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215 215 9814

Plitvice Travel Guide: Notes for Exploring Plitvice

June 19, 2024 11 min read.

Plitvice is a wonderful tourist destination thanks to its incredible natural beauty. In this Plitvice travel guide you will find the necessary information to plan your vacation in this jewel of Croatia.

General Information about Plitvice

Dare to make your trip to Plitvice and discover the wonderful natural beauty of this paradise of waterfalls and lakes.

Located in the heart of Croatia, the Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in the Lika region, in the center of the country. This natural jewel extends over a vast area of ​​295 square kilometers, and has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Plitvice is located approximately 130 kilometers south of the Croatian capital Zagreb and is easily accessible both by car and by public transport. Surrounded by lush forests and mountains, the park offers a stunning setting and a perfect escape from urban life.

Plitvice's main attraction is its famous interconnected lakes, which offer an unforgettable visual spectacle. Sixteen main lakes, with their vibrant turquoise waters, merge into each other through a series of impressive cascades and waterfalls. Wooden bridges and pathways meander through the park, allowing you to explore this dreamy natural world.

In addition to the beauty of the lakes, Plitvice is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including rare and protected species. You will be able to marvel at the exuberant vegetation, the beech and fir forests, as well as a great diversity of birds and wild animals.

Whether you like the tranquility of nature, scenic walks, photography, or just relaxing in serene surroundings, Plitvice is the ideal destination. Get ready to explore a magical place where natural beauty and tranquility are intertwined.arás la información necesaria para planear tus vacaciones en esta joya de Croacia.

Lake, bridge and vegetation

Lake, bridge and vegetation

Picture of Mike Swigunski on Unsplash

Location of Plitvice

Below, we show you where is Plitvice is located:

Map of Plitvice on Google Maps

Point of Interest of Plitvice

Plitvice is a wonderful destination for nature lovers or those who want to recharge from a large dose of tranquility and the sublime landscapes of the interconnected lakes of this impressive park.

If you are looking to travel to Croatia the best way, then you cannot miss the excursions to Plitvice that we have to offer you with Greca. Here we tell you about some of the wonders you will find during your adventure.

Plitvice Lakes

The lakes are the heart of the park and its main attraction. Sixteen interconnected lakes form a chain of cascades and waterfalls, creating a dream landscape. You will be able to walk along wooden walkways that will allow you to admire the crystal clear turquoise waters and the exuberant vegetation that surrounds them up close.

Veliki Slap Falls

This impressive waterfall is the largest of the Plitvice Lakes, with a height of approximately 78 meters. The falling water creates a curtain of mist and a thunderous sound, providing an impressive experience.

Panoramic Trails

The park offers a wide network of trails that will allow you to explore its natural landscapes in all their magnitude. The trails will take you through lush forests, walkways over lakes and waterfalls, and offer unforgettable panoramic views.

Lake, waterfall and vegetation

Lake, waterfall and vegetation

Picture of Joshua Humpfer on Unsplash

Barac Caves

A short distance from the Plitvice Lakes are the Barać Caves. These underground caves offer a unique opportunity to enter the mysterious world of the subsoil. Explore the stalactite and stalagmite formations while learning about the geology and history of the region.

Boat Travel

Enjoy a relaxing boat ride on the Upper and Lower Lakes. These rides will give you a different perspective on the natural beauty of the park and allow you to appreciate its magnitude from the water.

Panoramic Viewpoints

Along the trails, you will find several strategically located viewpoints that will offer you panoramic views of the lakes and waterfalls. Don't forget your camera, as these spots are perfect for capturing stunning photos!

Flora and Fauna

Plitvice is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. You will be able to observe bird species, such as eagles and herons, as well as different mammals, such as deer and bears. The flora is also diverse, with forests of beech, fir and a large number of native plants and flowers.

Eating in Plitvice

When eating in Plitvice, you will discover the rich culinary tradition of the Lika region, in the heart of Croatia. The typical dishes of this area combine authentic flavors and fresh ingredients, offering a unique culinary experience for visitors.

One of the most emblematic dishes of Plitvice is the Janjetina, a roast lamb that is cooked on a slow fire for hours. The tender and juicy meat, seasoned with local herbs, will delight your palate and allow you to enjoy the traditional flavors of the region.

