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Plitvice Lakes National Park in Autumn: The best places to photograph

How many times have you looked at the photos of your trip after returning home? How many times have those photos made you happy because you captured at least a little bit of the beauty and emotions you experienced? We are sure you want to return home with the most beautiful photos of the magnificent waterfalls, lakes and forest. No trip to Croatia is complete without a visit to the oldest national park in Southeast Europe, Plitvice Lakes National Park. There is not a single place in Plitvice Lakes National Park that is not special, but we definitely want to single out the most interesting spots for you to capture the most beautiful pictures of Plitvice.

Overlook – A View of the Veliki Slap Waterfall and Sastavci

On arrival at Entrance 1 of Plitvice Lakes National Park, the first sight you will be greeted with is Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall in the Park, but in Croatia as well. It is interesting that Veliki Slap, whose total height from the source of the Korana River is 87 m, is not formed from the water from the Plitvice Lakes, but from the small Plitvice stream, which crashes down a 62-meter rock into the lake below and then overflows over several cascades. Its magnificence never ceases to amaze. In winter, the temperatures sometimes drop below zero and the waterfall freezes, whereas in the spring, it is replenished with water from melted snow and swells in unison with the surrounding vegetation.

Veliki Slap has less water in the summer, but even then it is grandiose and the mere sight of it takes everyone’s breath away. The elegance of the waterfall comes to the fore in autumn, when the rains start to fall and when each leaf is preparing to showcase its palette of colours. The view of the Veliki Slap appears differently based on the time of the day because it is located in a canyon and the sun shines on it brightly during the day. From the overlook at Entrance 1, the view stretches not only over Veliki slap but also the Lower Lakes canyon and Sastavci waterfalls, which form the Korana River together with Veliki Slap. The turquoise colour of the Lower Lakes is a stunning sight in itself.

Under Veliki Slap

After admiring the view of the Veliki slap from a height, we slowly take a path down through the forest and by the lake to arrive directly below Veliki Slap. The view of the Sastavci and the source of the Korana River is special, especially on the days when the waterfalls create a rainbow, but when you walk along the path next to the rock and come in front of Veliki Slap, a picture says more than a thousand words.  The magnificence of the droplets and the play of colours, light and shadow is what takes everyone’s breath away. We recommend that you simply stop and enjoy the moment as the water dust refreshes you. The waters of the Plitvice stream fall down the rocks at their own pace, day after day, minute after minute.

The Kozjačka Valley

A picnic meadow located on the shore of the largest of the 16 Plitvice Lakes, Kozjak Lake, offers a stunning view of the lake. Tucked between the forest and the lake, this valley has benches where you can rest before continuing the tour. On arrival at the Kozjačka valley, the view draws you to the lake and to the boats which sail slowly and give the impression they are not even in contact with the lake. As the light changes through the day, so does the colour of the lake, from warmer blue to cool grey.

Not only the landscape but also the fauna is in the mood for photography here. Ducks and fish come to you hoping you will feed them, but please remember that this is forbidden. You can continue your journey in three ways: by boat across the lake, down the longer right or the shorter left side of Kozjak Lake. Capture the moment of the boat sailing across the largest lake and have a photo that will always fondly remind you of the Plitvice Lakes.

View from the Kupalište Meadow

On the shore of the largest and  deepest lake, Kozjak, in the immediate vicinity of the electric boat dock (P1), lies the Kupalište. A spacious meadow and a perfect location for you to refresh. As you sit there and take in all the beauty of the Plitvice region, take photos of the spacious Kozjak Lake and its unique Štefanija island. The view from the Kupalište reaches Burgeti waterfalls, which also adorn the lake, and the sound of the waterfalls will be the most beautiful background you can imagine.

Experience Kozjak in a special way and rent wooden boats located right next to the boat dock. Rowing on the lake of one of the most beautiful National Parks in the world will not leave anyone indifferent. Incredible clean water, rowing right next to waterfalls, a view of electric boats sailing on the largest lake in the Park and all the beauty of surrounding nature will be a great story to round off your trip.

Veliki Prštavac Waterfall

If you like to spend time in nature, take two days and go on an adventure over wooden bridges, on a panoramic train and on an electric boat. From Kozjak Lake, take a boat ride to the Upper Lakes, where a series of breathtaking waterfalls begins; Prštavci waterfalls (Veliki and Mali Prštavac) are particularly impressive. Climb up to experience Veliki Prštavac, the second largest waterfall in the Park. Come closer, feel and listen to the symphony of the water telling the story of the age-old formation of the beautiful tufa rocks which the water tears down! You can take a selfie with the beautiful Veliki Prštavac in the background right here. You will agree that Plitvice is mother nature at its best!

