Ultimate Plitvice Lakes National Park Visitor’s Guide

by | Croatia, Europe, Featured

Exploring the Enchanting Beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park: Your Ultimate Visitor's Guide

Hello! I’m Donna, the Progressive Traveller. I recently visited Plitvice Lakes National Park for the first time. I have all the information you need to make your visit to Plitvice Lakes unforgettable. Let’s get started, shall we?

Arriving the Previous Night:

To make the most of your visit and enjoy the park with fewer crowds, consider arriving the previous night and staying near the park. By being one of the first visitors to enter the park in the morning, you can experience its tranquillity and capture stunning views without the hustle and bustle. Another option to avoid the crowds, consider visiting the park early in the morning or later in the afternoon. This will not only give you a more peaceful experience but also increase your chances of spotting wildlife.

Accommodation Nearby

Booking.com offers accommodation near Plitvice Lakes National Park, Plitvička Jezera.


Useful Information To Enhance Your Visit

A crowd walking along a wooden path

Entrances and Trails:

Plitvice Lakes National Park boasts two main entrances: Entrance 1 and Entrance 2. Entrance 1 is located in the lower part of the park, while Entrance 2 is in the upper part. Each entrance provides access to different trails, so it’s essential to check the official park website to determine which entrance suits your desired trail and nearby facilities.

Accessibility for Visitors:

The National Park offers accessibility options for active visitors, seniors, and disabled individuals. The park provides various walking routes of different lengths and difficulty levels, ensuring there’s a trail suitable for everyone. Active visitors can choose routes that match their fitness level, while seniors can enjoy wheelchair-friendly sections and accessible pathways.

The park administration can provide more information on accessible routes and facilities for disabled visitors, who will find ramps, wooden walkways, and accessible toilets at various points within the park.

A couple in front of a waterfall

Car Parking and Costs:

The park provides designated parking areas near both entrances, though parking fees apply. Arriving early is advisable to secure a parking spot, especially during peak tourist seasons. Some accommodations nearby offer complimentary parking for their guests, making an overnight stay an attractive option. Check the official website for up-to-date information on entrance and parking fees, trail conditions, and any additional rules or restrictions that might apply during your visit. 

Walking Routes:

Plitvice Lakes National Park offers a variety of walking routes, each providing a unique experience. Always follow the marked trails. The park has a well-marked network of hiking trails that will help you explore its beauty. Stick to the designated paths and follow the signage to ensure your safety and to protect the fragile ecosystems.

Here’s an overview of some popular routes:

Route A (3 to 4 hours): This comprehensive route starts at Entrance 2, exploring both the upper and lower lakes. Enjoy the boardwalks, trails, waterfalls, and turquoise lakes, including a boat ride across Kozjak Lake and a short bus ride back to Entrance 2.

Route B (3 to 4 hours): Starting at Entrance 2, this route focuses on the upper lakes. Traverse the picturesque wooden paths, visit stunning viewpoints, and experience a boat ride across Kozjak Lake, followed by a bus ride back to Entrance 2.

Route C (4 to 6 hours): Beginning at Entrance 1, this route explores the lower lakes, offering breathtaking trails, wooden walkways, waterfalls, and tranquil lake scenes. Catch a bus back to Entrance 1 once you’ve completed the route.

Route K (6 to 8 hours): For a more challenging hike, Route K combines Routes A and B. Starting at Entrance 2 and finishing at Entrance 1, this route showcases the park’s entire beauty. Take a bus back to your starting point.

Remember, these timings are approximate, and the duration of your walk may vary. Check the official website for any updates or changes to walking routes and trail conditions.


Bus and Boat Services:

The Park provides convenient shuttle bus services between Entrance 1 and Entrance 2, included in the park entrance fee. The bus ride takes around 20 minutes and allows visitors to easily travel between the entrances or combine different walking routes. Additionally, electric-powered boats operate across Kozjak Lake, providing a peaceful and scenic way to access different parts of the park. The boat service is also included in the entrance fee. Plitvice Lakes National Park is huge utilises these services to save time and energy.

Lakes and Waterfalls:

Plitvice Lakes National Park is renowned for its interconnected lakes and mesmerizing waterfalls. The park’s two main lake systems, the Upper Lakes and the Lower Lakes offer a stunning display of turquoise and emerald colours. The 16 lakes within the park each have their own captivating charm.

Among the park’s notable waterfalls are Veliki Slap, the tallest waterfall in Croatia, Sastavci with its picturesque series of smaller cascades, Milanovacki Slap known for its unique shape, and Galovacki Buk, showcasing multiple cascades and lush green surroundings. These are just a few examples of the park’s many exquisite waterfalls, waiting to be discovered as you explore its natural wonders.

Plitvice Lakes National Park offers an enchanting experience with its captivating lakes, cascading waterfalls, and scenic walking trails. Whether you choose Entrance 1 or Entrance 2, you’ll be treated to stunning views and unforgettable moments.

