Plitvice Lakes National Park has been on my bucket list since I spotted some stunning photos of it on Pinterest. It has 16 terraced lakes which flow as waterfalls into a huge limestone canyon.
Plitvice Lakes from Zadar
I booked an early morning bus from Zadar’s main bus station to Plitvice Lakes. It was around 100 Kuna for a return and takes about two hours to get there. The drive is beautiful and you have panoramic views for the entire journey. I found it quite easy to do alone, many people book tours but I wanted to go at my own pace and its significantly cheaper to book the return bus.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
The entrance fee is 180 Kuna in July as it is peak season however if you were to go now, it is 55 Kuna. The queue time was almost 2 hours so I had only 4 hours to see the park. They give you a map at the gate and you choose which route you want to do depending on your time and fitness level. I went for the middle one which is 3-4 hours. The walk is very straightforward, you do not need a guide. As long as you know which route you are doing you just follow the signs. The park has walkways and trails across the lakes and the walk is simply breathtaking. From the moment you arrive, The hues of blue and green are amazing! I saw colours that I have never seen before. It is the nicest trek I have ever done, the park is really busy but it did not bother me. You don’t feel rushed and people do not obstruct views as they are literally everywhere.
The Boat Ride
Your ticket includes bus and boat rides, they were part of my route, the longer route does not include them as you would walk the whole park. You reach a point where you come to some food outlets and a boat station which takes you across a lake. The boats are electric and really efficient, they come and go every couple of minutes so the queue moves pretty fast. This is the part where I got lost, the boat stopped and I got off not knowing there was a second stop which is the one I needed. I managed to figure it out eventually but I lost about 40 minutes!
The Bus Ride
My time was running out as my coach was due to leave at 4pm, I decided to take the bus to the top as that was the only way I would see it all. The bus comes every few minutes and leaves when it is full. It does a circuit and stops in 3 places, I got off at the top, unfortunately the queues were so long so I had to rush and quickly have a look and get back in the queue otherwise I wouldn’t make it back in time. I think I missed some of the best views but I had loved all of it so I didn’t mind too much.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. I highly recommend it and would go back again if I had the chance. If your like me and love taking photos then you probably need 5-6 hours to see it properly without rushing. I did not stop at all and managed to see the majority of the park in 4 hours (6 hours with queue time).