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While Plitvice Lakes may have the best known waterfalls in Croatia, there’s another set that are well worth the trip: the gem-toned Krka waterfalls.
Formed like a series of terraces, the Krka and Čikola Rivers spill over 17 travertine steps into deep pools before flowing into the next set, creating Skradinski Buk which towers 45 metres high. The Krka falls are so strong they helped power the world’s second oldest hydro-electric plant, yet the pool below is so tranquil that you can still swim right underneath.
Visiting Krka National Park
The waterfalls are located in Krka National Park in southern Croatia, which is about a one hour drive from Split or Zadar. It’s proximity to major cities makes this a great day trip option, and can be combined with wine tasting and exploring neighbouring Šibenik or Skradin:
The park is 142 square km centering around the jade green Krka river, and aside from the waterfalls there’s plenty more to explore including bike trails and five medieval fortresses. One of the fun things to do in Krka National Park is taking a boat over to the small island of Visovac, which was settled in 1445 by Franciscan monks and has a monastery with a library and preserved artifacts.
If time allows, take a boat trip (which is included with your Krka National Park entrance fee) to see the Roski Slap waterfall which is made up of 12 separate falls flowing over 450 metres, including one that’s an astounding 60 metres wide and 22 metres high.
An unforgettable experience is swimming right under the Krka waterfalls, and taking a dip in the emerald pools is the perfect way to beat the summer heat. There are also bathrooms and a cafe nearby, which is why many families enjoy spending the whole day here and having a picnic with a view of the falls as their backdrop.
There isn’t much to note when it comes to hiking Krka National Park, since there’s only one trail which is essentially a wooden boardwalk. Looping past a small village with a working blacksmith and loom that illustrates what life was like here pre-Industrial Revolution, the pathway winds past shaded ponds and lush foliage towards lookout points of Skradinski Buk.
The trail only takes about an hour to complete and is mostly flat; however, it’s not ideal for wheelchairs or strollers.
Planning a Krka National Park tour
There are 10 different ways to get into the park, and if you arrive at the Skradin entrance you get to take a boat ride through the canyon to Skradinski Buk. It only takes a few hours to see the main waterfall, walk around the loop trail and go for a quick swim; however, there’s so much to see throughout the rest of the park that you’ll want to spend at least a full day here if possible.
- Krka National Park opening hours: The opening and closing times vary depending on the season and attraction. Click here for the most updated information.
- Krka National Park tickets: The Krka entrance fee for adults ranges from 30-200 kuna (about $5-$30 USD) depending on the season, with June through September being the most expensive time to visit. Click here for pricing.
Krka National Park accommodation
Since Krka is relatively close to cities like Split, Trogir and Zadar, the best bet is to base yourself in one of those and just take a day trip to Krka since there are more accommodation options. If you’re interested in staying close by, here are a few B&B options:
- Scardona Park Luxury Accomodation: The updated rooms at this hotel in Skradin have outdoor patios, private bathrooms and air conditioning. There’s also a pool, garden and terrace. Click to book
- Guest Accomodation Grozdanic: This guesthouse in the village of Dubravice just seven minutes from Krka National Park has very basic rooms at budget rates, and there’s also an outdoor swimming pool. Click to book
How to book a Krka tour
There are a number of companies throughout Croatia that offer a Krka waterfalls tour, departing from places like Split, Zadar, Trogir and the Makarska Riviera. You can also try a more active adventure, such as e-biking through the park:
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