Croatia’s Natural Wonder – Plitvice Lakes National Park
When we reached the area of Plitvice Lakes National Park the day before our visit, it was cloudy, windy, and almost cold, so we were a little concerned the next day would pan out. But it called for sun and warmth, so we held out hope. On driving past one of the two entrances on the way to our airbnb accommodations, we saw a huge line waiting to buy tickets. We were pretty nervous that we’d spend an hour in line the next day just to get tickets to the park that would then be filled with people. Not our idea of a good time. I know it’s busy, but I don’t want Disneyland by the Lakes, that would suck. Our plan was to get up really early and get to the park when it opened, 7:00, 7:30, or 8:00, we couldn’t get a straight answer and wish we had know the things in our 3 things we wished we knew prior to arriving post. I was afraid we’d get there just to get in line with the hordes, no matter what the time. We arrived at 6:50 and were one of 10 people waiting to get in – SCORE! We can’t encourage you enough to get there as early as possible to avoid the crowds which arrive around 10.
Throughout the day we visited stunning waterfalls, deep turquoise lakes, and clear running streams between them. We saw and heard tiny trickling falls, loud crashing falls, and tall spectacular cascades all across the expanse of the lakes area. There are thousands of lake trout throughout the lakes, from tiny minnow size (less than an inch) to some that probably approached 18 to 20 inches in length. Most of the paths are flat and easily walkable by people of any age, and there are steeper, more challenging paths for those that want to get their heart pumping a bit and have spectacular bird’s eye views of parts of the park.
As you may have heard, you cannot swim in the lakes at Plitvice; however, you are able to swim in a nice lake at Krka National Park, a few hours drive from Plitvice. Krka also has stunning waterfalls similar in magnificence to Plitvice. If you are in Split, and only have one day to visit a falls, you may be better off visiting Krka than Plitvice, simply due to the travel required to get to Plitvice and the crowds that will greet you when you arrive.