Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest national park in Croatia and one of the oldest in Southeast Europe.  It is known as the land of the falling lakes.  More than one million visitors view the natural travertine dams and waterfalls that separate sixteen lakes as the mountain runoff exits to the Korana River.  The 90 waterfalls, the largest of which is 78 meters, are created by the sedimentation of chalk and the dynamic formation of travertine in the lakes.

Activities

Panoramic trains (shuttle buses) take visitors into the park and electric boats help visitors cross Lake Kozjak, the largest lake.

Hiking is a popular activity in the park.  There are eight different trails which require 3-8 hours to complete.

Small rowboats are also available for rent.

Swimming is not allowed – try the nearby Mreznica River.

Best Time to Visit

The park is open year round.  July and August are the busiest times of year and the temperature is at its hottest then.  The park is quietest in the winter when the lakes are frozen and the lands covered with snow.  Spring has the largest waterfalls due to the high water levels from melting snow.  In Fall, the crystal clear lakes are surrounded by colorful fall foliage.

How to Get There

If you are flying into Croatia for a visit to Plitvice Lakes, the closest airports are at Zadar and Zagreb.  Zadar is located on the Adriatic Sea and there are buses (time 2 hours) that go to the park.  There are more flights into Zagreb, however, and the bus ride to the park is typically only a few minutes longer.

There are no trains which stop near Plitvice Lakes.  If you are traveling by train, your best option is generally to go to Zagreb and then take a bus.

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