Plitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia’s largest national park is also one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe. Whenever I see photography of Plitvice Lakes, I think to myself: “Okay this has GOT to be photoshopped. There’s no way a place can actually look like that in real life.” Boy, was I wrong!

Our original plan was to enter the park as soon as it opens the following morning to beat the rush. When we checked the weather forecast after checking in at our Airbnb in Plitvice, it wasn’t looking pretty for the next day. It was supposed to rain! Our other option was to go right away. We looked at the time- 4pm. The sun was going to set in just over 2 hours, but the trail we wanted to do requires 3-4 hours to complete. That meant we had to somehow complete the circuit double-time. Feeling ambitious (and dreading the rain), we quickly changed and ran to the ticketing office at entrance 1.

Plitvice Lakes

View from entrance 1

It actually turned out to be a really good time to visit the lakes as tour busses and day trippers were just about to leave. Even though we visited in August (high season), we didn’t experience any over crowdedness that we’ve read about in other people’s blogs. This was a huge relief because some parts of the trail are pretty narrow. I can’t imagine how claustrophobic I’d feel if they were packed with people!

Plitvice Lakes National Park is truly a magical place- straight from a fairytale. We picked Route B, which starts at Entrance 1, through the lower lakes, and across lake Kozjak on a ferry. A shuttle then took us back to Entrance 1.

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Plitvice Lakes

You can see the moon!

The sun had just set when we exited the park and we were starving. We stopped by Licka Kuca on the way back to our Airbnb for dinner. The service was subpar with mediocre food, but they had live music which was a nice touch. (It was also the only restaurant on our walk back so it’s not like we had other options)

Even though our afternoon was a bit rushed, it was still an amazing experience. We’ve never seen anything this beautiful before; it was a little hard to believe that the park is real. Do stay the night when you visit Plitvice Lakes National Park. The little residential areas around here are very lovely. There is no light pollution and you can see stars shining brightly on a clear night!

Plitvice Lakes

Beautiful waterfalls at dusk

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Kollecting Koordinates - Plitvice Lakes

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20 thoughts on “Plitvice Lakes National Park

  1. Your photos are absolutely stunning! The colors in this national park are spectacular! I can’t wait to get to Croatia, and this is definitely on my list of places to go! Happy traveling 🙂

  2. Your photos are amazing and made me look back on mine (not so good!) I absolutely loved Plitvice and had a similar experience with food – ughhh too much fatty meat!

    • Thanks, Katy! Yeah, I wish there are more options for food in the area but I guess that’s kind of expected with any touristy place!

    • I had doubts before going but it completely blew my mind! We didn’t get a chance to stop by any of the islands but they’re on our list when we return 🙂

      • Yes you must do the islands. If you like santorini you will love Hvar. Also try to get the Stiniva Cove beach on the island of Vis on a day trip from Hvar and also the blue cave which can be done in the same trip. Also try to visit Bol famous golden Horn beach on the island of Brac. I recommend doing the islands in peak season as thus is when they come alive and the water is warm, so June to August. Do also try to get to Northern coast of Croatia. Google the town of Rovinj and base yourself here while you explore the Istrian region of Croatia which is often calked Croatia’s Tuscany. I see you like waterfalls so don’t miss the other Croatia falls of Krka near the beautiful town of Sibenik

  3. Oh my goodness! This place is an absolute dream!
    I was unsure whether I should detour to Croatia on my Europe trip and you have just helped me to decide that I will! Stunning photos!!

    • Yes! you won’t regret it 🙂 I was unsure too but now I wish I had more time in Croatia to explore the islands too!

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    • It’s only about a 3hr drive from Zagreb airport which isn’t far from Italy at all! I’d be going back to Plitvice every summer if I lived in Europe 😛

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