There is something absolutely magical about taking a walk through one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe while admiring the emerald green and turquoise colours of 16 cascading lakes with numerous waterfalls and the surrounding lush forest. We bring you the top 10 experiences to make your visit to the Plitvice Lakes National Park unforgettable.
1. Eight sightseeing programs
As the first and biggest national park in Croatia, proclaimed in 1949, Plitvice Lakes National Park is internationally recognized due to its outstanding universal value. It was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. This natural paradise with 8 different lake tour programs is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia.
2. Four hiking trails
You can experience everything that pristine nature has to offer during our four hiking trails within the Plitvice Lakes National Park. This is pure joy for all those who are attracted to hiking through the beautiful beech forest, resting in the shade and listening to the sounds of nature while enjoying the impressive view of the Plitvice Lakes landscape. There are educational boards on all hiking trails, which enable you to learn more about the rich forest ecosystem of the Park.
3. Rowing in a wooden boat on the biggest lake, Kozjak
Have you ever tried rowing in a wooden boat surrounded by the beautiful scenery of a national park? In the very heart of Plitvice Lakes National Park, you can explore the biggest Plitvice Lake, Kozjak, by moving across the lake using your own strength. Not to mention how romantic it can be if you decide to share this experience with your significant other. For all those who opt for an easier boat ride, there are panoramic electric boats which peacefully sail on Kozjak Lake as well.
4. Big waterfall (Veliki slap)
Imagine taking a picture at the foot of the biggest waterfall in Croatia, surrounded by exquisite natural scenery and a refreshing water mist on your face. The Big Waterfall, with a total height of 87 metres, is located in Plitvice Lakes National Park. It is one of the must-see sights which you are sure to remember for a long time.
5. Cave Šupljara
The characteristics of karst relief are visible on every corner of Plitvice Lakes National Park, where 32 caves and 82 pits have been discovered by now. Cave Šupljara lures in all the visitors who explore the Lower Lakes of the Park. It is a cave tunnel 68 metres long which has been specially protected under the category of geomorphological nature monuments since 1964. Speleological objects are extremely important for many rare and protected species. Just walking near the cave decorations that have been created for thousands of years is a unique experience in itself.
6. Sastavci waterfalls
There is a story behind the power of the water in the theatrical natural scenery of the place called “Sastavci”, situated in the canyon of the Lower Lakes of the Park. In this spot, the water from 16 Plitvice Lakes and the water from the Big Waterfall unite and form the Korana River, a beautiful karst river 134 km long, which is a part of the Black Sea basin. Watching the birth of a river engulfed in loud waterfall sounds is one of the natural wonders you can experience during your visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park.
7. Sightseeing spots above the canyon of the Lower Lakes
Amazing sightseeing spots situated along the walking trails near the water, above the canyon of the Lower Lakes or in the woods of the Upper Lakes, are places where you can take a deep breath and admire the beauty of nature even more. Taking photos in this stunning and almost unbelievable natural atmosphere is a wonderfully enjoyable experience.
8. Plitvice Lakes National Park hotels
Plitvice Lakes National Park has four hotels, three of which are situated just a few minutes’ walk from the visitor zone to the Park (Jezero, Plitvice and Bellevue Hotel). Imagine resting on the balcony of your hotel room while enjoying the view of the Plitvice Forest and the sounds of waterfalls in the distance. Nature at its best is just a few steps away! All the guests of the hotels of the Park pay their entrance ticket only once and use the same ticket to enter the Park any time they like during opening hours.
9. Visits to the surrounding area
Plitvice Lakes National Park is situated in the Lika region in Croatia, where almost 60% of the area is a part of the NATURA 2000 network of protected areas. Even though Plitvice Lakes is the most visited national park in Croatia, there are also other natural treasures like the three national parks in the vicinity, Northern Velebit, Paklenica and Krka, along with Velebit Nature Park and Grabovača Cave Park. In such a small radius, nature lovers can enjoy visiting several natural attractions and fill their vacation time by visiting various wonderful places in this corner of Croatia.
10. Adrenaline activities
For all those who seek adventure and adrenaline rush during their vacation, there are plenty of activities at your disposal in the Park surroundings besides visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park, such as cycling, zip line, paintball, wall climbing, horseback riding, kayaking, etc. There is a thrill for people of all ages!
Tomislav Kovačević is General Manager at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and biggest national park in Croatia.