On our way to the Croatian coast we stopped at Plitivice Lakes National Park, arriving from Zagreb by bus, a 2-hour ride with wifi. The T.I. office on Jalacic Square provided us with the bus schedule to the National park which departed from the main bus station.
The bus stopped at Entrance 1, a 15 minute walk to our accommodation which was a lovely B&B in the countryside. We arrived early in the afternoon with plenty of daylight to explore the lakes. Since we were spending the night we bought a 2-day pass (180 kuna) so we could explore the park without rushing.
The entrance to the park was packed with tour groups and school kids but as we walked past the main boardwalk areas the crowds thinned.
The Plitivice Lakes are divided into lower and upper sections.
The water is a beautiful torquoise due to the minerals in the water.
The boarkwalks lead to the Big Waterfall. From here we climbed a steep trail to amazing views of the upper lakes.
Continuing on the trail, and stopping many times to admire the lakes from various viewpoints, we arrived at Lake Kozjak.
There are restrooms, a cafeteria and a large picnic area at Lake Kozjak. We were impressed with how clean and well maintained the park was.
We rode the ferry across Lake Kozjak to Entrance 2. From there we took a park shuttle back to Entrance 1. This journey took us about four hours including stopping for a coffee.
Other than the cafeteria and grocery store at park Entrance 1 and 2, the restaurants at the park typically cater only to their over night guests. Our B&B did not serve dinner but our hostess recommended an inn a few houses over who had recently begun serving dinner to everyone. We walked over and were seated outside at the last table next to a large BBQ pit. Shortly after a young French couple joined us, sharing our table.
It was a prix fixe menu with choice of lamb, pork or “wild animal” goulash. Our server brought us a glass of honey brandy to drink with our wine, and blankets to warm our laps when the evening cooled.
The next day we had the full morning to explore since our bus to Zadar wouldn’t be leaving until 1pm.
From Entrance 1, instead of heading toward the water fall we turned left and walked along the waters edge toward Entrance 2.
The water was gorgeous; various shades of teal and turquoise shimmered in the morning light.