One thing we really wanted to do in Croatia was to visit the Plitvice Lakes. After doing plenty of research and figuring out how to get there (and back again), we decided a guided tour would be the best/less stressful option. From Porec, it was a 10 hour full-day tour, but oh so worth it!
The bus trip to the lakes was a little over 4 hours, but we got a break every hour/hour and a half, which broke the journey up quite nicely. Both our guide and driver were really great, super informative, and kept the journey interesting. We were also introduced to the sweet sounds of Zucchero for the first time, and now think of this trip whenever we listen to him sing!
In total, we got about 3 hours to explore the lakes with our group. This included two boat rides, seeing all 16 lakes, and an ice cream stop halfway through. At first, I thought our guide was moving too fast, but once we realised just how huge this place was, and just how many photo opportunities there were, I think the amount of time we spent here was plenty. Also, it was really freakin hot to be walking so much!
I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful this place is. The colours, the lakes, the waterfalls – the whole area is truly breath-taking! Plitvice Lakes is a protected site – you cannot swim in the water, no mater how tempting it may be – and they pretty much let nature take its course here. For example, if a tree falls down or an area gets overgrown, they don’t step in and clear it away – unless it’s blocking a walkway!
Needless to say, the bus trip back to Porec was a very quiet one! We had lunch at around 5pm – which was clearly more like a dinner – and arrived back in Porec at 10pm. Our guide pretty much left us be, only interrupting our thoughts/slumber to point out major areas of interest.
Although it was a very long day, I would highly recommend doing this tour. Getting to the lakes area by yourself is doable, but only if you have a car – from what I have read, the public transport can be unreliable; and the roads are really narrow and quite difficult to manoeuvre if you’re not used to them. We were quite happy to sit back and let someone else do the hard work!
Next stop: Tuscany, Italy