Plitvice Lakes National Park: Paradise On Earth

If you want to see a real life Garden of Eden, Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is where it’s at. This massive park is made up of sixteen lakes flowing in to one another in spectacular fashion via limestone waterfalls. The place is breathtaking.

We had done our research and had read that this park was VERY busy…. like heaving with people busy most of the year round. The tips were to get there after 2pm or first thing in the morning when it opened. Because of that we took our time coming from Zagreb, filled our bellies with a big lunch, and arrived at Entrance One around two thirty, just as many of the big tour groups were leaving.

 

Don’t get me wrong. It was still busy! But not heaving. About an hour into the hike it really started to drop off and we could get the pictures we wanted without having to line up to take them. There are two main entrances to the park (three entrances total) and you have to buy tickets to get in. They ain’t cheap either! We decided on the two day tickets to make the most of our time there.

There are eight hiking trails total, each varying in length. We settled on Hike B on that first afternoon, which explores the lower lakes. First up, it takes you right by the Big Fall, Veliki Slap.

After about an hour meandering through the trail, a stunning boat ride across Lake Kozjak greeted us.

The sign says Hike B takes 3 to 4 hours. We managed it in about 3 with our two rockstars. It’s not a hard one walking wise but you really need to keep an eye on the little ones as most of it is not fenced in!

The Money Shot: we totally cheated to get it!

On the entrance ticket stub there’s this phenomenal picture of the lakes. We really really wanted to get it. But it was now nearing the kid’s bedtime and after driving two plus hours from Zagreb and hauling a four and six year old on a three hour hike….it just didn’t seem feasible. And then I came across a blog post that said not only could you hike up to it….but you could also take a sneaky drive up to it….if you plugged Veliki Slap into your GPS. Duh! No brainer right there. And the shots we got were unreal.

On Day 2 of our Plitvice Lakes adventure, we hit the park at 7.30am for opening. The aim of the day was to attempt Hike H which the sign says is 5-6 hours and takes you around most of the park. We had a bag full of food and the four and six year old pumped up! The very first thing you do is take a bus all the way up to the highest of the upper lakes and slowly hike your way down. It felt like we had the park to ourselves (we were on the very first bus up there) and the views, sights and sounds yet again were unbelievable.

 

KJ caught a bug and Ro spotted a pair of snails kissing!

Wyatt is a huge Washington State University nerd…..so don’t mind the commentary in this:

Thanks for everything Plitvice Lakes National Park. It’s been unreal! Next up- Zadar!

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