The less famous sister of Plitvice National Park, Krka National Park is situated between the ancient Roman town of Split and the town of Zadar. There are many confusions regarding how to enter the Krka National Park, and truth be told after hours of research online the only thing I had learned is that there are many unofficial car parks trying to lure you in and pay for parking. It wasn’t until we got there that the magnitude of the problem truly appeared before my eyes so I want to share my advice.
Split to Krka National Park
The drive from Split to Krka is about 1.5 hours long. The two most common ways to enter the park from the south is either through Skradin or Lozovac town. However, the real entrance is at Lozovac which is about ten to fifteen-minute car ride from Skradin where many were lured to park and take a ferry across. Although a boat ride is more scenic, one must bear in mind that timings are scheduled and it will undoubtedly take longer than driving up (and costing you a few extra bucks).
Armed with the advice we read from Tripadvisor’s page and directions from a kind ranger, we drove up the meandering mountain road to the official entrance at Lozovac where we found the long sought-after free parking which is severely lacking at Skradin. The entrance was not hard to miss, with clear signposts indicating the direction leading to the national park along the D56.
The ticket booths look suspiciously like parking entrances.
The ticket includes the free shuttle ride from the entrance down a winding path to where the trails actually begin. Despite stating that it’s a 800 m walk from the official entrance, it’s definitely more than that – so be sure to take the shuttle rides offered or you will be doing some extra trekking alongside large buses. P.S. remember to keep them for your return journey.
An Overview of Krka
The Krka national park can be divided into three parts, starting from the south with the most famous Skradinski Buk waterfall at the base with a scenic trail looping around it and where I spent my half day at Krka National Park. The middle portion consists of the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and the Church of Our Lady on the Visovac Island, which is about 2 hours boat ride away and the top; a little further up from it is the Roski slap waterfall, one of the most beautiful trails in Croatia. The northernmost part of the Krka national park consists of the archaeological site Burnum, an ancient Roman military camp that was the seat of the XI Legion.
Nearby is the Manojlovac slap with a height of 59.6 meters surrounded by lush vegetation. There are many more caves, ruins of fortresses and churches within the national park but as we are short on time, hence we decided to stick to Skradinski Buk which was the one we had all heard of and seen in photos.
Skradinski Buk (the southernmost part of Krka National Park)
Some pretty awesome wildlife.
Though less famous than Plitvice, the sceneries at Krka is analogous to its sister park. Bright turquoise water teeming with fishes, mini waterfalls, and rapids flowing over rocks and through vegetation and fairies-like blue dragonflies dancing around makes you feel like you have stepped into another world.
Ignore this entrance and continue on if you want to head to the waterfall quickly.
Enticed by the natural beauty, we spent a good two hours strolling through the well-maintained path and stopping for photos every few minutes (if not seconds). The routes are clearly mapped on the leaflet they give you, although a scale would be immensely helpful.
The area is very walkable even in flip-flops. The path has a generally circular shape with a few dead ends along the way to reach the scenic spots that’s easy to double back to the main route. I particularly like the intermittent educational plaques they put up around the park about the national park’s flora and fauna.
The final destination was nothing short of stunning, and from afar, we could already spot people in swimwear spreading across the little grass patch opposite shops on the shore of the lake and the unmistakable sound of a plunging waterfall. If you are extremely short of time and only wanted to visit the waterfall – you can do so quickly by heading straight ahead towards the hydropower plant and straight across the bridge.
Krka National Park Swimming
After finding a good spot to set a base, we took turns to set off into the crystal waters of the lakes, in hopes of taking some good photos and being able to say that we have taken a dip at this stunning locale. What we did not expect, however, was how cold it was and how difficult it is to swim against the sheer force of the water current. Most people tread carefully on the elevated limestone ridges against the strong current, trying to reach the end of the roped off area or simply just to swim. To say we were all struggling would be an understatement – especially when you try to take a photo which requires both parties to be standing or at least non-moving.
The water also smelled reminiscent of fish tanks, and truth be told I much preferred swimming in the ocean. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t appreciate the lack of stinging my eyes and throats received when I swum there. A word of advice – if you have wet shoes, pack ‘em and bring ‘em because it will protect your feet and allow you to walk faster around. The same goes for a waterproof camera or action camera – so you can take some selfies.
So here you have it – my little guide to Krka. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the entire national park. But sometimes you just got to make a choice and be grateful that you get to be there in the first place.
More detailed directions:
Direction: follow the D56 road and you will find it. Alternatively, set your GPS to find Vrata Krke Hotel Zadar which is right outside the entrance.
Price: Krka ticket prices differ according to the season. During peak season Jun- Sept the price for adults is kn 110 and kn 80 for students and children. Children under seven go free. For ticket information, visit here. For any more information, go to their official website.