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Plitvice Lake
Upper Lake Travartine Formation

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Plitvice Lakes National Park is composed of sixteen interlocking lakes that are generally visited in two groups: the Upper lakes and the Lower lakes. The lakes are supplied with water from three rivers called the Crna and Bijela (Black and White) rivers and the Rjecica. The largest of the rivers is the Black River. A number of subterranean sources also feed the lakes as well as a web of above ground brooks, tributaries and springs. After tumbling over waterfalls the lake waters flow into the Korana river.

The distances between the lakes can involve long stretches of hilly terrain which is why the park admission ticket includes a sightseeing "train" ride to the Upper lakes (driving is forbidden) and a boat to visit the larger lakes.

Map of Plitvice Lakes and Waterfalls

Map of Plitvice Lakes
Click for larger version

Plitvice Lakes and Waterfalls

Upper Lakes

The scenery of the Upper Lakes is wilder and more spectacular, making it well worth the effort of getting there.

Proscansko Lake
Proscansko Lake
Proscansko is large (68.2ha), deep (37.4m) and the highest (636.6m) of Plitvice's Upper lakes and the most remote as it's surrounded by dense forest. There are beautiful, tranquil hiking trails around the lake.

Ciginovac
Just below is this much smaller lake which receives its water from Proscansko. It covers 7.5 hectares and is a little over 11m deep.

Okrugljak
Labudovac Waterfall
This lake is known for its 53m long cave that contains two halls and a small pond. The travertine formations here are exceptionally beautiful. Notice the spectacular 20m high Labudovac Waterfall which empties into Okrugljak. The lakes is only a little over 4 hectares and is 15.3m deep.

Batinovac, Great Lake, Small Lake, Vir or Small Burget
Okrugljak and Proscansko feed into these small, shallow lakes that are ravishing in spring when the dams and barriers between them are sprinkled with hundreds of small waterfalls.

Galovac

Galovacki buk
Galovac wins the beauty contest of all the Upper Lakes as it's supplied with water by three small lakes and supplies water to a series of ponds that are also linked by waterfalls. There were once concrete stairs over the main waterfall, Galovacki Buk, which were in turn covered by travertine and have now become part of the scenery. On the eastern side is the chain of cascades known as Prstavci waterfalls. Galovac lake covers 12.5 heactares and is 24.4m deep.

Prstavci waterfalls

Milino Lake
This tiny lake is linked with Galovacki Buk and tumbles into. . .

Gradinsko Lake
Surrounded by reeds, this lake is a favourite nesting place of ducks. From its shores, there are peaceful views over the park. The lake covers 8.1 hectares and is 10m deep.

Great Burget
Burgeti Waterfall
More of a pond than a lake, the Great Burget is the last great barrier of the Upper Lakes.

Kozjak
Kozjak Lake
This is the largest lake of the Plitvice lake system at about 3km long, covering 81.5 hectares and is the last lake in the Upper Lakes. In the middle of the 46.4m-deep lake is a small oval island, Štefanija's island, which now contains a restaurant. Kozjak Lake is notable for the ever-changing colours of the water, a spectacle you can admire from your hotel room as Plitvice hotels have rooms overlooking this lake.

Lower Lakes

It's a different feeling here in the Lower Lakes. The steep shores are surrounded by cliffs and there are an abundance of grottoes and caves.

Milanovac
Milna Trnina Waterfalls

Whether azure, sky-blue or emerald green, this small (3.2ha) lake is beautiful to contemplate as the sun brings out its changing colours. The lake is set within 20m-high cliffs and the eastern part of the lake features Milka Trnina's falls.

Gavanovac
The water from Milanovac rushes down into this lake in a powerful array of cascades called the Great Falls or Veliki Slap.

Kaluderovac
Blue Cave, Plitvice
The intense blue of this lake (2.1ha) is echoed in its partially submerged Blue Cave, the bottom "entrance" of Supljara Cave (below).

Novakovica Brod
Plitvice Lake
Last but not least, this peaceful lake provides the water for the park's highest and most spectacular cascade, the Sastavci.
Sastavci Falls

Forests

The lake and waterfall system covers only about 1% of Plitvice Lakes National Park. The rest of the 73,350 acres is a varied terrain marked by meadows and dense forests mostly of beech, fir and spruce which cover about 75% of the terrain (see more on Plitvice ecology). Particularly interesting is Corkova Uvala, a primeval forest where the fir, spruce and beech reach a height of 60m and trees have a diameter of 140cm. This unique ecosystem, in a specially protected zone near the northwestern edge of the park, presents a rare opportunity to experience a forest practically untouched by human activity. Access is via a marked trail.

Caves

The karstic terrain of Plitvice includes several majestic caves. Supljara Cave is near Entrance I above Kaluderovac Lake on the eastern side. It consists of three chambers and a corridor for a total length of 68m. The first chamber is 20m high and the other two chambers are "decorated" with tufa forms. The upper of the two entrances was made after the cave's ceiling collapsed. The cool (10.5┬░C), damp, dark environment is hospitable to various cave-loving moths, beetles and scorpions that are found nowhere else.

Also in the Lower Lakes area is Golubnjaca Cave before the second Korana waterfall on the eastern side. The cave has two entrances (46 and 24 m high), a large antechamber and two cave corridors with a total length of 65 m. Rich in flora and fauna, there are 230 steps and a small bridge in the cave.

 

Related Pages

Accommodation in Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes Guide

Getting to Plitvice Lakes

Ecology, Flora & Fauna of Plitvice Lakes

Map and Driving Directions to Plitvice

Plitvice Lakes Photo Gallery

World Heritage Sites in Croatia

Croatia's National Parks


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