Second day of the road trip!
We’d already seen the capital of Croatia, so it was time to see a little of nature. The plan for that day was to go to the Plitvice Lakes, a beautiful place that everybody who goes to Croatia talks about.
The National Park of Plitvice Lakes is 130 km from Zagreb, about two hours driving nonstop. But we had the whole day long and we wanted to stop in some other places before arriving to the lakes.
The first place where we stopped was Karlovac, a small city 45 minutes (by car) from Zagreb.
This city is known because of its six-star shape. It was founded by Charles II of Habsburg as a military strength because he wanted to defend the territory from the Turks.
We walked around for an hour and we didn’t find anybody (the streets were empty). Karlovac is a city with a small and old down town and you don’t need much time to visit it. Some of the touristic places that you can visit are: the Austrian strength, the central square where the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and the monastery, and just on the top of it, the Clock tower. The Katzler pavilion, the Vrbanic garden or the Municipal Museum are some of the other places you can also visit.
Moreover, a little farther from the city centre there is the Dubovac Castle, from where you can see beautiful views of the city. The schedule is from the 1rst of April to the 30th of September:
- Monday from 14:00 to 19:00
- Tuesday and Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00
- Sunday from 14:00 to 19:00
The rest of the year you can only visit it if you book in advanced for a group.
For more information check this website.
After the flash visit to Karlovac and 50 minutes on the road, we reached the second stop of the day: Rastoke, a small neighbourhood in Slunj.
This cosy town is known because of its mills and waterfalls that leads into Korana River. Lots of years ago, the people from Slunj used to get advantage of the waterfalls and they made some mills for the energy. Nowadays, you can see how the mills used to be and how the people used them in the old days.
Where can you leave the car?
If you come from Zagreb, the first place you’ll see to leave the car is on the right side of the road. This is a paid car park and you’ll find it with no problems. This car park is located on the other side of the river and the town. It’s a good place and it costs 6 kunas (0,8€) per hour. NOTE: There are very nice views from this side of the river.
But, if you want to visit the place where the waterfalls are (also the town), I recommend you to cross the bridge and go to the other side of the river. You’ll find place to park over there and you won’t need to walk a lot (trust me, in summer it’s better to park as near as you can).
BE AWARE: The entrance to the mills and waterfalls is not free. We went inside because we wanted to see what was there (but we didn’t know it wasn’t free before we arrive there). The places is so nice, but if you don’t have time or you prefer to spend the day in Plitvice Lakes, I recommend you to go straight to Plitvice Lakes. It’s also nice if you walk around the town or if you stop to see the views from the other side of the river.
The price of the entrance is:
- Adults: 30 kunas (4€).
- Children from 8 to 17 years old and people over 65 years old: 20 kunas (2,66€)
- Children under 7 years old: free.
With the entrance it’s included the visit to the area where the waterfalls are, the visit to the places where the mills are (you can see how they used to work), the visit to the caves.
We stayed about an hour walking around. We saw all the waterfalls, we went down the caves to the river and we saw how the mills used to work. It was so nice but we had to leave early because of the weather (no, it wasn’t because of the rain, but because of the hot). We ate some sandwiches that we’d prepared and we went to the next place: Plitvice Lakes.
25 km from Slunj there are the Plitvice Lakes, one of the most famous and touristic places in Croatia. It was a bit difficult to park the car (there were a lot of people). Even so, we stayed at the queue to buy the tickets because we’d heart that it was worth it and we wanted to know it by ourselves.
After four hours or so walking along the park, we went back to the car to go to the place where we were going to sleep that night.
We booked an apartment for one night at the suburbs of a town called Korenica. It was 20km from Plitvice Lakes. The place was a nice flat on the second floor of a house (where the hosts live). It was all new and big enough for four or five people.
We’d booked it with Booking. Here you can check it, I really recommend it for a family. It’s so close to the lakes and the hosts were very nice with us.
We went to the town next to Korenica for dinner (because this one was so small and nothing was opened). It was about 4km away and we went to a restaurant that we had read it was good (a recommendation in Tripadvisor). The name of the place is Bistro Vila Velebita and it was so good and cheap.
It was time to rest. Next day we were going to go to the Croatian shore.
Keep reading our adventure here: Route through Croatia – Kubus Ura and Zadar
You can check the whole route HERE.