Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

This is a guest post by Peggy, Della’s mom, who joined us, along with Wayne, for 14 days in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia Herzegovina.

We drove from Skocjan Caves in Slovenia to a town near Plitvice Lakes National Park back in Croatia. We stopped midway at Opatija, an old resort town from the Hapsburg Empire era.  We enjoyed strolling along the seaside path.

We stayed at an apartment rented through AirBnB in the small town of Rudanovac, about ten minutes from the park entrance. Our host worked at a local brewery and brought us several bottles of beer to enjoy. We ate one of our best meals at a nearby restaurant. It was all such a pleasure because everyone was wonderfully friendly, which came as a surprise since Rick Steves told us to expect otherwise.

Our day for visiting the park was very cloudy and misty. While it never really got sunny, it fortunately cleared enough that we could see the wondrous sights.  We were charged the winter admission charge of 55 kuna, about $10, half the normal summer rate. It turned out many paths along the lakes were underwater, so we missed some of the neat things in the park.  Nevertheless, it was quite something. Lake follows lake down a mountain slope, separated by travertine rock dams, and hence, waterfalls. Some of the waterfalls are high, others short and wide.  It is an incredible world of still and running water and mist. You walk along numerous paths, sometimes high above, sometimes just below the falls.  Many of the paths are boardwalks constructed of non milled timber (in other words – from logs and branches). There is a boat ride for one stretch and a shuttle bus that takes you from the upper lakes back down to the lower lakes.

We were there in shoulder season, on a not so nice day, in a relatively remote part of Croatia. Even so this park is CROWDED. We were ahead of the big tour groups, but even so there were lots of people. It was a bit hard to get unobstructed views but people were generally in good spirit about jockeying for position.

We were told that Krka Park (another in Croatia that is somewhat similar to Plitvice) has somewhat similar formations and allows swimming. At Plitvice you are not allowed in the water. Had it been hotter, that rule would have made us very unhappy because the water was clear and beautiful.

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