Croatian daily newspaper Vjesnik last week reported that some of Croatia’s National Parks are attracting healthy visitor numbers this year. The two main Parks attracting the most visitors are Krka and, unsurprisingly, the amazing Plitvice Lakes, which together account for 1.4 million of the 1.7 million total number of visitors to all of the eight National Parks of Croatia. (2009 figures)
Plitvice Lakes has already passed its half a millionth visitor in 2010, and is hoping to reach the magic million mark later this year. (Last year, just under 850,000 came to Plitvice; there were 550,000 visitors to Krka). In June alone, comparing this year to last, there was a rise in visitor numbers of 6%, with 5% in July; overall, there has been a 7% increase in the first seven months of 2010.
Plitvice Lakes National Park
A spokesperson for the park, Vlatka Ruzic, says there has been a substantial increase in the number of Russian visitors this year, helped by the abolition of visas for the summer months. There’s also been a jump in Japanese visitors – who often like to take in a National Park when in this part of Europe; Vjesnik says that each year, visitor numbers to Plitvice from Japan rise by 40%.
As wonderful as these two Parks are, if you’d like to get away from the crowds why not consider one of Croatia’s other nature offerings? Official statistics for 2009 show only just over 100,000 visiting the Brijuni islands, and just under 100,000 going to Paklenica.