From accessible routes for different needs to convenient bus and boat services, the park ensures a memorable visit for everyone. Remember to check the official website for up-to-date information and guidance before your trip. Embrace the beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park and create lifelong memories in this natural wonderland.

You Won't Go Hungry or Thirsty

Eating options at Plitvice Lakes National Park:

Bring snacks and water: There are restaurants and cafes within the park, but they can be quite busy. To avoid long waits or unavailability of food, carry snacks and water with you during your visit.

Park Restaurants: Plitvice Lakes National Park has several restaurants located within the park, offering convenient dining options. These restaurants provide a variety of dishes, including Croatian cuisine, international fare, and vegetarian/vegan options. You can enjoy your meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Picnic Areas: The park also provides designated picnic areas where you can bring your own food and enjoy a scenic picnic amidst nature. Pack a picnic basket with your favourite snacks and spread out a blanket for a delightful outdoor meal.

Food Trucks and Stalls: During peak tourist seasons, you may find food trucks and stalls in the vicinity of the park. These mobile options provide quick bites and local specialties, perfect for a snack or a light meal on the go.

Remember to check the operating hours and availability of these eating options, as they may vary depending on the season and day of the week. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to make reservations in advance. Whether you choose to dine within the park, enjoy a picnic, or explore the local culinary scene, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your hunger and enhance your visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Restroom Facilities:  There are toilet facilities throughout the park. These facilities are at various points within the park, including near the entrances, picnic areas, and other popular locations. The park administration takes pride in maintaining clean and accessible toilets for all visitors. These facilities are equipped with modern amenities and meet the necessary hygiene standards.

Additionally, there are accessible toilets available for disabled visitors, ensuring that everyone can enjoy their visit without any difficulties.

Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers, as the weather can change quickly in the park. Also, bring rain gear as the park receives a fair amount of rainfall.

Capture the memories: The park offers countless photo opportunities, so make sure to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful landscapes. However, always be mindful of others and avoid obstructing pathways while taking pictures.

Stunning waterfall

8 Interesting Facts About Plitvice Lakes

Here are 8 interesting facts about Plitvice Lakes:

  1. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Plitvice Lakes is a national park located in Croatia and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. It is renowned for its exceptional natural beauty and unique geological features.

  2. Stunning Waterfalls: Plitvice Lakes is home to 16 terraced lakes interconnected by a series of cascading waterfalls. The park boasts around 90 waterfalls, with the tallest one, Veliki Slap, measuring approximately 78 metres (255 feet) in height.

  3. Crystal Clear Waters: The lakes of Plitvice are known for their incredibly clear, turquoise-colored waters. The distinct colour is due to the geological composition of the limestone and dolomite rocks found in the area, which reflect the sunlight and enhance the vibrant hues.

  4. Wooden Walkways: To preserve the park’s natural beauty and ecosystem, wooden walkways have been constructed throughout Plitvice Lakes. These elevated pathways allow visitors to explore the park while minimising human impact on the delicate environment.

  5. Flora and Fauna: Plitvice Lakes is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. The park has over 1,000 different types of plants, including several endemic and rare species. It is also a haven for wildlife, with animals such as bears, wolves, lynx, and numerous species of birds inhabiting the area.

  6. Changing Scenery: Plitvice Lakes offers a unique experience throughout the seasons. In the spring, the park is lush and vibrant, with blooming flowers and waterfalls at their fullest. During winter, the lakes freeze over, creating a stunning winter wonderland landscape.

  7. Filming Location: The natural beauty of Plitvice Lakes has attracted attention from the film industry. Scenes from the popular TV series “Game of Thrones” were filmed in the park, showcasing its mesmerising landscapes to a global audience.

  8. Visitor Experience: To protect the park’s fragile ecosystem, visitor numbers are carefully managed, especially during peak tourist seasons. The park offers various hiking trails and boat rides, allowing visitors to explore the lakes and waterfalls from different perspectives.

These are just a few interesting facts about Plitvice Lakes. It truly is a remarkable destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Learn Everything You Need To Know About Croatia with The Progressive Traveller

If you are eager to explore Croatia and all its incredible destinations, I invite you to delve deeper into this beautiful country by reading my other Croatia travel blogs. These blogs can provide you with a wealth of information, personal experiences, and insider tips that can enhance your travel planning or inspire your wanderlust.

From majestic coastal towns like Dubrovnik and Split to captivating national parks such as Plitvice Lakes and Krka, Croatia offers a diverse range of experiences waiting to be discovered. So, whether you are seeking breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, or mouthwatering cuisine, my Croatia travel blogs are an excellent way to gather insights, discover hidden gems like Zagreb, and ignite your desire to embark on an unforgettable Croatian adventure. Happy reading and safe travels!

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I am the Progressive Traveller. I've been travelling the world extensively since 2002. My website is full of travel stories, tips, recommendations, resources, offers for you to use and enjoy. Follow my journey on social media and travel the world with me. Happy days.


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