One of the most stunning waterfalls and national parks in Croatia is Krka. Its waterfall points and levels con’t compare to Plitvice National Park when it comes to numbers and height, but it has its very own appeal.
You should just know a thing or two before you visit to avoid the insane crowds descending on this popular attraction. Here’s a practical guide.
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Table of Contents
Handy Krka Tips
Where is National Park Krka?
Krka National Park is in Croatia. It’s close to Skradin, from where the main boats into the park start. It’s somewhat close to the coast, pretty much in the middle of Zadar and Split.
How to Get to Krka National Park
If you have a car, you can simply drive to and explore Skradin. At the harbour (just a few minutes away from the parking lot), you can catch the ferry to Krka. During busy season, maybe head into Lozovac as it has the biggest parking lot.
Technically, you can also walk from Skradin to the park but going on a cycling tour is much more fun, if you ask me. Check tour availability in advance here so they aren’t booked out when you want to go.
In case you want to go the public transportation route, there are direct buses going to Skradin from Šibenik (20 mins), Split (taking 90 mins), Zadar (1 hour), Plitvice Lakes (3 hours) or Zagreb (4 hours 20 minutes). From Dubrovnik, there aren’t any direct buses.
From Skradin, take the ferry from stop P1. The ferry ride to the first part of Krka is included in the entry fee for the national park.
If you don’t have that much time or just want to see Krka in one sweep, take all three ferries around the lake.
After you take the ferry from P1, switch ferries to get to P2. The trip includes an 30 minute stop on the picturesque island of Visovac and its old monastery.
Ferries two and three aren’t included in the park entrance fee and have to be paid separately, so bring enough cash with you.
The final ferry trip will take you to P3 with the famous Roški Slap cascades. If you want to save the money or just enjoy the park on foot, you can hike there.
Hiking at Krka
There are many easy paths and boardwalks around the main sights. But if you want to be serious about exploring Krka National Park, then why not go on a hike? This way, you won’t depend on ferry times either.
You can hike from the little town of Skradin towards the first ferry stop P1. From there, it’s possible to follow the path along the shoreline to the main stops at Krka.
There are many different trails you can walk in their entirety or just parts thereof. For an overview, check out the official trail details.
Where to Stay near Krka National Park
Planning a day trip to Krka National Park can be done from various towns and cities. The closest, cutest and least touristy place is Šibenik.
Its old town is excessively charming and the drive takes only 20 minutes. (There are daily buses as well. Just check the timetable in advance – especially for your return to not get stuck and having to take a taxi.)
If you are travelling on a low budget, try the wonderful Hostel Scala. It’s super cental and modern. Plus, there’s a pool. Reserve your room here*.
For a charming hotel stay near Krka, check into Fenice Palace with its beautifully decorated rooms, merging the old structures with modern amenities. It’s close to the main attractions and has wonderfully welcoming staff. View it here*.
Guest House Ivan is a wonderfully modern bed and breakfast offering excellent local hospitality experience. The rooms are spacious and come with their own sitting area and bath with shower. Get your room here*.
The Krka national park entrance fee depends on the season.
- 200 Kunas for adults in July and August (120 Kunas for kids 7 – 18 years of age)
- 110 Kunas during April to June and September to October (80 Kunas for kids)
- 30 Kunas for adults for November to March (20 Kunas for kids)
- Return boat tickets for Skradinski buk or Lozovac are included
If you want to check out only certain areas of the park, the tickets are cheaper. Queues can be long in summer, so get your tickets online or through a tour.
When to best visit Krka
The park is open all year round. This means you can visit regardless of the season, though it’s the most beautiful from spring to autumn.
Peak season in Croatia is in July and August, mainly because of school holidays. But as soon as the weather gets pleasantly warm and sunny, like in late spring, tourists flock to the waterfalls of Krka National Park.
Before you visit, check the ferry times as they go regularly but stop in the late afternoon. If you’re using public transportation to reach Krka from Sibenik, do check those timetables as well.
Overview – Krka Tips
- Avoid busy days and hop on the earliest ferry as possible
- Bring swimwear, a towel, sandals, water shoes, sunscreen and change of clothes
- Join a guided tour to learn all about the old town of Skradin and Krka National Park
- Book your ticket in advance to avoid queues and have cash on you
- Check the bus timetables if you rely on public transport
My Personal Krka Review
So far I had spotted only two ducks, but that didn’t stop me from ducktailing all the way through the famous Krka National Park in Croatia. It wasn’t like I had a choice either.
