Including Krka National Park, Croatia has 8 stunning National Parks for you to choose from, each with their own unique wonders. You’ve probably seen oodles of pictures all over Instagram showing off their glorious attractions; stunning waterfalls, deep valleys, roaring rivers, and towering mountains just seem to be a part of Croatia.
My friend Perry and I were spending a weekend in the beautiful city of Zadar and luckily one of Croatias best National Parks was just a hours drive from the city. Like us you can spend the whole day exploring Krka National Park, read on to find out how to make the most out of your visit.
When to visit.
Its no secret that Krka National Park is no secret! Thousands of people visit the park every day to be immersed in it’s stunning surroundings. Avoiding these crowds could be the difference between you loving your day at the park and wishing you stayed at the pebbly beach. Luckily though, you can pretty much have the park to yourself if you plan it right.
There’s two main ways you can avoid the crowds. Firstly, whatever day your visiting, visit as early as possible. Trust me, you wont regret dragging your lazy ass out of bed.
The park opens at 8am and getting there for this time will mean you only have to share the vast expanse of the park with a handful of people. The tourist busses start to arrive between 9 and 10am so you’ll have at least a couple of hours of bliss.
Secondly, if you can visit on a weekday then absolutely do, The weekends are obviously the busiest days at the park so weekday visit will be a lot less busy.
You’ll also want to visit after May and before October, read on to the swim section to find out why…
Where to enter the Park.
There are two main entrances to Krka National park;
Skradin is a small town just outside Krka National Park. If you are driving you can park here for the day (it’s 50 kuna, not free like the signs say). If you have a bit of time to kill before or after your trip to the park then definitely look around Skradin, its beautiful!
From Skradin you can take the stunning boat ride into the park. The peaceful ride lasts about 20minutes and takes you along the gorgeous blue-green river.
Lozovac is the second main entrance and is closer to the waterfalls than Skradin. Parking is free and there’s a bus service that takes you to the main waterfalls, or you can walk the 875m. It’s up to you!
Theres also 3 other official smaller entrances to the park; Roski slap, Krka Monestery, and Burnum.
Entrance fees for an adult include the boat ride and are:
Swim in Krka National Park
One of the great attractions for you at Krka National Park is the fact that you’re allowed to swim in a section of the parks waters – something you can’t do at Plitvice National Park!
Just in front of the lowest, and arguably the most beautiful waterfall, you will find a large section of water you can swim in. Here you can bathe in the crystal clear waters for as long as you want while exploring the limestone nooks and crannies that have been formed over the millennia. In the waters you’ll also find plenty of fish to sneak up on and chase around (I definitely didn’t do this…).
you’ll find a boom stopping you getting too close to the waterfalls, which is actually a good thing as these raging beasts would do you a lot of damage if you went under them!
Unfortunately, you can only swim in Krka National Park between the 30th May and 30th September.
You may be thinking to yourself “Pfttt why would I want to swim outside these dates anyway?”, and you’re probably right. The weather most likely wont be the best and the waters will be freezing.
However, that’s exactly what my friend Perry and I did! We visited on the 27th May with our swimming trunks and towels in hand, only to find out we couldn’t swim.
We were very sad, but the warden let us pop into the shallows for a bit as it was only 4 days away from swimming opening. Very niceeeee.
As you get in you really become accustomed to the temperature and its absolutely stunning to swim in the crystal clear waters while you’re surrounded by the stunning landscape of waterfalls and mountains.
Exploring around the waterfalls
Around the waterfalls you’ll have no shortage of paths to explore that lead you to other water features and different vantage points around the falls. There’s around 6 main tiers of waterfalls and all have stunning view points.
Towards the top of the park and off to the left is a raised wooden path that lets you skip over the rushing waters and leads you to arguably the best vantage point of the falls. This path will also take you through almost deserted parts of the park and will take you back to the lower tiers of the waterfalls.
Throughout the park theres also quite a few old buildings known as the ethno village. Here you will find some historical buildings to explore and a couple have tastefully been turned into small cafes where you can get drinks and some food.
There’s so much more to Krka National Park…
Once you’ve had your fill of swimming and exploring around the waterfalls then there’s so much more for you to explore in the National Park, some of the highlights include…
Past the waterfalls and in the middle of one of the parks upper lakes is a small island with the Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and the Church of Our Lady of Visovac on it.
Both buildings are nearly 600 years old and the island is stunningly beautiful to look at from the shore as well as once you are on it.
You can get a boat to the island from the waterfalls, or if you have a car you can drive to Stinica or Remetić which is a lot closer and a much shorter ferry ride.
Roški slap is another series of stunning cascading waterfalls, which very few people know about or visit. These waterfalls are 30km north of the main entrances of Skradin and Lozovac. Roški slap has dozens of tiers that are a lot gentler than the main ones in Krka. Oziđana pećina cave is also right next to Roški slap.
You can get to Roški slap by driving to it’s entrance and parking, and you will then walk about 30min to the falls. You can also hop on a 4 hour round trip boat ride from the main waterfalls between April and October
Skradin is the town mentioned previously where you board the boat into the National Park. The town itself is stunning and you should definitely set aside some time to explore it.
There are multi coloured buildings down its cobbled streets, multiple ancient alleyways to explore, a fortress to explore with stunning views across the city, and the best service at a restaurant I have ever experienced!
If you have time after your trip to the park then I highly recommend spending the evening eating and drinking at Konoba Dalmatino. The restaurants service goes above and beyond to the point where they even found headache tablets to my friend Perry! It’s the perfect end to your day in the National Park before you head home.
Krka National Park is a stunning day out in one of Croatia’s best National Parks. The main Waterfalls are the big attraction and you can spend at least a couple of hours exploring them and their surrounding paths.
Outside of the main falls area are some lesser known but equally beautiful attractions such as the waterfalls and caves at Roski slap, as well as the monastery on Visovac Island.
Arrive as early as possible and preferably on a week day to have the vast park pretty much to yourself. And don’t forget tot explore the beautiful town of Skradin after or before your visit!