Plitvice National Park in Croatia – all you need to know before your trip
UNESCO Word Heritage since 1979 and Croatia’s first national park, Plitvice lakes still rank very high on Croatia’s finest. It’s 300 km2 big area covered mainly with forest and grassland. But it’s just the 1% that interest most of the tourists. Lakes, because that’s what I’m referring to, cover only 1% of the whole park. There’re 16 bigger lakes and several smaller, cascading one to another. And this is the natural beauty you want to see.
HOW TO GET THERE
If you come by car, you can use one of these two roads directing to the park:
- D429 (Selište Drežničko – Prijeboj) from the direction of Zagreb/Zadar
- D52 (Vrhovine – Korenica) from the direction of Otočac (A1)
Visitor parking is provided at both entrances (for a fee),
You may also come by bus, for example flixbus or Autopromet d.d. Slunj can take you from Zagreb to Plitvice lakes in around 3 hours for 13 Euros.
WHEN TO VISIT
Plitvice national park is open year round, and each and every season has its magic, but also some limitations. You need to remember that during winter season, the entrance is cheaper, but not all the routes and attractions are available. Continuing, summer is when you may wait in long lines, the tickets are the most expensive and it’s crowdy. Therefore, early spring – April seems to be the most reasonable, the entrance price is moderate and it’s still not the high season for travelling. So, it creates a pretty good chance to have that Instagram shoot.
BEFORE YOUR VISIT
The Plitvice National parks ofer several diferent ways to visit it. There’re 8 lake tour programmes, depending on your time and fitness. When choosing the route take into consideration the total lenght of the route, its altitude and time you’ll spend hiking. I’d say – don’t rush. If you’re capable of hiking 18 kilometers – do it. The shortest and the most popular route is 3,5 kilometer long and it takes approximately 3-4 hours to walk it. It’s circular, so you finish at the same point you start. Some of the routes include the electric boat cruise as well, which may turn out to be a great experience.
Unfortunately not every route is available during winter, so check the oicial site before your visit.
If you’re into hiking, try out the routes in the national park. To find out more visit.
Prices range from the season. There’re 3 main seasons: Low season, which start November 1st to March 31st and the price is only 10 euros for an adult. Then there’s the mid season from April 1st till May 31st and during the whole October and the price goes up to 23,50 euros and the high season from June 1st to September 30th and the prices is lifted to almost 40 euros. Kids up till 7 years old goes for free, and between 7 and 18 has reduced price, they pay just around 30% of the full admission.
RULES, RULES, RULES
Remember, in order to keep this natural beauty possibly untouched, it’s important to follow the rules:
- It’s not allowed to take any plants/stones etc from the national park
- Swimming is prohibited, no matter how hot it is outside
- Obviuosuly feeding animals is also strictly forbidden
- Keep the track and don’t get off marked routes
- Take your trash with you and throw it in the garbage, not anywhere else
You can get an accommodation really close to the park. For example Hotel Jezero with a view on the lakes or B&B Plitvica Lodge, which is rated fabulous on booking. Another superb 4-star hotel is Holiday Park Fenomen Plitvice. But as always the choice is huge.
If you have never been to Croatia before, I recommend exploring it a bit. It’s called a country with thousand islands. So far I visited mainly the north of Croatia: Istria and Primorje regions. And it’s quite close from Primorje to get to Plitvice lakes.
So, are you ready for an adventure?