Thursday, June 2, 2011

Croatia Stop 1: Plitvice National Park

Well, Plitvice Lakes National Park wasn't actually the first stop on my trip, it was the 2nd one; but for convenience sake, I've decided to post this portion of my trip first since it was the easiest to sort through the pictures (in other words, I was so busy hiking and taking in the awing, jaw-dropping scenery that I only take a manageable number of photos, thank goodness). I will be covering the rest of my trip to Croatia over the next week or so in future posts.
Beautiful cascades awe you throughout Plitvice National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is a stop not to be missed while visiting Croatia. It has been a national park in Croatia since 1949 and has joined the UNESCO World Heritage List as of 1979. The beautiful oasis is an excellent day trip out of the capital city, Zagreb, from where it is only a quick 2-hour bus ride. The park is located in central Croatia close to the Bosnia-Herzegovina border. 


I found it very easy to get there and back from Zagreb and I do recommend devoting the entire day to the trip. An 8 a.m. bus will drop you there around 10 a.m., leaving you about 6 hours to explore the vast expanse of the national park (3 hours on each side of the park - there is a right side and a left side) and then a 4:30 p.m. return bus (or earlier, if you choose) will drop you back off in the capital around 6:30 p.m. just in time to check out the city (and what a beautiful one, might I add).


The pictures of Plitvice do not even to the park justice, as the color of the water in plain sight is of the most unique hue of blueish-green you have ever seen. I walked around for hours audibly gasping (and I was not the only one). You could hear people saying over and over again, "I can't believe the color of this water!" It's a funny thing that we get so excited about the beautiful color of water sometimes, but when it's as rare as this is - rare enough to be made a UNESCO World Heritage Site - then you know it's something worth seeing. The water, combined with the warm, breezy air and the sound of the crashing cascades makes for a memorable scene.






Additionally the endless terrain of cascading waterfalls set against the emerald green forest in the background creates the most peaceful of settings, making it virtually impossible to carry your burdens with you throughout the day. Plitvice Lakes is a magical place and one that is deserving of the stellar reputation that it has already made for itself. I am pretty sure that this enchanting setting was a standard screensaver that I have seen before under the nature category on some computers. It's that amazing! 



So, if UNESCO gave it a thumbs up and it was even made to be screensaver worthy by the likes of Microsoft and Apple, then you know it's something to be seen. Even now, just a short week after visiting Plitvice, I can already utilize this peaceful retreat as an immediate go-to in moments of stress when I need a calming image in my mind.



All throughout the national park, there is something to be seen....from cascading waterfalls to crystal clear lakes to shady tree lined passages. Like most visitors, you will find a shaded spot every now and then just to take in whatever beautiful setting lies before you at each turn. With 6 hours to fill, you can imagine how much your eyes will feast on...and what lasting memories it will leave you with. And, don't worry about food and water...there's plenty of opportunities to purchase items along the way. Just make sure to follow the signs of whatever loop/track you are on!




And I will leave you now with some lasting images of Plitvice that will hopefully leave an imprint on your mind, convincing you that a visit will be well worth your time. 

Endless beautiful scenery lines the sprawling setting of Plitvice
A stunning rainbow floats over the cascading falls at Plitvice

Plitvice Lakes National Park in wintertime
Tune in next time for a visit to Croatia's capital city, Zagreb, a city I was most delightfully astonished by and immediately fell head over heals in love with!


  1. This is stunning! Reminds me a little of Iguazu Falls!

  2. Looks amazing!!! Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip!


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