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?

  • October 23, 2013

    Wow! All pics are awesome. I would love to visit this place. You guys had enjoyed a lot. Last pic looks so beautiful. Thanks a lot for sharing such a nice post with us. Keep sharing!

    • October 23, 2013

      Thank you so much, Ellen! I am so glad you like the photos and the post. Croatia was a very wonderful country in my experience and I will definitely be posting more.

  • October 23, 2013
    Sarah Lee

    Love the photos – so looking forward to going there next year now, though ever so slightly sad it will be in the middle of summer rather than when it has all the autumn colours.

    • October 23, 2013

      Thanks love 🙂 x I can’t wait to see your photos when you do visit since it will be at a different time than I explored there! But I understand what you mean, the color was nice to experience.

  • October 24, 2013

    Beautiful photos! Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of our travelers’ most highly requested stops in Croatia. You are right, the beauty and splendor of the lakes exceeds expectations! –Wanda S. Radetti

    • October 24, 2013

      I’m so honored you like the photos. Thank you so much!! It’s certainly clear to me why it’s so popular now.

  • November 17, 2013

    Amazing capture! I love your fall photos for the National Park – I’ve never been to Croatia however, however, this place is definitely worth a trip! 🙂

    • November 18, 2013

      Thank you so much, Anita!! It really is worth a trip. Especially in fall with all the color.

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  • September 07, 2014

    Hello Kristen. I’m so enjoying your photos!!!! Too much beautiful~ how amazing capture that you did! Really lovely. Just a small question. Mmmm… could you please tell the exact dates that you visited there? I’m planning the trip and hope I could meet this wonderful color in the national park.

    • September 18, 2014

      Hello Bin! We visited in October of 2013 and the color was extraordinary all over the country. I definitely think that’s the very best time to visit. It was also not very cold. I would highly recommend that as a time to go.

      • August 31, 2017

        I know this is an old post, but do you mind sharing when in October you visited? I’m considering a trip, but am nervous about hitting the park once the leaves have fallen!

        • September 04, 2017

          Hi Adie! It’s true, this is an old post and potentially much has changed since my visit. Especially with regards to climate. But our trip in 2013 took place right in the middle of the month. Specifically, I was in Plitvice on 13 October.
          Cheers! I hope you do visit!

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