HR 53231, Plitvička jezera, Croatia
GPS: 44.881398420699, 15.6215147461
Visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park: Located between the cities of Split and Zagreb, two hours’ drive from the Croatian capital, Plitvice Lakes National Park (Plitvicka Jezera) is the oldest national park in Southeastern Europe. Established in 1949 near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina on an area of 300 km², it is surrounded by the Mala Kapela mountain and Lička Plješevica mountain within the Dinaric Alps (western part of the Balkan mountain range). Thanks to its fascinating geology, symbolised by its travertine (tufa) barriers and the presence of carbonate rocks (karst, limestone and dolomite), Plitvice Lakes National Park has become the tourist highlight of inland Croatia. This natural setting contains fabulous landscapes with lakes, rivers, underground streams, caves, pits and waterfalls with crystal clear waters in a vast forest area.
Plitvice Lakes National Park forms a plethora of 8 kilometres of lakes and waterfalls in a mineral-rich karst plateau. The origin of these lakes dates back to about 12,000 to 15,000 years ago, towards the end of the last ice age. The 16 Plitvice lakes are generously divided between the lower (Donja Jezera) and upper (Gornja Jezera) parts of the park, which are separated by the large lake Kozjak. Surrounded by lush vegetation, these bodies of water are connected by hundreds of waterfalls, rivers and streams with transparent water. These can display different colours depending on the amount of minerals in the water and the brightness of the sunlight. On the land side, the National Park serves as a sanctuary for the last remnants of a primary forest and as a habitat for several rare or endangered species of fauna (such as lynx, wolf, bear and otter).
The series of slopes over several tens of metres make the natural spectacle of the waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park even more spectacular when the snow melts in spring. In winter, some waterfalls literally turn into beautiful stalactites. Hanging paths and wooden walkways are perfectly integrated into the fragile environment of Plitvice Lakes National Park. They allow you to explore the different parts of the site and enjoy the water bodies or the numerous waterfalls of this natural wonder, which was included in the World Heritage List in 1979.