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Distance

10.16 mi

Elevation gain

2,041 ft

Technical difficulty

Easy

Elevation loss

2,041 ft

Max elevation

2,305 ft

Trailrank

62 5

Min elevation

1,649 ft

Trail type

Loop

Time

7 hours 42 minutes

Coordinates

783

Uploaded

February 1, 2021

Recorded

July 2017
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2,305 ft
1,649 ft
10.16 mi

Viewed 129 times, downloaded 9 times

near Plitvička Jezera, Ličko-Senjska (Hrvatska)

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We thought about this route to be able to enjoy a peaceful walk in this wonderful park and avoid the large crowds of people that occur there. And to a large extent we managed to do it despite doing it on July 30.

Plitvice Park is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, and particularly one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Between beech forests, the river forms more than 20 lakes with crystalline turquoise water that connect forming waterfalls. The wooden walkways built to preserve the environment make the walk very pleasant, but its fame means that every summer it is frequented by a large number of people, and knowing this, we were not willing to pay the expensive entrance fee to feel like little sheep. in single file without being able to enjoy or calmly take a couple of photos. At 7:00 in the morning when the park gates open, in the car parks of the two entrances you can already see buses and the first queues in front of the ticket offices. Apart from this, within the park there are buses and small boats that transport you to various points (the use of these transports is already included in the ticket price), and you can already imagine the queues that form at peak times to get on they. Therefore, to meet the objective of being able to enjoy the park quietly, the first and main advice is to get up very early, which is very worthwhile since taking advantage of the hours well we could see a large part of the park without too many crowds and be back in the accommodation before 4:00 pm, good time for a nap.

The total time was almost 8 hours, of which in motion it was about 5 hours. Approximately the route can be divided as follows:

Route on the two boats: 1.9 km
Route on the bus: 2 km
Walking distance: 12.5 km

Those 5 hours in motion may seem excessive to do 12 km walking and 4 with transport, but the pace was slow with a little girl, and stopping to take many photos (especially in the first part of the journey). The 3:30 hours without movement correspond to the different stops to eat and rest, and the waiting and queuing times (about 15 minutes for the boat and about 25 minutes for the bus).

TIPS

1.As I just mentioned, get up early to be at 7:00 or earlier in front of the ticket office at the park entrance and be among the first in line. To achieve this it helps a lot to stay the night before in an accommodation as close as possible to the park, or even next to Entrance 2 there are several hotels. Unfortunately, tickets are not sold online, so you have to go through the ticket offices. Then another setback is that the first boat in P1 does not set sail until P2 until 8:00, which is why we have to wait to get on the boat first. It will always be better to wait here for the first boat than to risk arriving later at the ticket office and waiting 1 hour to get the ticket, and then when you arrive at P1 there is already a long queue.

2. Bring a backpack with enough water and food to get through the day. Right now I don't remember whether or not the entry of food from abroad was prohibited, but there are no controls that prevent you from carrying it in your backpack. Inside the park there are several points where we will find cafes and restaurants, but as in any tourist place the value for money leaves a lot to be desired, and again I emphasize the long queues that we could observe to order, for example, a miserable hot dog. We only saw one fountain on the entire tour, next to the toilet in the rest area of pier P3.

3.In the backpack also carry sun protection and something to cover your head if the route is done in summer. Comfortable footwear, and the camera!

4.In the park there are several pre-established trails with different levels of difficulty depending on the time you want to spend visiting it, each with a letter. There are also 3 piers named with the letter P and a number) and 3 bus stops (St plus a number), with rest areas on them. I have attached the photos I took to the park maps and it helps to familiarize yourself with these names and locations so that later it becomes easier. On the general map even the trails are divided into segments that indicate the distances (marked by numbers). Also bear in mind that the pace will always be slow since there are countless places to stop to observe or photograph, there will be sections of the trails that we will find clogs of people, and the inevitable queues to get on the transports.

