Plitvice Lakes: Story about love and marathon

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Last year, still with all four feet firmly standing on Mexican soil, we already started to daydream about places we would explore once we arrived in Croatia. We had a wedding in front of us and our photo package included engagement photo shoot as well. Having those photos taken in Plitvice Lakes seemed like a brilliant idea and a perfect destination for our first day trip in Croatia. | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia

Story about love

It was early October and weather was perfect – partly sunny, not too cold and not too hot. Two hours ride from Zagreb were quite pleasant, only if we remembered to compile some nice music CD because radio signal was nonexistent in some parts of the road and iPod was left at home. We parked at entrance 1, got the tickets (110 kunas for grown-ups in October, during high summer season they are much more expensive) and walked our way to lakes. 

There is small, but very useful map printed out on tickets. If you check it out, you will find out there are plenty of walking trails all around the lakes. You can choose from the ones 2 hours long up to 10 hours in the park. Some routes consist of walking only, but some are a mix of walking, boat and train ride, which are included in entrance fee as well. We chose exactly that kind of route, 3 to 4 hours long. This is what is so great about Plitvice – it is suitable for everyone, no matter what your age or physical condition are. | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia

Next four hours we spent exploring one of the busiest and the most stunning routes around the upper lakes. The magical combination of perfectly turquoise water, wooden paths and unique vegetation, made a perfect setting for our pre-wedding photos. We used every opportunity to hug, squeeze and take amazing photos within such a beautiful scenery. Since we were there with a photographer, we were kind of attraction ourselves and some Asian groups even wanted to take photos with us! | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia

Put Plitvice on your *must see* list because…

Plitvice lakes are true must see location when you are in Croatia. They are indeed a unique combination of water and karst forms incorporated into the wild forest. When numerous visitors and scientists realized nothing similar exists anywhere else in the world, UNESCO declared lakes to be part of their World heritage list in 1949. This 16 fairy green lakes are the result of a game of water, permeable and impermeable rocks and living creatures and they are the second most known destination in Croatia, after Dubrovnik. 

If you explore the area carefully enough, you will be able to discover different sorts of living animals, a real jungle, the biggest waterfall in Croatia and your inner peace. We sure did. | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia

Story about marathon

This spring we came back. Jaime started to run more seriously and he applied for Plitvice marathon. Yes, he chose one of the hardest trails in this area to be his first full marathon. I did understand him; it was a challenge and it was the unbelievable attractive challenge he just could not resist to. It was the first weekend in June and we reached Plitvice shortly after 6 am. Jaime, dad, Lota the dog and me. We were chilling until 9 am when the race started and Jaime began his 42 km long adventure. Luckily, it was nor hot or cold and you could feel rain in the air. Everybody who was running said they would rather choose rain than hotness, so I dare to say weather conditions were perfect for a long race. | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Lota in Plitvice © | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Jaime running ©

While he was running, three of us explored Plitvice. I must mention Plitvice are pet-friendly and dogs are more than welcome, of course, if they are well-behaved and on a leash. Lota enjoyed the long walk and she seemed quite interested in different waterfalls and butterflies flying around. During 3.5 hours she did not show any sign of tiredness or that she had difficulties with overcoming paths (of course we did not walk all the time, she had plenty of water, we took rest and rode the boat). 

This time, we started from entrance 2 and chose the completely different area to explore. We needed to be back in finish line in four hours so three hours long trail was perfect for us. Again there was the combination of walking around two smaller lakes, seeing some incredible scenery and taking a boat and train in the end. | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Plitvice lakes © Mexatia

Apply for Plitvice marathon because…

Two hours and 15 minutes later, Jaime sent me a message he just completed first 21 kilometers. That was more 20 minutes slower than his usual time and I knew the race was hard. I just hoped he would finish it without getting injured or lost. And he did! Also, during the whole morning I was observing how everything was organized and I did not find even one fault, as a visitor. Later Jaime agreed that everything  was organized perfectly, the only omission was a car that strayed on a racetrack somewhere at the west side of Plitvice. He was noticed early enough so everything went well.

Anyhow, we came back to finish line maybe half an hour before he came. The rain was slowly starting when we saw him in the distance. Thank god, he was ok! He ran next to me without even noticing me and continued to finish line. He did it, he finished his first 42 km! I was so proud he made it. As we entered the changing tent, the downpour started. What a perfect timing, ha? 🙂 We are coming back next year, that’s all I need to say. | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

Jaime finishing the marathon ©

See more of Plitvice Lakes in our Facebook album HERE, it is marvelous!


If you decided to visit Plitvice, check out our list of dreamy accommodation around the Lakes.

If you liked the post, please pin it. 🙂 | Plitvice lakes: Story about love and marathon

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48 Discussion to this post

  1. Jen Morrow says:

    The trails around the waterfalls look amazing! I do not want to run a marathon, but I would love to spend the time exploring each of the waterfall trails!

