Croatia is home to ten beautiful and magical national parks, we decided to visit the oldest and the largest National Park – Plitvice. Located in the middle of the country, it is about 130km from Zagreb.
We took a tour from Zagreb to Plitvice (with a drop at Split) from Split-excursions.com. We found this tour really helpful as we didn’t end up wasting time on a round trip and covered Plitvice as well. Perfect utilization of time! The day started early with a pick up at 7 am from our hotel in Zagreb. It was a small group, very well organized and our tour guide was super fun!
On our way, we passed through the Homeland War memorial in Turanj. The Homeland war or Croatian War of Independence was fought from 1991 to 1995 between the Croat forces and Yugoslavia and Turanj was a battlefield for the worst fights of Croatian army.
The first stop was a village called Rastoke – this beautiful village gives you a glimpse of Plitvice, with its little waterfalls, well-preserved mills, and houses that represent the unique style of this region.
We reached the Plitvice lakes around 11:30 am and spent the next 4 hours exploring the stunning lakes. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, Plitvice has 16 interconnected colour changing lakes – from green to aquamarine to cobalt blue to grey depending on the sunlight and minerals.
The park is well connected by buses and boats and we started with the upper lakes and wandered our way down to the lower lakes. You would instantly fall in love with the rickety walkways over lakes which are surrounded by a series of waterfalls. Plitvice was even more gorgeous and mesmerizing than the pictures we had seen!
We finished our tour of the lakes at Veliki Slap (also called the Big Waterfall) – the tallest and the most famous waterfall with a height of 78m. Interesting, this waterfall is also a popular destination for wedding ceremonies!
After walking for over 4.5 hours, we were super hungry! Luckily, the tour takes us to a small restaurant – away from the limited options at the lakes! They serve super fresh and yummy food (Trouts right out from the river and don’t get me started on the Feta cheese. Best ever! )
At about 5 pm, we were ready to start our journey towards Split. We enjoyed the drive, sipping Croatian wine (yes, they served wine and beer on the bus) and hearing fun stories about the country!
How to get there?
We took a tour from Zagreb to Plitvice (with a drop at Split) from Split-excursions.com.
The tour costs around 130 Euros per person. It covers everything –pick up and drop, entrance tickets, baggage handling and all taxes. The tour operators are very helpful, informative and they manage the logistics really well.
Plitvice is not well connected by train or local transport. The other best way is to drive and rent a car!
When to visit ?
The parks can be explored in any season – it looks gorgeous through the year (imagine it covered in snow). We went in June which was perfect!
We recommend you avoid July and August since it is the most visited tourist place and you end up having super long lines and don’t end up enjoying the park!