Plitvice lakes - a natural phenomenon is a jewel of inestimable value. Between Mala kapela and Plješivica, in the area where the river Korana has its source, there are 16 large and a lot of small lakes which are connected by small, medium and large waterfalls after which the river Korana continues its journey to Karlovac.
Due to the natural beauty of the waterfalls, cascades, caves and rocks, which offer a beautiful mosaic of colours, sounds and shapes surrounded by high mountain forest terrain, Plitvice lakes and its surroundings were in 1949 declared a National Park, and since 1979 have been under the UNESCO protection. This largest and oldest national park only has electric trains and boats that transport its visitors to various destinations, after which tourists can continue their sightseeing by walking on the narrow paths and trails, crossing wooden bridges that are just above the water surface.
The park is open year round, and is most pleasant to visit during the summer months, but the winter months also leave visitors breath taken when they see the frozen waterfalls. If you choose to spend a few days within the National Park there are several hotels and national restaurants, and accommodation is possible in family homes in the area.
This is Croatia’s best known national park and the only one of eight that is listed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. The main attractions of this park, unique in the world, are the 16 small lakes joined by waterfalls created by the sedimentation of travertine, a special type of limestone. This national park encompasses the source of the river Korana, located in the area surrounded by dense forests of beech, fir and spruce. There are also several caves in the park, as well as springs and flowering meadows. The brown bear stands out as one of many protected animal species. The popularity of this park is also boosted by the special means of transport used to ferry visitors around: the panoramic electric trains and the noiseless electro-powered boats. It is impossible to say whether the park is more beautiful in the spring, when the flowers in its meadows are in full bloom and when the trees have turned green again, or when the riot of autumn colours is reflected in the waters of the lakes, or indeed during the winter calm, when ice petrifies the waterfalls and when the surrounding trees are heavily laden with snow. By a network of paths, visitors can get around and access the numerous waterfalls and the rocky lake shores easily.
The beauty of Plitvice and its unsurpassable attractiveness are a result of gypsum and gypsum-depositing plants. Creation of gypsum and rearrangement of the river bed created a string of 16 Plitvice Lakes representing a magnificent natural architectural phenomenon, surrounded by thick forests inhabited by bears, wolves and many other rare animal and plant species.