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Plitvice Waterfalls

Plitvice Waterfalls

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As opposed to being any singular attraction, the Plitvice Waterfalls (pronounced "PLIT-vits-uh") are really a large network of karstic lakes and waterfalls. For reasons you'll see on this page, we think the Plitvice Lakes and Waterfalls are Croatia's signature natural attractions and certainly worthy of consideration amongst the world's natural wonders.

Just imagine walking besides and even right over lakes full of fish while displaying a color and clarity that rivals China's Jiuzhaigou. It's not all that unfamiliar to see a sequence that goes like waterfalls-lake-waterfalls-lake, etc. etc. It's probably one of the more memorable waterfall attractions in the world as Julie and I were pleasantly surprised at how large some of these waterfalls turned out to be once we finally saw them in person.

In fact, these waterfalls were apparently tourist attractions even since the late 19th century. We learned this from a plaque alongside the Galvanovac that stated that Plitvice was named after a world famous Croatian opera singer at the time. So, this is hardly a new attraction though it seems to only be coming into its own as a world class tourist attraction recently.

Jezero Kozjak separating the Upper and Lower LakesTo get a handle on the enormity of the Plitvice Jezera (meaning Plitvice Lakes and is pronounced "PLIT-vits-uh Yez-er-uh"), you can divide the complex into the Upper Lakes and the Lower Lakes separated by the long lake called Jezero Kozjak. Each section is quite easily walkable in a half-day if you choose do each part as its own loop. However, there are numerous criss-crossing and sub-loops that you can walk to get even more out of your visit (plus take a lot more time). And rushing through this place is something we don't recommend.

Since the authorities intelligently made most of the park vehicle free, you'll have to rely on the public transport options (included in the price of admission) available to you. These include a pair of shuttles (one going to the Lower Lakes [ST2 to ST1] with the other going to the Upper Lakes [ST2 to ST4]) and a pair of boats (one shuttling between the P1 and P2 and another shuttling across Jezero Kozjak [Kozjak Lake] from P2 to P3).

If you feel like hoofing it without the aid of the public transport, the signs indicated that the full loop of the park takes about 8 hours, I recalled. And I'm pretty sure that didn't include photo stops or other distractions.

There are a pair of dedicated car parks (labeled "entrance" or "ulaz"; one near the Lower Lakes and another near the Upper Lakes) so you can leave your rental vehicle if you're not staying in the park. However, if you're staying in the park (like we did), you probably won't need to be driving your car again unless you choose to dine in a place that you're not staying at. Of course, if you're on a tour, then you don't have to worry about cars, but you do have a little less control of where you want to go when the public transport options close for the day (which was around 19:30 when we were there in late May).

Now that you have a general idea of how things work over there, let's get into the particulars of the main sections of the park.


Plitvice Waterfalls Video

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