There are hostels, and then there are HOSTELS! Falling Lakes Hostel is in a category all of its own. And it’s the best lodging for one of the most beautiful places on Earth. If you’re looking for Plitvice Lakes lodging, this is the place!
Falling Lakes Hostel is run by Irena and her brother Boris. It’s located in the small town of Korenica, 18 km south from the entrance of the park. After nearly a year of renovations on an old bakery, their 52-bed masterpiece is now open. From the moment you approach the hostel, it’s a welcoming sight.
Inside, every attention to detail has been made. This is a true hostel for travelers, made by travelers. The beds are handmade and actually fit every size of traveler, including me. The security lockers are the largest I’ve ever seen. In fact, they are so big that both Irena and Boris will fit in one locker!
The kitchen has all facilities. The dining room/common room has great music and plenty of activities. By the way, I was introduced to the card game Cards Against Humanity there. The deck has a wonderful view. The bathrooms are clean. In fact, the whole hostel smells wonderful, which is something you really can’t get just from the pictures. It’s not a “clean smell” or a air freshener smell, but rather a genuine outdoor smell. Probably from the fact that they used all local lumber to build the beds and other furniture.
But the hostel itself isn’t all. As mentioned above, the Plitvice Lakes are only 18 km north, and the hostel offers a shuttle service to the lakes for only 35 Croatian Kuna (currently about €6) and the parks are 110 Kuna to enter, but that goes up to 180 on July 1st.
Korenica also has some good places to eat. Irena recommended Bistro Marino for dinner. The prices were quite good (about 40 Kuna for a meal) and the meat is roasted fresh each day. They have a selection for most tastes. Otherwise, there are markets and bakeries just a couple minutes from the hostel to get food to cook in the kitchen.
Finally, if you want something a little different from the norm, on the other side of town (about 1 km from the hostel) is a zoo behind another restaurant. Perhaps not the best attraction, and certainly nothing compared to the lakes. But if you were hoping to see bears in Croatia, here is your chance.
If you’re planning to visit, be aware that the Plitvice Lakes are becoming one of the most popular destinations to visit in the world, and this hostel will probably be booked to capacity throughout the summer. You can get a bus to Korenica from anywhere in Croatia, but I would recommend either Karlovac or Split. So reserve ahead, and enjoy.