5 Reasons to Visit Plitvice Lakes NP, Croatia

It’s the oldest national park in Southeast Europe and the largest in Croatia.  It was declared a national park in 1949 and awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1979.  It is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions and within easy reach of its capital Zagreb.

It is Plitvice Lakes National Park.  And if it isn’t on your bucket list, it should be.

5 Reasons to Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park

1. It is a UNECSO World Heritage Site

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Being recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is no easy feat.  The site must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten tough selection criteria.  The description of Plitvice on the UNESCO website includes:

The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers, creating natural dams which in turn have created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls. These geological processes continue today. The forests in the park are home to bears, wolves and many rare bird species.

It is not just the beautiful scenery that appears to have caught the eye of the UNESCO selection committee, but the ongoing geological process that has created a natural habitat for birds, animals and vegetation.  If it has caught the attention of UNESCO, you can be sure it’s worth a visit!

2. It is a Photographer’s Playground

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The passion for photography that I’ve discovered in the past couple of years has evolved from my love of travel – and it now has a heavy influence on my travel itinerary.  Photography was the main purpose of my trip to Croatia and Plitvice certainly did not let me down.  The changing light throughout the day creates endless photography opportunities from long exposures to macro.  The park provides an overwhelming choice of subjects, from   waterfalls, reflective lakes, slow running streams, mountains covered with vibrant vegetation, caves and winding walkways throughout the park.

3. It is a Tourist Attraction…With Room to Move

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Being one of Croatia’s key tourist attractions makes it a comfortable location to visit.  There are places to eat, shuttle buses and boats to transport the less mobile or energetic within the park and toilets.  And whilst the park does attract the dreaded ‘busload of tourists’, its 300 square kilometres provide plenty of space for everyone.

4. You Can Bring Your Hiking Shoes

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The sixteen lakes that fall within the Park’s borders are joined together over a distance of 8 kilometres.  There are a number of wooden walkways and paths that provide hiking options for all levels of fitness, and maps are available at the entrance gates.  There are also bus and boat options that provide walk-free links between different parts of the park for those who aren’t up for a full day of hiking.

5. It is Beautiful All Year Round

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I was lucky to enjoy the park in autumn, my favourite time of year for landscape photography.  But I’ve also seen photographs of the park at other times of the year and each season appears to leave it’s own stamp on the landscape, from the colours of spring to the snow of winter.

If you are interested in the geological history of the region, are an avid landscape photographer, enjoy raising a sweat with some hiking, want to disconnect to reconnect, love getting close to nature or simply want an enjoyable day out in the great outdoors, look not further than Plitvice Lakes National Park, truly a gem of Croatia.

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Kellie is a traveller and photographer who is most at home when exploring the world beyond it. Through the intersection of her travel, writing and photography passions, she shares her experiences to inspire others to create there own. The desire to live life instead of existing through it has introduced Kellie to inspirational locations throughout seven continents and from this a passion for landscape and wildlife photography has evolved. She feels a particular connection to the polar regions and Africa. You can see more of her photography at www.kellienetherwoodphotography.com

Comments

  1. Your photographs do Plitvice park justice. This gorgeous landscape is in the country of my birth. I’m definitely sharing this post with my family. Thanks.

  2. Croatia is still on my bucket list. I’ve enjoyed reading your post. made me dream of the day I will finally make it there.

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Photos: Deer Rutting in Richmond Park, London
Sunrise on Parliament Hill – Hampstead Heath, London