Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park is the most beautiful national parks in Europe. There is not another park like it in the world. The park is made up of 16 cascading lakes with travertine barriers in between. Its like the mountains springs leaks to form hundreds of waterfalls.

A narrow boardwalk traverses the lakes and waterfalls. Many people visit the parks on guided day trips. I do not recommend the guided trips. It really takes 2 days to explore the parks. Also the guided groups show up in later morning and leave in the afternoon. During that time period the park is extremely crowded. There are a few guides to the park online but they mostly follow the official park guide. Here are my recommendations for visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park.

The official park guide has different trails you can follow depending on how long you want to hike. For some reason they have you hiking up hill. I recommend doing the opposite. Not only is it easier but when you do encounter a large group you will be walking toward them instead of trying to get around them. Also by walking the opposite direction. The start and the end of your hike will have virtually no one around.

There are several lodges in the park. They are located on the upper lakes and a short boat ride to the lower lakes. In addition to being a great location there are several other perks including free parking and free admission to the park after your first day. You simply have them validate your ticket for each additional day you are there.

The best way to get to the park is to drive. The roads are excellent in Croatia and very little traffic except in the cities. Before you check into your hotel I recommend driving to a lookout point that is seen on the ticket to the park. You can access this lookout from within the park but it is a strenuous uphill hike. You can actually drive to it and take a short 5 minute level walk to the viewpoint. The easiest way to to set your GPS to goto ,,,, hotel. You will see a dirt parking lot. Cross the road and follow the trail to the lookout point.