To avoid the crowds in the high season, you should not go at peak times. By dividing your visit to the Plitvice lakes over 2 days with an overnight stay nearby. This way you visit the Plitvice Lakes National Park in the morning and afternoon at its best and avoid the crowds.
All year round the Plitvice lakes is open and it is visited by about 1.5 million people. The months of June, July and August are busiest, because then it is high season. In these months there are more than 10,000 visitors a day and there are really many. Due to this amount of visitors, it can get stuck in the crowd. While you want to enjoy the peace and great nature that the Plitvice lakes have to offer.
Not at all attractive, right?
But there is a way to enjoy the peace and nature (and to take beautiful photos).
Avoid the peak hours in high season
To enjoy the peace in the park, it is important to avoid peak hours. In summer, the Plitvice lakes are from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Most people arrive at the park between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM, making the queues at the checkouts long and busy. The beginning of the park, at the low part of the lakes, is also busy in these 3 hours.
Most visitors arrive at 1:00 PM and spread throughout the Plitvice lakes. And it stays busy everywhere until 3 p.m. After this, the first visitors go to the exit. And around 5 p.m. the organized day trips are over and buses with visitors leave, making things quieter in the park.
There is a way to have a restful and wonderful experience at the Plitvice lakes during the high season. The secret is that you go to the Plitvice lakes not 1, but 2 days. For this you will visit the park during the quiet moments. You do need a two-day ticket to need a two-day ticket for the park and you will visit during the quiet moments:
- Day 1: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
- Day 2: 07:00 AM to 10:00 AM
By visiting the park at the end of the afternoon on day 1, you have plenty of time to get to the Plitvice lakes.
For a two-day ticket you pay about 50 euros (350 Kuna). As a student (don't forget your student card) you pay 35 euros (250 Kuna). If you are between 7 and 18 years old, then pay a small 25 euros (170 Kuna) for a two-day ticket. A two-day ticket must be used on two consecutive days.
Day 1: 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Most people arrive at the Plitvice lakes in the morning, so there are no long lines at the park entrance in the afternoon. When you are inside, you will undoubtedly meet people in the beginning, but most of them walk towards the exit. And it gets a bit quieter in the park.
Make sure you use these quiet hours in the Plitvice lakes. Go on a boat trip or visit the Veliki Slap (large waterfall). To visit the Veliki you can use an existing one (route B or F, see here the routes) or a homemade route. You can also opt for the short route A.
You can also go to the park earlier than 5:00 PM, so you have extra time.
Day 2: 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Because you spend the night near the Plitvice lakes, you can also get there early. The park will just open and around this time, just like you, there will also be a few smart visitors. You then have almost the entire park to yourself. Now you can perfectly enjoy the peace and nature. The morning is also a fantastic time to take beautiful photos.
Sidenote: The boat and train will starts from 08:30.
If you are not such an early bird, you can also go there at 08:30. You can take the train directly to the High Lakes and start your route from there. This way you are ahead of the crowds.
By dividing the Plitvice lakes over 2 days, you will have a morning and afternoon. You can then use this time to relax at your accommodation or discover the area by bike / mountain bike or a walk. In this area you will find smaller waterfalls, where you can swim in the fresh mountain water (The Korana river or Slunjčica). Also visit Korana, Rastoke, Rastovača or Poljanak. These are nice villages near the Plitvice lakes.
Do you have any questions about the Plitvice lakes? Send your question via an email.