In summer when everything blends into a beautiful turquoise colour or during autumn when leaves on trees turn yellow, orange, brown or red…
“When they come to Croatia, they stay for like three to seven days in average. Trying to see entire Croatia in a week is impossible! So most of our touristic itineraries are based on the mainstream beauties of Croatia only. But interesting thing is, that most of our guests never see those hidden wonders, because we simply don’t have enough time to take them at those places in that short period of time!”
Talking with a veteran tourist guide and listening to his stories was a real privilege. Eighteen years he has been in this industry. Eighteen years he is showing beauties of Croatia, on daily basis to our guests. And after eighteen years all he kept saying was that he is so sorry that our guests miss so much of Croatia due to short time spent here.
“For example,” he continued “look at the Plitvice lakes. Basic tour that most of our visitors experience, leads only around the Lower lakes, considering three smaller and the big one. It is a beautiful tour, but Plitvice lakes are composed of eighteen lakes (sixteen named and couple with no name). Eighteen! And they see only four of them.”
“Are all eighteen of them beautiful and interesting as well?” I asked.
“No, no. Seeing all eighteen of them wouldn’t be so interesting, but one part of Upper lakes is stunning. After you cross big lake with the electric boat, you find yourself surrounded by beautiful waterfalls that you practically walk through. Charm of Plitvice lakes is in small waterfalls and walking trails. You do see big waterfall, but we cannot compare that to Niagara Falls or alike. No, charm and beauty of Plitvice lakes consist out of hundreds of small waterfalls that you walk through, especially while passing around the Upper lakes.
So, after you pass that place, you find yourself at another smaller lake. All over the sudden, everything is very quiet. Out of place where everything was hissing and making water noises, you take turn and you are at the calm lake, where some bird maybe greets you from time to time, but nothing more. Until you make another four to five hundred feet, and then you see it. Small waterfall, about fifteen feet high, but the charming part is that you pass right beneath it! And after feeling waterdrops on your face, you enter final part of that route through the Upper lakes.
Again small waterfalls, this time combined with naturally made pools, small bridges, trees, and rocks. In summer when everything blends into a beautiful turquoise colour or during autumn when leaves on trees turn yellow, orange, brown or red… Even the best artist in the world wouldn’t be able to imagine such a spectacle of nature. It is simply breath-taking. One has to see it in person to understand its beauty.”
In that moment, it was real, I saw a tear in his eye.
“Well why tour operators do not offer that kind of tours?” I asked looking for tissue in my pocket.
“Oh, don’t get me wrong, they do! But, as I said in the beginning, most of our guests have no time for such tours. They have to see the coast. Medieval cities, and alike. So, they simply pass by Plitvice lakes, never getting to know its real beauty.”
“Yeah, I understand” I replied. “Are the Plitvice Upper lakes only hidden wonder in Croatia by your opinion?”
He looked at me in surprise. “Of course not! Would you like to hear more? I could talk all day and night about them!”
Of course I wanted to hear more! So we ordered another coffee, he continued to talk, and I have been finding out more and more hidden gems, about my beautiful Croatia.