Granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979, Plitvice Lakes National Park is Coratia’s largest and most popular park. Sixteen lakes, all inter-connected over a distance of 8 km by series of waterfalls and cascades, are set deep in the woodland and have a height difference of 135 meters (Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall, is 70 meters tall). Although the terraced lakes comprise only a small area of the total 300 sq km park, they offer a stunning sight with their changing hues throughout the seasons and garner practically all the attention from local and foreign tourists alike.
The transparent lakes, caves, and waterfalls were formed by waters flowing over and carving through limestone rock over thousands of years and depositing tavertine barriers, which created natural dams for water to pool. Depending on the mineral makeup of the water and the angle of the sun’s rays, the colors of the lakes can range from bright turquoise to gray. As you can see from these photos, the falls at Plitvice have both strength in numbers and impressive heights, making the cascading waters a truly amazing sight, especially when juxtaposed with the tranquil lakes and serene forests.
There are two entrances to the park: Entrance 1 leads to the lower lakes, and Entrance 2 for the higher lakes; combined, it takes about six hours to explore the area on foot. However, there are free electric ferry boats and shuttle buses that travel throughout the park and still offer great views for photographing if time is limited. Visiting in the spring or late summer is recommended to enjoy the sights while the weather is still pleasant and when there are relatively fewer visitors.
This park is definitely up at the top of my list to visit — let me know in the comments if you’ve been!