I recently spent a few days visiting the area of the Plitvice Lakes National Park. This is a popular tourist area with a number of different lakes, waterfalls and small towns in the region.
Within a short drive of the park are a seemingly endless amount of places to stay. There’s a variety of different hotels, pensions, private rooms, and B&B’s to choose from.
I wanted something that provided a personal and relaxing experience so that I could enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Searching online I stumbled onto the San Korana private house and reached out to the owner, Ivica.
A short 2-night stay at the private house was arranged. His positive, quick, and in-depth replies quickly revealed how much Ivica loved running the San Korana.
For a visit to the park and waterfalls two nights is the perfect length. However, it’s possible to spend at least a week exploring the region and barely scratch the surface. There are many lakes, waterfalls, caves, hiking trails, forests and other things worth checking out – just not enough time!
The main highlight of my visit was supposed to be the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Though this didn’t turn out to be the case I still had a wonderful time staying at the private house. The area is easy to explore on foot. With a car you can check out some of the off-the-beaten-path sites as well.
The San Korana Guest House
The San Korana Guest House is located right on the Korana River. This is the river that flows through the park and is responsible for many of the waterfalls at Plitvice.
Ivica, the owner of the house, has lived on the ground level of the building for his entire life. The home has been in his family for many generations.
The house was burned down during the Yugoslavian Conflict in the mid-90s. Ivica took the time to painstakingly rebuild what his family had been so proud. Today, the San Korana has become one of the best places to stay in Plitvice.
Any experience here is bound to be a personal one. There are 3 rooms available and Ivica is a very personable and talkative guy.
The location is also what makes this place such a hidden gem.
The house is nestled in the heart of the Korana Valley far from any tourist buses and highways. Steps away from the front door is a peaceful waterfall with pristine walking trails nearby. It’s easy to appreciate the beauty of the surrounding countryside when you’re spending the night here.
Don’t worry – the location is still perfect for exploring the park and waterfalls. You can reach Plitvice in under 10-minutes by car with restaurants and small shops available as well.
Now that you know a little bit more about the details of the house let’s take a look at my review as well as the experience I had staying here.
The San Korana Private House in Plitvice [Review]
Check-In and Interior
You’ll find the guest house in the small village of Korana. It’s a steep road down to the village so be careful when you’re driving, especially at night!
You’ll see the house on the other side of a small river. Drive across the bridge and park your car right out front.
When we arrive Ivica was outdoors enjoying the late summer sun. As soon as I got out of my car he walked over to introduce himself.
He invited my girlfriend and I to take a seat beside the waterfall on the property. He brought us out two ice cold beers – a nice welcome drink after a long drive.
We spoke for nearly an hour. Ivica told us all about the house, the history of the area, and his experience working at the National Park. He also shared a lot of interesting details about his own life and family.
Eventually he lead us to our room on the top floor of the house. We relaxed for a short while before leaving to go swimming in the waterfall nearby.
Both the exterior and interior of the home had been recently updated. Ivica told me he’s always working on improving or renovating some aspect of the building. This way it’s always in the best possible shape it can be.
The stairs and exterior wall were freshly painted and the garden was well-kept. Everything that I could see was clean and organized.
As soon as I opened the door to my room I was surprised by how spacious it was.
The building doesn’t look that big from the outside so I wasn’t expecting much space. Surprisingly, the room was large and perfectly suited for two people.
Three windows along the wall let in plenty of natural lighting. There was a cool breeze coming in throughout the night that helped to keep the space cool despite the warm weather.
In the center of the room was a double bed, or rather two single beds pushed together. In the corner was a third bed.
The room I had was a triple room designed for two or three people. It was great for my girlfriend and I.
For three people there is still enough space for everyone to get around without bumping into one another.
In the room there was a small couch, a small coffee table, two stools, and bedside tables. There was even a small refrigerator with a microwave on top.
The fridge was a great feature and convenient for our short-term stay. It was not something I expected in a small, locally owned and family run hotel/guesthouse.
From the windows I could see a small part of the Korana village and the forested valley in the distance.
The bathroom had an awkward design and the space felt cramped.
It wasn’t too small by any means though the slanted ceiling didn’t allow for much movement.
The ceiling in the bathroom slanted down, which took away from the overall interior space.
The water-heater was also positioned awkwardly in the corner. This took away from even more of the interior space. Thankfully, the sink was in a good position and easy to use.
The bathroom could be updated and can use a deep cleaning. Otherwise, everything worked very well and the water pressure was suitable.J
Keep in mind is that the water heater gets quite warm. If you want to dry your bathing suit or use a warm towel for showering you can drape any item over the water heater. It will be warm and dry the next time you’re ready to use it.
Nightly rates at this guesthouse start at about $34 USD per person per night for a double room.
Included in the rate is access to the large, well-equipped kitchenette. This kitchen provides anything needed to cook a small meal or prepare some hot coffee or tea in the morning.
Free parking is available out front of the property, There are limited spots available so I’m not sure how it would work out if the guesthouse is full.
Compared to the other options for accommodation in the area I would say that the price per person for night to stay at the San Korana is very reasonable. Considering its proximity to the park entrance it’s perfect for those of you visiting for the waterfalls.
One of my favorite things about the San Korana private house is its location.
The entrance gates to the Plitvice Lakes National Park are less than a 10-minute drive away. Thanks to this short distance you can arrive at 7AM and beat the tourist buses arriving from Zagreb. Speaking of that, take a look at my post on the best things to do in Zagreb if you’re planning on exploring elsewhere in Croatia.
Within a 5-10 minute drive are a number of restaurants and grocery stores. You can find reasonably priced meals or pick up some items to make something on your own.
For those willing to drive there are more waterfalls in the area that can be explored. There are caves to check out as well if that sounds interesting.
Try visiting the small town of Slunj and its unique private village area. There are castle ruins and waterfalls there as well.
I’ll be upfront – the wi-fi at the San Korana private house needs improvement.
During the day the connection was reasonable. Though it’s at that time that you’re going to want to be out and about exploring the region. At night the internet was unuseable.
The problem could be that I was located on the top floor. Maybe the router is located on the ground level. The rooms closer to the ground might have a better connection.
For general web browsing, like looking up dining options or direction the internet should be OK. if you’re trying to upload photos or videos then you’re going to have problems.
With a market and restaurants nearby I chose not to have breakfast at the house.
If you’re interested in having breakfast at the property it’s about $5.50 USD.
Ivica makes it himself and you’re able to choose from both hot and cold menu options. There is also juice, coffee or tea depending on your preferences.
Parking and Accessibility
There is free parking access with 3 full-size spots out front of the main building.
There was plenty of room for our Opel Corsa. At one point there was a Mercedes station wagon and another car parked with room to space.
Reaching the house is easy as long as you’re using GPS. The Google Maps app had no problem directing me.
As for public transportation I’m not sure it’s possible to reach the house without having a car. I wouldn’t recommend it either as your options for exploring would be limited.
Overall, I had a pleasant and memorable stay at the San Korana private house.
The location is perfect with quick access to nearby waterfalls as well as the National Park. It was nice being in a quiet natural area for once after having spent so much time in large towns and cities.
The house is secluded and this adds to the overall experience of staying here. It will make your visit to the Plitvice Lakes National Park one that you won’t soon forget.
Ivica was one of the best hosts I’ve ever met. You can see that he goes out of his way to make sure that his guests are having a great time.
Heading to Plitvice? Then checking out the San Korana Guest House if you’re looking for somewhere to stay!