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Forest bathing tour tip #3 - Croatia Plitvice Lakes

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Richard Staudner

Austria is one of the most densely forested countries in Europe. Almost exactly 50% are covered with trees of various kinds. But other countries, too, where you might first think of coast, sea and sun, are wonderfully green and invite you to bathe in the forest. 

Croatia, one of the most popular vacation destinations for Austrians, can boast wonderful forests and lakes in addition to its beaches. 

For example, the Plitvice Lakes, which are only about two hours drive from Zagreb. The Plitvice Lakes, are not just simple waters for a Sunday trip. 

It is rather a picturesque fantasy world, which presents itself with an indescribable palette of colors. To marvel at the entire splendor, it takes a whole day. But then you have seen every single lake, waterfall and stream and also spent time under the shady trees of the huge area.   

The natural spectacle of Plitvice Lakes has countless faces. Romantic paths under treetops, small and large lakes in native glory, playful wooden paths through reeds, gentle to powerful streams and waterfalls, but also tropical-looking ponds under rocky cliffs, more reminiscent of a hot and sultry Thailand vacation. 

Forest bathing works best alone and with a lot of silence. Only the natural sounds of the forest are best. Crowds are rather undesirable, the inner compass needle is on rest and balance. 

This year the great tourism rush has failed to materialize.

The significantly reduced vacation traffic can be heard not only on the highway, but also on the sidewalks around the lakes. The lakes are suffering economically from the Corona pandemic, but they can recover from the trampling for a while.

There is rarely a crowd and at times you are alone for several minutes. But this is mainly only on the strenuous forest passages, which wind far upwards and reward us with a wonderful view over the lakes and the entire area. In a normal summer, this place is certainly anything but extinct. 

But this also made our accommodation very affordable. A pleasantly comfortable room, a good local dinner and a direct park entrance to the lakes. The hotel Jezero has apparently lowered the prices for this year's few guests. 

On the lower paths, few places invite you to linger or even meditate. One has rather provided for a quick advancement with the plant of the ways. 

In the upper, more densely wooded area, you will find all the more quiet, shady, sometimes even lonely places where you can close your eyes for a few minutes to enjoy the infinite space in this forest. 

I decided to do a meditation on the big meadow at the end of my tour, catching the last pleasant rays of the sun. 

Plitvice Lakes are clearly a tourist attraction that provide an indescribable natural spectacle and are really worth seeing.

The inveterate forest bather, spoiled with tranquility from other places, will realize after a short time that he is wrong here. Like me, he is probably better off in less well-kept forests with small hidden streams and narrow paths. 

He is certainly happier there. 

So it's definitely me!  

I hope you are inspired enough for your next trip and have a good forest bathing tip for me too! 

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Richard Staudner

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