Escape from Zagreb
Spend a day exploring new places off the beaten track

Plitvice lakes one day tour

“Experience the peace of a magical location, where waterfalls create a never-ending story.”

Fall in love with Plitvice Lakes, one of the most beautiful natural water features in Europe. Discover the stunning waterfalls that tumble into pools filled with thousands of shades of blues and greens. This magical place is made up of 16 lakes all interconnected with cascades and surrounded by a rich forest full of flora and fauna.

Departure point:

From your hotel

Departure time:

~ 09:00

Price:

145 €

- Price per person

Return:

to departure point

Included:

A visit to the picturesque village of Rastoke

Traditional lunch in the National Park Plitvice Lakes

Visit National Park Plitvice Lakes, including a journey on the electric boat and panorama train.

Hotel/apartment pick up and drop off

Professional English-speaking driver

Air-conditioned vehicle with high-speed internet

A good time guaranteed

Itinerary:

We will depart from your hotel in Zagreb at 9:00 and head towards the Plitvice Lakes. The changing landscape and terrain becomes more noticeable after we pass Karlovac, approximately an hour into the journey. We will stop at the village of Rastoke – a wonderful little place well known for its watermills. The Rastoke Falls were formed by a complex play of nature. The azure-green waters of the river Slunjčica runs down into the river Korana over a series of travertine barriers, thus creating a chain of waterfalls, rapids, pools and cascades, over which the village is built. We will continue our journey to the magnificent Lakes of Plitvice. Lunch is served at the best regional restaurant. Follow our suggestions and try their traditional dishes - lamb or veal cooked under an iron bell (these dishes are specially prepared in a local style and cooked on an open fire) - it’s a delicious experience! Upon arrival at the National Park, your driver will show you the best route around the lakes on the large map at the entrance. Your interests, energy and available time will all be considered to make sure you will be able to fully make the most of this amazing place. Inside the park, there are beautiful wooden trails throughout the forest and between the lakes, as well as an electric boat and electric train to help you move quicker and easier through this famous National Park. Once you’ve toured the sights, we’ll begin our return to Zagreb.

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Good to know:

  • The park is under the protection of UNESCO
  • You can only enter the park at the specified time on your ticket
  • You are not allowed to swim anywhere inside the park
  • Please take all your belongings away with you – don’t leave a trace of your visit
  • We recommend that you wear comfortable footwear
  • During the winter, the Upper Lakes are closed. It is also very cold, so please bring warm clothes and appropriate shoes.
  • Tickets are more expensive during July and August as it is peak season.
  • The unforgettable gastronomic specialty that you must try is called “peka” (‘Lamb cooked under an iron bell’)

Read more:

