Seasonal highlights of Plitvice Lakes National Park
By Tomislav Kovačević on Apr 26, 2023 in Croatia, Eastern Europe, Europe, Regions
The Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the world’s most beautiful national parks, and an absolute highlight of travelling through Croatia. It is truly a one-of-a-kind natural wonder with its 16 cascading crystal-clear lakes and abundant flora and fauna.
A walk through the Plitvice Lakes park delights all the senses regardless of the season or the weather. It is a lovely place to visit year-round, and it is sure to leave you mesmerised thanks to its gorgeous viewpoints and picture-perfect waterfalls. Each of the seasons has its own inspirational charms and tells its own story filled with colours, sounds, breathtaking scenery, and life that goes on all around you.
With the trees starting to turn green once again, the nature awakens, and so does our Plitvice Lakes National Park. In spring, you can enjoy the fresh air, warm sunshine, colours and sounds that will get you moving and invite you to enjoy what nature has to offer. Feel the breath of spring, take a walk through the park, and awaken the nature within yourself. In spring, days get a bit longer, the weather is nice, which makes it a wonderful time for a short break before summer holidays.
With the start of spring, we open up the Upper Lakes, giving you a chance to experience all 16 beautiful lakes, and enjoy scenes that are hidden by greenery for most of the year. This is also when the hibernating animals start to wake up. In spring, our animals, such as the protected brown bear, symbol of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, have enough energy restored to rejoin us. The lush green surroundings and the first flowers of the season will awaken and enchant all visitors. Walking the wooden paths by the lakes and waterfalls, which have changed their colours after winter with the first rays of sunshine, you will experience a true spring tale told by the ancient forest. Spring is also a time when our park traditionally celebrates its birthday, so we have plenty promotional offers for our visitors.
The green oasis of the Plitvice Lakes National Park draws the largest number of visitors in spring, winning them over with its extraordinary beauty – clear lakes, babbling brooks, splashing waterfalls, all the while enveloped in the green embrace of the forest. Summer weather at the Plitvice Lakes is very pleasant, and ideal temperatures mean you can fully enjoy your walk through the park. Summer also brings countless activities to the park. There are several routes that visitors can choose from, and there are two trails for hiking enthusiasts, while visitors who want to explore the Kozjak Lake on their own can rent a wooden rowboat.
The babbling cascade made of 16 beautiful lakes, largest of which is Kozjak, is sure to intrigue all visitors. The Upper Lakes consist of 12 connected lakes, while the Lower Lakes canyon has four lakes, separated by travertine barriers. The clear blue water, birdsong, lush summer vegetation and gorgeous waterfalls make sure that our visitors enjoy every minute spent in the park. The waterfalls are a pleasant and relaxing sight for every nature lover. In summer, the water in the lakes is especially interesting as it changes every hour, and it switches from pale blue to crystal clear turquoise as you watch from the shore. This natural phenomenon is so special thanks to the clear turquoise and emerald water rich in minerals.
The park offers plenty of shade. If you need to take a break, make a stop and cool off under the lush trees or next to one of the many waterfalls. The long paths surrounding the lakes and passing through the forests invite all visitors to experience the charm of the wild and untouched nature, and to take a summer break from the chaotic everyday life.
Rhapsody of autumnal colours
The summer season ends with the first autumn breezes. As autumn arrives, its colours make for a sight more special than in any other season. Don’t be discouraged by the first rain since it marks the start of the road to winter, and the magical spectacle of colours and shapes makes this season extra special. Many say autumn is their favourite season. We can finally enjoy pleasant, slightly lower temperatures after the hot summer days. And where can you make the most of days like these? In nature, of course. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere while walking the trails and paths listening to the rustling of the leaves. Trees seem like they are full of flowers, changing their colours from yellow, to red, and finally to brown. The fluttery leaves weave a new carpet on the ground, making sure we have new scenery to watch as we admire the lakes through the treetops. This season is special because it is still possible to visit both the Upper and the Lower Lakes, and given that most visitors use their vacation days for summer holiday, this could be a unique chance to plan your visit for autumn, when there are fewer visitors.
Wildlife is still quite lively. As hard-working squirrels stock up for winter, we slowly bid farewell to the migratory birds, while the permanent species stay with us to share some more of their favourite tunes.
Nature reminds us that change always leads to something good, and that we can enjoy life no matter the season. Rain might ruin your mood, but after every rainfall, the waterfalls smile back and show themselves in their full glory. We are certain you will be impressed by how much bigger they get and how they flaunt all of their splendour. The sounds of nature and the unique scenery will relax you and take you to a whole new world, a world filled with magic. This is the perfect chance to take some gorgeous photos to forever remind you of the time you spent at one of the world’s most beautiful parks.
Winter comes to remind us to take it easy and that everyone, including our planet, needs a break. A stroll through the frozen landscape is truly something special. The crunching of the snow beneath your feet, and the silence that surrounds you are an indescribable delight. Winter at the Plitvice Lakes National Park has several faces, all of them worthy of a visit – whether you choose a period when everything is covered in snow and ice, or when the lakes are fully flowing. Although most of the lakes are closed for visitors in winter, you definitely won’t regret your visit to the Lower Lakes. Gentle, unique snowflakes that fall onto the waterfalls, lakes and forest transform the landscape into a true wonderland. In winter, the magical nature paints the most astonishing pictures of the glistening snow.
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If you want to experience the wonders of snow, you must visit the nearby ski slopes, where you will have wonderful views of the snow covered hills, and where you can spend your day skiing without a worry in sight. Choose an activity, be it skiing or sledding, and recharge your batteries before you return to everyday life. As you breathe in the clean and crisp winter air on one of the spectacular viewpoints, let yourself relax and enjoy life and Croatia’s oldest national park. Winter at the park can best be described as spending time in a peaceful oasis. The blue lakes enveloped by the waterfalls and surrounded by the forests form an idyllic winter wonderland. Go on relaxing walks, enjoy your snowy surroundings, and experience this magical winter landscape. If you need to warm up, visit one of our restaurants serving home-made, invigorating and tasty dishes. The traditional Lika soup at the “Lička kuća” restaurant is a must for all foodies.
The picturesque landscape, untouched nature, peacefulness of the numerous lakes reachable by kilometres of wooden pathways, are sure to leave you breathless.
The park is open year-round and offers undemanding trails suitable for visitors of all ages. Visit us and experience all seasons at the Plitvice Lakes National Park!
Tomislav Kovačević is General Manager at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and biggest national park in Croatia.
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