Plitvice Lakes, with its captivating cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes, is a must-visit destination in Croatia. However, the beauty of this national park can be fully appreciated in just a day or two. If you’re lucky enough to have a week to spare in the area, you’ll be pleased to know that there are numerous exciting options to explore the surrounding regions and make the most of your extended stay. Here are some fantastic ideas to enhance your Plitvice Lakes experience:
Željava underground airport: Just a short drive from Plitvice Lakes, you can visit the intriguing Željava Underground Airport, one of the largest and most secretive military airports in Europe. There is no entrance fee but we highly recommend taking a guided tour and explore the hidden tunnels and chambers, gaining insight into the area’s military history.
Bihać: Venture across the border to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and visit the picturesque town of Bihać. Stroll through its charming streets, enjoy the local cuisine, and explore cultural attractions such as the Fethija Mosque and Captain’s Tower.
Pazi Medo Zipline: For an adrenaline rush, head to the Pazi Medo Zipline near Plitvice Lakes. Soar over treetops and lush landscapes, offering a unique perspective of the region’s natural beauty as it is the longest zipline in Europe.
Gacka Valley: The serene Gacka Valley is a haven for nature enthusiasts. Enjoy leisurely walks along the Gacka River, known for its abundant trout, and explore the vibrant flora and fauna.
Rastoke: Located near Slunj, Rastoke is often referred to as the “Little Plitvice.” This enchanting village is known for its wooden watermills, charming houses, and picturesque waterfalls. Take a day to explore this hidden gem and appreciate its rustic beauty.
Ranches with animals: Experience the local culture by visiting ranches in the area. You can find ranches where you can interact with animals like deer and horses, providing a unique opportunity for animal lovers.
National Park North Velebit: Just a short drive from Plitvice Lakes, you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the North Velebit National Park. Explore its diverse landscapes, from dense forests to rocky peaks, and enjoy extensive hiking trails.
Nehaj: Visit the Nehaj Fortress in Senj, which has a rich history dating back to the 16th century. The fortress offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding region.
National Park Una: Cross into Bosnia and Herzegovina again to explore the stunning National Park Una. It is known for its emerald-green river, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife. Rafting and kayaking opportunities are great here.
Barać Caves and Speleon: Delve into the fascinating world of caves by visiting the Barać Caves. Take guided tours to explore the complex underground formations, and if you’re a speleology enthusiast, this is the place to be.
Adventure sports in Korana and Gacka: Take full advantage of the region’s fresh waters by engaging in exciting activities like quad riding, kayaking, or swimming in the Korana and Gacka rivers.
A week in the Plitvice Lakes region offers a multitude of experiences beyond the park itself. From exploring historical sites and natural wonders to engaging in adventurous activities and embracing the local culture, your extended stay promises to be a memorable and enriching journey. So, pack your bags and get ready for a week of exploration and adventure in this captivating part of Croatia.
PHOTO: Josip Durdov