Plitvice Lakes | all our tips for discovering this National Park

Plitvice Lakes | all our tips for discovering this National Park

Along with Dubrovnik, Plitvice is one of Croatia’s most visited places. A Unesco World Heritage site, it is certainly the most beautiful natural phenomenon in Croatia and one of the most beautiful in Europe.


The Plitvice Lakes were our second stop on our 7-day trip to the Gulf of Kvarner, after visiting the very pretty town of Zagreb. Discover all our articles on this superb region:


Plitvice, famous for its waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes planted in the middle of the Dinarides forest. This popular park offers magnificent views, which you can discover by walking one or more of the 8 trails that dot the park.


How can we explain this natural phenomenon? These landscapes are the result of a geological phenomenon. The conditions of limestone content, water PH and microorganism content favor the development of algae (moss), which sediment over time, creating so-called travertins. These create natural dams and thus the reservoirs that are lakes and cascades… And all to our great delight.

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary
photo credit partirou



There are a total of 8 courses: those specific to the upper lakes, those specific to the lower lakes and those common to both. Log paths are built to get from one side to the other. You can find descriptions of these routes on the official national park Plitvice. Here are a few ideas for routes, including some we’ve taken. It’s difficult to suggest the itinerary best suited to your desires, so ask yourself the right question: what are my goals? my constraints? How much time do I have on site? Do we want to go for a long or short hike… ?

The park is accessible to all and can be visited in a variety of ways: either on foot, by boat, by small rental boat or by small train. If you’re not an expert hiker, don’t worry, the trails are very well marked and laid out in different routes requiring from 2h to 8h of walking. These are walks around 16 crystal-clear lakes and 92 waterfalls of varying sizes over a 133-meter vertical drop. It’s hard to imagine that bears, lynxes and wolves roam freely in this park. However, as the trails are very well marked, this reduces the possibility of observing wildlife. You may see colorful dragonflies, fish in the lakes, pretty plants on the shores of the lakes, reeds….

A full day is not enough to see the whole park, especially if you want to take your time. We advise you to arrive as soon as it opens, so you can take a few well-earned breaks during the day. If you’re in a hurry, you can do as we did and hire a private guide (for 1300Kn, approx. 175€ for a 6h tour or 900Kn approx. 122€ for a 4h tour), or a small group for 50€ (entrance fee included). This will allow you to discover the park’s best attractions and most beautiful views, to avoid wasting time, to cut the queues at the ticket office, and to have priority access not only to the trails but also to the boats and trains.

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary



• Duration: 2 – 3 hours
• Distance: 3,500 m
It starts at the northern entrance to the Park (Entrance 1). As part of a circular tour, this program will enable you to discover “Veliki slap” (the 78-meter-high Great Waterfall), the largest waterfall in Plitvice Lakes and Croatia. This is the park’s star attraction, so it’s best to get there before 10am (we were there when it opened) to avoid the crowds and enjoy the panoramic views. The rest of the walk is downhill, so it’s easy to get to.


Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary | map
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• Duration: 2 – 3 hours
• Distance: 5,100 m
It starts at the Park’s southern entrance (Entrance 2). The tour is circular and covers the entire « Gornja jezera » (the Upper Lakes). The program includes a boat trip across the lake « Kozjak » followed by a walk upstream to the lake « Lake Prošćansko ». Return to the starting point by panoramic train. Contemplate the idyllic beauty of the peaceful and quiet upper lakes, their wooded shores and attractive waterfalls.”Veliki prštavci ” and ” Mali prštavci ” and a host of other downfalls.


Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary | map
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• Duration: 4 – 6 hours
• Distance: 8900 m

A complete and interesting program, according to the guide, because in just a few hours you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of the park’s lake district in its entirety. After a short hike, you’ll continue your visit with a scenic train ride. The tour continues with a hike along the Upper Lakes, an electric boat ride on Lake Kozjak, then a hike through the Lower Lakes Gorge which takes you to the Great Falls, and finally the hike along the top of the gorge on its eastern side and again the scenic train ride.


Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary | map
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• Duration: 6 – 8 hours
• Distance: 18,300 m
You can either start your tour at the north entrance (Entrance 1), which allows you to discover all the lakes in the Park as you stroll along. The program includes a visit to « The Great Waterfall » (the Grande Cascade), a walk through the canyon of « Donja jezera » (the Lower Lakes) and along the western shore of the lake « Kozjak », then along a path on the heights of « Stubica », from which « Tomić looked » offers the most beautiful view of « Ciginovac » and the immensity of the « Lake Prošćansko ». On the way back, you can enjoy a stroll along the « Gornja jezera » (the Upper Lakes) and the eastern shore of the lake « Kozjak », accessible by a short boat trip. The program continues with a walk along the eastern part of the “Donja jezera ” (the Lower Lakes) to the starting point of Entrance 1.

Either start at the south entrance (entrance 2) and follow the route in the opposite direction


Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary | map
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For sporty types and those who want to avoid long waits, we recommend discovering the best views of the Plitvice Lakes on this guided mountain bike tour of the national park. It’s quite unique and totally different, you’ll take great photos and you’ll surely be alone in the world!

➡️ Check availability and book your ATV online



We only had an afternoon and a morning to discover this place. We followed the trails in the opposite direction, starting from the high point of the upper lakes. To get there, take one of the small trains linking the site from the lowest to the highest point of the lakes. We then walked back down to the boat crossing point to reach the other side of the river below 3* Jezero hotel. At 3pm, we took time to have lunch outside the park before returning to see the lower part of the lakes at the end of the day when the buses bring back the streams of tourists. A word of advice: always be a step ahead of the groups! It was a strategy that paid off, giving us peace of mind for this visit and saving us a very long wait for the boat crossings. (more than 1h30 in line!). We followed the advice of the guide who suggested we do the big waterfall in the morning because the light is more beautiful (the sun gives a pretty blue color to the lakes) and I can confirm this having seen both.


Croatie | plitvice | parc national | conseils | voyage | mademoiselle-voyage | itinéraire

Croatie | plitvice | parc national | conseils | voyage | mademoiselle-voyage | itinéraire

Croatie | plitvice | parc national | conseils | voyage | mademoiselle-voyage | itinéraire




  • Tyrolienne

Si vous êtes de passage par ici entre avril et octobre et que vous aimez les tyroliennes, vous trouverez votre bonheur à 5 minutes des Lacs de Plitvice. En effet, ce parcours de tyrolienne est situé à 5 minutes du parc national des lacs de Plitvice dans la région de Lika en Croatie. Vous commencerez par un briefing de sécurité rapide et marcherez jusqu’à la plate-forme de lancement sur la colline qui surplombe Plitvice, Sjeverni Velebit et la rivière Gacka. Une fois que vous avez été équipés avec l’équipement de sécurité, vous serez suspendus à 80 m au-dessus du sol. Parcourez un parcours de 2 km en tyrolienne à travers la cime des arbres, avec une vitesse maximale de 120 km/h! Gardez les yeux ouverts (si vous le pouvez) pour avoir la chance de voir certains des animaux de montagne les plus vénérés d’Europe comme les loups, les lynx, les oiseaux de proie et même les ours bruns.

➡️ Vérifier les disponibilités et réserver la tyrolienne en ligne


  • Rafting

Je vous propose d’explorer cette fois-ci la nature sauvage de la rivière Mreznica en dévalant 26 cascades spectaculaires entre des falaises rocheuses escarpées dans ce rafting de 5 heures rempli d’adrénaline!

➡️ Vérifier les disponibilités et réserver le rafting en ligne


  • Kayak

Cette activité combine Kayak et saut dans les chutes ! Dans le canyon, une forêt dense couvre la zone, entourée de falaises où vous ne pouvez atteindre les chutes d’eau qu’en kayak. Vous pourrez également sauter des chutes d’eau de 1 à 8 mètres. Sensations assurées !

