Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Bucket List-Worthy Adventure At Plitvice Lakes

Why you need to add Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia to your bucket list now!

Is this real life?

The lullaby of rushing cascades filled the air, while a kaleidoscope of emerald trees and turquoise waters delighted the senses. Through the roar of the waterfalls above me, I felt entirely at peace as rogue droplets splashed my face. Lost in reverie, the sublime beauty of this enchanted forest lead me to wonder if it were all just a dream.

Though it looks like a scene from a wooded fairytale, Croatia's resplendent Plitvice Lakes National Park is anything but a figment of the imagination. A most impressive feat of nature, Plitvice Lakes is the ultimate bucket list-worthy adventure.

A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Plitvice Paradise

Nestled in the mountainous Lika-Senj County separating continental Croatia from the southern coast, sixteen cascading lakes create an otherworldly oasis. The terraced lakes beget a series of majestic waterfalls, highlighted by pools of clear jewel-tone water. Narrow hiking trails, boardwalks and electric boats guide you through the lush maze of tranquil lakes and rushing cataracts.

The water gets its dazzling color from the sun reflecting upon the minerals and vegetation in the water. While it may seem tempting to jump in, you'll receive a hefty fine for diving into the waters of this protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is also home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, making it a mecca for biologists, botanists and nature enthusiasts. That said, it doesn't take a scientist to appreciate the complex beauty of this ecological wonder.

A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

Practical Tips

Just a two-hour drive from Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes National Park makes for a convenient stop on the way to Split. If you don't have a rental car, the park is also accessible by bus. While it's possible to see the entirety of the park in several hours, shutterbugs should allow more time to linger. Hours of operation and ticket prices can be found here.

While the park offers a limited selection of overpriced meals, your best bet is to pack a lunch. Wear comfortable walking shoes, but adorning full hiking gear isn't necessary. Since the crowds are in full-force come summertime, consider spending the night in a nearby hotel and visiting the park in the morning before the swarms of tourists arrive.

And please, I beg of you, don't bring a selfie stick.

A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
A bucket list-worthy adventure at Plitvice Lakes, Croatia


Is Plitvice Lakes already on your bucket list?
(If not, what more do I need to do to convince you?!)


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