Croatia: the heaven of natural wonders!
Croatia is known worldwide due to its impressive UNESCO World Heritage Sites, local cuisine, wineries, and olive oil production. But there is something more you should add to your Croatian to-do list. This country is a hidden gem when it comes to waterfalls.
Indeed, it is not a popular fact that the most impressive European waterfalls are in Croatia. Still, especially the region of Dalmatia is packed with a rick of karst rivers flowing down from the Dinaric Alps mountain range. As a result, the most astonishing waterfalls can be admired all over Croatia. And if you take into account the pleasant weather, this might turn out to be the perfect vacation spot for you. Our tip is to consider renting a full-service villa near one of the Croatian natural parks. In this way, you will enjoy your stay in the midst of nature!
An interesting fact about visiting Croatia’s waterfalls is that you will get different scenery based on the season you come. As such, the season and the time of the day will influence the water colouring. It can range from vivid and turquoise to teal, cobalt, or azure. Several caves, underground setup, and plenty of gallons of water aid in creating heaven on natural wonders. We can say from our experience that you won’t find such a display anywhere else in Europe.
And if you’re not convinced yet about spending your time near a Croatian waterfall, here’s another fact. Plitvice Lakes was recognized by UNESCO and included in the World Heritage Sites list back in 1979. This happened thanks to the wonderland of water and forests that surrounds the side. Burbling cascades are always ready to entice your eyesight!
Istria: an impressive waterfalls experience in Croatia!
Istria has so much to offer that we are not sure where to start. First of all, there are plenty of villas with pools you could rent, which is a great plus considering you will stay in the middle of nature. Secondly, Istria is a great place for wine tasting. But did you know there is something more compelling about this region?
Well, many tourists visit yearly Istria due to the hiking trails around the Seven Waterfalls Trail. Old villages and lush vegetation surround the magical waterfalls. So, spending the day wandering around this hiking route will fill you with gratitude. The trail starts at a hilltop overlooking the scenic Mirna River Valley. And as you move forward to the forest, you will discover the seven Istrian waterfalls that reach up to 26.5 meters.
Our top choice for waterfalls in Istria is the following.
1. Zarecki krov Waterfalls (Pazin, Istria)
This is one of the largest waterfalls in Istria. The water here falls from ten meters high, making it the go-to place for those looking forward to diving, swimming, hiking, or fishing. Some say the most challenging hiking and climbing route in Croatia is around this waterfall.
2. Gologoricki dol Waterfalls (Cerovlje, Istria)
Among the astonishing hills of central Istria, you will discover the Gologoricki Waterfall. Overall, this is an untouched place, offering access to a rather remote and wild area.
3. Butori ponor Waterfalls (Momjan, Central Istria)
This is one of the gentlest and most delightful waterfalls in Croatia. Even though it is not as high as you might expect, it offers a calming landscape to indulge into.
4. Kotli (Kotle) Waterfalls (Buzet, Istria)
This waterfall is positioned on a hard to access the hill. But it is an exciting site you should add on your Croatian travelling list, as there are still 15 houses standing in the area. The village and waterfall appear to be frozen in time.
image credit: rg-fotos
5. Sopot Waterfalls (Labin, Istria)
This is an unusual waterfall, being a mix of harsh terrain, compelling forests, and plenty of falling water. It is a rocky site with a waterfall that reaches up to 30 meters high. We recommend you visit it during fall or spring, as this is the perfect time to admire the most water falling down the hills. And, of course, the weather will be more welcoming for your hike to Sopot Waterfalls.
Plitvice waterfalls: an astonishing network of Croatian waterfalls and karstic lakes!
Plitvice Lakes in Croatia represent one of the world’s most astonishing natural wonders. They have plenty of lush and pristine valleys with 16 impressive terraced lakes, plenty of kilometres of the boardwalk, and 90 waterfalls. Some say this is the most beautiful national park in Europe and we couldn’t agree more!
What we love most is that there are plenty of accommodation options in the area, allowing one to enjoy a pleasant stay in the heart of nature. Also, you should know this is one of the most visited national parks in Croatia, meaning that it can get crowded during summer.
The mineral composition in the area offers several mesmerizing colours in the lakes, which transform the water in waterfalls in otherworldly representations. The water is clear, without any algae or mud. And if you’re asking yourself which are the best Plitvice waterfalls, we recommend you visit the following.
1.The Great Waterfall or the Veliki Slap Waterfall
One of our top choices in the area is the Veliki Slap. It has 78 meters height, being the highest waterfall in Plitvice. You can find it at the end of the Lower Lakes, as waters of Plitvica Potok river feed it.
2. Sastavci Waterfall or Sastavci Slap
Another jewel of the national park is the Sastavci Waterfalls. These are located on edge, where the Korana river drops down from 26 meters height. It is a waterfall popular on the globe due to its attractive colours and interesting setup.
