Travel in Croatia: An Easy-Peasy Guide to Visiting Plitvice

After visiting Zagreb for two days, I made a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park. 🏞️FullSizeRender

Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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The park is spread across about 75,000 acres of land, yet its main attraction- the lakes- only covers 1% of the total park area.

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There are 16 cascading lakes, Prošćansko and Kozjak being the most famous, and 90 waterfalls, including Veliki Slap, the Great Waterfall.

DSC_3470 (2)DSC_3481Snapseed (1)The water is also mesmerizing here, as it changes from blue to green throughout the day.

DSC_3347This is because Plitvice is part of the Dinarides karst region, and the waters are surrounded by jagged, limestone rocks, which contain calcium carbonate.

DSC_3331This expulsion of calcium also creates, tufa, a porous rock that is unique to this environment.

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Because of its natural beauty, Plitvice receives about 1.5 million visitors each year! 😮

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In an effort to limit the number of tourists and ease the flow of visitors each day, they’ve implemented a few successful programs.

IMG-9918DSC_3436First, in an effort to reduce the long lines, they require that tourists buy their park tickets online at least two days in advance.

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Side Note: Students receive a significant discount, so book as a student if you have I.D. There are also two entrances separated by over 2 miles, so chose the correct one.

They also have eight programs for you to choose from during your visit, depending on how long you want to spend there and where you enter.

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I chose Program H, which left from Entrance 2 and took about 5 hours. This reduced the stress tremendously, as all I had to do was keep following the signs with my letter.

DSC_3388I almost felt like a mindless zombie while ‘navigating’ the park. No brain required! Hah! 😜🧟

579085ddafabdfd3612fa51ac0065e67Now, since the park is so large, they’ve also included transport in the ticket price. For example, Program H involved two tram rides, a two-hour hike through trails and raised platforms, and a boat ride across Kozjak Lake.

DSC_3268DSC_3460DSC_3431DSC_3463To get to the park, I rode with FlixBus. My departure was at 8 AM and we arrived at the park by 10:30. Of course, I needed my morning dose of kava to start the trip! ☕

IMG-9842IMG-9849Since I wasn’t planning to stay overnight, I was able to leave my luggage free of charge in a locked cabin near the entrance.

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By far, one of my favorite parts of Plitvice was its habitat diversity.🌳

DSC_3318During my visit, I admired alpine forests, grasslands, and mossy bogs. 😍

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Along with these diverse habitats, comes a unique variety of flora and fauna.🐌

DSC_3443DSC_3405DSC_3348DSC_3368DSC_3412DSC_3394DSC_3324DSC_3322DSC_3320During my visit, I spotted colorful dragonflies, birds, ducks, butterflies, crayfish, trout, and rodents.🦋

DSC_3299DSC_3360DSC_3457DSC_3289DSC_3385DSC_3317Also, on my way out, I had a run-in with a deadly nose-horned viper, who hissed and lunged at me on the path.😱 🐍

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courtesy of Google

I’m normally an animal lover, but I also know I’m no snake charmer, so I went running. 😂

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I was also thankful to have been wearing the recommended footwear for once in my life. 🙌🏻

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Of course, many people there opted for fashion over function. Yikes! 😂

DSC_3451I’d suggest ditching the stilettos, since the paths are a series of uneven, shaking bridges over running water.

DSC_3365It’s very picturesque, but even with my tennis shoes, I was worried that I might trip on the path and drop one of my valuables into the water. 📱

DSC_3311Here I am just trying to take a picture on the path without falling off. Just check out that lean! 😂

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Side note: there is no swimming in Plitvice allowed….unintentional or otherwise. 😂

DSC_3275Overall, it was an easy-peasy day trip, and despite the amount of people, it was hard not to find some peace surrounded by all this natural beauty.💙

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Getting there: I chose to take FlixBus from Zagreb to Plitvice, then continued on to Zadar at the end of my day. The bus stops at both Entrance 1 and 2.

Food: the park does have food and drinks for sale, but it comes at a high price, so I opted for a packed lunch.

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Croatians love these puffed corn snacks

Activities: in addition to visiting the lakes, the park also offers a range of hiking trails and activities for those planning to spend more than one day at the park.🛶

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Accommodation: Initially I planned to stay one night at Falling Lakes Hostel in nearby Korenica, which had great reviews, but since rain was in the forecast for the following day, I decided to head straight to the beach instead! On that note, the next 10 days I will be exploring Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Stay tuned to hear all about it!👙🐚

8 thoughts on “Travel in Croatia: An Easy-Peasy Guide to Visiting Plitvice

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