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Situated halfway between Zadar and Split in Croatia, is the Krka National Park with the Krka River flowing through it. It is a karst region and the river has carved lakes, caverns, and cascades through the porous rock. Krka is best known for its series of 7 waterfalls, the most famous being the Skradinski Buk Waterfall, which is the largest travertine cascade system in Europe and probably the most impressive falls I have ever seen!
Getting to the falls is an experience in itself. Before setting out for the falls, take some time wandering the streets of the old town of Skradin. Enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the al-fresco restaurants, hike up to the old fort or feed the swans on the embankment. The town of Skradin is enchanting and well worth an over night stay, if you have the time. From Skradin to Krka waterfalls you need to catch the hourly boat that gently putters up the Krka River.
Over recent years, Croatia has become a tourist hot spot with over a million people visiting the national park of Krka every year. Looking out over the cascading waterfalls and lush scenery, it is easy to see why Krka has become one of Croatia’s top attractions.
- Krka National Park Information
- Best Time to Visit Krka
- Getting to Krka National Park
- Skradinski Buk Waterfall
- Visovac Lake
- Roski Slap
- Plitvice Lake vs Krka Waterfalls
- Accommodation in Krka Park
Krka National Park Information
There are 5 official entrances for National Park Krka, the two main entrances are Skradin and Lozovac.
From the Skradin entrance you need to take the boat to the main waterfall. From the Lozovac entrance, you need to drive to the ethno village and walk from there, except for July and August, where a bus will take you from the main entrance car park to the Skradinski Buk waterfall.
Entering Krka National Park from Skradin
- The entrance ticket fee to Krka National Park is 110 Kuna for Adults and 80 Kuna for Kids.
- The entrance ticket fee in high season goes up to 150 Kuna, while in winter it drops to only 30 Kuna. See prices here.
- This includes the boat trip from Skradin to the Skradinski Buk waterfall.
- The boat goes leaves Skradin for Skradinski Buk waterfall on the hour and returns from the waterfall on the half hour.
- The last boat leaves the waterfall at 5.30pm in summer.
- The boat trip lasts about 25 minutes and the walk to Skradinski Buk waterfall is another 5 minutes.
- Please note that the boat only runs from April to October.
- For those feeling energetic, there is also the option of hiking or cycling along the 3.5km path from Skradin to Skradinski Buk waterfall.
- You are allowed to swim at the main waterfall (Skradinski Buk waterfall), so pack your costumes, although be warned, the water is icy!
- There are lots of stalls at the main waterfall, selling drink, food and most importantly, ice-creams.
- We were told it would take us 2 hours to complete our trip, but we loved every minute of the waterfalls so ended up taking 4.5 hours.
Parking in Skradin
If you are coming by car to Skradin, there is a large parking lot, right in the centre of town and only 200m from the ticket office. There are lots of touts pushing other parking as you enter the town. Just ignore them and continue to the main parking. You can always go back to them if the main parking is full. The cost is 10Kuna per hour.
Entering Krka National Park from Lovacin
There is lots of free parking at Lovacin, which is why most people traveling by car or bus opt to enter the park from here. From April until October, all visitors entering from Lovacin will be driven to Skradinski buk waterfall by bus. For the rest of the year, you can drive your car to the free parking lot at the waterfall. Those feeling more active can walk the 900m.
Best Time to Visit Krka
The Krka National Park is a year round destination, so anytime of the year would be good to feast your eyes on this marvel of nature. In Summer months the park has up to 10,000 visitors per day, so it can get pretty busy. For that reason, the shoulder seasons would be the best time to visit. The water is icy at best, even in summer, but bring your swimming costumes no matter what the season and have a dip!
Getting to Krka National Park
The easiest way to get to the national park of Krka is by car. The roads in Croatia are generally very good, with reasonably priced toll roads. Going by car also affords you the luxury of determining your own schedule, so hiring a car in Croatia would be the first choice.
