Out of this world natural beauty is waiting for you just 90 km outside Split, Croatia. Established in 1985, Krka National Park is one of the most breathtaking national parks that Croatia has to offer. With a set of seven different waterfalls and historic ruins dating back to the Roman Empire, this national park is a must see for anyone traveling to Croatia.
Since there is so much to see and do, most people spend an entire day in Krka National Park. This allows enough time to see all the incredible sights, plus do some of the fun activities like swimming in the falls.
As much as we enjoyed our time in Krka National Park, there were definitely a few things that we wish we would have known before we went. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide: To help others learn from our experience.
Map of Krka National Park
As you can see from the map, Krka is a massive national park. It covers 109 square kilometers, or roughly 67 square miles. This means that it’s nearly impossible to see the entire park in a day by walking. For that reason, the national park service runs a ferry and bus service within the park.
Entrance Fee & Ferry Access
Entry to Krka National Park costs 200 kuna per person, or about $30 USD. That means that park entry for the two of us for the day was $60 USD, which is pretty expensive by Croatian standards. They do offer discounts if you enter later in the day, but this means that you would have far less time to see the park.
The entrance fee does include ferry access throughout the day, so the price isn’t as steep when you consider that. Make sure to keep your entrance ticket because they will scan it when you are getting on the ferry. The ferry leaves for Skradinski Buk from a port near the Skradin park entrance every hour on the hour. The ferry returns every hour on the half hour mark.
Technically, it looked like you could enter the park for free. There is no gate or place where tickets are checked when entering. You just wouldn’t be able to use the ferry, which would mean you would have to walk a ton.
Things To Do
Skradinski Buk Waterfall & Trail
Skradinski Buk Waterfall is one of the most beautiful sights that Krka National Park has to offer. This massive waterfall has multiple tiers and lands in an emerald green water basin. One of the most photogenic sights in the park, this is a very popular spot so expect lots of people.
We took the ferry to Skradinski Buk, which was a gorgeous ride. However, if you want to walk instead, the Skradin entrance has a 4 km walking/biking path that leads to the waterfall. We walked over 5 miles during the entire day, so we were glad we decided to talk the ferry.
There is a loop trail that circles around the waterfall which we highly recommend doing. Even if you’re taking your time, it doesn’t take more than an hour to complete and we’d estimate it’s about one mile or 2 km long.
The trail starts out steep going up the right side of the waterfall. It doesn’t last long, but it is tiring climbing the hill in the heat. After that, it leads to a scenic lookout point over the falls. Keep following the trail and then take a left onto the wooden plank trail that leads across the water and all the way back down the left side of the waterfall.
Stand Beneath a Waterfall
At the end of the loop trail around Skradinski Buk, there is a small runoff waterfall located next to the trail. We decided to take advantage of it and cool off! It was such a cool experience.
Even though the water currents were very strong while we were there, a lot of people were going swimming in the base of Skradinski Buk. The waters are so beautiful and it was so hot out, we could see how people couldn’t resist. Just be careful to stay away from strong currents.
Amenities in the Park
It was impressive how many amenities were located throughout Krka National Park. Food and drink stands, restaurants, and cafes were located all over the place. The prices actually looked fairly reasonable, too.
They also have public restrooms at the base of Skradinski Buk, as well as near the top of the falls. Water fountains can be found near most restrooms.
Best Times to Visit
Let’s not beat around the bush: it was insanely busy when we visit Krka National Park on a Friday in June. At one point, we waited 15 minutes to take a picture without any people in it and ended up just giving up and leaving. Swarms of people were all over the place.
Had we known it was going to be so crowded, we definitely would have picked a different time to visit. We had no idea that this national park was so popular–it actually gets over one million visitors every year. This puts the environment at risk, and it also detracts from visitors experiences.
If you want to do your part in preserving this national park, do your best to visit during the off season (winter and fall months). If you can’t do that, try to visit on a weekday and limit the trash and waste you leave at the park.
What to Bring
Depending on what time of the year you visit Krka National Park, there are a few necessities that you should definitely bring with you.
- Lots of water: This is a must. Walking around the park all day can be exhausting, so it’s important to stay hydrated. While there are a few water fountains within the park, you should make sure to bring a couple water bottles for the long stretches without water fountains.
- Sunscreen: The weather during the summer months in Krka is beautiful, but definitely very hot and sunny. Make sure to bring and apply sunscreen to avoid looking like a lobster like a few people we saw.
- Bug Spray: When you make your way through the more swampy and shady areas of the park, there are quite a few bugs. Wear bug spray to avoid getting bitten.
- A hat and sunglasses: This one is pretty self explanatory. It’ll protect your face and eyes from the sun.
- A bathing suit: Swimming is allowed at the base of Skradinski Buk, so you’ll want to bring a swimsuit if you plan on swimming!
- Sandals: After a long day of walking around in sneakers, it felt really good to switch to a pair of sandals near the end of the day. We’d recommend you do the same.
Krka National Park is one of the most picturesque places in all of Croatia. It’s also one of the most crowded places. While we all want to spend time surrounded by nature at its finest, it’s also important to do your part to preserve it. Always try to stay on the trails and take all garbage with you, and that way other people can enjoy the park in the future too 🙂
Lastly, don’t forget to check out our YouTube video on our experience in Krka National Park! You can watch the full video below:
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