One of Europe’s most magnificent and virtually unknown natural wonders is Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. It contains a series of beautiful lakes connected by lovely waterfalls. Most spectacular is the gorgeous greenish-blue color of the water itself. Well marked trails and ease of access make this the perfect spot to enjoy nature without needing to be super fit.
Where should you stay while visiting this location? I recommend Villa Lika. This cozy inn-like spot has its own restaurant and features two buildings containing sixteen rooms and suites. Parking is plentiful and the atmosphere is homey and relaxing; and the owners are young and helpful.
Our room was spacious, comfortable and colorful, and overlooked a charming garden in a lush valley.
When we arrived the weather conditions were not favorable — slightly rainy and overcast. We thought maybe it would clear up the next day and we could tackle the park at that time. We were advised not to wait, however, because they didn’t think the weather would improve. Our best chance to see the park with less rain than more was the very morning we arrived. They gave us a map and instructions on how best to utilize our time in the park. We were also given directions to a trail that would lead us right to the park from Villa Lika.
The trail was well marked and took us straight to one of the park entrances (you will know when the trail becomes pavement and you meet with other tourists walking in the same direction). The adult price is about to $32 USD (less than half that for students). Entrance to the park includes boat shuttles and mini-trams should you prefer to reduce what will still be a long day of walking.
The park is impressive and definitely a “must visit” destination. We were rather unlucky and bummed the weather wasn’t nicer, as outdoor activities are always more enjoyable when the sun is shining. Overcast as it was, the color of the water was a dull grey with only traces of the normally beautiful green-blue. The waterfalls were still wonderful and fabulous to see and photograph. 5FT Tip: The high number of tourists makes for difficult tripod photography due to vibrations on the wooden walking platforms. Allot extra time if this is important to you.
After a roughly six to eight hour day of walking, we made our way back to Villa Lika for food and rest. A pizzeria is down the road from Villa Lika should you want to eat away from their restaurant. Unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to eat at the restaurant, as when we wanted food they were not yet open. That doesn’t mean, however, we didn’t ogle over the menu!
That night, our bed was so comfortable that we overslept and missed breakfast the next morning! Had we awakened, we would have enjoyed a hearty breakfast of donuts, croissants, yogurt, cheese, ham, fruit, bread, and cereals.
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a sight not to be missed, and Villa Lika is the place to stay when visiting the park!
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**Special thanks to Villa Lika for kindly offering me a complimentary stay. As always, all opinions are my own.