If there was going to be a silver lining to the fog and rain that we were met with on the morning that we planned to visit the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia it was that hopefully it wouldn’t be too busy. What other nutters would choose to spend their day hiking and sight-seeing on a day like this? Surely if you had a choice you would choose to spend the day with a good book in front of a fire-place, not wrapped up in several layers of clothing with slightly squished pastries for lunch.
We could not have been more wrong.
As it turns out, we aren’t the only nutters who think walking around the oldest national park in Southeast Europe on a cold and wet day is a good idea.
Really, we shouldn’t have been surprised, the Plitvice Lakes National Park welcomes more than 1.2 million visitors a year, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Croatia, so really it’s busy all the time. This day probably was a quiet day but we still struggled to find a parking space.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
The Plitvice Lakes gained their National Park status in 1949, and in 1979 was one of the first natural sites to be added to the UNESCO World Heritage register. What makes the area so remarkable, you might ask? It’s a whole lot of water.
Over a space of almost 300 square kilometres sixteen lakes are set at varying heights that cascade into one another. Everywhere you look there are waterfalls – big ones, little ones, wide ones, narrow ones – every type of waterfall you can image run in an out of these astonishingly turquoise lakes at every turn.
Even in inclement weather the park can’t be described as anything short of awe-inspiring. The colours are astonishing – bright turquoise waters, lush greenery and, in the autumn, vibrant red and yellow leaves. The colour of the lakes is said to change constantly depending on the bacteria and minerals present in the water at any given time, something which only adds to the magic of this place.
We spent the better part of four hours wending our way through the park, mostly on foot but also taking a boat ride across the largest lake and a bus ride back from whence we came, both of which are included in the admission price. Although the wait for the boatride was rather long, it gave us the opportunity to complain about the European inability to queue properly and marvel at this guy’s moustache! Both good uses of time if you ask me.
I also discovered where the faeries live, it’s here.
As the fog began to settle thick upon the park we decided to call it a day and head back to our B&B in nearby Korenica, a lovely place called House Mara where I got to play with a kitten, and warm up before dinner. As we arrived back at the entrance and turned back for one last view of the park we were met with a curtain of fog and our visit to the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park was done.