The Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia contains a series of sixteen lakes, all connected by cascading waterfalls. Forged by converging rivers and subterranean karst rivers, these lakes and waterfalls begin at an altitude of 636 m (~2,087 ft) and continue to descend for 8 km (5 mi). The waterfalls flow over natural dams made from travertine, a type of limestone created through the sedimentation of chalk. The water cascades into magnificent lakes that are famous for their unusual colours, ranging from azure to green, grey or blue. The colours shift according to the angle of the light on the water and the quantity of minerals or organisms it contains.
The landscape around the lakes is heavily forested with fir, spruce and beech trees. At ground level, vegetation is a mixture of Alpine and Mediterranean with a diverse number of species, reflecting the diversity of habitats.
Equally varied are fauna species, including rare mammals and birds such as the European brown bear, wolf, eagle, owl and capercaillie.
The park is a huge tourist destination with over 1,200,000 visiting every year. All areas of the lakes in the park are equally popular with tourists as there is something magnificent to see around every corner.
The waterfalls range from huge falls that drop for 70 m (~230 ft) to tiny sprouting fountains that seem to burst through the rock. The lakes are divided into two sections: the larger Upper Lakes portion is surrounded by thick forest; and the smaller Lower Lakes are surrounded by a barer shrubby landscape. The lower lakes feature a great misty waterfall called the Veliki Slap which is 70 m (~230 ft) tall and can be viewed from many angles as the path leads right along its edge. Visitors can explore at close quarters by walking along wooden walkways that cross the lakes and waterfalls. You can also explore the caves behind the waterfalls.