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I refused to leave Croatia without visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. When my family visited Europe in 2012, we had Plitvice Lakes National Park on our itinerary. However, by the time we reached Croatia, we were all exhausted and decided to scratch Plitvice in favor of an extra day in Opatija, Croatia.
Once again, I cut it close and saved this national park for my last weekend in Croatia. Luckily, there are buses that run every hour to two from Zagreb directly to the entrances of the park. I’m glad I didn’t write this off again because look at those waterfalls! and blue water! and greenness!
I wouldn’t exactly call myself an outdoorsy person but I’ve really been getting into hiking lately! This was actually a pretty easy hike. From start to finish it was about 7 to 8 miles on moderately flat land. I did the hike in about 5 hours but kept stopping to taking photos!
I had so much fun playing around with the manual settings on my camera. This was my first time shooting in manual (gasp! I know, judge me.) so I kept tinkering with my shutter speed (it needs to be super long for waterfalls!), aperture, and ISO. I definitely need more practice but Plitvice Lakes was a great starting place.
View from the top! This is the first view you’ll see when entering the park. I recommend entering at Entrance 2, hiking counter-clockwise, and exiting at Entrance 1. I’ll write a post later about the specifics for the hike but hiking the above route allows you to see the most without doubling back! Plus, going counter-clockwise means the waterfalls are always in front of you.
This was probably my favorite section of the hike. Going over wooden pathways while winding around waterfalls everywhere. I got pretty lucky and the trails were quite sparse for it being mid-May so I didn’t have to nudge anyone out of the way!
That sweet boat above takes you from one side of the lakes to the other. Although you can hike it, it is much faster to take the boat! Plus, it comes included in the price of the entrance fee and gives you some great views from the water. And let’s be honest, I’ll never pass up an opportunity to be on a boat!
Have you been to Plitvice Lakes National Park? If not, where’s your favorite spot to hike in Europe?