➡️ Vérifier les disponibilités et réserver le kayak en ligne


  • Parapente

Coup de 🖤 pour cette activité! Appréciez les lacs et les cascades du parc national le plus populaire de Croatie sur ce vol en parapente tandem au-dessus des lacs de Plitvice. La vue doit être unique!

➡️ Vérifier les disponibilités et réservez le tandem en ligne




Arrive the day before and spend at least one night in the vicinity of the park. A number of hotels are located at entrance 2, including 3* Jezero hotel. The main reason we suggest this hotel is its location in the heart of the site. The hotel is totally lacking in charm, but it does allow you to get to the park very early, from the 8am opening, and find yourself virtually alone. This will leave you plenty of time to take beautiful photos with the morning colors. If you’re staying in one of these 2 to 5-star hotels (Bellevue, Jezero, Plitvice, Grabovac), you can extend your day ticket at your hotel reception. You must have it stamped at the reception desk – it’s very important! We recommend that you ask for a room with a mountain view, as it’s well worth it.

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary | accommodation


  • Il existe également quelques campings peu onéreux dans la région, comme le camping “Korana” (7km du parc) et le camping “Borje” (15km du parc). Prix à partir de 5€ la nuit.


  • Aux environs de Plitvice, vous trouverez facilement et quasiment partout, des maisons d’hôtes et des chambres chez l’habitant (Sobe). Prenez celles qui sont classées et conformes aux règles. J’avais entendu parler de la pension Mrzlin Grad à 10 km du Parc, tenue par un couple Branko et Sonija, mais ils étaient complets en haute saison. Comptez environ 50€ la nuit dans une ferme authentique qui ne travaille que les produits frais et locaux.


➡️  Si vous recherchez un hébergement autour des Lacs de Plitvice , vous pouvez toujours trouver votre bonheur ici


  • Bus

Departure possible in bus by leaving early the day before, around 8:30 am. Take a look at Flixbus connections from Zadar or Zagreb, or even other cities. Prices are fairly competitive and times are convenient, as you can arrive around 10am. Book in advance during high season!


  • Voiture

Plitvice Park is just a short drive away:

✖️ Zagreb → 2h -2h30 drive (approx. 135km)

✖️ Zadar → 2h -2h30 drive (approx. 135 km) .

✖️ Senj → Plitvice: 105 km or approx. 1h30

✖️ Rijeka → Plitvice: 175 km, approx. 2 hrs 30 mins

✖️ Split → Plitvice: 250km or 3h to 4h30

✖️ From Zagreb, you have to pay a toll of €2.59, national roads are limited to 70-90km/h, freeways to 130km/h and Croatian roads are of good quality

  • Du côté de Plitvice, la cuisine est plutôt bonne avec des plats à base de viandes mais aussi de poissons d’eau douce comme la truite. Ils sont accompagnés de polenta, de légumes grillés, de salades de chou et de pommes de terre. Vous trouverez pas mal de choses grillées comme les calamars


  • « Lička kuća » est un restaurant construit dans un grand chalet de montagne tout en bois. Vous y goûterez une cuisine régionale à base de viandes ou de poissons telle que la truite. Une bonne adresse faisant face à la porte d’entrée du parc.

Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary | restaurant

Picnics are still the best value for money. There are few benches along the lakes. It is forbidden to sit on the gangways, as this is still dangerous. You’ll find large picnic areas and wooden bars selling drinks and a few sandwiches or ice creams where you take the boat or at the junction of two circuits.

Just 4 km from the Park is a renowned restaurant, the Degenija, in a hotel offering traditional Croatian dishes, as well as international cuisine. Freshly caught trout is the restaurant’s specialty.

  • Il est préférable de visiter le parc sous un beau soleil pour y voir les différentes teintes de l’eau car par temps de pluie,
    ce bleu turquoise ressort beaucoup moins et les rondins et pontons de bois sont très glissants.


