Plitvice lakes are the oldest, most significant, and most famous national park in Croatia. Situated halfway between the country’s capital Zagreb and Zadar, one of the most beautiful cities on the coast, the lakes are located in the mountainous part of Croatia, in between the Mala Kapela mountain range and Lička Plješivica mountain. The lakes are spread across two Croatian counties (Karlovac and Lika-Senj county) and take up almost 300 km² (around 18942 yards)!
The beauty of this National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, all connected by a series of waterfalls that are set in deep woodland populated by various animals such as deer, wolves, bears, boars, and rare bird species.
This area has always attracted tourists and nature lovers. The first serious roots of tourism date back to 1861. Along with the spectacular beauty of the lakes and waterfalls, the riches of the park’s flora and fauna, and the refreshing mountain air, the Plitvice lakes have specific universal value due to the formation process of the travertine barriers and the creation of the lakes (called calcification). This natural jewel is the first national park in Croatia, founded on April 8th, 1949., and the uniqueness of Plitvice has been recognized by UNESCO when putting it on its World Heritage List in 1979.
If you ask us when the best time to visit Plitvice? The answer is; ANY TIME! No matter its small distance from the Mediterranean region, this area is blessed by its moderate mountainous climate. During the winter months, the lakes are usually frozen, and snow paints the beautiful natural white. The average temperature here during the summer months is 17,4 degrees Celsius (63,32 degrees Fahrenheit), perfect for cooling down after experiencing the high temperatures on the coast.
Most of the Park is covered by forest vegetation and herbage, and only 1% of the area is occupied by lakes that are most attractive to tourists. The lake system consists of sixteen lakes, all varying in size, which are connected by cascades and waterfalls. They are divided into the Upper Lakes, which sit on impermeable dolomites, and the Lower Lakes, formed in permeable limestone substrate. The lakes end with beautiful waterfalls, below which the course of the Korana River begins.
It is interesting to note that the difference in altitude between Seliški vrh (1279 m, around 4196 feet) and the bridge over the Korana River (367 m, about 1204 feet) is an incredible 912 meters (approximately 2992 feet)!
After falling in love with Plitvice, it’s time to let you know when and at what price you can visit this beautiful place. The Plitvice Lakes National Park is open for tourists throughout the entire year. You can choose from eight different tours of the lake system and four mountain tours, depending on what you like. The ticket price ranges from 55 to 250 kuna (7,5 to 33,5 EUR/~8 to 36,9 USD), depending on the season, while children and students can get a discount!