If you’ve ever flicked through a coffee table book of must-see natural wonders or bucket list destinations, then you’ve probably seen pictures of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia.
Last May we had a few days off, so we decided to jump in the car for a mini road-trip to Croatia. Since we only had a few days, we decided to spend 2 nights in Plitvice Lakes National Park and 2 nights by the ocean before driving back to Austria via Italy.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
By the time we arrived in Jezerce and checked in to our B&B, it was already early afternoon. The owners suggested that we visited the upper lakes that afternoon, so we got ready and headed down to the park. We purchased a 2-day ticket to the park, and the staff explained that we could go in and out as much as we liked within those two days. As we walked down to the entrance to the upper lakes, we were quite relieved to see lots of people leaving. One of the things we’d read about visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park was that it could get very busy, but we definitely noticed that going into the park later in the day at 3 pm, many people were leaving so it was much quieter. And since it was open until 7 pm, we didn’t feel the need to rush.
The Upper Lakes
At least, we didn’t feel the need to rush through the first half of the upper lakes. We enjoyed having the park almost to ourselves as we wandered along the wooden walkways that wind through the cascading pools. But after some almighty crashes of thunder, the heavens opened and the rain didn’t stop coming! We walked through the rest of the park as quickly as we could but by the time we reached the shuttle bus stop to take us back to the entrance, we were soaked through.
The Lower Lakes
We woke up early the next morning and we happy to see blue skies. We headed straight for the park and the lower lakes. Arriving early, it was still fairly quiet around but by 10 am the walkways around the park were so crowded that we were quite surprised nobody fell into the water! By the time we arrived at the largest waterfall in the park, the crowds were becoming unbearable. With a ticket that allowed us multiple entries within the 2 days, we decided to head back to our B&B, have a little break and return again later that afternoon. This was definitely a good decision, as when we returned again around 3 pm the big crowds were all heading home, meaning once again that we could enjoy the park in relative peace and quiet.
Tips For Your Visit
I highly recommend visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park to anyone who loves nature and unusual landscapes. The hiking around the park is really easy, and if you’re flexible with time, go for early starts, take a break during mid-day and return again in the afternoon. And if you’re really limited for time, head to the upper lakes. You won’t see the largest waterfall, but it’s generally a lot quieter and we actually preferred all the smaller lakes in the upper section.
Photograpy : Wild Connections Photography
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