Another popular dish is Štrukli, a delicious pastry filled with fresh cheese and baked until smooth and creamy. This dish is considered a real delicacy and can be found in many local Plitvice restaurants.

Čobanac is another regional specialty not to be missed. It is a meat stew, typically game, cooked over low heat with a mixture of spices and vegetables. This hearty and flavorful dish is perfect for meat lovers.

As for the desserts, you cannot miss the Kroštule, a crunchy sweet similar to donuts, which is served sprinkled with icing sugar. You will also find the delicious Šljivovica, a plum brandy produced in the region, perfect for lovers of traditional liqueurs.

Food plate and wine glasses

Food plate and wine glasses

Picture of Klara Avsenik on Unsplash

The Cultural Identity Plitvice and Its Surrounds 

The Plitvice region and its surroundings are steeped in a rich and vibrant culture that reflects the history and traditions of Croatia. From music and dance to crafts and festivities, you'll find captivating cultural diversity here.

Croatian folk music, with its distinctive melodies and rhythms, is an integral part of Plitvice's cultural life. Traditional music groups perform ancient songs on native instruments, such as the gusle and the tamburica, transporting listeners to a past full of charm and tradition.

Folk dances also play a prominent role in local culture. Colorful traditional costumes and energetic movements celebrate the identity and spirit of the Croatian people.

During special events and festivities, it is common to witness traditional dance performances that show regional diversity and a sense of community.

Local crafts are another highlight of the culture in Plitvice. Skilled artisans create beautiful handmade products such as ceramics, weaving, and embroidery that showcase the region's craftsmanship and creativity.

These handcrafted objects are appreciated by locals and visitors alike, and become unique and special keepsakes.

In addition, throughout the year, numerous festivities and cultural events take place around Plitvice. These celebrations are filled with music, dance, cuisine, and traditional activities that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the authentic local culture.

The culture in and around Plitvice is a living treasure that is passed down from generation to generation. Exploring and experiencing this culture is a wonderful way to understand the identity and spirit of the region and its people.

How to Get to Plitvice

Getting to Plitvice is relatively easy and there are different transport options available. Next, I will mention the two most common ways to get there:

  1. By car: If you travel by car, the most common route is from Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. From Zagreb, you should take the A1 highway in the direction of Split. After about 120 kilometers you should leave the highway at the "Plitvička Jezera" exit. From there, follow the signs to the main entrance to Plitvice National Park. Be aware that there may be tolls on the highway.
  2. Public transport: If you prefer to use public transport, you can take a bus from several Croatian cities to Plitvice. From Zagreb, there are regular buses leaving from the main bus station. The journey takes approximately 2-3 hours, depending on traffic and the route. There are also bus connections from other nearby cities such as Zadar, Split and Rijeka.

Once you arrive at the Plitvice bus station, there is a free shuttle that will take you from there to the main entrance of the park.

It is important to check the bus schedules in advance and make sure they are in sync with your travel plan.

Remember that Plitvice is a popular tourist attraction, so I recommend planning your visit in advance, especially during the peak tourist months, to avoid crowds and ensure you have a pleasant experience.

How to Get Around in Plitvice?

Once you are in Plitvice National Park, there are several options for getting around and exploring the area:

  1. On foot: The most common way to get around Plitvice is on foot. The park has an extensive network of well marked trails that allow you to explore the lakes, waterfalls and viewpoints. There are different routes and circuits available, depending on the amount of time you want to spend and your level of fitness. Be sure to wear comfortable and suitable walking shoes.
  2. Internal bus: inside the park, there is an internal bus service that runs through several strategic stops. This bus can help you move between the different sections of the park and save time and effort, especially if you want to cover longer distances. The schedules and stops of the internal bus are clearly marked in the park.
  3. Boat tour: Plitvice Lakes also offer boat tours that allow you to move from one part of the park to another. These boat tours are especially useful for cruising the larger lakes and enjoying panoramic views from the water. Boat rides are included in the price of admission to the park.

It is important to note that it is prohibited to leave the marked trails and designated areas in the park in order to preserve its natural beauty and protect the flora and fauna.

