Plitvice Lakes Hike- 5 things you should know before your trip to Croatia, Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice National Park was definitely my highlight of our Croatia trip. The forest reserve is a great destination for a day trip and next to the 16 turquoise lakes you can marvel at wonderful waterfalls that connect the lakes. The biggest waterfall is Veliki slap (big waterfall) with a height of 78m. On your way along the lakes you walk on hand built wooden bridges that run just above the water. The route is signposted and you have a choice of 10 routes, although there are 6 common routes that will take you safely through the park. Depending on your physical condition and the time you have available, you should decide on a route at the beginning of your hike and follow it.
Important information about the hiking trails at Plitvice Lakes
There are two entrances to Plitvice lakes and you do the route in the opposite direction each time. We went straight to entrance 2 as this was recommended to us by friends. Here you have to go from the tickethouse first ca. Walk for 10 minutes through the forest to the start of the tour. Then you get on a panorama train and drive for a few minutes, the trains leave every half hour. Now the actual tour along the lakes begins, we chose tour H. After a good 1 hour then come the first waterfalls. The path is super signposted and this tour also includes a boat ride across the big lake. After a small picnic, the tour continued to the big waterfalls and a small cave. The big highlight, Veliki Slam awaits you at the end of this route.
Should you go to the entrance 1 or entrance 2 at Plitvice Lakes ?
Both entrances have their advantages and disadvantages and the most important ones I have summarized for you shortly. Entrance 1 is busier in the morning and you have to expect long waiting times. That would be the only disadvantage, now the advantages and thus the disadvantages compared to the entrance 2. At entrance 1 you are directly in the park and don’t have to go through the forest, like at entrance 2. Also, first go to Veliki Slap, the biggest highlight of the lake and here you walk down the hill, at entrance 2 you have to walk up this hill, since the tours run in the opposite direction, you have to walk up at entrance 2. After your long tour, you can then rest your tired feet at the end during a longer panoramic train ride via entrance 1.
My recommendation is to look at entrance 1 to see how busy it is and ideally choose this route.
How much time should you plan for the Plitvice Lakes?
The 6 different tours are divided in time. 2- 3 hours, 3-4 hours, 4-6 hours and 6-8 hours and moreover they differ at the beginning of the tour. ( Entrance 1 or Entrance 2)
How much is the entrance fee to the Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Admission to the Plitvice Lake National Park costs for adults:
10,65€ from 01.01.-31.05. and 01.11.-31.12.
20€ from 01.06.-30.06.
26,64€ from 01.07.-31.07.
For students, groups (10 people) and children the entrance is cheaper. Here is more info.
Where are the Plitvice Lakes ? (In the middle of Croatia near town …)
Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in the middle of Croatia, and the next largest town in the area is Otočac. But if you are coming from Zagreb, you will drive through many small villages and will not pass any bigger city for a long time, so better fill up your tank beforehand.