Plitvice Lakes National Park, located in Croatia, is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the priviledge to explore.
The park, which is the perfect (and gorgeous) day trip, features 16 stunning bright blue lakes packed with waterfalls rushing down cliffs.
Blue-green lakes, which change color depending on what’s going on in the water, pop against the bright green foliage, creating amazing photo opps.
Even the clear water astounds, mixing above-the-surface life with below.
Sadly, the park is not without sad history. In 1991, it is where the tragic Yugoslavian war began. Here, rebel Serbs took control of the park’s headquarters, killing a Croatian police officer. The hotels in the park were converted into barracks. Four years later, the park once again opened its doors to tourism.
Travel tip: Allow for an entire day at the park. There are plenty of paths to wander. But, be sure to stick to the paths. The eco-system is fragile.
Skip forking over the money for a high-priced hotel room at the park. Instead, book lodging in either Zagreb or Zadar. Wear comfortable shoes, there are miles of hikes to enjoy. And, be sure to bring water and snacks. If you are traveling with luggage, hotels at the park offer storage of your items.
Getting there: Hop a bus from Zagreb or Zadar. Both trips take about 2 1/2 hours.