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Croatia tour provided by: Nicola Moretto


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Preface

The following article on Plitvice Lakes appeared in the tourism section of CROATIA TODAY, a newsletter of the Embassy of Croatia in Washington, D.C.:

Plitvice Lakes, one of the best known of all Croatian national parks, is situated in the eastern part of Lika between Mount Mala Kapela and Mount Pljesivica, about 85 kilometres from Zagreb. The lakes cover about two square kilometres, while the entire park covers an area of 200 square kilometres. The Plitvice Lakes are one of the most beautiful examples of the Croatian karst, and for their clear water's extraordinary blue color and majestic shimmer, which results from these limestone deposits. The lakes were known around the world for the weddings held there once a year- couples in their native costumes were married in boats under the largest waterfall. Even Jacques Cousteau knew of the lakes, and remarked that he could not believe "that such almost-untouched beauty exists here in Croatia, in the heart of Europe."
Structurally, the Lakes themselves are composed of 16 inter-linked miniature lakes, which are then divided into upper and lower sections. The natural tierical arrangements of these various sections remind many of the river locks used by early American settlers to navigate the thousands of waterways that transverse the United States. But beyond that, the tiered (graded) system also plays an important ecological role for the ecosystem around it. As the magnificent waterfalls and cascades overflow into one another, enormous barriers of limestone are deposited throughout the lakes, thus creating an ecological environment that is "alive" with thousands of micro-organisms, like algae and moss, directly contributing to its maintenance and repair. Not only is it beneficial to the environment, it also provides the Plitvice Lakes with a magnificent color. The surrounding flora also enhances the lakes' natural beauty. Over three quarters of the National Park is covered by thick and lovely forests, of maily beech, fir, spruce and white pine trees. The dense forest provides shelter and subsistence to hundreds of species of plants and wildlife, including more than 120 varieties of birds. Recognizing the significance of one of Croatia's natural wonders, the government has taken steps to protect Plitvice Lakes ecological preserve from misuse and neglect. Stringent regulations were placed on all the industries around the Plitvice Lakes. Hunting, fishing, lumbering and automobile traffic (except sailboating and riding on the trains and in coaches provided by the national parks) were prohibited. Later, in 1949, the Lakes' beauty was officially recognized by a law declaring the Plitvice Lakes a national park. That legislation marked the first direct efforts of Croatian authorities to pay special attention to the preservation of the environment, its natural resources, and its rarities. Protection of the Lakes was further enforced in 1979, as the international community passed legislation to include the Lakes on the World List of the Natural Heritage of UNESCO, thereby mandating that it be placed under the protection of the world organization as a natural resource of the highest category, comparable to famous natural wonders like Yosemite National Park in California and "the Natural Bridge" in Virginia.


Tour

Starting point: Trieste (I)

Follow the direction to the line border to Slovenia (SLO), take the N12 road, direction Kozina - Obrov - Podgrad and reach the line border with Croatia (HR).

The first village you meet is Rupa, go straight (direction Lipa) and then trough narrow roads you reach Čavle and Gornje Jelenje (if you want shorter and faster way take the E63 Rupa - Rijeka and then the E65 up to Delnice).

From Delnice go straight for the E65, follow for Skrad - Moravice and then turn right direction Vrbovsko - Ogulin - Oštarije.
From here the roads are quite narrow and a full of curves.
After Josipdol follow direction to Plaški - Saborsko - Plitvička Jezera.

For the back home trip we want to reach the sea for take a bath: from Plitvička Jezera take direction Plitvički Ljeskovac - Gornji Babin Potok and follow the N52 up to Otočać, now take the E50 trough Žuta Lokva - Senj.

Now you are directly up the beautiful coast and in front of you there is the isle of Krk. Follow the main road up to Novi Vinodolski - Rijeka, then reach Rupa and taking the E63 go back up to Trieste (I)

about 1000 KM


Camping

HOTEL BELLEVUE
telephone: +385 53 751 700
telefax: +385 53 751 013

HOTEL JEZERO
tel: +385 53 751 400
fax: +385 53 751 600

HOTEL PLITVICE
telephone: +385 53 751 100
telefax: +385 53 751 165

MOTEL GRABOVAC
telefon: 053/ 751-999
telefax: 053/ 751-892

CAMPSITE KORANA
tel: +385 53 751 888
fax: +385 53 751 882


Sights in the area

Special tips

  • Take a good map (1:300.000)with you.
  • There was the war 1992-1995: from Ogulin to Plitvička Jezera up to Otočać the road are a little bit damaged and you find damaged and empty houses and buildings, cemeteries near to the roads, some mined fields inside the woods (yellow ribbon). Take care and have respect.
  • Take some time for your experience.

Pictures

Pictures of croatia/ Plitvice lakes

Pictures: 10
build: 6. November 2002


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