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Plitvices tour or on our own?

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Aug 10th, 2016, 06:07 PM
  #1
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Plitvices tour or on our own?

A group of 6 of us will be in Croatia the week of August 15th. We will be using Zadar as a home base and take day trips to various points of interest. Plitvices is high on our list, although we realize it's high season. It's the first time to Croatia for all of us.

Would we be better off booking a tour in advance, or buying bus tickets and exploring on our own? We would only do it as a day trip. If we did on our own, we would still buy bus tickets in advance.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Aug 10th, 2016, 07:24 PM
  #2
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Are you completely committed to a day trip? if so, you might want to consider a tour -- not because you need it for the park -- you don't! The park is very easily visited on one's own. The problem, as I understand it, is that buses don't always stop in the Plitvice Lakes to pick people up.

The Plitvice Lakes National Park is, IMO, the single most un-missable of Croatia's many splendors. Not only are the lakes connected by travertine waterfall formations, 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), and by all means, start at the lowest part of the park so you are facing the falls as you proceed.

Given the time to visit and the time to get there and away, many people rent a car for the Plitvice Lakes -- go one day, spend the night, visit the next day, return the car within 24 hours. (Or go, visit, spend the night, return.)

You might consider the Krka National Park instead. I'm not saying that either substitutes for the other, but it is lovely and easier to reach from Zadar. I was surprised by the differences between these two parks: As already noted, the Plitvice Lakes are, indeed, multicolored lakes connected by gorgeous waterfalls. In contrast, Krka's most famous falls are along a river and the main set of falls are broader and contain more cascades (of varying heights and widths) than those of the Plitvice Lakes. You might do a google image search to see the differing images. One other difference that is worth noting: swimming is permitted in part of the pool at the base of the major waterfall at Krka NP; to the best of my knowledge, no swimming is permitted anywhere within the Plitvice Lakes NP.

The Krka National Park should be reasonably easily reached by public transportation (bus to Skradin, walk or boat to the park, or there may even be buses that go straight to the park).

Hope that helps!
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Aug 10th, 2016, 11:04 PM
  #3
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Thanks so much for the great info. We are somewhat committed to a day trip because we've already booked accommodations in Zadar to use as a home base.

Question: Do you know happen to know anything about hiring a driver with a minivan that could accommodate our group of 6? This would allow us the flexibility of a car without the worry of driving on unfamiliar roads or dealing with car rental companies.

Really appreciate any info or insight you can provide.
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Aug 10th, 2016, 11:46 PM
  #4
kja
 
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I'm sorry, I don't know. If no one else chimes in, you might ask for recommendations from your accommodation. And be sure it makes sense, even if you have already booked -- if you aren't familiar with the concept, google "sunk costs."
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