Plitvice Lakes

By , 10 Jan 2017, 12:55 PM Zagreb Trips

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Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most distinct symbols of Croatia, as well as the largest and one of the most beautiful national parks in the country. Its cascades attract more than 1 million visitors per year, which is pretty amazing considering the country’s population and size.

 

Plitvice has been a national park since 1949, and it was added to UNESCO World Heritage register in 1979. The park covers almost 300 km² and it consist of 16 lakes, all interconnected, but still separated by travertine, which has formed natural dams over the millennia. The geological processes are still present today, so the limestone and chalk terrain continue to change and form new barriers for people to marvel for centuries to come. Just for the record, the travertine barriers grow at the rate of about 1 cm per year, so the process doesn’t happen as slowly as you might think. They consist of encrusted moss, algae, bacteria, which accumulate and, by the help of water and air, form different types of barriers.

 

The water is best described by using a cliché 50 shades of blue comparison: the colour changes constantly because the minerals and the organism in the water change, so you can see different shades of turquoise, azure, and grey. The 16 lakes are divided into upper and lower lakes which cover the distance of 8 km in length and some waterfalls are 133 m high. The two largest lakes, Prošćansko jezero and Kozjak comprise 80% of the total body of water. They’re also the deepest: 37 and 47 m, while no other lake is deeper than 25 m.

The microclimate and the forestation of this area, as well as the distance from polluted areas, have enabled many different types of plants and animals to thrive here. There are 75 endemic species of plants and various rare animals, such as lynx, owl, or wildcat. This area is also one of the last in Europe to be home to wild brown bears and wolves.

 

There are three different prices one day tickets, depending on the season:

 

1 Jan – 31 Mar, 1 Nov – 31 Dec
Adults: 55 kn (groups 50 kn)
Students: 45 kn (groups 40 kn)
Children and teenagers (7-18 years): 35 kn (groups 30 kn)
Children younger than 7: FREE

 

1 Apr – 30 Jun, 1 Sep – 31 Oct
Adults: 110 kn (groups 100 kn)
Students: 80 kn (groups 70 kn)
Children and teenagers (7-18 years): 55 kn (groups 50 kn)
Children younger than 7: FREE

 

1 Jul – 31 Aug
Adults: 180 kn (groups 160 kn)
Students: 110 kn (groups 100 kn)
Children and teenagers (7-18 years): 80 kn (groups 70 kn)
Children younger than 7: FREE

 

It takes about 2 hours to get to Plitvice from Zagreb, and there are plenty of things to see at and around the park, so you can consider staying at a hotel if you want to wander around at your own pace. There are various hotels within the National Park and you can find some accommodation options here .

 

There are more than 10 buses a day connecting Zagreb and Plitvice, starting at 70 kn per person (one way), and you can see the schedules here.

 

On the other hand, if finding tickets and accommodation is not your strong suite, you might want to consider booking a day trip with one of the agencies in Zagreb. Viator, for example, offers day trips from Zagreb starting at €96 per person. This includes entrance fees, coffee break at the beautiful Rastoke ethno village, and an English speaking guide.

 

You can see for yourself just how beautiful the national park is here:

or witness the fairytale it becomes during winter here:


 

You can also check out their official webpage here.

More in this category: Varaždin and Trakošćan »

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