What is it?
16 turquoise lakes interconnected by lots of different waterfalls, covering over 70,000 acres. The park received UNESCO world heritage status in 1979 and it is… BEAUTIFUL.
Where is it?
In Croatia on the coast between Zagreb and Zadar. We drove there for a day trip from Pula, which was a very long drive, but you can also stay overnight nearby.
Is the park worth visiting?
Yes. Words cannot describe how stunningly beautiful this place is. People are banned from swimming in the lakes which has helped preserve its crystal clear waters and thriving plant-life. I lost count of the number of waterfalls that are scattered through the park (it’s a good game trying to spot them all!) and they are all so different from each other. The tallest waterfall, Veliki Slap, is 70m tall and the smallest, Labudovac, is 20m.
You will take so many pictures… and yet none will quite do the park justice…
Does it get busy?
It sure does, be sure to book your tickets online in advance to avoid disappointment. We visited the park in June and it felt busy but, according to the guide we had, the park is only seeing a small percentage of the numbers it used to see pre-Covid. There are lots of little wooden walkways and thin paths round and over the lakes so be prepared to walk a little slower than you normally would and have to stop for others. But, I mean, you might as well take your time and soak up all the lovely views while you are there!
How much does it cost?
Parts of the park are open all year round and the ticket prices change according to the season (it’s cheaper in winter and more expensive during the busy summer period). The money from the tickets go towards the upkeep of the park. There are also guided tours available, which you can book at an additional cost, to help you get the most out of your visit. We joined one and I definitely recommend it.
We went in the summer and it was hot and beautiful, but I would love to go back in autumn when it is a little cooler and the leaves are turning burnt orange and rusty red.
How long will it take me to walk round?
There are different walking routes through the park (ranging from 3km to 18km), and so you can choose a route that takes between a couple of hours and a full day, depending on how much you want to do. I really recommend getting there early, so you can spend a full day exploring, and taking a route that includes a boat trip.
The woodland is also home to wild boars, deer and wolves.
Don’t forget to take a bottle of water and sun tan lotion but there is a gift shop that sells refreshments and ice creams in the middle of the park (which also has facilities).