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Five reasons to visit Plitvice Lakes National Park

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Plitvice Lakes National Park is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Croatia, and there are several reasons why you should visit. From the awards that the Park has won and its pursuit of sustainability and the health-promoting role of recreation to the educational aspects and natural beauty on offer, it has a lot to offer to visitors. In this blog, we will reveal five reasons why you should visit this natural treasure.

Mesmerising natural beauty

Plitvice Lakes National Park is the largest and oldest national park in Croatia, and the exceptional natural beauty of this location has always attracted nature lovers. The process of tufa formation, which creates tufa barriers and lakes, is a unique universal value, which is why the National Park received international recognition by being included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Although bodies of water make up only 1% of its total area, these portions are the most visited and most attractive in the entire National Park.

Located in the heart of Lika, the Park mesmerises its visitors with crystal-clear lakes, spectacular waterfalls and lush vegetation, making for an unforgettable experience. The crystal-clear lakes are an amazing visual experience, with their stunning colours, which vary from blue to emerald green, leaving every visitor breathless. From the largest lake, Kozjak, to the smaller but equally impressive lakes, each of them has its own unique charm.

One of the most striking elements of the Park are the waterfalls that fall from different heights and create stunning scenes. The most famous among them is the Great Waterfall created by the fall of the Plitvice stream. It is 62 meters high when measuring down to the first pond at the bottom and 87 meters high when measuring down to the beginning of the flow of the river Korana, which makes it the highest waterfall in the entire National Park and in Croatia. Together with the Sastavci waterfalls, it is the source of the Korana river.

The diversity of flora and fauna is one of the characteristics of this protected area. Taking a walk through the Park is an opportunity to explore the diversity of its flora, from stunning beech, fir and spruce trees to rare plant species. The share of endemic species in the Park is relatively low (approximately 1.7%) but nevertheless significant given the presence of a variety of plants, such as the early green hellebore, the giant pink, the Corydalis plant, etc. It is interesting that the Park is the only location where the globally endangered species Ligularia sibirica can be found, not only in Croatia, but also in the broader area of Southeastern Europe. The National Park is also home to an abundance of animal species. The presence of large carnivores such as bears, wolves and lynx, which are strictly protected and globally endangered species, confirms the high quality and conservation status of this habitat.

Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an adventurer eager to explore or are simply seeking peace and quiet away from the bustle of the city, this is a place that will surely win you over with its unique beauty and spectacular landscape. Visit us and indulge in the charm of pristine nature.

Awards and recognition

Plitvice Lakes National Park has won numerous prestigious awards over the past year, confirming its status as one of the most impressive natural destinations in Croatia and the world. These awards not only acknowledge the beauty of the Park, but also emphasise its commitment to sustainable tourism and high-quality service.

The Park became the first national park in Croatia bearing Green Destinations certification for sustainability, which recognises the efforts of destinations and stakeholders in tourism in promoting sustainable practices and addressing the challenges of sustainable tourism. This award testifies to the commitment of Plitvice Lakes National Park and other awarded destinations in preserving the environment and promoting sustainable tourism. We are proud of the recognition we have received and we will continue our efforts in priority activities including adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, monitoring the satisfaction of the local community, encouraging the business and tourism sectors to achieve sustainability and improving the visit system in terms of availability. Also, the Park was recognised by Tripadvisor® as part of the 2023 Travelers’ Choice® Best of the Best award for Croatia, where it ranked second among the 10 ranked attractions as a result of exceptional visitor reviews and ratings, which ranks it among the top destinations in Croatia.

As part of the National Park, the Lička Kuća restaurant was awarded the 2023 Travelers’ Choice® award by Tripadvisor®, ranking it among the top 10% of restaurants worldwide. Additionally, this restaurant received the Sunflower Award of Croatian Rural Tourism, winning a bronze charter in the category ‘Traditional (Rural) Gastronomy’, emphasising the authenticity and quality of the gastronomic offer at Plitvice Lakes National Park. With these awards, visitors can be certain that they are in for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

In addition to these awards, the Park has found itself on many lists of the most beautiful destinations and tourist attractions, confirming its status as an unavoidable destination for visitors from all over the world. Given these numerous recognitions and awards, it certainly deserves the attention of every nature enthusiast and traveller looking for authentic and unforgettable experiences, and recently found its way onto the list of 11 exciting locations and all-inclusive destinations to visit this year.

As one of Croatia’s most famous natural wonders, the Park not only takes one’s breath away with its incredible beauty but also offers a unique experience that has a beneficial effect on physical and mental health. Spending time outdoors and in nature in general has long been known as an important factor in preserving health. Fresh air, sunlight and the sounds of nature have a remarkably positive impact on health, and the Park provides a perfect environment for enjoying all these benefits of nature.

One of the key benefits of visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park is the connection with nature that it provides. Spending time in this pristine environment stimulates a sense of peace and tranquillity, reduces one’s level of stress and restores energy. The health benefits of spending time in fresh air can even be felt in the long run. Regular exercise in the outdoors can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of various diseases.

Taking a walk through the lush forest to the sound of water and by beautiful cascades provides a unique opportunity to relax the mind and revitalise the body. The Park offers a variety of tour programmes that suit all levels of fitness, offering visitors the opportunity to customise their activities according to their own ability. So if you are looking for a way to improve your health and experience the beauty of nature, visiting our Park might be just what you need. Enjoy the fresh air, beautiful lakes and lush vegetation, while simultaneously doing something good for your body and your mind.

Educational aspects of the visit

A visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park is an unforgettable experience of natural beauty but also has an educational component. Before visiting, visitors can learn about the unique characteristics of the Park on its official website, which provides detailed information about the various trails, lakes, the local plant and animal world as well as the history of the Park. On a walk through the Park, visitors will notice information boards placed along the trails, on which important information is given about the Park as well as about important individuals who participated in the proclamation, organisation and protection of the National Park. These provide an additional educational experience and allow visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the Park’s natural and cultural values.

In our souvenir shops, along with educational books and guides, visitors can find educational children’s picture books on flora and fauna, providing additional information about the plant and animal species that can be seen at the Park. Visiting our National Park is not only an opportunity to enjoy its natural wonders but also to enrich one’s knowledge about environmental protection, biodiversity as well as the history and culture of this remarkable location.

In addition, a visit to the Park creates an excellent opportunity to teach and talk to children about nature, science, conservation and history, and all while having a fun time in the fresh air. Nature inspires and encourages creative thinking, so a walk through the Park will make it easier to learn and remember all the interesting information about this natural treasure.

Sustainable business

Nature, with its immeasurable value, requires continuous care and respect. It is crucial to understand that ecosystems like forests and lakes are just as important as our own homes. Plitvice Lakes National Park, recognising the importance of preserving the environment, has joined the Plastic Free initiative and is actively working on achieving the goals set. The process of eliminating plastics from everyday operations started as early as 2015. At Jezero Hotel, all waste material is carefully sorted, and organic waste is used to produce fuel and animal feed. Furthermore, promotional materials are printed on environmentally friendly paper and we systematically strive for the implementation of the ‘zero waste’ strategy, which further reduces negative impact on the environment.

Promoting awareness of the importance of reducing waste can trigger broader societal change and incite others to take responsibility for their actions and contribute to environmental protection. Through joint efforts and rational resource management, we can ensure that the natural beauty of the Park remains intact and available for present as well as future generations to enjoy and admire.

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