有「歐洲九寨溝」及「撒旦花園」之稱的普列提維切湖國家公園 (Nacionalni Park Plitvicka Jezera/Plitvice Lakes)，位於亞得里亞海岸及歐洲大陸的交界處。科拉納河 (Korana Rijeka) 流經克羅埃西亞中部山地時，切穿河谷，在蓊鬱的森林深處，形成普列提維切湖國家公園內多處瀑布與深潭。湖區因由16座湖泊及無數瀑布組成，所以又稱為「十六湖國家公園」，為喀斯特地形 (karst ) 的代表作，也就是石灰岩與水蝕交互作用所形成的特殊地理與水文地質景觀。而這種水、岩石，與植物交互影響所形成的生態體系，從萬年前的冰河時期結束到現在，都未曾受干擾。 普列提維切湖國家公園建於西元1949年，位於海拔367~1279公尺的高山峽谷間，自西南往東北，長8公里，佔地296.85平方公里，是克羅埃西亞八座國家公園中，最大也最早成立的國家公園。
湖區大致分為上湖區 (12個湖) 和下湖區 (4個湖)：上湖區位於石灰岩山谷，有茂密的森林和奔騰的瀑布；下湖區較小而淺，只有稀少的矮灌叢。大部分的水來自黑河 (Bijela Rijeka)、白河 (Crna Rijeka) 和地下湧泉；相反的，水有時候也會滲透進石灰岩，成為伏流，最後所有的水都匯入科拉納河 (Korana Rijeka)。 普列提維切湖的湖水變化萬千，從蔚藍到鮮綠，從深綠到淺灰，湖水會呈現什麼顏色，端看湖水深度、水中礦物質與有機物質比例，以及陽光照射的角度而定。這也是普列提維切湖國家公園之所以吸引人的地方—四季都呈現不同面貌：春天嫩綠的瀑布裡有豐盈的流水潺潺，夏季蓊鬱蒼翠的林木裡總是蟬聲不斷，秋日的山巒染滿楓紅及黃葉的炫麗，冬季白雪皚皚的白色世界則彷若仙境。
【下湖區 Donja Jezera/ The lower lakes】
▲Novakovica Brod Lake – according to a tale indicates “crossing or transportation" of Novakovic. It is the last of the Plitvice Lakes, situated 504m above the sea level; it is 4.5m deep, 90m wide, 50m long and in an area of 0.003 km2.
At the end of Novakovica Brod, on a layer covered by bushes, there are a large number of waterfalls of various widths that are falling down over a vertical line on the enlarged depression called Sastavci. Sastavci is a stone depression at the end of falling flow of the Plitvice lake water and of the wide Plitvica stream waterfall, which flows into this place from the western side of semicircular shaped vertical rock.
湖旁的步道可通往整座公園最壯觀的大瀑布—Veliki Slap (78m)After falling down the 76m high limestone rock, the Plitvica stream takes away its water over a 10m long horizontal bed. Then again the water falls down the high stony stairs to the point where it is dispersed in the waterfalls of the Novakovica Brod Lake. On that spot, joined in a foamed tumble under the water fog, a dark green water mass is running away thus forming the beginning of the karst river Korana flow.
▲Kaluderovac Lake – gets its name from “kaluder" – meaning a monk, a hermit who once used to live either in a semi cave just next to the water or in the upper cave at the canyon edge. This lake is situated 508m above the sea level, its depth is 14m, in an area of 0.02 km2. The lake’s length is 225m, and its width varies from 70m to 100m.
The sheerest canyon section made of about 40m high rocks is above it. The beginning section of the lake and sections close to the shore are covered by reeds, which is an obvious evidence of eutrophication of the lake area.
▲Gavanovac Lake – as the legend is saying, the Gavanovac treasure disappeared in this lake. The lake is located on the peak elevation of 518m above the sea level. It is 100m long, 65m wide and occupies an area of 0.009 km2. Although relatively small, its depth is 10m which is normal for water accumulation in stony canyon surroundings. A part of travertine cascades there which are falling down in a lower water collector are called Big Cascades (Velike Kaskade).
There is a path branching off from these cascades right up to an impressive dark hole of Supljara Cave, through which we can go using rocky and man made stairs in order to reach the plateau and upper path which goes along the canyon edge.
▲Milanovac Lake – according to the legend was named after a shepherd Mile who drowned in it, or after a miller Mile Perisic who owned a mill at the lake. This lake, the biggest of all of the Lower lakes, is located 524m above the sea level; its depth is 18m in the beginning section. Its length is 470m and width varies from 50m to 90m, while area occupied is 0.03 km2.
The water color varies from bluish to greenish, depending on daily light or on the brightness of the sky; or rather whether we are observing it from the upper path section, or from the very edge of the water. The lake is edged by over 20m high cliffs, and a walkway for the sightseeing is set up right next to the water along the eastern side, but we could also see it while walking on the footpath on the upper canyon section, where several lookout points are set up. Scars and dark holes in the cliffs along the lower path are testifying of existence of semi – caves and caves as characteristic morphological forms of this kind of chalky layers.