Pevalekovi Waterfalls

You know those places that look like they are from a postcard? And you really want a photo from such a place? Exactly such a place can be found in Plitvice Lakes National Park. Pevalekovi waterfalls are a special location and some of the more attractive waterfalls precisely because of their semicircular ridge, impressive water flow and a clear emerald-green pool below the waterfalls. Here, you can capture every droplet of the waterfall in a photo. These waterfalls are dedicated to Dr Ivo Pevalek, a scientist who gets the most credit for the establishment of the National Park and the promotion of nature conservation.

We will always fondly remember Pevalek’s sentence: “There are waters, lakes, waterfalls and forests elsewhere, and still there are only one Plitvice Lakes in the whole world”.

A view of the Prošćansko Lake

If you start from the Upper Lakes, a stroll over the wooden bridges will lead you to a beautiful view of the Prošćansko Lake embraced by the spectacular forest! Depending on the day and the season, the lake can have a fascinating range of colours starting from the light green found along the path, all the way to deep blue when you look into the distance. A reflection can often be seen here – the flat, crystal-clear lake provides the perfect background and “in it” you can see the reflection of the sky and the forest. Capture the most impressive photo of the reflection with your lens!


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The Overlook at Rapajinka

On top of the Lower Lakes canyon, there is an overlook that offers a magnificent view of the Milanovački waterfalls, Lower Lakes and Kozjak Lake. It is the only lake on which electric boats sail and you will likely “catch” a boat dreamily gliding on the lake. The water from Kozjak Lake flows playfully into Milanovačko Lake, which is also the first of the Lower Lakes.  The sedimentation of tufa creates interesting shapes over which the water disperses into several smaller waterfalls. You will be amazed by the combination of the forest and the lake, it is a sight you will remember for the rest of your life.

The S-Trail on the Lower Lakes

The well-known S-trail is located in the Lower Lakes canyon. This, along with Veliki Slap, is one of the most famous sights in Plitvice Lakes National Park. The S-shaped trail actually allows you to cross to the other side of Kaluđerovac Lake. In addition to the beautiful sight of the incredibly beautiful colour of the lake, you can also see the Great Cascades waterfall here. Nature showed its playful side here and, depending on the season and water level, the sight of these waterfalls looks like happy droplets passing over moss and tufa barriers. Your position is right above the trail so the photos show a bird’s-eye view and such photos are definitely a must-have! When you reach this overlook, it will be clear to you why this particular photo is popular around the world.

Taking a good photo requires knowledge, a camera and time, but the most important thing is a good moment!

Tomislav Kovačević is General Manager at Plitvice Lakes National Park. Plitvice Lakes National Park is the oldest and biggest national park in Croatia.

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  1. In some ways this is really helpful as it is good to have ideas about some of the photos that you could take on a visit to Plitvice.

    Though you always have to keep your mind open and creative for the unexpected shots that crop up.

    1. Dear Nick, thank you for your comment. That was our intention, to show visitors the most beautiful vantage points at Plitvice lakes, that nature offers. In nature like this, you don’t even have to be prepared, it offers its own beauty for the picture.
      Best regards!

    1. Dear Laura, thank you for the nice comment. It is a beautiful place and we hope you will have the opportunity to visit us and experience the true beauty of nature for yourself.
      Best regards!

  2. Some days I set myself a photography rule. Although it’s very tempting to go for the big landscape shots, I make a rule that I’m not going to point my lens at anything that’s more than a metre away. You can get some surprisingly spectacular shots of waterfalls, vegetation and insects. It’s well worth devoting one day of a trip to that technique.

    1. Dear Phil, we have waterfalls with a height of a few centimeters up to the largest ones of 62 m. The Park is also rich in flora and fauna and we are sure that your plan would be great for the Plitvice lakes.
      Best regards!

  3. Autumn is my favourite season for taking some amazing photos. Everywhere is much quieter when the kids have gone back to school and the peak holiday season is over. There’s more chance that you’ll have time to think about composition and frame your next picture without worrying about people being in it. Then there are the autumnal colours. When we went to New England for Fall I got loads of amazing pictures and put them together in a massive collage for above our fireplace.

    1. Dear Cindy, we agree with you. Every season has its charms, and autumn is certainly special because of its colors. We hope you will have the opportunity to visit us one day and create a collage of pictures from Plitvice.
      Best regards!

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