5. We planned the tour after studying the park and seeing photos online, just to enter, go as quickly as possible to what we thought would be the most beautiful area of the park and be able to enjoy this part with almost no people. For this reason we chose Entrance 2 (upper lakes area) to access. It could also be accessed from Entrance 1 (area of the lower lakes) to make the tour, but I think we made the right decision since unanimously the 3 of us who went we liked the area of the upper lakes much more despite the fact that in the lower lakes there are also very interesting things to see (the canyoned path next to the river, the great waterfall or the viewpoints along the path that goes up the canyon of the lower lakes are impressive, but in the area of the upper lakes the whole of lakes, waterfalls, forests, viewpoints and walkways form a unique environment). In addition, in the sense that we did the route, we could observe that the queue to access the boat from pier P2 to go to P3 was much shorter (about 15 minutes) than the one we later saw when we arrived at pier P3 to go to P2 (here at eye I calculated at least 1 hour of queue). This could be totally fortuitous, but I think that due to the location of both piers, people usually choose the P3 to get on the boat.

6. Load up with a little patience and realize that despite everything we are going to see a lot of people along narrow paths, through viewpoints, in transport queues, in bars and restaurants ...

7. An idea for those who want to extend the route on foot and take a more hiking route would be to use this same track and in the same direction of travel, but regardless of the boat that takes us from P2 to P3 and the bus between the St1 and St2 (thus we would also avoid the queues to access these two transports). In this case, you should go along the path that borders Kozjak Lake between P2 and P3 (Path 6 of the map that I have put in the photos, about 1:30 hours of walking), and on the way back, when you reach the stop from the St1 bus, look for the path that goes down again to Lake Kozjak to skirt it on the other side until you reach the vicinity of pier P1 (Path 8 on the map, approx. 1 hour walk). Thus, in addition to lengthening the walk and avoiding queues, we would enjoy more tranquility while walking since these trails, since they can be avoided with transport, are not very frequented by typical tourists. The walk would be about 18 km in total that we could do quietly without much crowding of people (except the section of the lower lakes as I will detail later), and we would only have to do the short section of the boat between P1 and P2, which being there is no queue first thing in the morning, and that is unavoidable unless you want to walk for a while on the road that uses the bus between St2 and St3. All of this would roughly correspond to the K route of the pre-established routes on the maps.

8.The biggest advantage of doing the route according to this proposal I think is that starting early with the lakes above the first boat (from P1 to P2) we will quickly access without problems and the trails and walkways that pass through this part next to the lakes We will be able to walk them quietly, and on the path that leads us back to P2 we will not see many people whatever time it is. Then at P2 we would have the option of choosing between standing in line for the boat or skirting the lake. From the pier P3 to the waterfall we will see a lot of people, that is inevitable, and it even made us give up going off to visit the grotto. But the great waterfall can be seen well by many people there and then the path to the St1 bus stop runs through the upper part of the canyon, so even if there are people it is always possible to wait a bit to be able to look at the viewpoints and contemplate the great views. You only need to look at the photos to verify what I say, I was able to take good photos without people on the upper lakes, and on the lower ones, good panoramic views where people do not bother. Finally, when arriving at St1, we would have the option of, if we still want to continue walking, discard the bus since it no longer offers much interest and the path that would take us to the end of the route is not very busy either.

TOUR DESCRIPTION

At 7 a few minutes in the morning, already with the tickets in hand but still sleepy due to the early rise that we did in full vacation, we prepare to enter the park and without being entertained go directly to pier P1, where we found out that The first boat does not leave until 8 o'clock (we have to wait), in a very short journey the boat left us at pier P2, where it can be said that we really started the walk. From here, practically without seeing anyone, we went for a walk on the paths and walkways that pass by the Prstavat and Mali waterfalls and the beautiful lakes that surround them. Then we go through a rest area and go up to the viewpoint over Ciginovac lake from where a path begins with wonderful views and a lush forest. It is already 11:30 and at the moment we have not seen many people, and less on this path by which practically no one goes since it departs a bit from the lakes, and being so leafy, the sun does not hit too much despite of the hour. As soon as we get to pier P2 we get in line (luckily it is not very long) to get on the boat that will take us to P3. If there were a lot of queues at the jetty, a good option would be to skirt the lake along Path 6 on the map as I explain in tip 7, but hey, it was not our intention to do a classic hiking route and less with a little girl, but to enjoy a day of tourism with all the attractions that this park offers us.

