For once during your holiday in Croatia, don’t swim in the sea but in a lake, one of the placid bodies of water in the Krka National Park.
If the waters of the lakes are calm, the same cannot be said of the seven roaring waterfalls that have made the park one of Croatia’s top nature attractions.
Like the famous Plitvice waterfalls, the Krka waterfalls are also a karst phenomenon, but here the river’s water flow is far greater. The long Krka River winds its way through the Croatian hinterland to the sea after a bumpy course, during which it flows through a karst-formed canyon as deep as 200 metres.
A visit to the beautiful Krka Park is one of those experiences that you will be eager to tell your friends about, but you won’t be able to find the words to describe the beauty of this landscape of waterfalls, gorges, rocks, cliffs and caves where green is the dominant colour, both as the foliage of the trees and the water of a clean and fish-rich river.
Spend an unforgettable day between cool walks, romantic boat trips, visits to ancient villages and monasteries, and dips in waterfalls. Don’t forget your camera at home!
If you have little time to visit the park, limit yourself to Skradinski Buk, the largest series of waterfalls in the park, stretching 800 metres with impressive drops of up to 47 metres and ending in the placid waters of the lower lake, where park visitors can enjoy a swim in lush nature.
Thanks to a system of signposted paths and bridges, this exceptional natural spectacle can be enjoyed in full on a wonderful walk of about one hour.
The old mills in the area have been converted into charming souvenir shops, cafes and craft workshops.
Another marvel of the Krka National Park is Roški Slap, a series of waterfalls and rapids stretching 650 metres: timid leaps in the first part give way further south to roaring jumps of over twenty metres.
The Manojlovac Slap is probably the most beautiful waterfall in the entire park. Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth also stopped here to admire the beauty of the surrounding nature.
Unfortunately, in the summer months the water is diverted to the nearby Miljacka hydroelectric power station, but you can always come here in autumn or spring.
Between Roški Slap and Skradinski Buk, the Krka River flows placidly, forming a lake lined with reeds and rushes that offer shelter to numerous species of birds.
On its way to the valley, the river passes through the Medu Gredama gorge, with its 150-metre-high walls of unusual shapes, and then flows into Lake Visovac.
In addition to the beautiful waterfalls, which are certainly the park’s most important attraction, during your visit to Krka you can also visit quaint villages where time seems to stand still and a couple of interesting buildings.
The village of Skradin is, for many visitors, the starting point for exploring the park. It is a small cluster of stone houses along the river, dominated from above by a ruined fortress.
In an idyllic location above the river and a small lake about 3 km from the village of Kistanje stands the Krka Monastery, the most important Serbian Orthodox monastery in Croatia and one of the most important in the world, built over the ruins of an earlier hermit monastery. Next to the monastery is a Byzantine church with Roman catacombs, which are open to the public.
The romantic island of Visovac rises from the waters of the lake of the same name, surrounded by verdant knolls: it is a truly picturesque sight. On the island stands the Franciscan Mother of Mercy Monastery, built in 1445, which houses a collection of archaeological finds, holy books, manuscripts and altar linens.
The ruins of Burnum, which you will find just off the main road between Kistanje and Knin, are what remains of a military amphitheatre from Roman times, built to entertain the troops that were stationed in the area. In the surrounding area you can also find some beautiful waterfall viewing points.
The most common way to visit Krka Park is with a guided day tour from Split. You can choose the one you prefer from the ones below; these are the best-selling and best-reviewed ones we recommend.
A truly fascinating way to explore the Krka Park is to board a boat and set off on an exciting cruise along the river.
There are three atmospheric boat trips offered within the park:
If the idea of joining a group excursion doesn’t appeal to you, you can hire a boat in Skradine and sail to Skradinski buk, but you will need to be accompanied by a park guide.
If you prefer to visit the park on foot, follow one of the numerous marked trails, with wooden walkways, bridges and observation points.
One of the most interesting is the Stinice – Roški slap – Oziđana pećina educational trail, a marked path with information panels about the flora and fauna of the area.
It is a truly fascinating walk, touching on the most interesting points of interest in the park, such as Lake Visovac, the Roški slap waterfall complex and the picturesque Oziđana pećina cave.
It presents no particular difficulty and is therefore suitable for everyone: the total length is 8.5km, with an altitude difference of 176 metres; it usually takes 2-3 hours to complete.
The Krka National Park is conveniently located within easy reach of major Croatian towns: the cities of Split and Zadar are less than 100 km away.
The park can easily be reached by bus from Sibenik, which in turn is connected to other Croatian cities by national buses and trains.
Taking a bus from Sibenik, you can choose whether to enter the park from Lozovac or Skradin: the latter entrance is recommended because boats to Skradinski buk depart from here.
Krka National Park is located in southern Croatia, a few kilometres north of Šibenik and halfway between Zadar and Split.