Of the places I visited when I was in Croatia, Plitvice National Park was definitely one of my favourites and I would definitely recommend it to anyone traveling to Croatia. It’s conveniently located in central Croatia, so if you’re traveling from the capital, Zagreb, to the coastline, then you’ll have to pass through the park anyways.
Plitvice is a series of lakes, rivers, and waterfalls, that have all formed as a result of the surrounding karst topography. The area is completely formed of limestone, which has eroded over the years into a large network of caves. It creates an interesting landscape as the water flows down from the highlands and pools in a series of lakes.
I visited the park on a cloudy, rainy day and I still thought it was beautiful! I can only imagine how gorgeous it must be on a nice summer day. There’s so many waterfalls and the foliage is surrounding the lakes are so green! It’s a great day trip and there’s lots of walking trails in the area. There’s two gates and the buses stop at both gates on their way through the park. We walked several kilometres along the trails from the first gate until we reached one of the larger lakes. From there you can take a boat across the lake and then continue walking on the other side. You’ll eventually end up at the second gate.
We traveled around the area by bus, but it would definitely have been easier by car. Unfortunately, there’s no accommodations near the park and the closest town is several kilometres away from the entrance. It’s easy to get to the park by bus, but not easy to commute between the town and the park by public transit. We intentionally booked a hostel that advertised that the owner did pick ups and drop offs at the park, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get back and forth between the two.
You can’t actually go swimming at the park (the water looks so inviting) but there are a few places outside the park where you can go for a swim. We didn’t stick around to check them out because of the rain, but they might be nice on a better day. There’s not really anything to do other than the park in the area, so I’m glad we only stayed for one day, but it was definitely worth the visit and was one of the most unique and beautiful places that we visited!