Croatia’s Plitviče Lakes National Park

Plitviče had been on our mental list for a long time.  If you spend any time on photo websites or have an uncle that sends you email forwards (Hi Uncle Ron!), you’ve probably seen Plitviče on one of those “most beautiful places on the planet” lists.  So after we were done with Croatia’s coast, we headed inland for the lakes.  Water back home in Iowa is… mostly brown. So when we come to places like Lake Egirdir and the eastern Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea, that crystal clear water has been straight up magical.

park logo


We hiked for six hours over raised wooden pathways, between travertines buried under lush foliage, and up the rock-strewn valley walls.

Wooden pathway

waterfall across the lake

The water levels were low and the waterfalls were subdued due to a major regional drought, but it was still shockingly gorgeous.

waterfall - slow shutter


This picture right here?  The one that looks like ferns on the forest floor?  That’s a big ol’ log submerged in at least six feet of water.  Those plants are all under water, too.


little falls, blue water

It rained a little.

starting to rain

Blue hole

Just a couple hundred fish, hanging out.  Doing fish stuff.

School of fish

This is a real color.

super blue

two waterfalls

Not an aquarium.  Real life.  What??

duck and fish

In the Serbo-Croatian and Slovene languages, the word for waterfall is slap.  That is a fact you will now remember forever.  You’re welcome.

Slap sign


valley from above



We went to bed exhausted that night, and woke up to thick fog that was followed by torrential rain.  So glad we visited Plitviče the day before!  We used the waterproof covers on our backpacks for only the second time ever and trudged down to the main road to catch a bus to the capital.  Next up: Zagreb!

Watch our short little video of fish and waterfalls at Plitvice.