Remember to bring water, sunscreen, a map of the park, and follow the directions and rules of the park to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

When to Visit Plitvice

The best time to visit Plitvice depends on your personal preferences and what you are looking to experience in the park.

During spring (April to June), Plitvice is full of lush greenery and blooming flowers. Water levels are high due to snowmelt, making the waterfalls and lakes especially impressive. However, keep in mind that there may be more tourists during the months of May and June.

Summer (July to August) is the peak season in Plitvice due to the hot weather and school holidays. The park is at its peak in terms of natural beauty, with the lakes in all their splendor. However, you must be prepared for crowds and higher temperatures. Remember to bring sunscreen and water, as the park can get quite crowded.

Autumn (September to November) in Plitvice is known for its beautiful fall colors. The trees turn golden and reddish, creating spectacular landscapes. The temperatures are cooler and the crowds are less compared to the summer. It is a perfect time to enjoy leisurely walks and appreciate the serenity of the park.

During winter (December to March), Plitvice is covered in snow, which creates a magical atmosphere. However, the park may be partially closed due to weather conditions and the boardwalks may not be available. If you visit in winter, be sure to check the conditions and bring appropriate warm clothing.

In general, spring and autumn are considered the best times to visit Plitvice, as the weather is pleasant, there are fewer crowds, and you can enjoy the natural beauty in a calmer environment. However, each season has its unique charm, and choosing the best season depends on your personal preferences.

Plitvice in winter

Plitvice in winter

Picture of Roger Goh on Unsplash

Destinations Near Plitvice

Plitvice is an excellent destination to recharge your batteries thanks to its incredible natural beauty and fabulous cultural heritage.

In turn, due to its proximity to Dubrovnik and Split, many travelers combine their visit to Plitvice with these destinations, which is why you will find these sites in several of our offers.

Are you looking to see the most outstanding landscapes? Do you want to know a fascinating culture? Do you want to enjoy a great gastronomic offer?

If your answer is "yes", at Greca we have several proposals for tourist packages to Plitvice, which you can modify and adapt according to your needs and times.

There are travel packages for all tastes. Choose your own adventure according to your needs!

More Travel Guides!

If you have been interested in our travel guide to Plitvice and want to continue learning about this and other wonderful destinations, we invite you to look at the section of all our Travel Guides. Plan your next adventure with Greca!

01
How much time does it take to visit Plitvice?

The duration of the visit can vary, but it is recommended to dedicate at least 4-6 hours to visit the main points of interest.

02
What is the entrance fee to Plitvice National Park?

The entrance prices vary depending on the season, but generally range between 30 and 50 euros for adults. Reduced rates apply for students and children.

03
Are pets allowed in Plitvice?

Yes, pets are allowed in specific areas of the park, but they must be kept on a leash and are not allowed in the lakes or swimming areas.

04
Are there lodging options inside the park?

There are no accommodation options within the park itself, but in the surrounding area you will find a wide range of hotels, guesthouses and campsites.

05
Can you swim in the Plitvice Lakes?

Swimming is not allowed in the Plitvice Lakes for conservation and ecosystem protection reasons.

06
What is the best season to avoid crowds in Plitvice?

To avoid crowds, it is recommended to visit Plitvice in spring or autumn, especially in the months of April, May, September and October.

07
Can you rent boats or bikes in Plitvice?

Boats and bicycles are not allowed inside the park. However, there are bike rentals available in the surrounding area to explore the nearby areas.

08
Are there restaurants or picnic areas in the park?

Yes, there are restaurants and picnic areas within the park where you can enjoy meals and snacks during your visit.

09
Is it required to book tickets in advance to visit Plitvice?

It is not mandatory to reserve tickets in advance, but it is recommended to do so, especially during the high season (summer) to avoid long lines and ensure you have access to the park on the desired date and time. You can buy tickets online through the official website of Plitvice National Park or at the park ticket offices.

10
Is there public transport connecting Plitvice with other cities?

Yes, there are regular buses connecting Plitvice with various Croatian cities, such as Zagreb, Zadar and Split. Check the schedules and plan your trip in advance.

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