  • Évitez les mois de juillet et août car ce sont les mois les plus chauds et les plus secs. Le parc est bondé de monde!


  • Entre Mai et octobre c’est idéal!


  • Nous y étions pour le pont de Mai donc oui il y avait du monde mais le climat était parfait.


  • En octobre le parc est prisé pour ses belles couleurs flamboyantes qui se reflètent dans les eaux du parc.


  • En hiver, dès novembre, il peut faire froid mais dès que les premières neiges tombent, cela doit être magnifique même si les températures peuvent être glaciales! Attention aux rondins de bois verglacé!


Croatia | plitvice | national park | travel tips | mademoiselle-voyage | itinerary
Photo by guido.menato on / CC BY-NC


Practical information


Winter: 9am – 4pm Spring and Autumn: 8am – 6pm Summer: 7am – 8pm


  • RATES:

The entrance ticket price includes transportation by electric boat and panoramic train as part of the chosen tour program, visitor insurance and value-added tax. (prices to be checked as they are not up to date)

Low season from 01/01 to 31/03 and from 01/11 to 31/12 /High season from 01/04 to 30/06 and from 01/09 to 31/10

  • Children (under 7) -> free of charge
  • Children (ages 7 to 18) -> 35kn in low season and 80kn in high season
  • Adults -> 55kn in low season and 150kn in high season (7€ à 20€)
  • Students -> 45kn in low season and 100kn in high season

A 2-day pass is also available

  • Children (ages 7 to 18) -> 55kn in low season and up to 200kn in high season
  • Adults -> 90kn in low season up to 400kn in high season
  • Students -> 70kn in low season up to 300kn in high season




  • dogs are allowed but must be kept on a leash throughout their presence in the park (including on boats and in panoramic trains)
  • Request for authorization to film in the park
  • Drones are banned
  • It’s forbidden to pick plants, bathe, fish or touch any animals you come across
  • Park not recommended for people with reduced mobility or the strollers as it features steps, stairs without handrails, sometimes narrow, as well as ascents of varying steepness.
  • In July and August, Croatia is very popular, with traffic jams are plentiful so expect traffic.
  • Don’t forget to book your hotels for the high season and Easter vacations.
  • Backcountry camping is forbidden in Croatia
  • At 10 a.m., the park is already crowded and the line at the ticket office gets longer…
  • Inform yourself in advance of weather conditions as the climate is changeable so some trails may be temporarily closed and car traffic stopped.
  • There are a few guides in the park who speak French



Don’t forget travel insurance!

Avant de partir, assurez-vous d’avoir souscrit à une assurance voyage pour éviter tous les désagréments qui pourraient vous arriver ! Si vous avez pour projet de voyager sur un court séjour, un voyage à longue durée ou même un Tour du monde, une assurance voyage vous permet de bénéficier de certaines garanties essentielles pour passer un séjour en toute sérénité: annulation, bagages, assistance, frais médicaux, hospitalisation, décès, rapatriement et toutes ces galères que vous pourriez éviter. Opter aussi pour l’assurance annulation en cas de Covid et fermetures des frontières. Plus d’infos dans notre article dédié pour vous aider à trouver la meilleur assurance et sur le site de Chapka, notre partenaire de voyage depuis notre Tour du Monde


Ne partez pas sans avoir lu nos autres articles sur la Croatie avec la découverte du Golfe de Kvarner, une région peu connue des voyageurs mais qui mérite beaucoup  d’attention.

Pour toute demande de devis et un voyage sur mesure pour découvrir de manière authentique la Croatie , contactez moi par email à Je vous invite à lire la rubrique voyage sur mesure où je vous présente mon activité d’agence de voyage agrée.

Avant de partir, découvrez tous nos articles sur cette superbe région:



N’oubliez pas d’épingler l’article sur Pinterest pour le retrouver plus facilement 🖤


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