In Croatia, we visited two national parks. The biggest and oldest one, and one less known in the South. Both were more than worth it!
Visiting the national park “Plitviczka jezera” (lakes of Plitvic) is like entering a fairyland. Although Heiner had been there before and Anna had seen pictures, it was still stunning.
“Plitvicka jezera” might be the best known national park in Croatia. Not only for fans of Winnetou. FIY, we did not find the “Treasure of the Silver Lake”.
We were lucky to arrive early in the morning outside high season. Expect lots of visitors during July and August!
There are two main entrances. Parking your car costs 7 Kuna per hour. After buying the ticket for around 16 Euros (120 Kuna) you can walk around the lakes and waterfalls. In the 1949 founded park, there are 16 lakes on different levels, connected by waterfalls. Some are high and narrow, some are wide and silent. The trail takes you to the different lakes with viewpoints for great pictures. The shortest walks take around one hour but you can also do a six hour hike. If you are tired, there is a regular boat cruise across Kozjak lake or a bus service that connects the entrances with the last lake.
We decided to walk around for approximately two hours and did the boat ride. Even some rain could not stop us from walking up to the highest lake. In some areas we would not have been staggered by a troll coming out of a corner or an elf flying around the waterfalls. Sometimes we asked ourselfes, who got paid for arranging all of this beauty like it is. There is just so much natural beauty, that it already seems to be unreal.
GPS: N44.905540 E15.612420
On our way South, we stopped to visit “Krka” National Park, named after the river forming it. In total, there are seven waterfalls and many caves inside the park, which was founded 1985.
Right after the Lozovac entrance (fee also around 16 Euro) starts a bus, taking you down the hill to the beginning of an 1-2 hour walk around the lakes and waterfalls. But you can also hike 800 m down on a small trail.
The park was more crowded than “Plitvicka Jezera” when we visited. Krka seems to be a popular destination for Croatian school trips.
For us, the highlight was taking a bath next to one of the biggest waterfalls. Here, swimming is allowed and the water is fresh and cold. When we visited, there were not many people taking this opportunity. Expect a more crowded swimming experience at hot summer temperatures. After the first cold-shocking seconds it was great to crawl over slippy rocks and swim close to the falling water. Heavy currents challenged our swimming skills. We did not always win. We stayed in the water as long as possible until we needed the sun to heat us up again. The walk back to the bus station went past some smaller ponds with crystal clear water, little waterfalls and lots of fish.
GPS: N43.795500 E15.967640
Continue reading our Croatia travel guide!