Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia

Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia

Along with Captain and Clark, Bohemian Trails and Backpack with Brock, I was hosted in Croatia by the national tourist board. As with every trip I embark on that has any kind of sponsorship, my opinions are still solely my own and all images in this post were taken by me only on an iPhone 4s.

In 1979 Plitvice Lakes National Park was given UNESCO World Heritage Status. It doesn’t seem like very long after that I started seeing photographs of it, perhaps in National Geographic Magazine. Much later, on the “pages” of Pinterest, pinned and repinned by friends and travel colleagues with a frequency that began to gnaw at my curiosity. I had to see if this mystical park was as beautiful as it seemed — or the result of a lot of really good editing.

As fate would have it, I can now attest to the fact that Plitvička jezera or Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is just as beautiful as you’ve been told, as you may have seen and definitely as much as Croats claim. And then some!

My first thought when I rounded the first bend in Plitvice and saw the first of many stunning waterfalls was, “Well that does not suck.” It was, of course, a drastic understatement but it was the only thought I could manage at the time. So stunned was I with the beauty before my eyes. This is the first vista I saw:plimg1

Plitvice is the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. It was created in 1949 and covers an area of 296.85 square kilometres (73,350 acres). More than 1,200,000 visitors traverse the grounds of the park every year but because we visited in October, a great time to do so because of the changing leaves and all the extra color, we felt at times like we had the park to ourselves. Some areas were more crowded than others but never was it too difficult to capture the images we felt we needed so that we could communicate its beauty to those who have not yet been.
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There are about 16 lakes in Plitvice Lakes National Park and countless waterfalls extending from lake to lake creating a sort of daisy chain of natural wonder. The water is at times crystal clear and sometimes so turquoise that the only comparison which I could conjure was that of the Caribbean ocean.plimg14Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f1 presetplimg19Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 presetplimg22Processed with VSCOcam with f1 presetIf heaven exists, it must look something like Plitvice. Certainly it seems more the stuff of fairytales, or Tolkien fantasy, than reality!

What do you think? Do you want to visit Plitvice now as well? Or are photos good enough for you?