The breath-taking beauty of the Plitvice Lakes National Park in Central Croatia attracts thousands of visitors year after year. Lying between Zagreb and Zadar, the 16 stunning lakes linked by powerful cascading waterfalls and impressive caves are a UNESCO world heritage site, ensuring its continued preservation. The beauty and tranquillity of the 300 square kilometres area has to be seen to be believed.

Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes
Walkway over cascades and waterfalls
Walkway over cascades and waterfalls

The Plitvice National Park consists of a dense beech forest surrounded by upper lakes in the Dolomite Valley and the smaller, shallower lower lakes. Visitors can walk for 18km across the calm, clear waters and exhilarating cascades and waterfalls, using attractive wooden footbridges. Boat rides, walking trails and a tourist train allows all visitors to observe and enjoy the tranquillity and incredible colour changes as the lakes change from azure, emerald, turquoise and deep blue. The lakes are fed by water from two small rivers and underground springs and are separated by natural and ever changing travertine dams built up by characteristic formations, formed by years of algae, moss and calciferous travertine rock. There are magnificent waterfalls including the 70 metre tall Veliki Slap, the park's largest fall.

Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes

The Park is separated from the coast by 120km of beautiful scenic route, it offers a refreshing change from the hot coastal temperatures in summer. This does make July and August Plitvice's busiest months but the Park does not lose its charm nor sense of tranquillity during this time. The Park is also wonderful in spring and when the trees transform in autumn. Many say that it is worth visiting the Plitvice Lakes during each changing season to marvel at the changes in colour and light. Winters are magical and you are just a 15 minute drive away from skiing.

For nature lovers, Plitvice is the place to go for flourishing, unspoilt animal and plant life. It is the perfect place to visit for glimpses of bears and wolves as well as sightings of deer, boar, foxes, badgers and 50 different species of butterfly that populate the surrounding forest. For bird lovers over 120 different species of bird can be found here including hawks and kingfishers and the rarer osprey and black stork.

The National Park is situated just between Zagreb and Zadar with buses to Plitvice from both as well as from Split. It is recommended that visitors drive and stay in a villa close to the Park. Visiting the Plitvice Lakes makes a wonderful day out but at least a 3 night stay is desirable to fully make the most of all that the lakes have to offer.

There are also many other activities on offer in the area including:

  • White water rafting
  • Cycle routes
  • Paintballing
  • Quad biking
  • Archery
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Nordic Walking
  • Horse riding

Other places of interest in the region are the Rastoke Water Mill village and Cetin Old Town and Castle.

Rastoke Water Mill village
Rastoke Water Mill village
Rastoke village
Rastoke village

Plitvice National Park is 1 hour 15 minutes drive from the closest coastal resorts.

Closest airports:

  • Zadar, 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Zagreb, 2 hours 5 minutes
  • Rijeka, 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Split, 2 hours 25 minutes


Roman ruins and modern innovations in Zadar.

Zadar is the principal city in the region and a busy and lively Mediterranean coastal town with charming narrow streets and alleyways bustling with shops, cafes and restaurants.

Located on a peninsula surrounded by the gleaming Adriatic, it was once a Roman colony. Its main square, the Forum is an outdoor museum of Roman ruins. Historic sites include the city gates and fortress and in particular, the Byzanthium-influenced Cathedral of St Donat originating from the 9th Century is the finest example of Croatian architecture of the old Croatian period. The city has 30 churches all rich in architecture and art and worth visiting. Had it not been for the 72 bombing raids during WWII, the city would have historic architecture to rival Dubrovnik. Still, we're lucky it survives at all as post-war planners wanted to knock it all down. Sense prevailed and instead a brave new 'utopian' city was born incorporating 3000 years of Roman, Venetian and Slavic history.

Aside from historic architecture, the city features two contemporary art installations by local architect Nikola Bašić – the singing sea organ, a series of 35 underwater pipes that whistle as the waves wash through them, and the Sun Salutation, a solar-powered lighting installation.

Night Life

Zadar has a very lively night life with many restaurants, clubs and bars. It is the centre for music parties, and world famous DJs are frequent guests throughout the year. For lovers of classical music there are many concerts too. Famous music festivals take place in Petrcane Village just outside Zadar, "the New Ibiza", epicentre of cutting edge music. For those who enjoy classical music, Musical Evenings at St Donat Cathedral provide classical concerts in magical surroundings (Ticket office, telephone: +385 (0)23 314 552 or +385 (0)23 314 552).

Church of St Donat
Church of St Donat

Getting there

Zadar has its own airport with direct flights from the UK and many European cities and is less than three hours' drive from Zagreb's international airport. Zadar has a regular ferry service connecting it to Ancona in Italy and local ferries link it to the islands of the Zadar Archipelago.

Our Villas in Plitvice Lakes

Little Lake Boutique Hotel
Little Lake Boutique Hotel Traditional rustic stone and wood farmhouses operating as a boutique hotel just 20 metres from the boundary of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Swimming pool, garden, sauna house, WiFi, parking, restaurant exclusive to staying guests. Breakfast included.
Villa Lakeland Orchard
Villa Lakeland Orchard Two charming cottages, each with two bedrooms and one shower room, TV, parking, organic gardens. Plitvice Lakes 12km Sleeps 5 in each cottage.
Villa Lakeland Belle
Villa Lakeland Belle A two bedroom, two bathroom, countryside villa, 3 acres private woodland garden, completely charming, BBQ, WiFi, 25km from Plitvice Lakes, 1.5h drive from the coast.
Villa Lakeland Rest
Villa Lakeland Rest An air-conditioned, modern mountain lodge, with five large studio/apartment rooms which can be rented individually or as a whole. TV, WiFi, terrace, parking.

MasterCard, Maestro and Visa cards accepted