One of Croatia’s major tourist attractions is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. This park is home to one of the most spectacular sights on the planet – the world famous cascading lakes. It also features beautiful sceneries, colorful plants, unique species and a host of tourist experiences. The park draws over 1.2 million visitors to explore its treasures.
Anyone who plans to visit Plitvice is destined to have a great time. Whether a person is alone, with a romantic partner or on a group adventure with family or friends, Plitvice has so much to offer. However, to truly enjoy the richness that the park has to offer, it is important to know what to look out for.
One of the main attractions in Plitvice is the cascading lakes, which are found nowhere else in the world. There are a total of 16 lakes, which are situated in the Plitvice plateau, placed between the Mala Kapela, Medvedak and Licka Pljesevica mountains. The lakes are separated by natural dams of travertine, a material created out of the action of moss, algae and bacteria. The lakes are divided into two parts. There are 12 Upper Lakes (known as Gornja jezera) and 4 Lower lakes. Aside from the cascades, the lakes are popular for their distinctive colors which can range from green, blue, azure or gray. The colors change depending on the angle or sunlight or the quantity of minerals in the water.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is also home to many spectacular waterfalls. One of the most popular is the Veliki Splat (‘the big splash’). This is a 100 foot tall waterfall, formed as a result of limestone laden water from a lake on one side of the mountain, boring through the rock to the other side. The water thus gushes out of a rock and drops down to a beautiful lake below. The Veliki Splat is surrounded by a rocky terrain to which tourists have full access. Climbing onto the rocky terrain brings you up, close and personal with the falls. People like to sit there, listening to the roar of the falls, feeling gentle sprays of water and catching a glimpse of colorful fish.
The park boasts of a rich variety of animal and bird species. Some rare animals which can be seen in the Plitvice include the European brown bear, wild cat, lynx and wolf. The park is also home to over 126 species of birds, 70 of which have been recorded to breed there. Some of its more unique bird varieties include the elusive owl, the eagle and capercaillie. All the species can be found among the park’s forested terrain, which contains tree species such as the beech, spruce and fir.
The Plitvice Lakes was designed to enable visitors get the most of its treasures in a relatively short time. All parts of the park can be accessed through well, paved trails. These trails pass through the magnificent forests, and enable a person to view the park’s attractions from a far, or to get a closer look. Some trails have points where buses or boats can pick up tourists to the other parts of the park. There are also picnic areas, as well as points where visitors can buy snacks.
A number of accommodation options is possible for staying in park for more than one day. The Hotel Jezero is located within the park and for those who want a touch of Croatian culture, there are Croatian families which rent out rooms to tourists. They will provide accommodation, food, and even some insights into local Croatian culture. Their rates are also slightly lower than those of hotels.
Getting to The Plitvice is quite easy. There are buses which travel back and forth from the park to major cities such as Zagreb, Zadar and Split.
Still waiting? Get to the Croatia, come to the park and enjoy the nature walks, bird watching, picnicking, ferry rides, and other exciting adventures.
This article was written by Mary Stedul. She is a freelance journalist. She has contributed many websites and travel blogs with her articles. She is currently writing articles for Charter Croatia (chartercroatia.net), boat rental company based in Croatia.
This post was submitted by Mary.