Captivating Croatia: Part 10 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes

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Captivating Croatia: Part 10 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes

Million Mile SecretsCaptivating Croatia: Part 10 – Activities in Rovinj, Croatia – Day Trip to Plitvice LakesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Emily:   I’ve wanted to go to Croatia for the last several years.  I heard wonderful things about the country and how beautiful (and relatively affordable) it was compared to the rest of Europe.  It’s located in Eastern Europe and is just a few hours from Italy.

Last year, my friends and I organized a group trip to visit Rovinj, a small coastal town on the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.  It’s a gorgeous town full of romance.  Everything is stunning there, from the streets to the houses.  The food is also excellent.

We went for a kizomba dance festival.  Later in the trip report series, I will introduce you to kizomba and describe what an incredible dance it is!  The dance festival was amazing and Croatia is definitely a place I want to return and spend more time exploring!  The trip’s retail cost was ~$17,000 but I paid ~$900.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Ready for a Big Day at Plitvice Lakes National Park, the Largest National Park in Croatia

Captivating Croatia Trip Report Index:

A Day Trip to Plitvice National Park

A trip to Croatia must include seeing 1 of the country’s most beautiful sites:  Plitvice National Park.  Although it was ~4 hours from Rovinj, it was worth the time to get there.

Plitvice is a valley comprised of 16 terraced lakes with gushing waterfalls and miles of trails.  It’s a magical world with of lots of bright bluish green lakes and miles of trees.  A true nature’s paradise that wasn’t overrun by tourists.

We started by going to the rental car dealer in town (right by the Concettino cafe) and reserving a car a day before our trip.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Wait – Will We All Fit in That Little Car?

We piled in the car and started our journey.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Our Trusty Captain and Navigator Ready for a Road Trip!

We had only had a few hours of sleep since we were up until ~6:00 am dancing the previous night.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Might Be Time for a Snooze!  We Were Tired From the Previous Night’s Festivities

The Croatian countryside was beautiful!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Serene Valleys and Rolling Hills Along the Route to Plitvice Lakes

I wanted to sleep, but I didn’t want to miss out on all of the gorgeous views.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
There Was So Much to See Along the Way!

The roads were in very good shape and were well marked.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
The Route Is Safe and Easy to Navigate

We stopped once to eat lunch and fill up on gas at a huge roadside rest stop.

There was a large buffet and you could choose from many different foods!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
I Wish Rest Stops Back Home Had Such Terrific Food Selections!

I had a beet salad, goulash with rice, pesto gnocchi, and a chocolate mousse dessert.  Yum!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Everything Was Tasty, Fresh, and Cheap!

After another hour or 2 of driving, we had finally arrived!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Stretching Our Legs After a Long Journey and Ready to Go Hiking

Immediately after entering the park, we were greeted with amazing views.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Incredible Waterfalls Right as We Entered the Park

I laughed as my friends took selfies.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Pics or It Didn’t Happen, Right Guys?

It was the perfect getaway after so many nights of dancing.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
It Was Good to Slow Down and Take It Easy After So Much Activity

The trails wound their way around the lakes and waterfalls.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
There Was Beautiful Scenery at Every Turn, and I Loved the Blue-Green Colors of the Lakes

We even saw some local residents!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Even the Wildlife Posed for Photos!

Everyone was having a great time soaking it all in.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
You Could Even Get up Close and Personal With Some of the Waterfalls

There were caves to explore…

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
More Adventurous Folks Can Hike Into the Many Caves Here

…and I loved how you got to experience all aspects of the park.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Plenty of Peaceful Spots to Find Your Zen and Reconnect With Nature

We even stopped to dance a little kizomba… (more to come on that later in the series!)

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
The Tranquil Surroundings Inspired Us to Get Our Dance Moves Going!

…and tried a kizomba caterpillar!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Not Exactly a Conga Line, but We Tried!

After exploring for a while, we rode the ferry to the other lake.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
The Ferry Ride Was a Welcome Break From All the Hiking

While on the boat, we had a snack.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Not Exactly Health Food, but It Hit the Spot!

The colors of the lakes were beautiful.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Minerals and Organisms Give the Lakes a Pretty Blue-Green Color

We loved our visit to Plitvice!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
One of the Most Unique Places I’ve Been – I Definitely Recommend Plitvice Lakes for a Day Trip

Soon, it was time to head back.  We didn’t want to find lodging in the area, so we headed back to Rovinj at dusk. ~8 hours a day is a lot of driving, but it was well worth it!  And the road trip was super fun!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Stretching Before the Long (and Cramped) Car Ride Back to Rovinj

A couple hours into our trip, we were hungry for dinner, so we stopped at the only place we saw open:  a gas station.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
Wait?  What Happened to the Fresh Food Buffet?

We enjoyed our snacks, but really wanted some real food.  Poor Jeff was exhausted after all of the driving.  I think the gas station employee wanted to come with us on our road trip!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
It’s Always Fun to Try the Local Candies, Chips (Paprika Flavor!), and Snacks

As soon as we got home, we helped each other make 1 of the best meals I’ve ever had:  roast chicken with carrots and potatoes.

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
I Was Fortunate to Share the Trip With Such Talented Cooks!

Sharing a meal together at the end of the long day filled me up with not just delicious food, but lots of love, happiness, and good vibes.  I am so thankful to have a great dance family!

Activities In Rovinj Croatia - Day Trip To Plitvice Lakes
The Best Meals Are Shared With Good Friends!  I’m Grateful We Spent Such a Memorable Time Together

Bottom Line

Visiting Plitvice National Park was a great day trip from Rovinj!  It was the perfect complement to our busy days (and nights!) of dancing.

Seeing the beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and forests helped me appreciate the little things in life.  And finishing the day with a homemade meal with my dance family was the perfect ending!

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I’m going to Rovinj and Plitvice Lakes this summer so this series has been super helpful. What was the rental company you used? Cost? Thanks!

@ julaine- There are lots of amazing places to visit all over the world! One of my favorite recent trips was going to the Oregon coast with my mom. I hope you get to go somewhere soon! 🙂

@kris- Thank you! I’ve always tried to be thrifty because I’m on a budget when I travel, and so are my friends. This was the best vacation with my friends that I’ve ever had, and I think sharing an apartment with friends (2 of whom I just met on the trip!) added to it. Even losing hot water when showering was funny–we literally just kept a happy heart, grateful to be together doing what we love!

@dhammer52- Ha, that’s funny! It’s such a small world. I agree, driving to the park was absolutely worth it!

I think we ate at the same rest stop. We did a day trip from Split. The park is sort of midway between Zagreb and Split. Pronounced Pleet veeza, this is a must see place.

I love how you are using point and miles but also a sense of budget to make the most of this trip. I’ll bet you are having more fun than the 5 star hotel/first class stays, aren’t you?

Wow! Incredible. I want to go…..