Plitvicka Jezera National Park is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I wasn’t surprised to learn that it was termed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 1979. Comprising of several breathtaking lakes, mesmerizing waterfalls and caves waiting to be explored, this park is surely the most popular attraction in Croatia.
The park is scattered over a huge area of over 300 sq km’s so deciding how much you want to explore, based on time at hand, is a daunting task. I decided to spare two full days for the park and it was a wise decision. One day would be too less and anything more than two days wasn’t ideal since I had a huge bucket list on my Euro trip to sort through in 40 days.
Getting to Plitvicka is easy with daily direct buses running from Zagreb, Split, Zadar and Varazdin. However, I decided to rent a car and do the coastal drive from Split to Plitvicka (over 5 hours). Sadly, all GPS devices were rented out and I just had a rusty map, no 3g and my awful navigational skills to guide me to my destination.
Needless to say, the 5+ hour drive took over 8 hours as I got lost and wandered through villages (quite off the highway). However, no regrets as I loved every bit of it. Surely the left hand drive was challenging and took quite a while to get used to – but I have to say, pretty soon – I nailed it!
After my first adventure, I found my way to my cozy AirBnb apartment with lovely hosts and an amazing jungle vibe. Immediately, I felt like home and prepared for two awesome days of exploration ahead – by doing what I do best – napping.
My wonderful experience in Plitvicka Jezera National Park
The next day, I made my way to the park in my jazzy rented wheels (I got a free upgrade so I was very happy zooming around in my Skoda Octavia). At the entrance, I decided to grab the two day pass for $27 (One day pass costed $16). I was given a map and I took sometime to go through it. There was so much to explore and so many routes one can follow. Basically, there were two entrances 1 & 2 – for lower and upper lakes.
Over the next two days, I hiked along all major routes, taking pictures of the amazing waterfalls and lakes from different angles and enjoying a bunch of different activities – boat rides, canoeing, hiking, cave exploration and photography. The walks are really easy to do with such scenic views along the way, you won’t have a second to get bored.
Lakes at the Plitvicka Jezera National Park comprise of clear, blue-green waters and are home to various species of fish. The park itself is adobe to deer, wolves, bear and many bird species. It is a haven for naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts. To sight wildlife is quite tough and you would have to go off the routes on the map – into deeper, non-touristy tracks.
At the end of two days, I was thrilled that I included Plitvicka in my itinerary (It was tricky to cover as I was mostly around Western Europe, so Croatia was a bit off-track). Croatia was my last stop in Europe and it ended up being the highlight. All thanks to the awe-inspiring natural beauty of Plitvicka Jezera national park.
Here are some more amazing pictures to give you a glimpse of Plitvicka, through my lens –
So have you ever visited Plitvicka Jezera National Park or plan to? Tell me about it in comments below – I am always eager to hear from fellow globetrotters.