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His Take: Plitvice Lakes, Out of the Way and Overrated

Before Jamie and I made the trek to Croatia, we had heard from scores of various people about this place called Plitvice Lakes. Apparently, it was otherworldy. “Like, straight out of Avatar,” one guy told us. I had even seen Plitvice on a list of “Top 10 Places to Visit Before You Die.” There must …

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  • His Top Tips
1. You can’t swim here. It’s pretty, but I’d suggest hitting up Krka Falls as a day trip from Split. The places aren’t all that different, with the HUGE exception that you can swim at Krka.

2. If you’re driving south from Zagreb, you might as well stop in at Plitvice. Otherwise, don’t alter any plans to pay visit.

3. If you do visit, be sure to get there early in the morning. The last bus leaves Plitvice around 3 or 4pm. Arriving at 1pm is too late.

Before Jamie and I made the trek to Croatia, we had heard from scores of various people about this place called Plitvice Lakes. Apparently, it was otherworldy. “Like, straight out of Avatar,” one guy told us. I had even seen Plitvice on a list of “Top 10 Places to Visit Before You Die.” There must be far too many people out there who are seriously deprived of beautiful nature, because upon visiting I couldn’t quite understand all of the hype.

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If you’re flying in to Zagreb (the inland capital) and making your way south from there, you might as well make a pit stop at Plitvice and see what all the fuss is about. However, if you are planning your trip in this manner specifically to see Plitvice, don’t bother. If on a limited time schedule (say 2 weeks, which is what Jamie and I did), start out in the northern tip (a region called Istria) and work your way south. Skip Plitvice, follow the coast, and when you get to Split you can take a 1-2 hour trip out to Krka National Park which has a breathtaking waterfall pool that you can swim in. The only way that I can imagine this differs from Plitvice, is that you are allowed to swim in Krka, and Plitvice has a couple more waterfalls.

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Original Photography By: Couple of Yuppies

Maybe this is just because I feel I have been spoiled with the natural wonders of the Canadian Rockies, but these lakes were nothing that I hadn’t seen before. If you’ve been to Plitvice and are cursing my soul as I type, please search Lake Louise, Emerald Lake, Lake Kalamalka, the Bow River, Roger’s Pass, Banff, Bow Falls, Elbow Falls, etc, etc, etc. These are amazing places, and worth devoting your day to on a short time schedule.

Jamie and I had spent the previous night to our Plitvice adventure at Zrce Beach on Pag Island. Due to wanting to take full advantage of this miniature Ibiza like atmosphere, we decided to party all night and catch some sleep on the bus up to Plitvice. The bus (including transfer times) was approximately 6-7 hours. That’s one way.

I’m sure that there are a number of people who will see the pictures that we have taken of Plitvice and assume I’m crazy, or that I was irritable after very little sleep. Possibly, but I would like to think that I was only irritable because I had paid for a bus ticket to Plitvice, the relatively expensive entry fee, shared an expensive cab ride crammed with 7 other people (and no air conditioning) back to Split, all for a tourist attraction that was relatively underwhelming.

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