3. Trnina Waterfalls or Slapovi Milke Trnine
Trnina Waterfalls is named after a 19th-century opera singer, who donated impressive sums for nature protection at Plitvice lakes. Locals say that the sound this waterfall makes is somehow magical.
4. Galovački Waterfalls or Galovački Buk
In the middle of Upper Lakes, you will find a welcoming opening. This is a 16 meters high waterfall fed by Galovac and Milino Lakes. It has a heavenly flair, which is why most visitors stop here for a rest.
5. Milanovački Waterfall or Milanovački Slap
Milanovački Waterfall is a smaller natural wonder of only 10 meters high. But it is excellent for strolling around it and admiring the lovely view. You can discover it at the barrier of Kozjak lake, a corner surrounded by rock formation, wood, and plenty of sunlight.
Explore Dalmatia & its natural wonders
There are numerous reasons why you should book a stay in Dalmatia. There are plenty of natural wonders in the area, including impressive waterfalls. And the best part about visiting places such as the Krka National Park is that it is nearby important Dalmatian cities. Sibenik is at only 20 minutes distance, while Zadar is at an hour’s drive.
Dalmatia is a great place to visit all year round, as the Krka waterfalls offer otherworldly views no matter the time of the year you stop here. But what we love most about Dalmatia is that there are plenty of things to do here. The beautiful waterfalls offer impressive sightseeing routes, while the rustic restaurants allow you to take a break nearby your favourite waterfall.
Krka National Park: hiking trails amidst otherworldly waterfalls!
We agree that Plitvice is the iconic tourist destination in Croatia for both natural landscapes and waterfalls. But did you know that the Krka National Park waits to pamper you with the best hiking trails among fantastic waterfalls?
Well, Krka is also part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to multiple reasons. Impressive natural landscapes represent one of those. Also, it is not as crowded as Plitvice. But the main reason why Croatian value so much the Krka National Park are its hiking trails. There are plenty of routes you can explore, all of which positioned around the best waterfalls in the region.
And the best part about visiting the Krka National Park waterfalls is that you are allowed to swim here! In Plitvice, this is forbidden, so if you’re looking forward to a different Croatian experience, we recommend a visit and a swim in Krka.
1. Skradinski Buk Waterfalls
Krka is known for its series of seven waterfalls. The highlight in this area is the Skradinski Buk Waterfall, the most extensive travertine cascade system in Europe. It is one of the most visited areas in the park, due to the turquoise blue pools and wooden walkways among the trees.
image credit: aiva.
2. Roski Slap Waterfalls
This is another ser of falls in Krka with an impressive 27 meters stretch of the river. This section of the park is known for the lovely water falling. But at the same time, tourists come here to climb the steep stairs leading up the mountain for a view of the park from the top.
3. Slap Krcic Waterfalls
Slap Krcic is the type of waterfall that comes with an intriguing story. It is positioned between Krka and Krcic River, next to Knin. It is a popular destination among locals, especially during summer, there are plenty of shaded areas to keep you shielded from the harsh sun. Also, plenty of hiking and biking routes are available, while the waterfall itself is more than mesmerizing.
Continental Croatia: additional waterfalls to explore!
The Great Waterfalls of Zumberak represent another go-to place in Croatia for exploring waterfalls. Part of the Zumberak Natural Park, this area in Continental Croatia is beautiful, too.
Sopotsku Slap is the largest waterfall in the region, with 40 meters in height. It has three distinct areas where the water cascades and welcomes its visitors. Other waterfalls to keep a close eye on in Continental Croatia include the Vranjacky Slap, the Slap Ease, the Cerinski Vir, and the Zeleni Vir.
Another waterfall we love in the area is the Mreznica Waterfalls. This is one of the most special natural waterways in the heart of the country, with several waterfalls, springs, mills, and canyons. Indeed, these waterfalls are not as high as Krka or Plitvice waterfalls, but they are unique. And the best part about it is that there are plenty of pools at the base of the waterfall suitable for swimming.
image credit: Raftrek Adventure Travel Croatia
The bottom line: chasing Croatian waterfalls
These are some of the best places to visit in Croatia if you’re looking forward to a unique travelling experience. And besides renting a villa nearby your favourite waterfall, you should consider the following official tips:
- Officials limited access to Skradinski Buk waterfall to 10,000 visitors at a time.
- You can only walk on the indicated paths, as most of those waterfalls are part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
- You aren’t allowed to swim all over the place, so make sure you look for a sign indicating you can.
- It is best to visit Croatian waterfalls during the rainy season for the best experience.
- It is best to visit early in the morning to avoid tourist crowds.
So, this being said, you are ready for a hypnotic experience in Croatia. The mesmerizing sound, the falling water, and the overall landscape will make you fall in love with this country. And besides this, there are plenty of other activities you can enjoy. Make sure you taste some local dishes, wine, and spend your day as a local would! There are numerous local events organized regularly, which you can attend for a different travelling experience in Croatia.