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Visiting Plitivce National Park

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Firstly apologies if I'm repeating previous posts on this but trying to untangle the available information to make sure that we get the most out of our visit.

I've read that it is most rewarding to walk upstream, facing the falls. Does this mean that the walk is particularly steep or continuously rising? Is Entrance 1 or 2 upstream? Of the recommended paths described on the national park website, does anyone have a particular recommendation? We're happy to walk all day if needed but aren't particularly fast and would want to stop for photographs, lunch, etc. Are the times on the national park website reasonably accurate for that kind of pace?

Are there any shops locally to buy picnic food or should we stock up in Zadar?

For late May 2018, when should we be thinking of booking accommodation, bearing in mind that we won't have a car so will need to stay close to one of the entrances (or rely on some sort of lift). We were thinking of staying two nights so we don't have to rush off to catch the bus at the end of the day (to Zagreb). Is that a good idea? I assume half/full board is the best (only?) option with hotels?

Is there anything else that you think we should be aware of? We're really looking forward to visiting as it looks amazing.

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