We arrived at P3 before 1:00 p.m., and there we are already horrified by what we see: an immense queue to access the boat we have just left, queues to enter the restaurant, for the fast food stands, for the toilets, the A crowded souvenir shop, all the picnic tables occupied ... We wait for several minutes, waiting for a space in one of the tables to be able to sit down to eat the sandwich (typical Spanish) and meanwhile, seeing that miraculously in one of the the booths where they only sell drinks and coffee there is no queue, we allow ourselves the luxury of ordering some beers and soft drinks. We are aware that from this moment on, the tranquility of walking through almost deserted trails that we have seen until then has ended, but what we have seen up to that moment has been wonderful and we have been able to enjoy it greatly.

After lunch we head along a canyoned path along the river (where there is the possibility of deviating a few meters to visit the grotto) to the great waterfall, the largest in Croatia. We must go slowly to the rhythm of the rest of the people, here there is no escape, and under the great waterfall there are also quite a lot of people but as it is so large it can be seen quite well (respecting the opportune turn you can even climb a rock to make a nice portrait). The viewpoint indicated on a waypoint next to the waterfall is not in itself an "official" viewpoint, but a rocky outcrop with great views of the waterfall, and its access is not an "official" trail either and it is quite steep, so Whoever wants to access this way must be very careful. Later we will go up the path that passes near Entrance 1 of the park and that, through the upper part of the canyon, with beautiful views and viewpoints (a little patience until we see free holes to look over the cliff), will lead us to the place where people wait to get on the bus. Another time in line for the bus ride and when we get off it we will only have to go to the parking lot where the excursion began.

In short, a great excursion, since the place is an essential visit if you are traveling through Croatia, and already knowing in advance that it was going to be full of tourists, the plan of being able to do part of the tour without much stress of people came to us. The perfection. Even in the most crowded sections of the lower lakes, the beauty of the landscape made the walk very enjoyable. I would recommend doing the excursion in Autumn, since although I did not do it at that time, the colors of the beech trees must be spectacular, although in the rest of the seasons of the year it is also highly recommended, even in Summer which is always the worst time to walking and sightseeing.
Waypoint

Inicio

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Parking

Entrada 2 - Parking - Taquillas - Cafeterías - WC

The sooner we arrive the better, the parking lot fills up quickly and the queue can get endless if we delay.
Bridge

Puente

Para cruzar la carretera
Mountain hut

Área de descanso - Cafeterías - WC - Hoteles

En este área hay varios hoteles y otros servicios.
Ferry

Embarcadero P1 - Cafetería - WC

Junto a este embarcadero hay también una cafetería y un WC
Ferry

Embarcadero P2

Este embarcadero no cuenta con otro tipo de servicios
Wilderness hut

Refugio

Waterfall

Cascada Veliki Prstavac

Aquí empieza una de las partes más bonitas de todo el recorrido
Waterfall

Cascada Malí

Photo

Galovaki buk

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Picnic

Banco para descansar

On this bench that we met by chance we made a short stop
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Bus stop

Área de descanso - Cafetería - WC - Parada Bus St3

Here is one of the bus stops and a fairly large rest area. The path before arriving is simply wonderful.
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Panorama

Mirador

I have marked this point as a lookout point but further down the trail there are other even better panoramic views.
Ferry

Embarcadero P3

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Picnic

Área de descanso - Cafeteterías- WC - Fuente

The largest and busiest rest area in the entire park. There is even an ice cream parlor and a souvenir shop. It is impossible to access the restaurant if you do not arrive very early, but with a little patience you can find a place at the picnic tables to eat.
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Cave

Gruta

I mark it as a waypoint but we did not climb it, the access path was crowded.
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Panorama

Mirador

The access path to this viewpoint is somewhat steep, but from here you get the best perspective of the waterfall.
Waterfall

Gran cascada Veliki Slap

Incluyo una imagen del retrato que se puede lograr subiendo a la roca
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Panorama

Mirador

From here there are several viewpoints along the upper part of the canyon, but the entire trail has magnificent views.
Parking

Entrada 1 - Parking - Taquillas - Cafeterías - WC

Panorama

Mirador

Bus stop

Parada Bus St1 - Cafeterías - WC

Bus stop

Parada Bus St2

Waypoint

Fin

2 comments

  • Photo of conxibruixa

    conxibruixa Jul 26, 2021

    Fantástico, sólo le falta la zona de baño

  • Photo of Robustiano

    Robustiano Jul 29, 2021

    Está prohibido bañarse en Plitvice. Donde sí pudimos bañarnos junto a unas grandes cascadas fue en el parque de Krka, más al sur

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