Croatia Extreme Manual for Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park

The democratisation of travel and the trend of ticking off bucket lists have made all of us Ibn Battuta. Looking to visit the most exotic, most Instagramable places on Earth, we religiously collect immigration stamps on our passports. Expectedly, most of us never want to revisit the same destination simply because there is so much to see in the world, and we have little money and time in hand, so why would we want to revisit the same place we’ve already seen?

I used to think this way, too, until circumstances required me to return to destinations I’d already visited — and these trips turned out to be some of the best trips of my life. I met locals who became BFFs. And one such friend is Boris Luca, who works with the Tourism Board of Plitvice Lakes National Park. Boris is so good that adjectives fall short of describing him.

He is one of the most selfless, hardworking, caring and OG when it comes to being cool. And, on top of that, he has a killer sense of humour. Because of my excellent experience with Boris in 2018, I couldn’t help but plan a second trip again to Plitvice Lakes in 2023. You can read all about my 2018 trip here. And, for Boris, I must dedicate an entire blog or book. Even then, I might not be able to do justice to his goodness.

Why is Plitvice Lakes famous?

Returning to Plitvice, you must live under the rock if you have yet to hear about this place. Plitvice Lakes National Park is like a Hypermarket of waterfalls and lakes in Croatia – 16 cascading lakes and more than 90 waterfalls – making it one of Croatia’s most popular tourist destinations. Every year the Park (which has a mere population of 4000) attracts approximately 2 million visitors.

As per the official records, the Plitvice National Park received 1.9 million tourists in 2022, which is way higher when you compare it with places like Zagreb and Dubrovnik, where One million visitors come every year. The Plitvice Park is known for its stunning natural beauty, cascading waterfalls, crystal-clear lakes, and lush green forests.

What is there to see in the Plitvice Lakes National Park?

The Park is home to 16 interconnected lakes that cascade into one another through a series of waterfalls and cascades. The Park is divided into two main sections: Upper and Lower Lakes. The 12 Upper Lakes are known for their clear sapphire-green waters, and the 4 Lower Lakes for their dramatic waterfalls.

The upper Lakes comprise 12 lakes separated by tufa barriers created 6000-7000 years ago. The wooden walkways that connect the lakes offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. Besides hiking the lakes, I took a boat ride to enjoy the Park’s flora and fauna from Kozjak Lake, the largest and deepest lake in the Plitvice Lakes system.

While the Park is undoubtedly a must-visit during the summer, it’s worth noting that each season brings its unique charm to the area.

Seasonal Splendour: Experiencing the Changing Faces of Plitvice Lakes National Park

With its ever-changing scenery and unique attractions, the Park offers a different experience each season, from the stunning fall foliage to the serene winter landscape, the vibrant spring colours, and the bustling summer beauty. In this blog post, I will take you on a surreal journey through the changing faces of Plitvice Lakes National Park, exploring the Park’s diverse and captivating landscapes during each season.

Blooming Springtime: Nature’s Rebirth

As Spring arrives, Plitvice Lakes National Park bursts into life with blooming flowers and rejuvenated foliage. The lakes and waterfalls are replenished with the melting snow, creating a symphony of flowing water and vibrant colours. The Park comes alive with birds chirping and the air filled with the fragrance of fresh blooms.

The trails are lined with carpets of wildflowers, and the trees are adorned with fresh green leaves, creating a refreshing and invigorating ambience. Spring is a time of renewal in Plitvice Lakes National Park, where nature’s beauty unfolds in all its glory, making it a perfect season for nature enthusiasts and photographers to capture the Park’s exquisite charm. Spring had just knocked on the door at Plitvice Lake when I arrived to say hello for the second time. Unfortunately, the snow was still present in March when I visited, so Upper Lakes were closed until 31st March.

Vibrant Summer Colours: Bustling Beauty and Crowded Trails

Plitvice Lakes National Park is at its busiest as summer arrives, and it’s easy to see why. With the sun shining brightly, the lush vegetation is in full bloom, and the Park’s lakes and waterfalls flow at their peak. The Park’s vibrant colours are on full display, with shades of green, sapphire, and turquoise blending in perfect harmony. The trails are abuzz with visitors, and the Park’s natural wonders are a sight to behold.

Summer offers excellent outdoor activities, such as hiking and boating, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the Park’s beauty. Despite the increased footfall, Plitvice Lakes National Park retains its allure, with its pristine nature and awe-inspiring landscapes continuing to captivate visitors during the vibrant summer season. My first trip to Plitvice National Park was in the Summer of 2018. I spent three days in the Park, where not only did I spend ample time in the Park, but I also got a chance to try out many offovercome adventures outside the Park that are otherwise unavailable in the lean season, such as white water rafting, kayaking, ziplining, horse riding among a score of other activities.

Fall Foliage: Nature’s Canvas of Colours

As autumn arrives, Plitvice Lakes National Park transforms into a painter’s palette, with the foliage of deciduous trees adorning the landscape with a riot of colours. The Park’s lush greenery turns into a mesmerising symphony of red, orange, and golden hues, creating a stunning contrast against the emerald lakes and cascading waterfalls.

The trails meander through the Park, surrounded by a canopy of trees draped in a medley of fall colours, providing a picture-perfect backdrop for leisurely teases and scenic hikes. The sound of leaves rustling underfoot and the crispness in the air add to the magical ambience of this season, making it a favourite time for photographers and nature lovers alike. Autumn is a great time to visit if you crave peaceful escapes as the crowds thin out. This season is perfect for hiking and exploring the area’s hidden gems.

Winter Wonderland: Frozen Beauty

Plitvice Lakes National Park transforms into a snowglobe-like winter wonderland as winter arrives. The Park’s lakes, waterfalls, and streams freeze over, creating a captivating landscape of icy formations. The trees and vegetation are dusted with snow, creating a postcard-perfect winter scene. The frozen lakes and waterfalls glisten in the sunlight, and the quietness of the Park adds to the tranquillity of the surroundings. Winter also offers unique activities, such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing or simply walking on snow-covered paths.

Thus allowing visitors to experience the Park in a whole new light. The most striking feature is when the Park’s waterfalls freeze over, creating a magical winter wonderland perfect for photography. The winter wonderland of Plitvice Lakes National Park is a sight to behold, offering a serene and peaceful ambience for those seeking a tranquil escape from their busy everyday life.

Whether you choose to visit during the fall, winter, Spring, or summer, Plitvice Lakes National Park is sure to leave you awe-inspired with its breathtaking scenery and unique attractions in every season.

How much does it cost to go to Plitvice Lakes?

The entrance fee for Plitvice Lakes National Park varies depending on the season. During the high season (July to September), the ticket price is approximately 40 for matures. During the low season (January to March and November to December), the ticket price is around 10 for matures. Children under seven can enter the Park for free, and there are discounts for students, seniors, and families. It’s important to note that tickets can only be purchased online or at the Park’s

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