Landscapes shaped by Nature endure for thousands of years. Sculpted so thoroughly - inch by inch, moment by moment - the results are always incredibly special. Some particular places are simply breath-taking examples of these living landscapes; seemingly eternal locations yet slowly changing. Exploring these beautiful, never-ending environments will forever delight us – and we invite you on a journey through one of these locations. Pleistocene is the beginning of our voyage into natural wonders of the Plitvice Lakes. Nature’s thousand-year toil results in a sight which refreshes each body and soul. This place seems unreal, fresh off the pages of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, with thousands of waterfalls and cascades, beautiful lakes and vivid blues and greens everywhere you look. A couple of mythical creatures and an elf or two would not seem so out of place here! But this place really exists, it’s not a movie set. It is a landscape showing off the perfection of Nature’s work and enchanting us with its beauty, as it has done for many others for hundreds of years. The Plitvice Lakes themselves are buried deep within a local legend, which weaves a story about their creation. The story says that long ago, settlers in the region longed for fresh drinking water after the Black River dried up. With no other sources of water, the villagers turned to the Black Queen for help. In answer to their pleas and prayers, she summoned heavy rainclouds. The rain fell for so long that lakes were formed, filled and then overflowed down into each other – creating thousands of cascades of fresh water for the thirsty villagers. This water has never stopped flowing and so the lakes still exist today. Even the name of the first large lake harks back to the legends - it is called “Prošćansko” – meaning “begged for in prayers”. Sixteen lakes have been officially named in this region, however there seems to be many more – the larger lakes are connected to numerous smaller ones by the famous cascading waterfalls, blurring the boundaries between the bodies of water. Today we know that these magnificent lakes were created by rivers flowing over and into areas of soluble bedrock, which is typical feature of the Karst terrain. Fungous hills, known as tufa barriers, become the borders and outlines of the lakes. These natural barriers are the result of calcium carbonate and various environmental factors such as temperature, moss and algae, water, microorganisms, bacteria, flora and fauna. The water in the Plitvice Lakes is heavy with calcium carbonate and the barriers between these lakes are constantly growing and shrinking. The lakes are divided into Upper and Lower lakes. The Upper lakes are: Prošćansko, Ciginovac, Okrug, Batinovac, Veliko, Malo, Vir, Galovac, Milino, Gradinsko, Veliki Burget and Kozjak. The Lower lakes are: Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluđerovac and Novaković Brod. It is interesting to notice that the Upper lakes are naturally carved out from dolomite, whereas the Lower lakes are from limestone. The deepest lake in this area is Lake Kozjak. 400 years ago, there were two lakes on this site separated by a slow growing tufa barrier. Due to rising water levels in two lakes, the water flooded over the barrier, merging the two together to form what is now also the largest lake in the National Park. Lake Kozjak’s name also stems from an old legend in which a herd of goats were unfortunately chased into the water by wolves, where they all drowned. Today an electric boat provides daily transfers for visitors between the Upper and Lower lakes. Many believe that the Upper lakes are more visually attractive as the indented shore lines are characterised by hundreds of small details. The Lower lakes are found within a canyon, filled by steep waterfalls from towering rocks. Visits to the Lower Lakes are often dynamic and very interactive: the path takes you so close to the falls that it is impossible to guarantee staying dry! From here you can also climb up the steep narrow paths to the top of the canyon – revealing a magnificent viewpoint which shows off the National Park in all its wonder. It is clear to see that everything here is part of an eternal and overwhelmingly impressive display of Nature’s power. This wonderful landscape is become more and more popular with international visitors – word is getting out that a visit to beautiful Croatia is made all the more enjoyable with a trip to this elegant forest pearl. Nature lovers are often drawn to the Plitvice Lakes because of the cascades and the stunning variety of colours. This colour palette is often named as the most famous feature of the lakes. Depending on the angle of sunlight and the number of microorganisms and minerals present in the water, the colour varies from a deep turquoise green to a heavenly and tranquil blue. But you’ll find that this forest paradise gets right underneath your skin and will haunt you long after your visit, awakening the need to come back, stay longer and discover more of what is hidden away here. From sunrise to sunset, with every rainfall and each dusting of snow, this magical place takes on a different character with every passing hour. Nature’s attitude and rhythm changes, adjusts and modifies, creating “once in a lifetime” moments every single day. The immense and rich Lika forest surrounding the Plitvice lakes surrounds and protects the scene. Often unnoticed by the passing visitor, a multitude of changes ever builds this eternal landscape and writes its never-ending story – the erosion of a small tufa barrier, fresh autumn leaves catching in the waterfalls, new icicles forming and melting - it all impacts on the tale. Although witnessing the millennial changes would be impossible within our human lifespans, we surely have time enough for at least one visit to this fairy-tale place and experience the quiet peace within its boundaries. In the spring we enjoy the revival of the landscape; the soundtrack of this rebirth is the loud gurgling of freshly melted snow and the twitter of birds and their chicks. Fresh colours and smells add to the true bliss of spring in this lively and protected realm. During the hot summer days, the park is a refreshing and pleasant oasis; complete with cool, revitalising winds and breath-taking sunsets. The autumn brings with it a new set of paints – colouring everything from gentle yellows to crimson reds. Visitors cannot help but be enticed to catch a falling leaf – to be a part of simply enjoying the beautiful symphony of sights, sounds and scents in a landscape slowly preparing for the winter. And finally, winter blankets everything with a layer of fresh, crisp snow and ice. Although part of the park is closed for safety reasons, a new white landscape is waiting to be explored. Partially frozen waterfalls and vast spaces covered with snow forms idyllic winter postcards just there to be savoured and remembered forever. The Plitvice