Here are the distances and times taken to drive from the nearby cities:
- Zagreb to Skradin = 3 hour drive and 330km
- Zadar to Skradin = 50 minute drive and 78km
- Rijeka to Skradin = 3 hour drive and 340km
- Sibenik to Skradin = 25 minute drive and 20km
- Split to Skradin = 1 hour drive and 88km
- Dubrovnik to Skradin = 3.5 hour drive and 285km
There is quite an extensive bus network throughout Croatia, so getting to Krka National Park by bus is easy enough. There are daily buses from Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Split, Makarska, and Dubrovnik to Skradin. Should you be coming from another city, you may want to consider getting a bus to the nearest city of Sibenik and then catching a bus from Sibenik to Skradin.
To make your trip to Krka even more memorable, why not take the boat from Sibenik? The trip takes 1.5hrs, leaving from Sibenik harbour and taking you through the Saint Joseph channel and Lake Prukljan. These boat trips are organised by local tour operators and the going rate is around 250-300 Kuna.
Skradinski Buk Waterfall
The two main entrances to the Krka falls are at Skradin and Lozovac, but we opted to start at Skradin as this included a boat trip along the river to the falls. The first sight of the falls was breathtaking! An immense volume of water, thundering over a labyrinth of travertine ledges, into a crystal clear river. Nature at its best!
There was a circular path leading up the right of the falls, so we crossed the bridge and walked up – taking photos every few minutes because you can’t help yourself! We soon realised that the falls at the bottom were just the last in a series of falls, each one just as beautiful as the next.
At the top of the falls was an old village with watermills, where we could see a mill and a blacksmith still in action. These villagers certainly have the best views in the world!
Above the falls were a series of turquoise blue pools with wooden walkways meandering through the trees. We were accompanied by a chorus of frogs, each male trying to outdo the next, with hundreds of females and babies sunning themselves on the lilypads. Below them saw hundreds of fish with dragonflies skimming the surface above them.
Once back at the main falls, we couldn’t wait to jump in and have a swim. It was freezing, but even I got in and had a paddle about! The current was surprisingly strong so I was glad they had a rope with buoys sectioning off the swimming area.
We had been told it would take us 2 hours to do the falls and boat, but when we got back to Skradin town, we realised we had loved it so much that we had taken more than 4 hours.
We then jumped into Miles, our campervan, and drove further into the Park to Visovac Lake. Perched in the middle of the lake is Visovac Island, home to the 15th-century Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy. We found some men fishing off the jetty so hung out with them for a bit. I had seen photos taken of the monastery from above but that viewpoint was on the other side of the lake, so you need to drive up from Lozaovac to get that shot.
We then headed even further to another set of falls called Roski slap. Roski Slap is a series of shallow falls spanning a 27m stretch of the river. I had been told that the best viewpoint was from the Ozidana cave, so not being put off by the ominously steep looking stairs leading up the mountain, off I set. Tai had begged off, so I’d left him in the van. Up and up I trudged until I got to a sign saying I had done 293 steps and had 224 steps left to go. It is not in my nature to quit at anything, but it was 6pm and it had been a long day and I just couldn’t find it in me to go the distance on this one, so I took a few snaps and headed back down.
Plitvice Lake vs Krka Waterfalls
Plitvice Lakes were amazing, but I personally thought Krka was more beautiful. The circular route was easy t follow and the little village perched on the side of the river was fascinating. The villagers most definitely have one of the best views in the world! The old mill house and blacksmith were very interesting and great for kids to see how things worked in the olden days. There weren’t nearly as many tourists at Krka as there were at Plitvice and we got to swim, which was an added bonus! Despite Plitvice being much bigger, we actually spent a lot more time at Krka, so Krka definitely got our thumbs up.
Accommodation in Krka Park
This beautifully appointed modern apartment sleeps 4 people and is ideally located a few minutes walk from the centre of town. A kitchen, lounge and large balcony with a gorgeous view of the forest. This property comes highly recommended.
Check out the photos & latest prices for Apartment Nina on Booking.com
Wine Garden Rooms
Accommodation doesn’t get closer to the waters edge than at the Wine Garden Rooms. Watch the swans right from your balcony! There is a fabulous little wine bar in a charming garden. Room service and free wii are available.
Check out the photos & latest prices for The Wine Garden Rooms on Booking.com
If you’re looking for a fabulous day out in Croatia, then a visit to Krka National Park is highly recommended. Either a quick and easy day trip from Split or spend the night in the quaint old town of Skradin. Wherever you stay make sure to pack your swimming costume so you can enjoy a cool dip in the waterfall!