Apart from stopping in some coastal towns in Croatia, we also made sure to stop at two of the national parks known for their waterfalls. It was a little bit of a detour driving, but it was definitely worth it. The first park we visited was Plitvice Lakes National Parks. The park borders Bosnia- Herzegovina and is made up of 16 lakes that decline in elevation creating waterfalls from different types of natural barriers. The color of the lakes is spectacular and changes throughout the year depending on how much and what kind of organisms are found in the water. Swimming in the lakes used to be allowed until 2006, but now it’s strictly forbidden in order to main the natural growth of the organisms in the lakes. The entrance fee is about 14 euros (in September) and the park recommends preparing for a 6 hour hike if you walk the whole trail between the Upper Lakes and Lower Lakes. Thankfully they offer busses that take you to and from 1 of 3 stations so you can easily visit more of the park. We walked from the entrance to station 1 and then took a bus to the highest point at station 3 and walked down to station 2. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time so we had to skip the middle part. Even in September the park was crowded with visitors. There is a narrow wooden trail to walk for most of the way and sometimes it was difficult to pass by people who had stopped to take photos. The views are spectacular and Luca and I think it’s one of the most beautiful things we’ve seen, up there next to the Iguazu Falls in Brazil.
While near Zadar, we took a road trip inland to visit Krka National Park near Sibenik. This park also has a wooden boardwalk to follow along the Krka River which brings you to Skradinski Buk which is the largest set of falls in the park.
The entrance fee is about 12 euros and it takes about an hour to walk down to the falls, where you can swim if you’d like. Then to walk back up to the entrance it’s just about 10 minutes. In order to get from the parking lot to the start of the trail you can either take a bus or walk down quite a steep path for about 1 kilometer. This park was also full of visitors and it was difficult to take some nice pictures since the lake was full of people having an afternoon swim. Compared to the Plitvice Lakes, Krka National Park doesn’t match up in beauty. We’re glad we visited the park and were able to see the falls even if it’s much smaller, less beautiful, and doesn’t take as much time to experience.