Plitvice Lakes, aka Plitvicka Jezera in the local lingo. I feel like I’ve just returned from a real life Fern Gully… a magical paradise filled with waterfalls, damselflies, iridescent turquoise waters and felled trees strung together for visitors to traverse the woods and lakes. Incredible.
The system of lakes is born from the limestone rock that the water passes over, slowly building up the ‘travertine formations’ (cave like material) as the centuries pass to create over 100 waterfalls in a comparatively small downhill area. Caves and dolines dot the area as the water finds it’s escape route, picking up speed and colour all the way but constantly staying completely clear due to the filtering nature of the limestone and the vegetation that surrounds the edges. Trout and ducks roam freely and healthily leaving dappled shadows on the lake floors meters below, which themselves are covered in the calcite material that over the passage of time will grow to become another waterfall.
I’ll not say much more other than it’s imperative you put this place on your to do list! If you have any interest whatsoever in the madness of nature that is. I don’t think I’ve ever said ‘wow’ so much on one day! And yes – the colours are as vibrant as the photographs, so much so it felt like life turned into a cartoon for the day. I’m already trying to work out when I can head back one winter to see the system frozen over and the waterfalls become eerie icicles…
If you do go I recommend completing the loop from Ulaz (Entrance) 2 first as it’s a fabulous build up to Veliki Slap, aka the Big Waterfall. And it is BIG.