Plitvice Lakes National Park: Croatia’s Hidden Gem

It’s the summer and I have the amazing opportunity of visiting the beautiful Croatian coast in Southeast Europe. I’ve seen my fair share of clear blue water, but this National Park will take your breath away. It seems surreal walking around the lakes, caves and abundance of waterfalls. This protected National Park is known worldwide for its lakes arranged in cascades. There are 16 interlinked lakes, divided into the upper and lower lakes that make up this majestic journey. This land was declared a Unesco World Hertiage Site in 1979.

Luck was on my side, as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky the day I visited Plitvice. The vibrant natural colors of this park were astonishing. Everything from the green in the surrounding trees and the aqua blue water to the sound of gushing waterfalls all around contributed to a remarkable experience. There isn’t a dull moment in the walk around the lakes, even the shaded forested areas are amazing and flourishing with wildlife. You’re not walking for long until you emerge into a whole new set of lakes and waterfalls that you never thought could top the last.

To walk around all of the connecting trails takes up a good portion of a day. If you are able to stay near by…even better, splitting these treks up into two days would create a very relaxing experience. Otherwise, the drive in from the main surrounding cities takes about two hours each way. Plenty of tour busses take this route as well if you’re not keen on renting a car. I’d recommend spending at least five or six hours at the lakes and make it a full day. There is so much to see it would be a shame to spend less time than that.

If you’re in Europe and anywhere near Croatia you MUST go to Plitvice. In my travels through 8 countries in Europe I had many conversations about it and I never heard anything but great things and of people’s dreams to one day visit it.

Here’s a link to Plitvice National Park’s website (the English translated version of course).

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