National Parks | Croatia Unbound


Plitvice Lakes National Park (pronounced Pleet-veet-seh) might be Croatia’s most popular natural attraction—and for good reason. Within the national park, trimmed with dense forests, lie 16 terraced lakes, braided together by waterfalls and belts of boardwalk trails. Over time, mineral-rich waters have sculpted the rock and created constantly evolving tufa barriers that hold the lakes’ water. The lakes sit deep within a wooded area where boars, bears, wolves, deer, and birds roam.

The park embraces an odd juxtaposition of bucolic tranquility and cultural disquiet. Illyrians built a fortress here, while Romans built watchtowers. The first shots of the war between Yugoslavia and Croatia were fired here with Plitvice’s cascades adding to the cacophony. Serbs occupied Plitvice during the Homeland War and the surrounding area up until 1995, and Croatian refugees withdrew to the coastline. Much of Croatia’s turbulent history has taken place in Plitvice’s Monet backdrop.

Visitors can walk along the wooden footbridges that carve through the park and across its constant cascades. Free boats and buses are also available to plunk you down at some of the park’s best attractions such as the park’s largest lake or Veliki Slap, Plitvice’s largest waterfall, which crashes down from a height of 70m.

Stroll through Pltvice's breathtaking landscapes on our Colors of Croatia tour.



Krka National Park was developed around protecting the karst stunner that is the Krka River with its 7 travertine waterfalls. Krka National Park runs alongside the 73km River Krka, extending from the Adriatic near Šibenik to interior Croatia; in total, the park covers 109 square kilometers within Šibenik-Knin County.

Visitors find a stunning sequence of landscapes within the park including karstic canyon-bound gorges, limpid lakes, and sequences of waterfalls. Much like Plitvice National Park, Krka features tiers of cascades that interweave with the vegetation and landmarks.  

The Skradinski buk waterfalls, Krka River’s longest waterfall and perhaps Krka National Park’s most famous, are a series of cascades composed of travertine barriers, lakes, and islands. Due to the national park’s network of bridges and pathways, Skradinski buk can be experienced from several, close viewpoints. Another well-known stretch of waterfalls can be found at Roški slap, the sixth Krka River cascade.

If you need a break from nature, or just want to spice it up, you can also find two historic monasteries within the park.

FUN FACT: If you visit the Krka National Park website, you can view some incredible sights in 360º panoramic view.



Mljet is known as “the green island,” and Mljet National Park embraces all of the island’s Arcadian beauty. Mljet National Park takes up about half of the pine-forested island, though the entire Adriatic island is seductively scenic.

The highlights of the park are Malo Jezero and Veliko Jezero (Small Lake and Great Lake)—two inland saltwater lakes connected to the sea via a small canal—as well as the 12th century Benedictine monastery situated in the middle of Veliko Jezero on the island of St. Mary.

The peaks of Montokuc and Veliki Sladin Gradac also offer views of the entire park with Korčula and Pelješac out in the distance.

Want to visit Croatia's national parks on a private custom tour? Contact us at or (800) 214-0579.