Boardwalk leading to waterfalls in Plitvice Lakes National Park

Explore Plitvice Lakes by Foot, Plitvice Lakes


The first Croatian national park (and the most popular), Plitvice Lakes National Park, is Croatia’s natural masterpiece. More than a park, it's a storybook locale conjured out of a romantic dream offering gorgeous views at any time of year. A must-visit for any traveler to Croatia, the UNESCO-protected park comprises an exquisite collection of 16 glassy emerald green and blue travertine lakes, more than 90 cascading waterfalls that seemingly cover every corner of the park, and numerous caves. The terraced lakes are surrounded by beech and pine forests and are home to extensive wildlife. 

You can explore the park on your own or opt for a private, local guide to lead you on several defined routes of varying lengths to show you the most interesting areas of the park and offer insight into the significance of the region's natural history. If you opt to go on your own, take advantage of the stunning natural setting and bring a picnic lunch!

However you choose to explore Plitvice, it's best to arrive early in the morning before the mid-day crowds arrive. In the popular summer months, long lines can form before the doors even open. So, to make the most out of your time, arrive before opening, start at the second entrance, or spend the night in the park. 

Discover more active excursions in Croatia, activities near Zadar, and day trips from Zagreb.

Itineraries with Explore Plitvice Lakes by Foot

Northern Dalmatia: Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes, Šolta Island & Split - 5 Days

Explore Northern Dalmatia's cities and stunning coastline on this 5-day trip, starting in Zagreb, the charming capital of Croatia. Continue to Croatia's most popular national park, Plitvice Lakes, to walk amid glassy lakes and cascading waterfalls, ending your adventure in the ancient city of Split along the Adriatic. Stroll through Zagreb's 1000-year-old town center, visit ancient Roman remains in Split, and enjoy a day of sailing to  Šolta Island.

Classic Croatia: Zagreb, Plitvice, Split, & Dubrovnik - 7 Days

Start in Croatia's capital, Zagreb, and learn about its history and culture before driving south to explore one of Croatia's most famous national parks, Plitvice Lakes. From here, you'll head to the coast of southern Dalmatia for a little sailing and wine tasting. Finally ending your trip exploring the narrow alleyways and fortress walls of the ancient city of Dubrovnik.

Best of Croatia & Slovenia: Zagreb, Ljubljana, Istria, & Dalmatia - 16 Days

A great route to discover Slovenia and Croatia over 16 unforgettable days. Starting in Croatia's dynamic capital, you'll first head into Slovenia to discover charming Ljubljana, the popular Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, as well as the captivating Soča Valley and Kobarid. Then, continue into the romantic Istrian peninsula discovering the walled hilltop towns and thickly wooded landscape before working your way to stunning Plitvice Lakes and then on to the Dalmatian coast ending your stay in medieval Dubrovnik.

Magical Istria: Zagreb, Rovinj, Zadar, & Plitvice Lakes - 10 Days

Often referred to as "Tierra Magica," you'll set out to explore a romantic land full of vineyards, olive groves, stunning Venetian-style coastline, and hilltop towns leftover from the Middle Ages. This complete 10-day itinerary includes four nights in Rovinj with the added bonus of visiting Zagreb, Zadar, and Plitvice Lakes National Park. You'll wander amid Venetian influenced architecture as you pass under archways, through alleyways, and up stone stairwells in Rovinj, visit Tito's former home on Veli Brijun, and dine on fresh seafood in Premantura.

Croatia Multisport: Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar, Plitvice & Zagreb - 14 Days

Discover the rugged and ethereal beauty of Croatia on this complete two-week multisport adventure. You'll cover three historic cities along the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik, Split, and Zadar, as well as spend two nights in the capital, Zagreb. You'll hike and bike island terrain on Korčula and Hvar islands, zip-line over the Cetina River Canyon, and walk amid waterfalls and emerald-green lakes in stunning Plitvice Lakes National Park.