  2. Sheri says:

    I cant run a marathon – too unfit for that, however spending time at a place like this with the waterfalls in the background or taking a walk along the trail would be a beautiful experience. Living in Vienna, I am not too far away from croatia so this could be possible in the near future

  3. The photographs just made me speechless. they were beautiful. Also, since I love dogs, that dog photo was just too cute for me.

  4. Chantae says:

    How romantic! I love those pictures of you two and wow! way to go Jaime on that marathon. I’m kicking myself – 2 years ago I went to Croatia and missed seeing Plitvce Lakes… these pictures haunt me now 😛

  5. Danjuma says:

    the fact i saw you doing the marathon on this post alone brings joy to my self… health is wealth and for the sports and fitness, i welcome the marathon as i do it alot..

  6. Blair Villanueva says:

    Nothings more romantic than seeing two hearts loving each other and happily enjoyed God’s gift of nature. All in this post are beautiful.

  7. Kevin Wagar says:

    That landscape looks unbelievable! Finding a reason to travel is a great way to make yourself take the trip. Congrats on the marathon!

  8. Voyager says:

    Piltvice lakes, the place is really magical. Looks spectacular and so romantic. It would be lovely to run in these beautiful environs too. Your photos vividly bring alive the charm of the place.

  9. I’m not the marathon types, but what a beautiful post. The photos are incredible 🙂

  10. Liz says:

    Plitvice looks amazing!!! I’ve been thinking of going to Croatia sometime soon, and your pictures of Plitvice has definitely drawn me in. I love nature trails and lakes, so it’s a pretty ideal destination for me. 🙂

  11. Sanket D. says:

    Croatia is seriously very hot on my list right now! I think my next Euro trip I have to make it happen! Your pictures are truly gorgeous. Thank you so much for writing about Plitvice – I haven’t really heard of it as much as some of the other more famous places in Croatia.

  12. The Plitvice Lakes are gorgeous! I would love to travel in Croatia and see the waterfall! 3 to 4 hours of walking sounds just about right to me. And congratulations to Jaime for finishing the marathon!

    • Thank you Stella! Exactly, 3-4 hours is perfect. I would like to come one weekend and do the walking marathon, 8 hours every day. But only once hehe 🙂

  13. Danielle says:

    I can imagine getting lost on purpose in there! What beautiful scenery – I think I could happily spend as much time as possible enjoying that nature!

    • I totally agree with you Danielle! I am very sad to hear people are getting so irresponsible so every year somebody gets hurt while they are trying to get a better selfie in this wonderful environment!

  14. Liana says:

    I’ve heard about Plitvice and it’s been on my bucket travel list for the past couple years, and seriously, those photos are quite amazing! The description of your trip and of the must done trails, it’s so good! This is such a romantic place and perfect for wedding pictures! x

  15. Ines says:

    Sounds like you had a nice time at the park! And congrats to Jaime for finishing the marathon!!! I only visited Croatia once and did the Dalmatian Coast but I definitely want to return so I can visit Pitvlice Lakes!!

  16. Tamshuk says:

    The waterfall pictures are so beautiful. I love these kind of hiking trails where you can go at your own pace while enjoying the beautiful landscapes. Oh and you both look lovely together 🙂

  17. Jennifer says:

    We JUST went to these waterfalls last month. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. But it is a TON of walking. I think we went there on the hottest day ever. We did a tour and the guy zoomed through it. I would love to go again and just enjoy it.

    • There is lots of different trails so you can choose the one it fits you best. I really like the fact there are boat and train ride included so when you get tired you can just sit and enjoy the ride. Our plan is really to spend whole weekend there and just trekk. Of course, out of season 🙂 Spring time or mid autumn are just perfect for a visit. And bring no stroller hehe 🙂

  18. Suanlee says:

    Croatia more than lives up to the hype – particularly these views. How stunning. I’m not the most fit person but I would be persuaded to participate in a marathon with amazing views such as these. Jaime did a great job! Perhaps I’ll have to start training for this spectacular marathon 😀

  19. Claire says:

    Looks like a gorgeous day! I’m always surprised that Croatia is as stunning as it is, the waterfall looks like it should be somewhere in SE Asia! And congratulations to Jaime for the marathon!

  20. Christine says:

    That looks amazing. I wonder though, is is stroller friendly at all? Or should I wear the baby?

  21. Teresa says:

    Wow, what an unbelievable landscape! Must make running even more exciting to be doing it in such beautiful places.

  22. Nickida says:

    This looks like such a wonderful place to visit. That walking path looks like it’s just floating on the water. What a beauty. Thanks for sharing it with us. Amazing.

  23. Veronica says:

    I heard that Plitvice lakes are very beautiful, but I never knew there were waterfalls too! Such a great place for a marathon!

    • Pltivice are mostly about waterfalls as the main attraction are travertine barriers which caused formation of waterfalls. You should come to check it out!

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