In the summer time Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of those places that gets absolutely packed full of people, to the point of not being able to move. Luckily, I visited on the 1st November so the people had thinned considerably and the ticket price had halved – brilliant!
I went on a tour organised by my hostel – it also included a tour guide who took us around and told us about the park. It was the easiest option, being out of season when there are fewer buses, and meant I didn’t go by myself. But in hindsite I would have preferred to have made my own way there as we didn’t see much of the park at all, and it was quite slow progress as we stopped a lot. But it was nonetheless an enjoyable day out.
The park wasn’t as impressive as I’d thought, but maybe it was because of the time of year and all of the trees were bare. In the other hand though, the weather was beautiful and it actually got rather warm.
We spent around 4 hours walking around, marvelling at the huge waterfalls, the crystal clear lakes where we followed the wooden paths, and the beautiful scenery that was bestowed upon us at every turn. There is lake after lake, each incredibly blue and clear, there are many waterfalls – some bigger than others – and a few caves that you can visit. After the first few lakes you reach a resting place with a touristy souvenir shop and cafe, where the boat also leads across a big lake to another walk. We stopped for lunch and took a boat across. We enjoyed a short walk the other side and some nice views then it was all quickly over with another boat ride and a shuttle bus back to the carpark. It was all over far too quickly it seemed. We experienced some fantastic views of the biggest waterfall and lakes on our way out, before being herded back into the van – I was taking a flight to Dubrovnik that evening so did feel partly responsible for the rush!
The guide was very friendly and chatted a lot, he told us interesting stories and anecdotes about the history of the park and its geology. I would’ve liked to explore much more of the park – we saw very little – and though it is impossible to see all of it in one day, my own progress would have been much quicker and I could’ve seen so much more by myself. However I did enjoy the company and the relief of knowing I had an easy ride back.
All in all I did enjoy the day, but if I go again would prefer to make my own way or stay at the nearby campsite to enjoy more of the beauty of the place. The main tourist path which we took is a little overcrowded, even in November, so I can imagine the summer month’s being a complete nightmare – I would advise you to not visit then! October / November is perfect albeit for the lack of leaves on the trees, but I bet the winter months are beautiful once it’s snowed. It’s worth a visit but don’t look at the google pictures first – they make it look much better than it actually is.