Settled in the Dinara rocks, where Mt. Mala Kapela meets Mt. Lička Plješevica, right next to the road connecting Zagreb to Dalmatia, Plitvice Lakes represent unique natural phenomenon. Widely famous by its beauty, and especially attractive to all kinds of tourists, Plitvice Lakes have deserved the National Park title. First descriptions and exact maps of Plitvice Lakes are barely 200 years old. First “traveller’s house” was built by border guards in 1862, and in 1896 first 28 room hotel was built. Beginning of 19th century admits the first scientists to Plitvice Lakes. In the year 1914 they initiated the process of registering Plitvice Lakes as a National Park. At first, patriotism and love toward esthetics were the motives for its protection, but appreciation toward Plitvice grew stronger in period between two wars. In 1928 they were declared a national park, but that law needed to be renewed, which hasn’t been done up until the year of 1949, when Plitvice gained permanent status of a national park. In 1979 UNESCO joined Plitvice to the World natural herritage list.
Plitvice Lakes are spread throughout 29 482 hectars, three quarters of which are woods. The rest quarter are water and inhabitated grassland. Tall woods in some areas turns to rainforests, which is an advantage for development of enriched flora and fauna. Hidden in forested and rocky landscape, sixteen beautifull, blue and green lakes are threaded one beneath the other. They are binded by sparkling cascades and roaring waterfalls, and filled with water from numerous rivers and streams. Most famous and biggest are Lake Kozjak and Lake Prošćansko.
Deers, wild boars, foxes, badgers, otters, bears and wolves are only a few of more than 50 kinds of mammals. It has been established that there is at least 126 types of birds that are constantly nesting in Plitvice Lakes area. Woods in Plitvice Lakes National Park are among most preserved ones in Europe. Most common are woods of beech tree, fir-tree, juniper and white pine tree. The most preserved natural complex, Čorkova uvala, is situated in northwest part of the National Park, and is characterized by nearly intact beech and fir rainforrests, that are in 860 – 1028 meters of altitude. Average hight of fir and juniper tree is 40 meters, and some are even more than 50 meters tall.
We should mention that admirers of speloelogic sites can also find something for themselves here. Most caves are located in limestoned part of National Park, especially alongside of Lower lakes and in canyon of Korana river. There are many small and large caves situated there, Šupljara, Golubnjača and the Black cave are most popular.
Tour program for Plitvice Lakes National Park. Author: Ivica Luketić