New York Times writers share their favorite watery places in Europe in their piece “On the Water: Ten Favorite Places on European Rivers, Lakes, and Coastlines” published on May 16, 2017.
Because New York Times’ latest travel piece is dedicated to finding the best places on the water in Europe, it’s no surprise that one of Croatia’s most famous destinations made the cut.
Alex Crevar, travel writer in the Western Balkans for two decades, claims that few places in the region can compete with Plitvice Lakes National Park, thus placing the Croatian park on this NYT list of 10 best.
Perhaps Croatia’s most well-known destination, Plitvice Lakes was established in 1949 and became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. The park is 115 square miles and boasts 16 lakes, 1,200 plant species, 161 bird species, and animal life that ranges from brown bears to otters and wolves.
The park’s importance, however, is more than just physical.
Alex Crevar writes:
“Near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plitvice is a symbolic and strategic fulcrum at the crux of the country’s boomerang shape, with one arm thrust east to the Pannonian Plain and the other south along the Adriatic coast. ‘For centuries, the lakes literally sat on the front lines of history,’ said Vjeran Pavlakovic, a history professor at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. ‘But even as regimes and borders changed, there was always respect paid to the fragility of this one-of-a-kind ecosystem. Very few places in the world can claim that.’”
You can read the full article on the New York Times.