One of the definite must-dos in Croatia is the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a wonderland of forests, cascades, and lakes. It has a series of nature trails throughout the park, and although some of them could stand to be better marked, it’s a spectacular walk.
They say that each year over 1 million people visit the park, and I tend to believe it. It can get a bit crowded, especially on the narrow trails traversing the falls nearest to the entrance. If you’ve got the time, though, going well into the park will definitely thin out the crowds. It can get a bit frustrating at times, so if you do go try to avoid making people like me crazy and exercise some self-awareness. There are many, many people around you. Do you really need to take up the whole sidewalk?
The trails will take you past 16 lakes of various sizes, numerous waterfalls, and beaches. There are even a few ferryboats to give you a pleasant ride over Lake Kozjak.
Apparently there’s quite a lot of wildlife throughout the park, including bears, wolves, and lynx. We certainly didn’t see those, and you probably won’t either in the crowded summer. But do keep your eye out for butterflies, lizards, turtles, ducks, bats, and owls.
I’d certainly recommend more than one day to do it all, but only if you really want to do some serious hiking. If you do a day trip, you won’t be able to take the longest routes through the park. However, even a day trip is certainly worthwhile.