Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia

Plitvice Lakes is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Croata and was recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1979. It is stunningly beautiful and well worth a visit and adding to your list of places to visit in Croatia.

The park is just under 300km² and is mainly covered with forest, the lakes make up just 1% of parks. There are 16 larger lakes and then further smaller lakes which flow in to each other, some via small streams and others via impressive waterfalls. The water is the most amazing turquoise blue and

The park can be visited as a day trip from many other places in Croatia or you can choose to spend a little longer by staying in the park itself or in a nearby town. A list of accommodation can be found on Plitvice Lakes website here, we stayed at B&B Plitvice Falls Cottage, you can find our review here.

The park is very busy in the summer so if you are able to visit at quieter times of the year there will be less queuing and waiting to take photos. The park is also open in the winter although not all trails are open and is just as beautiful in the snow as it is in the sunshine.

Getting around inside the park:

A link to the official park map can be found here.

There are various hiking routes within the park. The major ones are signposted and you can pick up a map from the information points within the park. This is a great way to see the park away from the crowds. We also found it cooler to be walking beneath the trees out of the direct sun. On the first day we were in the park we clocked up 10 miles around the upper lakes. Our second day we took things a little easier and walked the lower lakes and then took advantage of the free land train and boats.

The land train and the boats are free and easy to use, however at busier times of the day there are long queues for both.

The paths are a mixture of trails and wooden boarded paths. That take you to view points, past water galls and along the side of the lakes where you can watch the fish in the crystal clear waters.


At the 3 main entrances where the boat and land train stops are there are various options for food. There are different options at each place including hot food (burgers etc), sandwiches, drinks and ice creams. I would definitely advise taking water with you as the distances between stops are large and in the summer months it is hot.

Getting to the park:

Plitvice Lakes are located about half way between Zagreb and Zadar. It is possible to get to the Lakes by bus and there are also many guided day trips available from the major tourist destinations.

We visited in August 2022 when Pip was 10. The offcial Plitvice Lakes website can be found here.

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