Plitvice Lakes National Park – Croatia

Plitvice Lakes National Park was one of the biggest highlights on my recent trip to Croatia. It is simply the most amazing aquatic ecosystem I have ever seen. The scale of the place, and the way that you can traverse this park leaves visitors with a memorable experience.

The park is some 295 square kilometers, and comprises some 16 lakes, all chained together by incredible terraces. There are countless waterfalls, limestone caves, and endless walking tracks. The lakes are all in pristine condition, and the blue green water is amazing.

View down on the amazing network of wooden paths which crisscross the park. Plitvice Lakes National Park, G7X with waterproof case.

The park is located a little inland in northern Croatia, near the border with Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is easy to get to, and there is a lot of parking for all types of vehicles. A day ticket at the park costs 55 – 180 Kuna depending on the season.

Location:

Official Website: http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/

When we were there, it was hard rain. In fact we thought about cancelling our visit, but decided to brave the elements. The rain meant that I had to abandon my 5D Mark III. Luckily I have a waterproof case form my smaller camera, a Canon G7X. It turned out to be a blessing, I could not have taken the images I did if I hadn’t had the waterproof case. The waterfalls were full due to the rain, and also the crowds were light.

Others braving the rain to experience this amazing place. Plitvice Lakes National Park, G7X w/ waterproof case.

One of the many waterfalls in the park, Plitvice Lakes National Park, G7X w/ waterproof case.

Advantage of using a waterproof case, I was able to get a unique partly submerged image from a single exposure. Plitvice Lakes National Park, G7X w/ waterproof case.

We followed one of the standard routes around the park, which included board walks, hiking tracks through forests, a boat ride and finally a bus back to where we started. All in all it took us most of the day. We did stop of lunch at one of the café locations in the park.

National park map. Credit: http://www.croatiatraveller.com

Tips for visiting:

  • The park is open all year round, but the famous colours of the water and forests is in Summer.
  • Allow a full day for visiting. Best to visit on your own, and not in a group as you would likely miss much of the park.
  • Arrive as early as possible to miss most of the crowds and to give yourself as much time as possible.
  • Plan for a lot of walking, bring water and snacks, as the cafes are few and far between.
  • Bring sturdy footwear, and also a raincoat. There is mud, splashes, flooded paths and mist from the waterfalls to contend with.
  • There is plenty of cheap accommodation in the nearby fruit plantations. We had a house for ourselves for 35 Euros per night.
  • It is possible to visit in winter when everything is frozen solid. I would like to try this!

Knocking umbrellas at Plitvice Lakes National Park, G7X w/ waterproof case. Tripod.

Photographing underwater shows the world beneath, Plitvice Lakes National Park, G7X w/ waterproof case.

Tips on photography at Plitvice Lakes National Park:

  • It is easy to capture amazing photos from one of the world’s most beautiful places.
  • Priority should go to protecting your equipment, as it will be exposed to the elements.
  • Bring a few lenses, polarizer, neutral density filters and a tripod.
  • Note that it might be impractical to use a tripod if there is a lot of people. You will block the path, and get shaky images from the vibration of people walking by.
  • If you have a waterproof case for your camera, bring it!
  • Use a polarizer to bring out the colour, and an ND filter to allow longer exposures and create motion.
  • Don’t drop your camera in the water…

 

Gallery

Here are my keepers from the day. Due to the conditions, I had to improvise a little, and use a point and shoot camera. All images taken with a Canon G7X and Canon waterproof housing.

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