The drive from Split to Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia is proof that the tiny country is part of the European Union. The roads are spectacular, better than you would see in the United States; no potholes here. The road trip will take you a few hours but there are places to stop along the way, to eat, browse, be a tourist.
Upon arrival to the park, be prepared to walk! The area is heavily visited and the parking areas are full. Most likely you will have to walk from one of the outer lots. But it is so worth it!
Plitvice is a series of natural, cascading bodies of water that due to their mineral content, display a light blue hue that any Caribbean beach would be proud of. The scenery goes on for quite a ways down the wandering canyon.
The visitors center is well done and one could spend an hour there learning about the natural formations they will soon see in the mountain hollow of the lakes. Then its off to see the sites!
There are a myriad of trails that wind down the mountainside and they are all well-maintained. If you take a map and stray away from the throngs of tourists, you can make your way to the outer edges of the park and enjoy solitary, spectacular views of the natural lakes cascading down into the valley, spilling into one body of water to another. The vegetation and wildlife are abundant and you wonder at the beauty of it all. It truly is a magnificent sight!
I especially enjoyed watching the fish spill from one lake to another. You wonder at the majesty of Mother Nature. I’ve been in the Caribbean a great deal and the color of the bodies of water, set against the deep, green, lush vegetation is simply striking. You can lose yourself in it all, hour after hour.
You should plan out an entire day for this adventure, possibly even staying at one of the local inns, of which there are plenty, to make for a leisurely drive back to the coast. I thoroughly enjoyed the day at Plitvice. Croatia has become one of my favorite destinations!