After a very pleasant drive through the coastal mountain ranges of the Dalmatian coast we arrived in Plitvice Lakes and found our Guest House sited above the lakes in a lovely rural village setting. We enjoyed a nice cucumber soup lunch at the Lakes restaurant and after checking in went for a pleasant 6km walk along the country lanes and then cliff edge overlooking the main waterfall and lakes and back through the rural lanes. The site of seeing the lakes and falls from above really got us excited for the next days adventure.
Above the lakes the country side was stunning and the Forests were so pristine and had sink holes everywhere which made the environment very interesting with grotto’s and clefts making it all look very Hobbit like.
Our first view of the Lakes was above the Big waterfall which was flowing nicely but nowhere near full pace like in spring,. The Lakes however were perfect for viewing as the flow of water was measured and calm providing the perfect visuals for transparent water view. The colours from the travertine minerals in the water were stunning.
The views from the lookout to the four waterfalls from the big lake into the deepest lake was breathtakingly beautiful and it was something that most people don’t see as few people view the lakes from this side.
Wandering around the lanes on our way back to the Hotel was great as we went as far as the roads took us and experienced that quiet solitude of another life far removed from our day to day lives back home.
We had gotten advice from someone we met on our gravels to make sure we booked our lakes tour tickets for first thing in the morning so we secured the 7am start booking and arrived with the first wave. the second bit of advice was just as useful which was to take the bus to the top of the lake and walk down back to the normal start spot so as to avoid the crazy crowds that mostly set off from the start point. it was great advice and we set off along the cliff side to the bus pick up. Along the way the views through breaks in the Forest looking down tenth multiple waterfalls were stunning.
The bus trip wound its way along the edge of the lakes and dropped us off at the top lake. Walking along the new boardwalks there were ok at first but in some spots Ann felt the bouncing a bit too much so we waited for most people to pass and then took the path around the southern side of the lake where less people venture and it enabled her to manage the trip much better. Along the way the multiple lakes and variety of big and little water falls and flows slipping through the foliage made it an adventure that just kept delivering at every turn.
The way nature adapts over time to changes and how the beauty of it all is everywhere here makes this such a unique environment.
The ponds collected the flow and then it would flow on to another fall, but no swimming allowed and for good reason…can you imagine the mayhem and the destruction that would ensure.
The extraordinary way they have carefully crafted the timber walkways to have as little impact on the environment whilst allowing access to so many people is a credit to the park management.
The colours of the lakes and ponds varied from pool to pool and was reliant on many different factors around flora foliage, geology, sunlight and aspect
We caught the little electric ferry across the big lake to the lunch spot and that is where we really saw the crowds. We had spent about 4 hours exploring and still had a few hours to go at the end but we stopped for a bite and saw the massive quest for the ferry going the other way.
Towards the end of the park region where the path edges right on the lake the water colour changed again and it was much more gorge like in the topography with very different denser foliage and smaller waterfalls and a lot more people mostly in huge tour groups.
people can be seen lining up in a quest to see the big waterfall around the corner…it was nuts!
The end of our 15km trek with a few nigles here and there but feeling great and ready to enjoy our dinner and a nice bottle of Posip to say farewell to one of the most beautiful places we have visited.