Postcard from Plitvice Lakes

Postcard from Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes is one of those places where you hope you’re not going to be underwhelmed: so many people recommend it and so many absolutely amazing photos exist.

Sun-drenched waterfall in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Luckily, the Croatian national park is just as stunning in real life as you would hope. The water is impossibly clear, ranging from turquoise to azure to green in the shimmering sunlight. Fish dart just beneath the surface, ducks paddle along the top. It’s just so vibrant: green trees, blue water, bursts of purple flowers.

Waterfall and blue skies in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

It seems as if there’s another set of waterfalls around every turn, another perfectly clear pool of water. Many people think this sort of beauty is confined to tourist hot spots like Spain and Switzerland, feeling the need to book car hire in Mallorca or twist up the Alps in a train. But Croatia is an underrated nature destination, and Plitvice Lakes is one amazing reason why.

Purple flowers among the green in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Waterfall reflected in the lake at Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Fish swimming in the clear blue waters of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Pathway through the clear blue pools at Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Ducks swimming in the clear blue waters of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Trees and path next to the clear blue waters of Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Logistics: There is regular bus service from both Zagreb (two hours) and Split (five hours) to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Many hotels in Zagreb also band together to offer a bus service straight from your hotel to the entrance of Plitvice Lakes National Parks. It’s plenty of walking, but there are also buses and boats set up to cater to every age and fitness level. Wear comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen, and give yourself at least five hours to explore. Basic food and drinks are available at a few kiosks at the entrances and inside the park, but it’s nothing special: I’d recommend bringing a lunch with some fruit! 

  • Wow so beautiful! THIS is why I travel 🙂

  • Liz Pitt

    I think we’ve just been on the same trip! I loved the lakes, I’m not a big nature girl, but I had the best time exploring the park and wish I could have stayed longer. 

  • Caroline Eubanks

    I should have gone my last day in Split but I couldn’t warrant the five hour bus ride and went to Zadar instead…and it rained. Need to go back!

  • Wow it looks absolutely stunning. I’m definitely adding it to my list of places to visit over the summer. 

  • This kind of place is right up my alley. Croatia is on my list of places to visit and this park will be part of that trip. Gorgeous photos!

  • It is always nice to her about a destination that actually lives up to the hype!  Can’t wait to get here someday!

  • Alicia C

    Ooh to swim in those waters… 🙂

  • travelingted

    I like the set of pictures you took here. Every time I see photos from Plitvice they seem to be from far away, so they can show the scope of the park and the falls. I like these photos from the ground as they give a more real perspective of the park. They are stunning in their own right.

  • Jan

    Amazing how clear the fish were in the water.

  • Gorgeous! Were you able to swim there? Floating on my back in that water right now sounds like heaven!

  • as always you capture spectacular shots. wish I can teleport to there. WOW!

  • I love that your photos capture the beauty of the park, rather than just the standard shots that are all over any google search. The colour of that water is amazing!

  • What a gorgeous setting! Just goes to show how beautiful this world can be in places.

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  • camorose

    It was definitely a worthwhile side trip 🙂

  • camorose

    Ha! What a small world! I would have loved being able to stay and enjoy the park a bit longer– without all the crowds 🙂

  • camorose

    Next time–it’s a must-see! Much easier from Zagreb though, only two hours on the bus.

  • camorose

    Well worth a visit! Easy day trip from Zagreb.

  • camorose

    It’s just as gorgeous in person–a must-see in Croatia!

  • camorose

    It really did–such a pleasant surprise!

  • camorose

    Not allowed to swim unfortunately–but I think they’d be quite chilly!

  • camorose

    Never really thought of it that way but so true–all of the photos I saw before were from above! Good point!

  • camorose

    It was the same way in the Adriatic! Incredible!

  • camorose

    No swimming allowed in the lakes, but the water in the Adriatic Sea is just as clear and you can swim there–and I bet it’s a lot warmer!

  • camorose

    Thanks! I wish I could go back too, absolutely gorgeous 🙂

  • camorose

    I was totally astounded by the water color, it was so impossibly clear and turquoise! Glad that you liked the photos 🙂

  • camorose

    The more and more I travel, the more I realize that beauty is EVERYWHERE! Sometimes just have to take the moment to appreciate it 🙂

  • Ok, after following you on your trip to Croatia I’m begging the hubby to go!! This looks amazing!

  • Just gorgeous! Croatia was the most amazing place I’ve ever been and I’m itching to get back there. 

  • Oh wow! I knew that Croatia had some beautiful country, but never imagined it would look like this! I’d not heard of this park, so if we do manage to make it to Croatia on our upcoming RTW trip, I’ll definitely make visiting here a priority. It’s amazing how tropical and lush everything looks!

  • camorose

    Yes! It really is worth a trip 🙂

  • camorose

    Me too–just left and I miss it so much!

  • camorose

    The entire country is more beautiful than you would think–totally worth a stop on a RTW!

  • Its been a dream to go there for a while! amazing!

  • camorose

    Totally worth it–absolutely gorgeous!

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  • Joya

    So gorgeous!

  • camorose

    Loved it here 🙂

  • I’ve seen so many photos of the Plitvice Lakes and they all look the same. You did a great job of showing a different side with your photography.

  • camorose

    Awww thanks! I did decide to skip the standard aerial shot–has been done before, and much better than me 🙂

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