Situated roughly halfway between the capital city of Zagreb and the
Croatian coastline, the Plitvice Lakes are surrounded by hills that
enclose this magnificent national treasure, giving it an almost
undiscovered air. The sixteen lakes are part of a beautiful
national park covering 116 square miles (300 square kilometres).
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the lakes is that they are
each interconnected by a series of waterfalls and cascades. There
is a considerable height difference between the lakes - 2,953 feet
(900 metres) separate the highest from the lowest, and the tallest
waterfall, Veliki Slap, has a drop of 200 feet (61 metres).
Much of the surrounding landscape is attractive woodland, set
out across the range of pretty, sloping hillsides. These are
populated by a number of rare species including deer, boars, wolves
and bears. Many very rare kinds of bird are also known to inhabit
the woodland areas. In recognition of its notable ecological
importance, the Plitvice Lakes National Park was declared a UNESCO
World Heritage site in 1979 - one of the very first natural sites
to be given the status. The park is a firm favourite with visitors
and continues to attract thousands of tourists ever year.