【上湖區Gornja Jezera /The upper lakes】
▲Kozjak Lake – got the name according to a legend saying that 30 young goats drowned in it while crossing it over not firm enough ice – running away from wolves. The lake is situated 534m above the sea level, its deepest point has 46m and it occupies an area of 0.83 km2. The biggest one of the Plitvice Lakes. The length of the Kozjak Lake is 2350m, while its width varies from only 135m (at the boat crossing point), to 670m in its most northern section at the foot of small village Plitvica. The depth of this lake is increasing from 5m in Glibovita draga in the south section, up to 26m in front of Matijaseviceva draga, where a travertine barrier falls is located – its crest is only 4m below today’s level of Kozjak. The second side of submerged barrier goes sheer down up to 41.9m of depth, while the deepest point of this lake is about 280m further towards north it makes 46m.
The particularity of this lake is Stefanija’s island (Stefanijin otok) of elliptic shape, located at the enlargement of the lake, close to the boat crossing. The island is 80m away from the west shore, and its depth is 20m, while it makes 230m from the east shore with the depth of 15m. Its length is 275m, width about 60, and area occupied is 0.014 km2. The highest section of this island is only 9.5m above today’s level of the lake water. The island is made of dolomite rocks of Triassic Age on which beech and hazel nut trees beside other low vegetation are growing. The island was named after princess Stefanija who visited the Plitvice Lakes in 1888.
▲Burgeti Lake – a chain of small shallow lakes separated by travertine barriers, and covered by low vegetation. The name comes from agitated water flow in small scars which make noise or “boil". The peak elevation of 534m is considered to be the altitude above the sea level, the lake depth is 2m and an area occupied by this lake is 0.001 km2.
▲Gradinsko Lake – was named after the old walls (gradina) which had once been situated on the peak between Kozjak Lake and this one. The lake is 554m above the sea level, its depth is 10m in the most western section, and it occupies an area of 0.8 km2. This lake is interesting for the color of its water, which oscillates from light green to white in shallow water, and then to dark green in deeper spots. A submerged barrier, today just 1.5m to 2m below water level could be seen in the middle part of the lake, while two more barriers are submerged in its low and the narrowest section. The white color in the lake is called “bjelar" which is a leftover of a pure travertine mud not covered by underwater vegetation.
▲Milino Lake – according to the legend, named after Mile Maric from Stropina who drowned in this lake. This lake is located 564m above the sea level, its depth is now only 1m and it occupies an area of 0.01 km2.
▲Galovac Lake – was either named after Captain Gal who defeated the Turks, or after a brig and Galovic. The lake is located 583m above the sea level, the deepest point is at 24m in the northern side of the lake under Stubica slope, and it occupies an area of 0.12 km2. This is the third biggest lake of the Plitvice.
Galovacki buk – once the most prominent waterfall of the Upper Lakes, over 20m high was even before the homeland war well noticeable from the road on which panoramic train still runs today. Unfortunately, the water flow is discontinued today due to the collapsed trees on its upper side, and it flows only in one narrow jet.
Close to the waterfall, at the edge of a walkway, a board with the picture of Professor Pevalek and an appropriate text was set up.
The northern edge of the barrier, a bit farther away of Galovacki buk there is a very large area of waterfalls Veliki Prstavci which are overflowing from Galovas as a water veil, and glitter and splash under the midday sun in oscillating rainbow spectrum. A part of this water flows over the line of waterfalls into the next ones.
▲Vir Lake – the name has been originated from water whirling. This lake is situated 598m above the sea level, its depth is 4m, occupies an area of 0.01 km2, and is covered by low vegetation. The walkway goes just along its edge.
▲Malo Lake – is located under dolomite slope of the Stubica peak, close to the path which goes around the Upper Lakes in northern side. This lake is 604m above the sea level, is 9.5m deep and the area it occupies is 0.01 km2. The lake is covered by low vegetation and has many small waterfalls, too.
▲Batinovac Lake – from either the villager called Batinic, or from a grandmother (grandmother = baka), who had drowned in it. This lake is situated 608m above the sea level; it occupies an area of 0.01 km2 and its deepest point is at 5m.
The lake is surrounded by high beech trees, while a cleverly made path goes along the series of small waterfalls on which travertine creations made by travertine – forming – plants and mosses can be seen.
▲Okrugljak Lake – due to its round shape (round = okrugao). This lake is situated 613m above the sea level, and it occupies an area of 0.04 km2. The deepest point of the lake is at 15m and that is at the foot of Labudovacka barrier.
The waterfall, about 7m high, is flowing in from Ciganovac into Okrugljak in the north – western side, while over 20m high Labudovacki waterfall decorates a part of more than 100m wide dried up travertine barrier under which numerous cavities, semi – caves and caves called “cave park" (spiljski park) are located.
▲ Ciginovac Lake – has gotten its name because, according to the legend some “Gypsy" has drowned in while fishing. This lake receives its water from Proscansko Lake through a dug out canal, but a part of water that flows in is probably being drainage under the ground through very porous travertine barrier – called Labudovacka barrier, or as once called “Delta".
▲Proscansko Lake – that name was either given based on stakes (prose) or according to the legend on “prosnja" (praying the black Queen for water). The permanent Matica flow runs into the lake, or to make it more clear, joins the water of the Black and White River. The lake is located 637m above the sea level, occupies an area of 0.68 km2, its deepest point is 38m.
The length of the lake is 2100m, while its width varies from 180 to 400m. Liman draga (from Turkish: Liman = bay) is 900m long and branches off at the beginning of the lake in the west direction. Due to its width and depth, the lake water is of dark green color. Slight peaks around the lake are covered by high coniferous and deciduous forests, which make complete tranquility, and reflect leaves colors on the water surface in accordance with the seasons of the year.