Afternoon Visit to the Upper Lakes, Plitvice Nat’l Park, Croatia

Plitvice is one of the most visited sights in Croatia. Numerous paths wind past enchanting waterfalls; it’s no wonder the park packs in the crowds, busloads of them. With a little planning, however, it is possible to find a peaceful moment or get a great shot.

We visited the upper lakes late in the day we arrived, returning the next morning to explore the lower lakes. This post focuses on the upper lakes followed by a second post that presents the lower lakes and a third that will discuss logistics and other tips.

When we headed out at 4:30PM there was a chance of rain and thunderstorms predicted for the rest of the day and the following afternoon. It started to rain just as we were getting off the boat that crosses the lake from P1 to P2. Boats run every 10 minutes on this short 5-7 minute route. Last boat returns at 8pm.

We waited for the rain to subside before starting the trail to the other lakes and waterfalls. There were some people heading in our direction but mostly people were heading out of the park. When we caught one of the last boats at 7:45 we were the only ones on it.

Once the rain had finally cleared, at this late hour in mid-June the light was soft and there were very few people left in the park. If you are interested in photography or solitude this is an excellent time to experience the falls.

I spent most of my time photographing between the boat ramp and the Mali Prstavac Fall along the path on the north side of the lakes which is the left side of the Rick Steves map. The south side of this loop offers less of interest.

Note that if you are using a tripod the boardwalks jiggle when other tourists pass by, meaning the park needs to be pretty empty for you to keep the tripod still. I wasn’t traveling with a tripod but had pretty good success with a gorilla pod, either placing it on the boardwalk or on the railing.

June 10, 2016

For links to all the posts in this series see the Croatia/Slovenia page.

8 thoughts

  1. I was there a few years ago and loved the park. It was so incredibly scenic and peaceful. Thanks for bringing lovely memories back with your post and pictures.

    1. Hi Hali, We were there early June and yes it got quite crowded. Hopefully you have your own transportation so you can go early or late in the day.

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