Plitvice Lakes and the national park is listed in UNESCO's Register of World Natural Heritage and is one of the most well known national parks of the country. It is a group of sixteen small lakes namely, Proscansko Jezero, Labudanovac, Ciganovac, Galovac, and Kozjak lakes, located between the mountains of Mala Kapela and Plješivica in the region of Lika.
On certain maps this area is called the Devil's Garden, due to its landscape and history. According to the legend, the lakes were created after a long period of drought. People, animals and nature were longing for water and they prayed hard. Then a Black Queen appeared and along with her came a strong wind that began to blow furiously. Soon, rains splashed the region till there was enough to create the lakes.
The lake system is divided into the upper lakes and the lower lakes. The highest of them is Prošcansko Lake (639m) and the lowest is Novakovica Brod (503m).
The upper lakes, surrounded by thick forests and interlinked by numerous waterfalls, lie in a dolomite valley, while the lower lakes, smaller and shalower, surrounded only by sparse underbrush, lie on the limestone bedrock. The lakes receive most of their water from rivers called Black River and White River. After the waterfall Sastavci on the lower lakes, water continues to flow to the Korana River and the Plitvice brook, which falls from an elevation of 76m. Cliffy rocks around the lakes and along Korana comprise 14 caves in limestone and six caves in travertine.
The national park that surrounds the lakes are rich in beech, fir and spruce and are watered by various springs of the Korana River. The Park has several caves and flower meadows. Brown bear is found here among other animal species. The Lake areas are lovely and cool in summer, icy and calm in winter, yellow and ochre in autumn, green and fresh in spring. The water temperature in Prošcansko Lake and Kozjak reaches even 24°C in summer. The whole region is covered with snow from November till the end of March; the lakes are frozen in December and January offering a magical view on the winter landscape.
Plitvice lakes and the park are conveniently located near the main road that connects Zagreb and Croatia Adriatic Coast. It is easily accessible by public transport as well as by bicycle, from Karlovac, Zagreb or Split.