PLITVICKA JEZERA NATIONAL PARK CROATIA

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Plitvička Jezera National Park is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in Europe. In a valley between high forested mountains lies, one bellow another, a string of sixteen beautiful lakes of a crystal blue-green colour. They are fed by many small streams and brooks and spill over into each other in foaming cascades and thundering waterfalls. Over the millennia, the waters of these lakes have dissolved the limestone rock and carved out the valley in which they now lie.
Through the sedimentation of calcium carbonate and the work of special kinds of algae and moss tufa or travertine has been deposited, and is still deposited to form the natural dams that separate the lakes. Since the process is going on today, just as it alwasy has, new travertine barriers, curtains, stalactites, channels and cascades are being built and the existing ones are changing. As it is deposited, the tufa coats the beds and banks of the lakes, giving the water a sparkling beauty and petrifying trees and stones which fall into the lakes. The water keeps breaking through the travertine barriers at different places, so that the entire process of formation of lakes and dams is alive and very dynamic.This is, in fact, a continuous dynamnic process of tufa formation, a uniquely interesting natural phenomenon.
Nature's construction work continues in undisturbed ecological conditions. Beside the lakes are some interesting caves in which the remains of prehistoric settlements have been found.
The National Park covers an area of 29 482 hectares, of which 22 308 is forest, 217 hectares is lakes and streams, and 6957 is meadow and farm land.
These forests, which in places seem almost primeval, contain a wealth and variety of animal and plant life.
There are deer, bears, wolves, wild boar, wild cats, small game and many kinds of birds. The waters have excellent trout.
Hunting, fishing and swimming are not allowed.
There are two entrances to the National Park (upper and lower lakes). On the panoramic map these are marked 1 and 2.
Big notice boards at each entrance provide vistors with basic information concerning walking trails through the Park and the locations of viewpoints, car parks, hotels, post office, bus stops, first-aid posts, etc.
The trails are also marked on
the tickets that visitors buy when
they enter.
All other information (accomodation, food, connections with the coast and other parts of Croatia, traffic information, etc.) is provided by the Park staff in the information offices.