Sunday, December 20, 2015

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Resting on a cliffside above Plitvice Lakes

One of the most internationally famous sites in Croatia is the immensely photogenic Plitvice Lakes National Park. Yet another Unesco World Heritage site, Plitvice is an all around awesome place that you should visit.

Some of the (many) famous Plitvice waterfalls, from above.
Waterfalls, caves, pristine lakes, precipitous cliff paths, travertine pools - Plitvice has it all.

Hanging out in one of the caves

The main entrance to the park starts several hundred feet above the lakes, but you soon begin your descent to water level. Much of the path actually takes you along boardwalks built on the water.

I kind of love this picture. 

Sometimes the water actually runs over the boardwalk - but who cares?

There are lots of little pools and cascades and waterfalls here. You will get wet - and so will your glasses and camera lens - but that's part of the fun. As we walked along the boardwalks and climbed up a cliff path beside a waterfall I felt a sense of exhilaration and euphoria.

After an hour or so of exploring, this became one of my new favorite places.


I loved Plitvice. It's a wonderland. Though it's all very, well, watery, it's actually a pretty diverse landscape. From the boardwalks to the waterfalls to the lakes and travertine pools, the different sections of the park are actually quite distinct. Which is what makes it so fun to explore. We were there for five or six hours, and I never got tired or bored. I took nearly 200 pictures.

Apparently the park can be utterly flooded (pun intended?) with people during certain times of the summer - but the crowds were very manageable while we were there in mid-May.

And note that all the above photos are from the "first" part of the park. There's a whole second area of the park that we were only able to begin exploring before it started getting dark - but that's ok. It gives me something to look forward to when I go back.


  1. Now you've given me wanderlust and I really really want to go to Croatia and see plitvice national park. It is an absolutely stunning place and as great as your pictures are they probably don't do it justice

  2. Stunning pictures. It looks wonderful. Great write up too. I had a question. I am planning to go there in may and spend 2 days at the park. Do I need to goto vintgar gorge then? Or is it similar

    1. Hey, thanks for your comment. I loved Vintgar Gorge, and it is quite distinct from Plitvice. However, the two sites are quite far apart from each other (nearly 200 miles), so I wouldn't recommend taking a special trip just to see the gorge - especially if you only have a few days in the area.

      However, if you're already planning to visit Lake Bled, I would definitely take the time to visit Vintgar, since they're very close to each other and a round-trip through the gorge only takes about 2 hours.

      If you're not going to Bled, I think you could enjoy yourself more staying in the Plitvice area.