PLITVICE LAKES

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Sep 25th, 2016, 09:40 PM
  #1
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PLITVICE LAKES

hi guys!
What's the best route to see Plitvice lakes in a day? was thinking of arriving in the late afternoon. Will be spending a night there and explore it early in the morning again. Which of the routes is the best? Thinking a 4-6 hour hike would be sufficient?

Thanks!
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Sep 25th, 2016, 09:41 PM
  #2
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Oh just to clarify, will be there early oct
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Sep 25th, 2016, 10:06 PM
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We followed the suggestion Rick Steves makes in his book (can't quite remember the exact route at the moment) and were very satisfied with our time in the park. I think your time frame will work well.
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Sep 25th, 2016, 10:46 PM
  #4
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IMO, the best way to see the magnificent Plitvice Lakes is to make a single, long loop through the park -- something on the order of 6 hours or more (including time for the boat that connects the lower and upper lakes), and by all means, start at the lowest part of the park so you are facing the falls as you proceed.

If you have specific interests, or have time or functional limits, there are knowledgeable park personnel at each entrance who will help you plan a route that works for YOU.

IMO, Rick Steves' advice for the Plitvice Lakes (and Croatia in general) is decidedly poor, or at least the advice offered it the most recent edition when I visited the lakes was poor. Maybe he's improved his advice since? I used six different guidebooks for my time in Croatia, and found the RS book essentially useless. The best of the ones I consulted, for the country and the Plitvice Lakes, was -- by FAR -- the Rough Guide.

Hope that helps!
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Sep 26th, 2016, 03:50 AM
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I would hazard a guess that roughly half of walkers start at the bottom and walk up; the other half start at the top and walk down. There are advantages to each.

You will not be alone in early October, especially on a weekend. This is not a wilderness experience.

The boat takes you to a lovely glade where they serve delicious beer and sausages, and the toilets were immaculate, at least when we were there.

This is not a walk that I would undertake in wet weather owing to slippery rocks and tree roots in some areas. On a nice day, lovely.
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Sep 27th, 2016, 03:12 AM
  #6
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Thanks for the comments and advise! Would hiking the lower lake in the late afternoon and hiking the upper then next morning be a good idea?
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Sep 27th, 2016, 04:01 PM
  #7
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Separate walks through the upper and lower lakes would not be my preference. One of the things that makes the Plitvice Lakes National Park, IMO, is that the lakes are not only connected by travertine waterfall formations, but what's more, each lake has unique microbiota, and as a result, the lakes are different colors. The best way to see that is, IME, to make a single, long loop through the park -- something on the order of 6 hours or more (including time for the boat that connects the lower and upper lakes).
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Sep 27th, 2016, 04:03 PM
  #8
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P.S. If there is a chance of rain on the day you would do a single hike, spending at least some time in the park the day before might make sense. In that case, I'd personally opt to make sure I saw the lower lakes. YMMV. You can ask the park staff at the entrances.
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Sep 27th, 2016, 04:19 PM
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Yes, what kja wrote in the two posts aboveboard excellent.
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Sep 27th, 2016, 04:33 PM
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Like KTtravel, I used the Rick Steves Croatia and Slovenia book for Plitvice and found the book extremely helpful on all three of my visits to the region. I wish I had followed his advice on my first visit to Plitvice not to stop in Zagreb for two nights; he suggests arriving early in Zagreb, spend half a day exploring Zagreb, picking up a rental car, and getting to Plitvice late in the evening and get into the park first thing the next morning when it opens, to see it before the crowds arrive. Half a day in Zagreb would have been adequate for me.
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Sep 27th, 2016, 04:42 PM
  #11
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Different strokes for different folks!

I enjoyed Zagreb and was glad I spent 2.5 days there.

I'm not an early morning person, and so was very glad that I waited to enter the Plitvice Lakes National Park until just after 10 a.m., after all the tour groups had already entered -- that's another very easy way to avoid the crowds.

And of course renting a car if there is ANY chance that you might have jet lag is a really bad idea. Although many people are unaware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to oneself and others -- as driving drunk. And it doesn't seem that there is anything one can do to prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. (For example, caffeine doesn't prevent microsleeps.)
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Sep 27th, 2016, 05:18 PM
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I visited the lakes a few weeks ago and did the same thing you are thinking. Arrived in the early evening, had dinner & went to bed. Then in the morning we went to the park for around 6 hours. The crowds weren't bad, and sometimes we were the only people in sight. Other times there were plenty of people around but it didn't feel crowded in an uncomfortable way.

I absolutely think it is best to start low and go high. If you start high and go low you are always looking down at your next step. If you start low & go high then the scenery is in front of you and since you're stepping up you don't really need to look down, if that makes sense.

I personally would have been bored with a second day there. I'm glad we did it all at once.
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Sep 28th, 2016, 05:27 AM
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I usually start at entrance 1, walk along the path that affords views of the upper lakes, then head down towards them. Go over to Velaki (the big waterfall) then backtrack along the upper lakes to the boat stop (P3.) If the line is not long for the boat I take it to P2 and then walk all around the Lower lakes to the shuttle stop at the bottom, then take the shuttle back to entrance 2 (you can go back to 1, wherever you are parked.)

But it does not really matter which way you go, you could reverse and take the shuttle from the parking to the bottom of the park and do the above in reverse. The most important thing if you have the luxury of two days is to go to the park when the sun is out. Get a two day pass if you have to. It is not the same when the sun is not shining at least some of the time.
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Sep 28th, 2016, 04:40 PM
  #14
kja
 
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Oh, I'm very confused! The route rialtogrl makes perfect sense to me -- except I think she has inadvertently switched which are the upper and which the lower lakes. Check the map here:
http://www.find-croatia.com/plitvice/

I agree that it makes sense to go in Entrance 1, admire the absolutely stunning view over the *lower* lakes, step aside to see Velika Slap, then visit the *lower* lakes, making one's way to the boat stop at P3. After crossing the lake by boat, walk around the *upper* lakes before taking the shuttle back (through P2) to P1.
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Sep 28th, 2016, 06:57 PM
  #15
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Awesome! thanks for the tips everyone! cant wait to see sunset and sunrise at the lakes. looking forward to it already
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Sep 28th, 2016, 09:54 PM
  #16
 
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kja I did switch them... thanks for the correction.

You've got my normal plan down 100%
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