Plitvice Lakes – Croatia

Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes National Park was a very special stopover during our road trip to Albania. To be honest, it wasn’t really on our agenda before our Balkan trip. But that’s the beauty of spontaneous travel, isn’t it? You can always be taught better. Our couchsurfing host in Zagreb was even shocked when we told him about our itinerary that didn’t include a side trip to Plitvice Lakes. In this post I just want to give you some short useful information, otherwise I would say “let the pictures work on you” and convince yourself on site. The exact background information about the national park can be found on the corresponding homepage.

Top 5 Tips for Plitvice Lakes

  • Buy ticket online in advance
  • Be sure to bring your student ID, you save about 50%
  • Pack raincoat
  • Follow Trail C or H

Plitvice Lakes National Park & Hiking Trails

In total, the Plitvice Lakes National Park consists of 16 lakes, which are divided into 12 upper lakes and 4 lower ones. Each lake is a beauty in itself. The turquoise-blue shimmering, crystal clear water together with the lush green of the trees standing directly on the shore and the rippling waterfalls in the background – what a sight! We spent a whole day at the lakes and couldn’t get enough of them, one more beautiful than the other. You cross the park on foot, by electric boats and by train. In total there are 8 different (circular) hiking trails along the lakes and cascades. There is a trail for every state of mind and fitness. It may be that one or the other is closed due to flooding or other temporary events. I have summarized the different trails for you. Depending on which entrance you take, there are different routes. If you want to take a leisurely walk, you should think about whether you want to visit the upper or the lower lakes. Entrance 1 is more suitable for the routes around the lower lakes, whereas the second entrance is more convenient for visiting the upper lakes. For the longer trails, the entrance plays a subordinate role, because you will visit all areas anyway. Here I have briefly sketched the trails for you:

Entry 1:

Trail A: approx. 2-3 h (3.5 km)

This circuit is suitable for older people or families with small children. The highlight of this path is certainly “Veliki Slap”, the largest waterfall in the country. You get to see all four lower lakes here.

Trail B: approx. 3-4 h (4 km)

Similar to Trail A, this circular trail is recommended especially for families with small children and older people or just people who like to take it easy. The trail also passes by the four lower lakes but includes an electric boat ride across the largest of the Plitiv lakes – Kozjak. This is the only one of the “upper lakes” that you can see.

Trail C: (My tip) approx. 4-6 h (8 km)

We chose this trail and, even after consulting with others, thought it was the right choice. The trail goes along the upper and lower lakes, includes the ride with the electric boats across the Kozjak lake and the return ride with the panoramic train. You get to see the big waterfalls “Veliki slap”, “Veliki” and “Mali prštavac” and the whole thing has the character of a leisurely hike without becoming too strenuous.

Trail K: approx. 6-8 h (approx. 18 km)

For the more hardcore, this trail covers the entire lake area, but includes only a short ferry crossing and does not use the panoramic railroad or electric boats. The advantage is that on some passages you will meet fewer people, since most groups are on the same trails after all.

Entry 2:

Trail E: 2-3 h (5 km)

This route goes along the upper lakes and includes a short crossing by ferry and a ride on the panoramic railroad. You get to see some waterfalls and the upper lakes.

Trail H: 4-6 h (approx. 9 km)

This path is virtually the counterpart to path C.

Trail F: 3-4 h (approx. 4.5 km)

This trail is basically the same trail as B, except that you start and end at a different point.

Getting to Plitvice Lakes

Der Nationalpark Plitvicer Seen befindet sich in etwa auf halber Strecke zwischen Zagreb und Zadar, etwas näher an Zadar. Von Zagreb aus sollte man etwa eine zweistündige Fahrt einplanen. Da wir mit dem eigenen PKW unterwegs waren, stellte sich die Frage nach dem passenden Transportmittel nicht. Ich habe aber gesehen, dass es täglich zig Busse von den verschiedensten Städten zu den Plitvicer Seen gibt. Hier findet ihr genauere Angaben zu den Abfahrtszeiten der einzelnen Busse.

Häufige Fragen zum Nationalpark Plitvicer Seen

We clearly recommend the Plitvice Lakes if you have to decide. We were after the Plitvice Lakes at the entrance of Krka, but did not go in because it was again more expensive than the Plitvice Lakes and the pictures have not impressed us by far. Krka had the advantage that you were allowed to swim there earlier, but that is no longer the case.
We took a whole day for the national park. There are certainly great things to discover in the entire national park Plitvice Lakes, for the part with the waterfalls one day is enough, because you can see everything without stress.
Therefore, I advise you to take a rain jacket with you. In case of heavy rain it can happen that some hiking trails are closed due to flooding.
Yes! Even though we don’t have a dog ourselves, some people with four-legged friends came to meet us.
If possible, I would try to avoid the peak season in July/August, as this is when the biggest crowds flock to the lakes.

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We are Julian & Naomi and we love to travel the world and immerse ourselves in other cultures. We have an adventurous, spartan, sustainable and reflective travel style. In our opinion, the greatest adventures are experienced when you do things on your own and try to live like a local. The taste of a country is best captured on the road
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