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Winter visit to the Plitvice lakes

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The Plitvice lakes are a great place to visit also in the winter season, even if you have already visited it during one of the 3 other seasons I can highly recommend a visit also at the winter season. The best and most spectacular sight is of course when the park is covered in snow, which happens almost every winter. Especially from December to February snow and temperatures below 0 are quite common in the area.

National National Park Plitvice Lakes Winter

If there have been heavy snowfalls it can happen that the park is closed, but this happens rarely. Other times it happens that only the lower part of the parks is open, which still makes it worthwhile visiting the park. On the website of the national park you can find current opening hours, as well as information about parking and which entrance to use. So in case of snow make sure to check.

  • Weather forecast Plitvice next 7 days – here
  • Official website of NP park – here
  • Road conditions – here
Plitvice
Plitvice

Good to know for a winter visit at NP Plitvice

  • If the weather conditions are “normal” you have the boats running on the upper lakes and the guide tours are also available.
  • The admission fees are reduced
  • Opening hours are shorter
  • Bring warm clothes and proper footwear, especially if there is snow.
  • Skiing at Plitvice, a few km from entrance nr. 2 in the village Mukinje, it is possible to go skiing, there is one slope with a T-lift and a few smaller hills which are mainly used for kids on slides. Ski equipment and slides can be rented at the skiing centre where you can also find a restaurant.

Skiing Mukinje

Getting to Plitvice in the winter

Travelling to the Plitvice lakes with car is normally not a problem, in case where snow is falling or heavy snow is forecasted you should check the road conditions on the website of HAK (see link box above) before driving to the park..

Public transport: also during winter season you have buses driving to Plitvice, most buses are from Zagreb, but there are also a few buses from Split and Zadar, as well as one night bus from Dubrovnik. As both entrances are not always open during the winter season, you should make sure to get out at the right bus stop; on the map below we have marked the entrances as well as the bus stops by the park.

Where to stay in the winter season

During winter season most of the hotels run by National park Plitvice are closed, the only one which is open whole year around is hotel Jezero. But there is of course other options, at our last winter visit we stayed in this house (see also photo with all the snow) in Smoljanac, which is about 5 km from entrance 1. If you visit without a car, your first priority for accommodation should be Rastovaca. Other options are Grabovac and Rakovica where you have quite a few nice family hotels. I would avoid Korana if there is snow due to the steep road.

Please feel free to leave a comment below if you have any question about visiting national park Plitvice, during winter or any of the other seasons

Map Plivice, entrances and bus stops


View Plitvice in a larger map

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13 Comments

  1. Greeting from Trieste. I came across your site by chance and love it. Thank you for sharing your tips about travelling to Croatia and especially about the winter visit to the Plitvice lakes. I and my friend just went there and we enjoyed it very much although we couldn’t visit many parts of the National park and no service of boats, buses,nothing, only some walking paths were open. The entrance fees were reduced to 40kuna though. We actually almost cancelled the trip to Plitvice due to the bad weather and I was afraid of the road condition(I don’t get used to driving in the snow). At the end we did it and wasn’t bad idea at all. We even crossed the border to see Bihac in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the afternoon. We stayed at the inn in Rastovača only 300 metres from the entrance 1 which is very convenient. Thanks for your tips again and by the way I just looked in my photos of plitvice, they look similar to your photos. 😉

    Regards,Kannika

    • Hi Kannika,

      glad you like my site, Thanks!

      It indeed seams like we most have been in Plitvice at the same time, we also paid the reduced fee of 40 Kuna. I found Plitvice fantastic everytime i visited, i could hardly imagine a weather where that would not be the case 🙂

      I never was in Bihac, but i definitly will go there on of the next times when i am in the area.

      Greetings from Split,

      Morten

  2. Greetings.,,

    We are planning to visit Plitvicka during christmas. We will be driving from Brno. Do you think it will be snowing at Plitvicka?
    We have a 2 year old baby. Is it a good idea to drive to Plitvicka.

    We also have plans to go further down to Krka national park and to Split?

    Is it a good idea to start our drive from Czech republic?

    Please suggest.
    Mahi

  3. Great post, thank you! My sister and friend and I will be traveling to Croatia end of December-early January. We will not have a car and will be coming from Zagreb and staying two nights in the area–we want to hike and explore and see some beautiful sights. Which portion of the park (upper or lower) do you recommend for winter? Is Rastovaca a good location for a scenic winter hike (or two!)?

    Thanks in advance!

  4. This site is very helpful, thank you! I will be in Optajia in a week and am looking to do a day trip to Plitvice Lakes on Dec 17th. Do you know any bus/tour companies that are running this time of year that have trips from Optajia to the Lakes?

    Thanks,

  5. Hey!

    Me and my friend have planned a trip to Plitvice on 5th and 6th March.There are a few things we wanted to know regarding the same:
    1. Is camping a good option during the time?
    2. Are tenting equipments provided on rent?
    3.Will the upper lakes be surely closed or depending on weather conditions they can be open?
    4.Is it possible to cycle around the park?

    • Hi Nischal,

      1 & 2 – considering that Plitvice normally is covered in snow at the beginning of March, i doubt that any of the campsites are open at least not for tenting, i would recommend you to contact e.g camp Korana for more information.
      3. depends on the weather if there is no or little snow, the upper lakes will be open.
      4. No! cycling inside the park area is not allow, but in the area around Plitvice lakes there are many nice bicycle tracks, I have seen many places having a free map with the tracks in the area.

      Brgds, Morten

  6. Hi!
    What great info – really useful, thank you!!
    I would really love to visit Plitvice and have the chance I. December – however, we’ll be traveling with a 1 and a half year old – and making sure she’s having a good time and is comfortable is important to us. We’re from Australia, so snow isn’t something we are very familiar with.

    – would it be best to take a day tour to the national park?
    – what sort of clothing would a toddler need?
    – I saw you mentioned boats – are there tours that involve boat rides and minimal walking (all I’ve come across so far has been walking tours and I read about someone’s child falling in the water – in the summer – but that made me a little frightened to go to plitvice in the winter with a toddler.

    I saw you mentioned that there are ski/slide areas for children – which makes me think it must be somewhat child friendly?

    Any info or advice about going there with a little one would be really great – it seems like an amazing place to see, but I don’t want to over do it if it would be too much of a challenge for a small child.

    Thanks!!
    Emma

    • Hi Emma,

      visiting Plitvice in winter especially if there is snow a fantastic experience, but for a child 1 and half year old it can be a very cold experience, you probably want to give the toddler a skiing suit and some boots which are warm and waterproof. Finding a day tour in winter is possible but only from specific cities, but you basically can also go on your own to the national park. The boats are not operating in the winter, but obviously there is water everywhere, so you of course need to be careful when going there with a toddler. In Mukinje which is just a few km from the main entrance you have a skiing slop which is not to steep, so you can for sure go there with a child.

      Advice: i would probably consider putting my toddler one of those walking straps on, at least for those parts where you walk next to the water.

      Hope you will have a wonderful trip

      Best,

      Morten

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