Photo Essay: Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park was my official introduction to Croatia.

Originally just a scenic and convenient overnight stop from the long drive to Dubrovnik, these stunning lakes turned out to be one of my favorite experiences.

 The park is the biggest in Croatia, the oldest in Southeastern Europe, and features 16  inter-connected lakes on two separate levels (12 upper, 4 lower). The different trails are marked and once you decide which path to take it’s quite simple to stay on track.

We began at the upper lakes, with a view from above the gorge (known as Velike Kaskade). We winded around a stone walkway and through the forest, while looking down in awe at the ever-changing turquoise water.

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Next, we proceeded down a long and winding set of wooden stairs to reach the lakes themselves. Full of fish and even the odd duck or two,  the water was so clear and I instantly wished that I could jump in and go for a swim ( swimming  is not allowed for preservation reasons).

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Once we reached the lakes, a series of wooden boardwalk led us through the next part of our walk. Our feet were only inches from the lake, with the sound of the water gushing below. In some spots the water was so rapid it spilled out onto the boardwalk, and other times it was completely still.

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One particular popular spot on the path featured one of the largest waterfalls in the park, Veliki Slap. Someone told me it was featured in a popular German movie, which might explain the large amount of German tourists who hovered around it, wanting their picture taken.

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As our walk was coming to an end (because of a time constraint, something I strongly recommend against!) we hopped on a ferry heading back across the lake. It was so peaceful and I loved being in the middle of the lake with a 360 degree view.

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And finally, we took a tram back up to the upper lakes, ending up where we started with an overhead view of the path we had just walked.

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  (Geographic location of Plitvice Lakes)

What do you think? Does Plitvice Lakes look like a place you would like to visit?

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