The Plitvice Lakes National Park is nature's masterpiece. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, and a nature photographer's paradise. The park contains 16 lakes and more than 200 waterfalls that cascade down from the mountains into these crystal clear lakes. Your pictures will turn out beautifully as you capture this unique natural landscape with all its lakes and countless waterfalls in front of your lens. Check out my blog post for tips on how to visit Croatia's mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park!
Plitvice Lakes National Park was declared Croatia’s (Yugoslavia at that time) first national park in 1949 and it became Croatia's first UNESCO-recognised natural landmark on 27 July 1979. The plitvice lakes are an extraordinary example of the effects of tectonic plate movement: water has created one of Earth’s most beautiful landscapes with its 16 different lakes and more than 200 spectacular waterfalls that cascade down from the mountains into these crystal clear lakes making for some stunning photographs!
The Plitvice treks can be traversed all year round but keep in mind that winter months will require proper walking gear as well as warm clothes because it can be quite chilly and slippery. The Plitvice lakes suffer from heavy tourism during the summer months with a very large number of people that visit these beautiful natural waterfalls and stunning scenery, so it is best to avoid visiting Croatia's mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park in the summer if you want some peace and tranquility! A visit in the summer can still be worthwhile, because at this time is the season of fireflies which can be observed in the surrounding forests and of course also photographed. These pictures always give a fairy tale-like feel.
The Plitvice treks are one way hikes but there are several trails within the park which offer opportunities for those who prefer walking shorter distances or have children strolling alongside them.
When should I go to the Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Visit in the off season to avoid crowds and take your time getting lost among nature's beauty. The best times for nature photography are early morning (from sunrise) or late afternoon when the light is soft.
Which season is the most beautiful in Plitvice Lakes National Park?
The nature photographer in you will like any season, but the most beautiful time to visit is Spring with its fresh green leaves and blooming flowers surrounding the lakes as well as Fall with the changing leaves all around. During the autumn season there is often fog what can make for a beautiful photo opportunity. For those who prefer it a little colder and to whom snow and ice is not a problem, winter in the Plitvice Lakes National Park can be a fantastic time to visit with the nature covered in snow and ice.
How do you avoid getting caught up in big tour groups in the Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Avoid the big tourist rush by visiting outside of high season. Early morning and late afternoon are two quiet times to visit, when nature photography is at its best. The most beautiful time for nature photographing in Croatia's mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park is Spring with fresh green leaves and blooming flowers surrounding the lakes as well as Fall with changing leaves all around.
Is it worth to stay several days in Plitvice Lakes National Park?
For nature photographers, the answer is yes. For others who are not nature lovers or for those in need of some rest after a long trip to Croatia's mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park, one day will suffice as well.
If you plan several days in the National Park, you have the big advantage that you can plan your photo shoots at times when the big tourist rush is not yet in the park.
Tips & Tricks of nature photography at Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Take your time and don't rush into taking shots. The best photographs come from being there and experiencing nature, not just photographing it like a tourist attraction. Be present in the moment to capture its beauty!
Bring plenty of storage space so you can take as many photos as possible without worrying about running out of memory on your camera's card!
Keep your camera gear dry. Pack rain and water resistant equipment to avoid damaging expensive lenses or cameras when it rains unexpectedly.
What is in the surroundings of Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in a beautiful forest near the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The nature park is a UNESCO world heritage site, and it's home to more than 200 waterfalls that cascade down from the mountains into these 16 lakes.
Where is the best place to stay in Plitvice Lakes National Park?
There are a couple of options for accommodations when visiting the nature park, from camping to hotels. The best place to stay is at the small Bed and Breakfast Lake Fairy Plitvice. The charming bed and breakfast is located in the middle of the park in the village of Plitvice Selo and is surrounded by a beautiful forest. You can start from here all recreational activities in and around the park.
What should I bring to Plitvice Lakes National Park?
Bring a camera and plenty of storage space to take as many photographs without worrying about memory. Pack rain and water resistant equipment so you can keep your expensive gear dry when it rains unexpectedly, or if you want to spend several days in the Plitvice Lakes National Park.
The best lenses are a standard zoom lens and a telephoto lens for the more distant photo subjects. It is also worth using a wide-angle lens to capture the beauty of the landscape.
Bring a good tripod to stabilize your camera when taking long exposure shots. A polarizing filter can also be helpful for reducing reflections in water and foliage, giving photos more depth. More about the use of polarizers and filters in general will be available soon in a separate blog post.
You should also pack some food for picnics at any one of the lakes which are ideal spots for lunch breaks between photo shoots. For those who like cold weather, bring warm clothes so that you don't freeze while taking pictures during winter time!
What about the weather in Plitvice Lakes National Park?
The temperatures here in Plitvice Lakes National Park can vary greatly depending on the season. During the summer it can be extremely warm, but in the winter season it can be quite cold. You should always pack warm clothes if you plan on visiting in the winter as well! Autumn is very changeable. It can be warm and suddenly have a cold snap, so it's always better to be prepared for all weather conditions.
Do you feel like visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park?
If you want to visit this wonderful National Park yourself and capture it photographically, you might be interested in my workshop "Fairytales from the Lakes" in summer 2022! The trip for 2023 is already being planned.
For more information about it, just visit the photo tour information page on my website.
You can find the info here: Fairytales from the Lakes - Landscape Photography Workshop Tour
I hope you enjoyed my blog post on how to visit Croatia's mesmerizing Plitvice Lakes National Park. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comment section below!