Croatia inspires thoughts of delicious seafood and Game of Thrones architecture. Whilst not wrong, it also has some of the most beautiful natural parks, with the best one being Plitviče Lakes.
The UNESCO site is something out of a fairytale. The largest waterfall Veliki slap is by far one of the best ones and is the first you see when you walk down the winding steps after stepping in. The rickety planks make it hard to walk past especially when a big group come along, but it adds to the fun and feels further afield then you really are. We could have been in the vast Canada or an Asian jungle as it really felt like another world, and what amazed me was how close to the images that I had seen before arriving were to the real deal.
At certain points, we were the only around and the serenity of the place was unreal. The green water is so clear that it almost looks like glass. And I couldn’t have been the only one to hum Pocahontas when walking around the river bends…
The waterfalls around were sometimes the only noises we could hear, which made us feel like we were in Neverland and were the first to discover the site. Trek the 295km square park and you discover some amazing places by going off the path, from viewpoints over looking the forests to steep steps going into dripping caves.
For a day ticket, it’s 110 kuna (approx £13) which allows you as long as you want in the park, as well as a single trip on the electric ferry and the car train. It’s good for any walker, with trip lengths starting at 2-3 hours all the way to 6-8 hours. Fast walker? Go big and do 6-8 hours; the walk looks fantastic and we ended up doing the 4-6 much quicker than recommended. You can stay overnight at some of the hotels, but they can be pricey. Same with the food; so instead take the early day bus and leave in the evening, and take a packed lunch to eat by the water side. There really is no better view.
Make this your first stop when travelling to transport to a faraway magical land, just make sure you have enough space on your camera, as you’ll take more photos than you ever have before.