My husband and I plan on visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park in mid-April,2024. We are seniors who are used to walking by not strenuous hiking. He is a professional photographer so we would appreciate suggestions as to which trails to take and what time of day to be where. We will be taking a bus from Zagreb. I was hoping for suggestions on places to stay near park entrance 1 or 2. Also suggestions as to how to get to park entrance 2, on the second day or stay near entrance 2 and get to park entrance 1 on the second day. We will then have to collect our luggage from our lodging and head back to Zagreb at the end of the second day. I appreciate your assistance.
Hi, I was there in June with the RS Best of the Adriatic tour. Here’s my excerpt from my trip report:
“Plitvice Lakes National Park - this was the location I really wanted to see so much! After arriving at Hotel Jezero, I opened up my balcony door to the sounds of birds & water in the distance - anticipation of tomorrow! It poured heavy rain all night! Waking up with raincoats ready, we prepared to go, yet experienced no rain during the hike! That day is one that will always be extra special!”
We walked the short distance from our hotel to Entrance #2. At that entrance, they take you by a long bus/train to the farthest spot to begin. I highly recommend being there slightly before the park opens! Why? Look up the photos on-line of the crowds of people on the plank walkways. Well, we walked the first hour with hardly seeing anyone! Since your husband is a professional photographer, that’s exactly what you will want! A few hours later, it became crowded.
I followed the RS guidebook routes and would suggest just going by those. The walking is pretty easy. The most steps/stairs come at the start of both main trails, but I did not find them too steep or difficult. It’s all very well maintained. Most would agree the trails are best early or late, it can get crowded with day trippers. I got into the park right when they opened, and had the place to myself. It was amazing! Make sure your camera is strapped on, it’s nervy stuff holding your camera out over a waterfall and on the walkways.
Without a car, just stay at one of the three hotel parks. I stayed at Hotel Jezero. It wasn’t cheap, but it was nice and board was included. Especially nice after a long bus ride. I would recommend it. I appreciated the full board more than I thought I would actually. At least one of the other hotels does not have a restaurant, so you’d have to walk to one of the others for meals. I would not bother much with the lakeside room, there’s not a view. Hotel Jezero is also closest to the park entrance (that’s good!), but a half-mile from the stop (that’s bad.) All the park hotels will extend your entrance ticket into the next day for free, unofficially making it a two day pass.
We were there last year. As the others have said--stay on the property. I have a scrapbook for last year's East Europe Tour. The hotel we stayed at is listed.
Get up early. Most of the world starts at entrance 1-- we went to a far point, and had the park to ourselves until we got to the popular midpoint area. It was wonderful to have the park to ourselves for the first 2 hours.
If there is alot of water flow, then Entrance 1 is where you want to be. There was barely any water on these "spectacular high falls" in September. They weren't worth photographing or even taking the trail to get to them. The light was also bad at that time--it was close to noon when we got to this area. Also these falls will be crowded fast at anytime of the year. So if there is water flow, go to the falls first and early as possible.
I was looking online to see if anything corresponded to our route on the RS tour. I found this-- it appears we did program H. https://www.earthtrekkers.com/how-to-visit-plitvice-lakes-travel-guide/