Lakes enchants all who visit, no matter what the season. The lakes and surrounding forests have also worked their charm on UNESCO which has counted the region as a Natural Heritage site since 1979. The first and largest National Park in Croatia (spanning two Croatian counties - Lika-Senj and Karlovac) is now rightly recognised worldwide for its impressive geological specialties. Alongside its idyllic waterfalls, beautiful lakes and curious continuous water flow, the Plitvice Lakes offer visitors much more in unexplored natural diversity. Water covers just 1% of the total area of the National Park, although this is what has brought the region fame. A rich diversity of landscapes are all on show within the park – caves and mountains, viewpoints and deep abysses, forest glades and Karst fields and beautiful flora and fauna. The carving of the rivers through this Karst terrain has formed an underground realm of impressive pits, grottos and caves – a real paradise for curious speleologists. There are 30 caves within the protected area of the park. Two of these are open for visitors - Golubnjača and Šupljara (located above lake Kaluđerovac). Other famous caves are “Mračna špilja” (in English - The Dark Cave), Vila Jezerkinje and the Golubnjača on Homoljačko polje. If you are seeking an underground adventure, you can also visit the Barač caves - located just 10 km away from the National Park. Three named caves wait to be explored - the Great and the Small or the Upper and Lower (depending on your favourite combination!) and the Third. The name Barač is rather uncharacteristic for the Plitvice Lakes region. According folklore, a man called Barač successfully defended this region from invading Ottomans and so earnt fame and this long-lasting legacy. There are many other legends embedded in this landscape which are patiently guarded by the older generations and passed down over time. These mysterious human tales adds to the charm and identity of this beautiful region. The National Park is a protected home for over 1,400 plant species growing quietly and undisturbed. Among these are some particularly special endemic plants: livadni procjepak (Chouardia litardiere), krški kukurjek (Helleborus multifidus), hrvatski karanfil (Dianthus Croaticus), šupaljka (Corydalis solida). A very special orchid with an unusual name – gospina papučica (Cypripedium calceolus) translates to “lady's-slipper” orchid - grows in peace here. This extremely rare and endangered plant is one of the most beautiful orchids in Europe. There are three varieties of carnivorous plants growing within the park too. Their luring attraction is noticeably different and unique – to both their prey and eagle-eyed visitors. The rich natural wealth of the Plitvice Lakes region is shown off in the abundance of forest resources, fed through the underground systems of rivers and streams. The constantly changing landscape of the National Park and the ever-flowing natural water supply provides a very suitable habitat of many species of plants and animals. When visiting the National Park by the conventional day sightseeing route, you are able to see the waterfalls up close and personal, but it is not quite enough to get acquainted with all the many forest lodgers within this vast region. But perhaps there are some local creatures that you wouldn’t want to get all that close to … Brown bears (Ursus arctos), grey wolves (Canis lupus), the Eurasian lynx (Lynx), nose-horned vipers (Vipera ammodytes) and common European vipers (Vipera berus) all call this place home! These animals are protected within the National Park and it’s our job to keep safely out of their way within their natural habitat. The National Park has also named and protected 321 butterfly species, 168 bird species and 22 bats species. Members of this impressive flying fleet, as well as the park’s land and water residents, are rarely spotted by visitors; but they do also enjoy the benefits of UNESCO protection. The lakes play a part in the yearly International Bat Night by hosting an event to raise awareness towards the preservation and protection of these beautiful flying mammals. Another resident of the Plitvice Lakes region holds a special place in every Croatian heart – the kuna zlatica - the European Pine Marten (Martes martes). This small, fast moving animal was once hunted for its thick and shiny fur – which was used as a mean of payment in Balkans. The Pine Marten is now protected by the state, guaranteeing a long future for this playful forest animal. But in memory of its vital role within the Croatian economy, the Croatian currency today is called the “Kuna” (Hrvatska kuna, Croatian kuna)! The local Lika Pramenka sheep (Lička Pramenka) have adapted well to the extreme living conditions of the region – particularly to the harsh snowy winters. Feeding off rich and fertile vegetation, the livestock provide exceptionally delicious meat and milk. Lambs from these flocks are a local delicacy and are traditionally prepared under an domed iron lid called a 'peka'. We welcome visitors to dine here and try the hearty dish! Yet within the National Park, there is one particularly special area - one of the last untouched forests in Europe – Čorkova uvala, a virgin forest. The Čorkova uvala is protected as a separate ecosystem which has been formed without any human influence and as such is a unique habitat for many plant and animal species. The Plitvice Lakes have appealed to many throughout history because of their extraordinary beauty. This includes some powerful leaders who chose to spend their time here. The most famous villa near the Plitvice Lakes belonged to the Yugoslavian Marshal Josip Broz Tito and was built from the stone from the mountain of Medvednica. After construction, the villa was used as a residence for hunters and contained a cinema, a billiard room and a bowling alley. Today the villa is no longer in use, but reconstruction and repurposing plans are underway for the site. Although these have not been finalized, the villa will have a major role in enriching the cultural heritage of the National Park. Undoubtedly then, this region is full of natural grace and beauty, unique and complex ecological features, impressive history and intriguing tales. The Plitvice Lake National Park will always impress nature lovers and reveal many unexpected and unforgettable adventures to its curious visitors. Guests cannot help by smile widely when they first see the deep canyons, high cliffs and magnificent waterfalls framed by the lush forest landscape. To witness and be part of this magic, to create vivid memories of unity with nature and to give your respect to this magnificent region are all reasons for a visit to this beautiful site. But perhaps the greatest reason of all is to become a small part in shaping the Plitvice Lakes’ never-ending story and to carry the memories formed here on in your heart and minds forever.

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