I love Croatia. Logan and I spent two weeks exploring this magnificent country last year and my mom and I have spent another two weeks this year roaming along the Adriatic, and I am already scoping out where I am going to come next time I return to this stunning corner of the world.
I wanted to go mostly new places with my mom this time around and with a few exceptions we were able to go to new islands, beaches and cities that I had to skip last time around. However, one place I knew I couldn’t let my mom miss was Plitvice Lakes National Park. So, after leaving Slovenia behind our first stop was this watery fairyland.
We took the 9 am bus from Ljubljana to Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb, arriving just in time for the 11:30 am bus onward to Plitvice. After dropping our bags at our B&B (about at 20 minute walk from the park entrance) we grabbed a quick lunch at the park’s cafeteria (which I do not recommend). The park is one of the biggest Croatian attractions and I have read that it can get overwhelmingly crowded and congested at times. So far I have been able to avoid the crowds on both my visits, which I mostly attribute to planning our visit late in the day or early in the morning. Logan and I spread our visit out over two days (starting in late afternoon and then returning for opening the next day), but this time around we were able to see most of the park in an afternoon. We entered at entrance one at around 3 pm and despite some of the trails being closed, we really did not experience crowds.
One of the highlights of my last visit was the amount of water that was flowing over the falls and over the wooden walkways. One of the low lights was the constant rain and clouds that were effective in keeping the other tourists away, but made for wet and cold hiking. During this visit we experienced much, much nicer weather and the sun highlighted the astounding color of the water. The water level was considerably lower, but my mom and I visited nearly a month later into the year (May versus April).
I was not even remotely less impressed by this national park than I was last time. If anything I have fallen even more in love and want to come back in fall to see the changing of the leaves and again in winter to see the waterfalls in frozen suspension. It is a “can’t miss” if you are ever in Croatia.
Back at our B&B we enjoyed a delicious dinner of grilled veggies and a plate of cured local meats and cheeses. I felt immediately calm and happy to be back in Croatia and I couldn’t wait to show more of this amazing country to my mom!!