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Best things to do in Plitvice Lakes

Located in central Croatia and around a two-hour drive from Dubrovnik is Plitvice National Park. This is a stunning landscape home to a connection of lakes, rivers and waterfalls. As a result, its listing as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1979 came at no surprise and today, is one of the best things to do and see in Croatia.

Plitvice is a magical intricate network made up of 16 lakes and an astounding 92 waterfalls. In every direction, the landscape shimmers with bright blues and greens. Consequently, it is one of the most photographed spots in all of Croatia. Of course, walking around the beautiful park is the main focus of Plitvice, but there are many other things to do here.

Plitvice National Park

Guided tour of the lake

A great way to find out about this iconic UNESCO world heritage site is to book onto a guided tour (which we can arrange for you if required). Your local Croatian guide will know everything there is to know about Plitvice. Once you are through the entrance, you will be guided around the lower lakes, the upper lakes, and then to the big waterfall. The area of Pitvice Lakes is very big so explore the area by a combination of the ferry, train and by foot.

Enjoy a guided tour of Plitvice National Park on our 12-night Adriatic Delights Cruise & Private Land Tour.

Mrežnica River Kayak

Kayaking in Mrežnica river

The Mreznica Canyon is an undiscovered gem in comparison to the crowds that Plitvice Lakes attracts. The river is approximately an hour from Plitvice and works perfectly as a morning excursion to get the adrenaline pumping. Kayaking on the Mreznica Canyon is an exhilarating activity, taking you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes. These include narrow gorges, tall white cliffs, cascading waterfalls and sparking freshwater lakes.

Rastoke Waterfalls

Visiting Rastoke and his lovely watermills

Located around 30 kilometers from Plitvice, and an hour and a half from Zagreb, is a charming village named Rastoke. Rastoke is a small and quant town, connected to Plitvice by the Korana River. Rastoke offers a change of pace – it allows you to slow down and appreciate the scenery. For those who want to keep active, kayaking, rafting, horse riding and fishing and just a few of the activities you can do from Rastoke, on the Korana River or the Slunjcica River. It’s worth vising the windmill there which today, is still used to grind the wheat to make bread for neighbouring towns, cafes and restaurants.

Barac Caves

Visit the Caves of Barac

From Plitvice Lakes you can go and visit the caves of Barac which have had human remains of soldiers from World War I and World War II found here. Today however, you will only see geological features and rock formations (including the stalactites hanging from the ceiling) in the cave. Inside Plitvice Lakes National Park, there are estimated to be more than 100 caves which have been explored to some extent. The longest is named Golubnjaca which is estimated to be around 165 meters long, and the deepest Cudinka (approximately 203 meters).

Plitvice Valley

Bike tour of the Plitvice Valley

For those travelers who are looking for an active trip to Plitvice Lakes, a bike tour along the Plitvice Valley should be high on your list. The bike tour will be guided and usually lasts around 4-5 hours so it works well as a morning or afternoon activity. The tour will take you through native forests and the expansive national park, passing by historic buildings and landmarks along the way like the watermill on the Korana River, the Old Fortress (11th century) and the nearby Barac Caves.

Plitvice Lakes Rowing Boat

Rowing on the lakes

As one of the most attractive destinations in Croatia, of course Plitvice can get very crowded, especially in the summer months between June and September. To get away from the crowds, there is a nice option to rent out rowing boats and head out onto the lake. This not only gives you a chance to see Plitvice from a different perspective, but it has also gives an opportunity to head out to parts of the lake that are undisturbed. This offers a romantic and peaceful setting.

Explore Plitvice Lakes National Park at your own pace on our 10-night Jewels of Croatia Cruise & Land Tour.

Hotel Degenija

Staying in boutique hotels

Although you can easy do a day trip to Plitvice Lakes (we can organize transfers and guides), it is also worth considering staying the night, or a couple of nights in this Mediterranean paradise. Hotel Degenija is a great option as, only 5 kilometers from the main entrance of Plitvice, it gives hotel guests the opportunity to be first in the park and enjoy its tranquillity.  Degenija is a luxury boutique hotel and, with only 20 rooms, the attention to detail, service and overall atmosphere is truly memorable. Hotel Degenija has gardens, orchards and an outdoor pool offering views across the leafy national park.

Stay at Hotel Degenija on our 10-night Discover Croatia Cruise and Land Tour.

Veliki Slap

See Veliki Slap

Although there are almost 100 waterfalls that make up Plitvice Lakes, the biggest and most impressive of them all stands at 78 meters. This is named Veliki Slap and can be found on the Lower Lakes section. There is something truly spectacular about all of the different waterfalls and lakes of Plitvice – the height of Veliki Slap, the density of the cascading lower lake waterfalls and the bright blue and green tones of the lakes.

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