The pretty European holiday hotspot that becomes a pristine winter wonderland

Many flock to Croatia for its beautiful seaside towns and beaches but few travellers realise the small European country also makes for a great winter getaway.

While the Adriatic Coast is famous for its clear azure water, beaches and boat trips, few associate Croatia’s interior with the blankets of white snow and stunning frozen waterfalls on offer.

Plitvice Lakes National Park with its blue-green pools and lush vegetation is particularly good for stunning wintertime vistas.

From December, the national park is transformed into a frozen paradise with almost guaranteed snow.

Besides the beautiful winter vistas, the park sees significantly fewer visitors in winter meaning travellers can enjoy the snow silently falling amid the calls of birds and the gentle flow of water in the pools.

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The lakes get around 30 inches of snowfall during the year, but the low temperatures mean it doesn’t melt and stays in a pristine condition from December to February.

If the privacy and the incredible beauty weren’t enough, the ticket prices to the park are only a quarter of the price of summer tickets at just £8.75 per adult.

The Plitvice Lakes’ winter hours are just 8am to 3pm due to the shorter days in winter. Visitors can treat themselves to a boat ride across big Lake Kozjak or take the panoramic train virtually alone.

While accommodation in Plitvice is seasonal like much of Croatia, there are still a handful of hotels and traditional village-style houses with rooms for rent.

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The easiest way to get to the national park is via Croatia’s capital Zagreb which has numerous international flights to other European capitals, including London.

From Zagreb it’s just a two hour drive to this winter paradise – the roads are kept clear year-round but private transfers can also be hired from the airport.

While Croatia may be know for sunny days filled with island hoping, intrepid travellers will not want to miss the winter wonderland that is Plitvice Lakes National Park.

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