Krka National Park

Beautiful Krka National Park

Beautiful Krka National Park

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.

Kevin and I in front of the falls!

Kevin and I in front of the falls!

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:

Lakes near the Krka entrance in Skradin, Croatia

Lakes near the Krka entrance in Skradin, Croatia

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.

A Fun little platform for viewing the falls.

A Fun little platform for viewing the falls.

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.

Beautiful Skradinski Buk Falls inside Krka National Park

Beautiful Skradinski Buk Falls inside Krka National Park

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.

We visited Krka in the Spring, on March 17th. The trees are starting to bloom in the park!

We visited Krka in the Spring, on March 17th. The trees are starting to bloom in the park!

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 Breathtaking Skradinski Buk Waterfall

The Breathtaking 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).

Skradinski Buk Waterfalls. Notice how there are NO other people on the bridge. Hooray!

Skradinski Buk Waterfalls. Notice how there are NO other people on the bridge. Hooray!

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 Boardwalk is amazing.

The Boardwalk is amazing.

Loving the Boardwalk.

Loving the Boardwalk.

Check out how empty the park is! Jackpot.

Check out how empty the park is! Jackpot.

Krka. <3

Krka. :-)

The water was running really high when we visited - almost over the top of the boardwalk!

The water was running really high when we visited – almost over the top of the boardwalk!

So beautiful!

So beautiful!

Visit Krka, it's the best!

Visit Krka, it’s the best!

Last boardwalk photo, I promise.

Last boardwalk photo, I promise.

The park is dotted with a few restaurants and shops, or you can find a great little spot for a picnic:

We sat on these cute little tree stumps and ate a picnic lunch. Not a soul was around - we had the falls all to ourselves!

We sat on these cute little tree stumps and ate a picnic lunch. Not a soul was around – we had the falls all to ourselves!

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:

The Boardwalk loop feeds you right into the Ethno Village exhibits.

The Boardwalk loop feeds you right into the Ethno Village exhibits.

Hitting on a mannequin at the weaving exhibit in Krka's Ethno Village. Not weird at all.

Hitting on a mannequin at the weaving exhibit in Krka’s Ethno Village. Not weird at all.

Using water to power lots of Croatian contraptions.

Using water to power lots of Croatian contraptions.

One such contraption - this is used to soften fabric for wearing. The water powers the legs, which basically beat the fabric to soften it.

One such contraption – this is used to soften fabric for wearing. The water powers the legs, which basically beat the fabric to soften it.

The diagram helps make a little more sense of it.

The diagram helps make a little more sense of it.

The washing area in the Ethno Exhibit. We learned that up until the 1970s, people still used the Krka river to wash clothing!

The washing area in the Ethno Exhibit. We learned that up until the 1970s, people still used the Krka river to wash clothing!

Grain mills at Krka National Park.

Grain mills at Krka National Park.

And here is Kevin with a plastic donkey...

And here is Kevin with a plastic donkey…

There's even a blacksmith exhibit.

There’s even a blacksmith exhibit.

The Ethno Village exhibits are all built right into the Krka river. At the very least, it's fun to look at.

The Ethno Village exhibits are all built right into the Krka river. At the very least, it’s fun to look at.

Krka National Park Entrances

Skradinski Buk Waterfall

Skradinski Buk Waterfall

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.

Krka National Park is well worth the drive from Split.

Krka National Park is well worth the drive from Split.

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.

The pictures will never do Krka justice. It is so beautiful.

The pictures will never do Krka justice. It is so beautiful.

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.

If you miss the boat in Skradin, the views on the short drive to Lozovac are amazing!

If you miss the boat in Skradin, the views on the short drive to Lozovac are amazing!

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).

A not-to-be-missed day trip from Split.

A not-to-be-missed day trip from Split.

For the latest Krka National Park information, visit their website.

For Pete’s Sake, Rent a Car

Kevin finds his second calling as a Park Ranger.

Kevin finds his second calling as a Park Ranger.

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.

Trogir's fun little "Boardwalk" area.

Trogir’s fun little “Boardwalk” area.

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?

Trogir's "Sexy Shop".

Trogir’s “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.

A Beautiful church in Trogir, Croatia.

A Beautiful church in Trogir, Croatia.

Trogir's Fortress, now primarily used for musical performances.

Trogir’s Fortress, now primarily used for musical performances.

Trogir's Fortress

Trogir’s Fortress

Walking along the water in Trogir.

Walking along the water in Trogir.

The Trogir Cathedral

The Trogir Cathedral

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.

High Stakes Bocce Ball. Money changed hands after every game!

High Stakes Bocce Ball. Money changed hands after every game!

Crazy chess games happening over there right now.

Crazy chess games happening over there right now.

At the very least, stop by Trogir to enjoy its slow pace and take in the beautiful views:

Beautiful views from Trogir.

Beautiful views from Trogir.

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?

5 thoughts on “Krka National Park

  1. Pingback: The Beautiful City of Zagreb, Croatia

  2. So interesting to read your blog. Went to Croatia last October. Toured. Dubrovnik, split, Trogir, Bosnia, Mostar, Monte Negro. Loved it so much returning this Oct. Staying near Trogir, not touring so much. Visited Krka ABSOLUTELY LLOVED IT. Must return and to Skradin. No car, so need to fathom out boats and buses. Lovely to see your pics.

  3. Thanks – you have some useful info for our trip planning. The photos are more interesting than the standard ones google throws up too.

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