Why You NEED To Visit Krka National Park While Travelling Croatia
Krka National Park is one of the most beautiful hidden natural gems of Croatia and one that is often overlooked after sailing the Croatian islands. But this is one stop you shouldn’t miss.After an island hopping holiday, most visitors either fly out to their next destination, hop on a bus to Dubrovnik, or opt for the tourist-packed Plitvice Lakes on a package tour.
We at MedSailors, from personal experience, truly believe that Krka National Park should be added to your must-see list for Croatia above all else after your sailing holiday.
KRKA NATIONAL PARK IS CRAZY CLOSE TO SPLIT
This Croatian national park couldn’t be easier to visit. Though the park stretches a vast 100km+ with 5 different entrances, getting to the park is a breeze on either a guided tour or on a bus from the main Split bus terminal. And it’s only a little over an hour away. Now, exploring the whole park is a different story — best to wear your walking shoes!
To get to Krka from Split hop on a bus to Skradin which is the closest and easiest accessible entry into the park on your own. From Skradin all you have to do is stroll over to the visitor centre 5 minutes walking down the road, pay for your entry ticket, and hop on the boat into the park itself.
YES, YOU GET A FREE BOAT RIDE THROUGH KRKA VALLEY
Well, the boat ride is free per se. With your park entrance fee (110 Kuna or $15 euro) you get an incredible boat ride through the rolling valley brushed with bright green trees, or better yet, by the fiery colours of autumn late in the season. Sit back, relax, and take in the awe-inspiring beauty as you enter Krka National Park on the Ria River. Swans bathe in the long reeds, fishermen cast lines into the calm water, and the river snakes gently through the dramatic landscape.
Be prepared to pick your jaw up off the ground even before you arrive.
DID WE MENTION KRKA WATERFALLS?
Yes, waterfall(s) and plenty of them! Krka National Park has seven stunning waterfalls located throughout, with smaller falls and trickling springs around everywhere you look. The falls themselves are magical, naturally formed over millions of years to create these travertine waterfall wonders that drop 242m across the park.
Take a picnic and find your own serene spot near one of the numerous falls around Krka National Park. Spend the day by the calming sound of the flowing water, sounds of the forest around, and a good book. Especially after a couple of days around the bustling city of Split.
Can you picture yourself there yet?
A DAY TRIP TO KRKA IS THE PERFECT ESCAPE
Waterfalls, forests, rivers, oh my! And much more. Besides the main attraction being the falls, the rest of Krka National Park is lush and serene and the perfect spot to spend the entire day.
Most visitors will come to the park, have a quick stroll and swim, and leave. With miles and miles of walking paths, hidden island monasteries, and historic amphitheatres deeper in the park, there is plenty to discover away from the beaten path.
Get to the park early if you can before the midday crowds arrive so you have ample time to wander in peace. Take it slow and stop wherever nature catches your attention. Once the throngs of tourists do arrive, you’ll have already found a quiet spot to claim your own to take a nap under the trees and bask in the warm sun.
In the afternoon, push further into the park to hit Visovac Monastery (Viso-vach) which is a stunning Franciscan monastery on an island dating back to the 14th century.
THE WILDLIFE IS ABUNDANT
Another highlight of the park is the large variety of flora and fauna. Besides the ducks you’ll find lazying in the ponds and rivers, Krka is home to 18 different species of fish and 220 different species of birds.
Oh, and we can’t forget — Krka has the second largest concentration of lavender in Europe and over 800 species of plants. Pretty wild huh? No pun intended…
WALKING BACK TO SKRADIN IS WORTH IT
If you have enough energy after exploring Krka the entire day, the walk back to Skradin is well worth it. The walk back is around 4.5km and a little over an hour (depending on how many photos you stop to take) that takes you along the river through pine-covered hills. Those jaw-dropping dramatic cliffs you saw from the water on the way in – you get to walk those.
Take your time and get close to the water to catch herons in the reeds or take a break from the walk and sit by the river. In the summer, you can stop off at the bridge before Skradin and take a dip on a hot day.
SKRADIN IS A BEAUTIFUL TOWN WORTH WANDERING
To cap off the day, grab a coffee and take a stroll around the colourful town of Skradin. With winding cobblestone streets, brightly painted facades, and quaint cafés, it’s no wonder why Skradin is a protected cultural monument in Croatia.
On the flipside, you can always head into Skradin and wander around the town before going into Krka National Park. Get in early and grab breakfast and visit the medieval fortress of Turina, the beautiful 18th-century Boroque Catholic Church, and the old town clock tower.
HOW TO GET TO KRKA NATIONAL PARK
Getting to Krka is easy from Split. There are numerous daily buses from Split’s main bus terminal, and the popular GetByBus coaches run all day. Alternatively, you can book a tour to Krka from your hostel which will be a bit pricer and give you less free time at the park, but it will cut out all of the potential hassle of doing it on your own.
Would you love to see Krka National Park after your MedSailors Croatia sailing holiday?
Written by Ryan Brown, a MedSailors Photographer and author of Lost Boy Memoirs, a travel and adventure blog.