Thursday, July 23, 2015

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

When we first got to Europe, I told Drew the one country we absolutely HAD to go to was Croatia. I had seen pictures of this beautiful country on Pintrest, and just knew we had to go. One place in particular I wanted to see was Plitvice Lakes National Park. So in October 2013, we took our first driving trip down to Croatia!

Plitvice is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe and the largest national park in Croatia. The national park is world famous for its lakes arranged in cascades. Currently, 16 lakes can be seen from the surface. The lakes are renowned for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colors change constantly depending on the quantity of minerals or organisms in the water and the angle of sunlight. The sixteen lakes are separated into an upper and lower cluster formed by runoff from the mountains, descending from an altitude of 636 to 503 m over a distance of ~8 km, aligned in a south-north direction. The lakes collectively cover an area of about two square km (0.77 square miles), with the water exiting from the lowest lake forming the Korana River.
After leaving Zadar, we continued on our journey to see Plitvice. It was an easy drive. We plugged in an address to the GPS and really just followed the line up of cars in front of us.
Once we finally got to Plitvice, you have to buy your ticket near in the parking lot before actually heading into the Park. There are several different Parking areas, we ended up parking at the first parking lot we could. 

I've heard many stories since we've been there, but when we went to the Park, there was only one ticket, which included bus, and boat as transportation. There are also multiple routes, but since we were on a time schedule we picked the shortest route possible (It still took 3 hours).  The weather was still beautiful. In October it was 75 degrees! Much better than the 40 degrees it was in Germany. Fall is a beautiful time of year to go and visit, but you can go all year round. I've even seen pictures of the Lakes frozen over (I wouldn't go during winter time, I'd probably slip on some ice and break my leg).
If you go to Plitvice, I would suggest taking the bus up, and hiking down. You also have the option of taking the boat across then hiking up. I think hiking down is the better decision. But that's just my opinion.

We made it to Plitvice in the Early Afternoon, I would honestly suggest getting there as early as possible so you can explore everything. You could easily spend a whole day there and still have loads to see. Plus, since this place is so famous, there are A LOT of people there.

The weather was absolutely beautiful, which made the pictures even better. Every time I look back on these pictures, I wish I had my DSLR! Point and Shoot camera's just aren't the same!

This place was amazing. It really was everything I thought it would be. Definitely worth the stop. Hopefully one day we can go back and I can bring my DSLR there!