In the last couple weeks, I’ve been posting about the day trips we went on during our month when we were based in Split, Croatia. I wrote about our wonderful trip to Dubrovnik and about our foray into Bosnia, but I’ve saved the best for last.
We were so surprised at what we found on our day trip to Krka National Park in Croatia. During our drive to Krka, we started wondering how there could possibly be waterfalls in this area; all we could see were rolling hills and not even a hint that there were any lakes around. Lo and Behold, a few minutes after we got off the expressway, we found the enormous lakes that are part of Krka National Park:
Krka National Park is often overshadowed by Plitvice National Park, a bigger park with more waterfalls located further North in Croatia (about a 3-hour drive from Split). Most people will tell you that Plitvice has the best waterfalls in Croatia, which means they also have more crowds. We were planning to visit on our way up to Zagreb, but got discouraged based on the park’s lack of services in the Winter time.
The climate at Plitvice is much colder than Krka’s, so there was reportedly still snow on the ground when we were in Croatia in March. Also, only half of Plitvice is accessible in the Winter because park boats and buses aren’t running, so we decided to add it to our later-in-life travel list and visit Krka this time.
Luckily for us, Krka is the perfect place to visit on a sunny day in March! It wasn’t warm enough to swim (many people visit Krka specifically for the swimming), but we had the park almost completely to ourselves. We saw only SEVEN other tourists in our 3-4 hours in the park! SEVEN. Plus a dog.
This blog post will be filled mostly with photos (which totally don’t do the park justice, by the way) and some helpful hints for tourists.
Krka’s Main Attraction: Skradinski Buk Waterfall
The Skradinski Buk Waterfall is THE reason people visit Krka. It’s a huge, impressive, multi-tiered waterfall with a “rustic” swimming area at the very bottom. Even Kevin was impressed with the waterfall, which is saying something since he grew up in the Pacific Northwest (home of tons of beautiful waterfalls).
A fantastic 1.5-mile boardwalk path makes a loop around the whole Skradinski Buk area. I loved the boardwalk so much we almost walked it twice!
The park is dotted with a few restaurants and shops, or you can find a great little spot for a picnic:
If you get tired of the falls, there are also plenty of exhibits there are part of the park’s “ethno village” that explains some of Croatia’s history:
Krka National Park Entrances
Krka National Park covers over 42 square miles, so you want to be sure you know where you’re going. If you’re mainly interested in the Skradinski Buk Falls like we were, you want to use either the Lozovac or Skradin entrances.
To get to Lozovac, you take the “Šibenik” exit from the A-1 expressway and drive 7 miles to the entrance. It’s pretty well-signed and easy to find. From about April through October, a shuttle bus runs from the free Lozovac parking lots down to the waterfall. During Winter months, you can just drive your own car down to the falls, which is what we did.
To enter in the park in the town of Skradin, take the “Skradin” exit from the A-1 expressway, then drive just 3-miles following signs to the park. From Skradin, you board a boat by foot to get to the Skradinski Buk falls. During summer months, the boat runs hourly. In the winter months, I don’t think boats run. In spring/fall (roughly October, March and April), the boat only runs every 2 hours. Like everything in Croatia, there isn’t much concrete info online regarding the boat. When we arrived at 11:30am in Skradin, we found we had just missed the 11am boat. In 2015, Spring/Fall boats run at 9am, 11am, 1pm, and 3pm. If you have your own car and just barely miss the boat, you can easily drive over to the Lozovac entrance and enter there instead of waiting two hours for the next departure.
No matter where you enter, you pay the same entrance fee. The price changes depending on the season, and includes the boat ride if you choose to enter at Skradin. Nov-Feb costs 30 Kuna ($4.30), March-May and October is 90 Kuna ($13), and June-Sep is 110 Kuna ($16).
For the latest Krka National Park information, visit their website.
For Pete’s Sake, Rent a Car
I’m going to reiterate what I wrote in my post about our day trip to Mostar. If you’re staying in Split and want to do day trips, you just need to rent a car. It takes only an hour to drive yourself to Krka National Park, while using public transportation takes about 4 hours and involves taking two different buses. It’s especially nice to have a car in the low season, because buses run on a reduced schedule, as does the Krka Park ferry.
A Stopover in Trogir
If you’re driving to Krka, you might as well make a pit stop in Trogir on your way home! When you leave Krka, head towards Šibenik, and hop on Highway 8 to drive the beautiful winding road down the coast to get to Trogir. The views on the drive are worth taking the road less traveled, but Trogir is a big bonus.
The Historic City of Trogir is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List, which means so darn cute and historic that you won’t want to leave. (Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure UNESCO has more stringent requirements than being “cute”, but hey, work with me here.) Trogir is a town soaked in medieval architecture, surrounded by water, and full of tourist traps. They even have a sexy shop, because obviously every medieval town needs its own Sexy Shop?
In spite of the tourist traps, it’s just a fun little town to meander through. All of the cute little lanes inside the old wall are pedestrian-only spaces, so it’s nice to just wander around and see what you find.
If you’re tired of seeing old-ass buildings, you can sit yourself down at a park and watch a group of gentlemen gamble on Bocce Ball and Chess games.
At the very least, stop by Trogir to enjoy its slow pace and take in the beautiful views:
We Want to Hear From You!
Have you visited any National Parks abroad? How have they compared to our awesome National and State parks in the States?