Navigating Plitvice Lakes National Park
When my friend I were deciding where to go last September, Croatia was on the shortlist. After a quick Google image search of ‘plitvice waterfalls’, it secured its place on the itinerary. There are MANY reasons to visit Croatia, but those vivid turquoise lakes and cascading waterfalls are mighty compelling.
HOW WE GOT THERE
We left from Zadar and took a short 2-hour bus ride to Plitvice Lakes. After our day of exploring, we went straight to the capital city of Zagreb for the night.
Unless you’re a national park fanatic, I would say that allocating a day is enough time to see this natural wonder. There are also plenty of lockers at the entrance for your suitcase if you’re in between cities.
If you’re traveling via the bus network, my main tips would be: pre-book tickets and don’t rely on the very last bus leaving Plitvice. I wouldn’t say pre-booking is essential for the other trips we took around Croatia, but the bus leaving Plitvice was jam-packed. And being stranded is never fun, even in a place as beautiful as this.
ONCE YOU’RE THERE
On arrival at the entrance, you can see the whole place is well catered to visitors. The park is easy to navigate with clear signage to direct you on your chosen path. Worried about the amount of cardio required? Don’t stress, there are four different trails that cater to different abilities and vary in length. We asked a staff member for her recommendation considering how much time we wanted to spend and she advised the 4-6 hour route (tour C).
Tour C was stunning. This route is the second longest and was more of a leisurely walk rather than a hike, and barely involved any strenuous bits. I definitely feel like I spent the perfect amount of time in the park – drinking up those verdant shades of green and pristine lakes.
- Bring water. Pack some snacks too if you think you might get a little peckish. There is a lovely site in the reserve where you can buy a hot meal, but I did see people enjoying their own sandwiches too if you fancy saving your kuna.
- Layer up! I wore shorts and then desperately wished I’d worn leggings. The breeze coming off those thundering waterfalls made it much cooler than I expected during parts of the walk.
- Come with your camera. I’m all about living in the moment yada yada yada, but if there’s any spot where you want get snap happy, it’s here. Plitvice Lakes is so mind-bogglingly beautiful, I’m glad I captured my time there.