The park was packed. I didn’t know I had signed up for group tours but that was what I was stuck with. A sandwich between a school outing and a senior day trip. And I was the soggy salad leaf. What a way to visit Krka National Park.
Why I decided to visit
The photos looked promising. Krka National Park in Croatia is a stunner. Turquoise waterfalls cascading down green rimmed pools, framed by gently swaying trees in lush green.
The season was just about right as well. May is supposedly the best month to visit Croatia. It’s shoulder season, which means it is not yet too crowded but already sunny and warm.
I had been lucky with the Plitvice Lakes National Park the day before. Although it was well visited and I had to segway my way through the dreaming couples and the ipad videographers, it was still fabulous.
A new waterfall seemed to await around every corner. A multitude of shades of blue fell upon me as far as the eye could see. It was a picture perfect stencil of an earthly slice of heaven.
The downside of overtourism
And Krka looked just as beautiful. That is, after I mentally photoshopped all the half naked people from my sight. There were tons of people around. Walking towards the Krka waterfalls, all I saw were tourists.
Unlike with Plitvice, the Krka Waterfalls offered the sunheated visitors a spot to dip into the cool freshness of the gentle waters. And people really took advantage of that.
There were people in the water, blocking the view to the falls. Around the shops and kiosks. It was seriously crowded and it was still morning!
Expectation vs Reality
This was a classic case of getting hopes too high. I usually prefer to do as little research as possible and keep my mind open.
No expectations, no disappointment. But I had planned to visit Krka national park lured by photos that had a touch of the supernatural to them. Colours popping. Crystal clear depths. Almost rainforest-like vegetation. I was sold. I wanted the photo. I wanted the real life fairy tale.
What I wanted to capture with my trusty camera was obvious. The sheer awesomeness of nature. Humans being lost in the magnitude of nature.
Queuing to walk
The wild, the rough, the untouched. Instead, every second step I could feel a stranger brushing against my arm or bumping into me by blindly sidestepping. Needless to say, it didn’t quite match my expectations.
Once the crowds spilled out onto the national park and the Krka falls after a 15 minute ferry ride, I jumped from gap to gap in the masses. On the educational trail I basically had to queue in order to take a step.
I had a big debate with myself on whether I should step off the path at one point for a quick photo, taking care not to trample on anything. When I did, other people copied it. Instant regret because they didn’t take care where they tread.
Off the trodden paths
Since I wanted to find my little piece and quiet after all, I scanned the area for hiking trails.
Since I had arrived in Šibenik from Split the same day and taken the next best bus to Skradin, the morning was already gone. The return bus I wanted to take left at 5pm.
So essentially, I didn’t have enough time to fully enjoy the park and see it in its completeness. That’s something for another (and hopefully less busy) time.
To see what the rest of Krka park is like, hop over to the report from Kelly & Aaron from No Man Before did.
What I Loved about my Visit to Krka National Park
Of course, my visit to the famous Krka waterfalls wasn’t terrible. I was just utterly disappointed that even in shoulder season, the crowds had taken hold of the area.
The historical buildings and workshops seemed more like tourist traps and souvenir retail areas. BUT Krka National Park still is a mostly unaltered and well preserved area of outstanding beauty.
The park is huge! It spans 109 km² and the Krka River alone stretches over 72.5 km, making it the 22nd longest river in Croatia.
What’s more, if you come in June, you can enjoy the fabulous lavender. Krka National Park actually has the second highest concentration of lavender in Europe. (If you’re allergic to bees and wasps, be extra careful then!)
If you are into flora and fauna at all, hold onto your seat! There are a staggering 860 species and subspecies of plants around as well as 222 birds. (I really love that even number. Hehe.)
The waterfalls are simply amazing and they change continuously. Well, it’s 1cm per year as they are made of limestone that turns into travertine. This travertine system is even larger than the one in Plitvice.
Would I recommend a Visiting Krka National Park?
Yes! Even though my experience was a tad sour, I wouldn’t want to discourage anyone from visiting. You just have to smart about it and well prepared.
Do your research in advance, especially if you want to book a local Krka national park tour or start the day as early as possible. Bus times are relatively frequent but you wouldn’t wanna miss the last one.
Even if you have or will visit Plitvice, this national park is another kind of stunning and I’m sure you will not be bored. While at Plitvice you cannot actually swim, you can do Krka national park swimming, no problem. Just be aware that the rocks can be slippery, so watch out.
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