of years ago and visited the Krka park. But this looks even more magnificent!!! I have to go back there!
Thanks SweetKitten. I didn’t get to Krka Park… one for the ‘next time’ list perhaps. I’ve been to Croatia twice now and have found something wonderful there each time.
Thanks for reading.
Lovely post. I missed Plitvice but did visit Krka which looks to me to be quite similar.
Hey Andrew, thanks. Yes, I didn’t get to Krka but it does look lovely from the pictures. Croatia really does seem to have done well with such a great suite of national parks and delights.
Speechless scenery !!! & superb Pictures taken too .
Nirav / India .
Thanks Nirav – I was quite speechless when there; it is so stunningly beautiful and the scale of the waterways is quite majestic.
Thanks for reading.
Just beautiful. I think I’ll be adding this place to my bucket list 🙂
Hey Jane – I think this is a great site for a bucket list. It is certainly an experience that will have a lasting impression on me.
Thanks for reading!
Beautiful, bringing back memories of my trip there
Thanks Ltpa. When were you there?
Oh a while back, around 5 or 6 years ago during a trip around eastern Europe. I still remember how vividly blue the water was! I wish I had taken more photographs back then.
Somehow I always wish I had taken more photos… although this year I’ve reach a grand total nearing 22,000…
Wow, now that is impressive!
beautiful! gorgeous pictures, which time of the year were they taken?
We visited at the end of August this year, so it was starting to cool from summer, but still lovely to walk around.
AMAZING. Such an incredible place, and your photos do it justice. Croatia is on the top of my list of places to go!!
Thanks Jooy – appreciate your kind comment.
I’ve been to Croatia twice now and still feel there is so much there to discover. It is certainly in my shortlist of favourite countries to travel.
Do you have any plans in the near future to head there?
note to self: go to Croatia!
You’ll be doing yourself a favour AYITC!! I love the combination of warm hospitality, stunning natural attractions and yummy food in Croatia. Hope you get there soon!
Wow this place looks amazing
Hey OJTTS, It is! It is certainly one of those places that seems unreal when you’re faced with the stunning cliff-top views.
Gorgeous shots Nic. You have such a good eye. Plitvice was so gorgeous…I would quite happily go back.
Thanks Anita. Me too. I saw the upper and lower lakes but there are so many little trails I didn’t get to explore in my one day there. Glad you enjoyed the shots! Nic
Reblogged this on Simon Sundaraj-Keun.
I tried to visit the lakes during a travel around Europe with my car, but a colosal storm begun… Few days later, I enjoyed a swimming in River Krka National Park. I loved Croatia! (Sorry for my english).