An hour drive from Klenovica, high across the mountain Kapela, you will find the first Croatian UNESCO National Park Plitvice Lakes. One of the globe’s leading travel authorities, Conde Nast Traveler, have included the lakes cascades in its selection of the 15 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World.
The Story of Plitvice Lakes
Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in the Republic of Croatia. The park is situated in the mountainous region of Croatia, between the Mala Kapela mountain range in the west and northwest, and the Lička Plješivica mountain range to the southeast.
With its exceptional natural beauty, this area has always attracted nature lovers, and already on 8 April 1949, it was proclaimed Croatia’s first national park. The process of tufa formation, which results in the building of the tufa, or travertine, barriers and resulted in the creation of the lakes, is the outstanding universal value, for which the Plitvice Lakes were internationally recognised on 26 October 1979 with their inscription onto the UNESCO World Heritage List. In 1997, the boundaries of the national park were expanded, and today it covers an area just under 300 km2.
The park is primarily covered in forest vegetation, with smaller areas under grasslands. The most attractive part of the park – the lakes – cover just under 1% of the total park area.
Watch the BBC Documentary to find out more about Plitvice Lakes
The lake system is comprised of 16 named and several smaller unnamed lakes, cascading one into the next. The twelve lakes forming the Upper Lakes are: Prošćansko jezero, Ciginovac, Okrugljak, Batinovac, Veliko jezero, Malo jezero, Vir, Galovac, Milino jezero, Gradinsko jezero, Burgeti and Kozjak. The Lower Lakes, consisting of the lakes Milanovac, Gavanovac, Kaluđerovac and Novakovića Brod, were formed in permeable limestone substrate, cut into a deep canyon with steep cliffs. The lakes end in the impressive waterfalls Sastavci, with the Korana River springing under the base of the falls.
The Plitvice Lakes National Park offers visitors seven different routes to tour the lake system, and four hiking trails. The park is open to visitors year round. All visitors should follow the instructions listed on the information panels, to keep on the marked trails, and to leave no traces of their visit.
National park Plitvice Lakes is considered one of the most beautiful national parks in the world. Plitvice Lakes make wonderful blend of oak forests, meadows, rocks and lakes. You can explore them by walking along the lakes, by electric train or electric boat.
Plitivice Lakes & Its Underground habitats
The Plitvice Lakes National Park area is part of the Dinarides karst region, one of the most impressive karst landscapes in the world, marked by specific geological, geomorphological and hydrological properties.
How to Plitvice Lakes from Klenovica
We suggest you leave after breakfast (the traffic during summer can be a bit hectic). Although most of it flows in the opposite direction towards the Dalmatian south. Once you leave Klenovica, head right in the direction Senj, a medieval town sure worth a visit (15 min from Klenovica). Take an hour to explore the streets of Old Town and its harbor. Afterwards, continue up north and climb up the mountain Vratnik. Once you’ve ascended you’re half way there! Take in the beautiful forest scenery and follow the signs leading you to the National Park Plitvice Lakes (Plitvička Jezera).