Croatia is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination, with vibrant cities and beautiful scenery.
For eco-conscious holiday makers, there are plenty of options on the Croatian coastline and the many national parks and forests inland.
When it comes to accommodation, camping is possible across the country and small family-run hotels still dominate the hospitality industry.
Travelling around the country is easy with an extensive, well run public transport system, and with 8 national parks and 10 nature preserves across Croatia, there’s plenty to see!
My search for an eco-friendly holiday and the opportunity for a digital detox took me to the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park – situated between Zagreb and the coast.
Ironically, my search for the perfect destination for a digital detox began on Pinterest while I was adding more destinations to my travel bucket list board. It was when I saw a breath-taking image of the beautiful waterfalls at Plitvice that I knew this was the place for my next break.
We flew to Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia and one of Europe’s greenest cities.
In 2012, Zagreb won the European Mobility Award for performing outstandingly well in promoting clean alternatives to using cars and involving citizens in activities to support sustainable urban mobility.
We only had a quick lunch stop in Zagreb, but I’d love to go back. The city had a great atmosphere and with its quirky bars, art galleries and thriving independent scene, it’s definitely a city I’d like to explore!
After lunch we took a bus to Korenica, a small town on the outskirts of Plitvice Lakes about 3 hours from Zagreb.
The bus network in Croatia is excellent and the scenery out the window is beautiful, so we didn’t mind the long bus ride.
In Korenica, we stayed in a private room in the Falling Lakes hostel – a popular location for backpackers who want to explore Pitvice Lakes National Park and the surrounding mountains.
The hostel was designed with sustainability in mind. They have solar thermal water heating, LED lighting and compost all organic waste.
The hostel staff were experts in the local area and recommended several hikes around the lakes and valley, as well as providing a handy shuttle bus to and from the national park.
Plitvice Lakes is one of the oldest national parks in Southeast Europe, and the largest national park in Croatia.
16 beautiful lakes cascade into each other via a series of waterfalls throughout the heavily forested park, which covers 300 square kilometres.
There’s 18km of wooden footbridges and pathways to explore, sometimes taking you directly over the smaller waterfalls!
In 1979, Plitvice Lakes was granted UNESCO World Heritage status. A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area recognised by the United Nations as having cultural, historical, scientific or other significance. These sights are highly protected and preserved.
The park attracts nearly a million visitors a year, and it can take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to explore the upper and lower lakes.
There are ferries and a bus (powered by eco-friendly fuel) to help people get around quicker, and it is possible to see the park in one day, but we decided to spend 2 days there to really make the most of it.
The park’s biggest lake is called Kozjak. Although swimming is not permitted, you can hire a small rowing boat to see the scenery from the water – or you can take one of the ferries.
The lower lakes circuit includes caves which you can explore, high roads where you can get a scenic view from above the waterfalls and the stunning Veliki Slap – the tallest waterfall in Croatia at 78m tall!
Every corner you turned in the park there was another breath-taking sight to see.
We had four days in the park and surrounding valley so we also got chance to explore some of the smaller villages and towns nearby too. Everywhere along this river has beautiful waterfalls and scenery to explore.
Plitvice Lakes is the perfect break for anyone looking for an eco-friendly holiday where they can reconnect to nature and admire one of the most beautiful natural sites in the world!
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