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Plitvice Lakes National Park - Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park Plitvice Lakes National parkPlitvice Lakes National parkWooden Walkways, Plitvice LakesPlitvice Lakes National park

Croatia's most popular National Park, the Plitvice Lakes are located deep inland, in the highlands that separate Croatia from Bosnia-Hercegovina. The series of 16 turquoise lakes are linked by waterfalls and cascades. The mineral rich waters carve new paths through the rock and deposit tufa in constantly changing formations.

The park is in two main sections with a larger lake dividing the two. The lake is crossed by a regular boat service - this and the shuttle buses are included as part of the entry fee. The upper cascades flow gentry down to the lake, criss crossed by narrow wooden walkways and bridges. The waters are clear and the mineral deposits stick to any organic material forming travertine barriers that are alive and constantly shifting. These are incredibly delicate - it can take years to build up the layers - so no swimming is allowed.

The lower lakes are set in a deep gorge with distinctive curving walkways over the top. It's possible to climb to the top of the gorge - the views from here are stunning. There is a much bigger waterfall at the bottom end - although this tends to dry up in summer.

The Plitvice Lakes are one of the most amazingly beautiful national parks anywhere in Europe. Different seasons can enhance the views - in winter the lakes and waterfalls can freeze over while the cascades are especially dramatic after heavy rain.. The lakes are set in a larger national park whose deep forest is home to bears and wolves.

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