We didn’t have many plans while staying in Croatia, but the Plitvice Lakes National Park was a must. This stunning park is famous for the Plitvice waterfalls, which are claimed by many to be the most beautiful waterfalls in the world.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest national park in southeast Europe, recognised by UNESCO, as well as the largest national park in Croatia. It extends over 296.85 square kilometres (73,350 acres) and receives around 1,200,000 visitors per year.
The park is famous for it’s 16 freshwater lakes that are arranged at various elevations, resulting in stunning cascades. These lakes range in colours from azure to green, grey or blue. The colours regularly change depending on the quality of minerals within the water, or number of waterborne microorganisms, temperature, season, and the angle of the sunlight that day. You could visit 5 different times and see 5 completely different looking lakes – you never know what you’re going to get.
Entry prices vary from month to month with the cheapest being 55 Kunas (US$7.70) during the off-season up to 180 Kunas (US$25), with kids under 7 free. Luckily for us we arrived on a national holiday and the entry price was reduced substantially. Unluckily for us it also meant the park was packed with thousands of locals and waiting in the ticket queue took a better part of 1 hour.
Our trip to Plitvice started from Split and we headed in the direction of the capital city, Zagreb. Plitvice Lakes National Park is located about halfway between Split and Zagreb, and took us around 2.5hrs in the car.
We were road tripping with our good friends, Hai and Jess from Notes of Nomads. Once we arrived at the park we stopped briefly in the carpark for a “boot picnic” before making our way in.
We were slightly nervous about the estimated time to hike through the park considering we have 2 young children, but we found several route options based on how much time we wanted to spend there and our available stamina. We decided to catch the shuttle up to the western end and hike (mostly) downhill. It took a couple hours all up, but what we saw made it more than worthwhile.
So without further adieu I give you our favourite images from a sweaty hike around the world’s most beautiful waterfalls.
Azure lake with golden Autumn trees.
Elevated wooden boardwalk weaves around and above the lakes.