The Ultimate Guide to Krka National Park

The Ultimate Guide to Krka National Park

The natural beauty of the Krka National Park and its magnificent waterfalls was something we were not going to miss whilst travelling around the southern part of Croatia.

Krka National Park doesn’t just offer 7 breath-taking waterfalls and a huge, diverse range of flora and fauna; there are beautiful walks, boat rides, preserved watermills, caves and more. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to help you plan and make the most out of your visit.

Please note: prices accurate at the time of writing and have used the exchange rate of 1 GBP (British Pound) = 8 HKR (Croatian Kuna) – Sept 2018

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When to visit Krka National Park

When to visit Krka National Park

Krka National Park is open all year round and the cascading waterfalls are also picture perfect throughout all seasons. However, there are some things to consider which may help you decide when to visit.

The busiest and most crowded time to visit is during July and August…

The water may be at its most enticing in order to cool down from the heat but the volume of tourists may cause delays when entering the park and using the free services offered. Included in your ticket price is a free shuttle bus from Lozovac car park to Skradinski buk waterfall and a free return boat excursion from Skradin to Skradinski buk. You’ll also pay the highest entrance fee of 200 kn per person (approx. £25).

Visiting between November and March is the cheapest time to visit…

The entrance fee is just 30kn (approx. £4) but you won’t be able to take advantage of the free shuttle bus and return boat excursions. These are only available between April and October along with visits to Visovac Island, the Krka monastery and Oziđana pećina cave.

I would recommend Apr-June/Sept-Oct as the best months to visit…

You’ll pay a reduced entrance fee of 110 kn (approx. £14) and the park will be less busy.

We visited at the beginning of September which was a great time. The weather was still hot so the water was a nice temperature for swimming, and we were able to walk and swim freely without weaving in and out of the crowds.

Please note: children between the ages of 7 and 18 pay a reduced rate and children under 7 are free.

For more information on the entrance fees, click here.

How to get to Krka National Park

Local buses…

If you are coming from a nearby town such as Šibenik, a local bus will get you to the park cheaply within 20-30 minutes. There are also local buses from Trogir and Split, which will take between 1 and 1.5 hours. For more information on the bus timetable, click here.

Day trips…

There is an abundance of tourist agencies offering day trips to Krka National Park. Organised tours are easy and often include a guide and entrance to other parts of the park such as the cathedral. They are however more expensive than travelling on your own and can be restrictive if you want to spend less or more time in a certain part of the park.

Hire a car…

If you are travelling from Split or further afield, a car is an easy and cost-effective way to get there. We chose to hire a car because it was cheaper than an organised tour, the quickest form of transport and gave us the flexibility around timings (this made the trip much better for the children).

Hiring a decent car in Split for 24 hours will cost between 200-500 kn (approx. £25-£62). I would recommend using one of the big names such as Sixt, Thrifty or Hertz and if you are travelling during peak season, book online in advance to ensure availability (use the links above to book now). You can also use a comparison site such as Skyscanner.

We recommend Sixt for best value, good service and we were able to drop the car off at the airport on the day we flew home (we also got an upgrade).

Sixt Car Rental

There are two routes from Split; the coastal route is more scenic but will take you a lot longer. The easiest and fastest route (about an hour) is taking the A1 toll road, which from Split will cost 31 kn (approx. £3.80) and is a straight, quiet road to travel on.

Top Tip – get there early to beat the crowds and make the most out of your day

Things to take

Getting your tickets

In order to prevent too much pressure being placed on the natural phenomenon and for safety reasons, the park limits the number of visitors to 10,000 at any one time.

If you are visiting during July and August, I would recommend buying your tickets online in advance to guarantee entry. Outside of peak season, buying your tickets at the entrance shouldn’t be a problem (we paid by card at the entrance on the day and there was no queue).

Which entrance to use

There are 5 entrances to the park:

  • Lozovac
  • Skradin
  • Roški slap / Laškovica
  • Burnum / Puljani
  • Kistanje / Krka Monastery

Lozovac and Skradin are the main entrances for access to the Skradinski buk waterfall with Lozovac being the closest.

If you are travelling by car, I would recommend parking at Lozovac as this entrance has a large car park that is free.

Top Tip – use the free car park toilets before entering the park

Once you enter the park, using the toilet facilities will cost you between 5 and 10 kn (60p – £1.25). As you enter the Lozovac car park, there are toilet facilities on the left near the restaurants and cafes but there is a charge. Head over to the right-hand side and you will find some that are free.

From the Lozovac entrance, you can take a free 5-minute shuttle bus down to Skradinski buk (in quieter months you can drive all the way down). If you’re feeling energetic and don’t fancy the bus, you can also walk down.

Top Tip – if you have a pushchair, make sure you take the shuttle bus as the walk down is a steep gravel path

From here you can take an 875m long boardwalk trail which takes you through the lush woods, over mini waterfalls and gives you incredible views of Skradinski buk. The trail is great fun for kids – there is plenty of fish to spot (we even spotted a frog hopping down a little waterfall).

Skradinski buk boardwalk

Other than a few steps, the boarded platform is perfectly suitable for pushchairs. The end of the trail leads you to the pool at the bottom of Skradinski buk waterfall. If you don’t want to do the trail (although I would highly recommend it for the beautiful views), you can bypass the trail entrance and head straight down to Skradinski buk.

Skradinski buk

From the Skradin entrance, you can take a free 25-30 minute boat ride to Skradiksi buk. The boats sail every hour (see the sailing schedule here) or you can walk but this may take over half an hour.

The other 3 entrances gain you access to the other 6 waterfalls Roški slap, Miljacka slap, Rošnjak, Manojlovac slap, Brljan and Bilušića buk (click here for a map of Krka National Park). There are also other places of interest such as Visovac Island, Oziđana pećina cave, Krka Monastery and the Burnum Roman military camp.

Swim at Skradinski buk

The seventh, final, longest and most famous waterfall on the Krka river and the only permitted area for swimming. For this reason, I would highly recommend that Skradinski buk is the waterfall you visit if time only allows for the one. We had full intentions to visit both Skradinski buk and Roški slap but ran out of time, so make sure you start here.

If you’ve followed the boardwalk trail anti-clockwise, then you’ll approach Skradinski buk from the side where all of the cafes and tables are. There are plenty of benches dotted along the trail but this is the area with the most seating and is right next to the pool for swimming. The cafes offer a range of food, drinks and ice creams but they’re pricey so I would recommend taking a picnic. There is also a large grassed area for sunbathing and relaxing.

There is a bridge which crosses the water and is a prime location for a selfie shot.

You can access the water from either side of the bridge, although I would recommend the side where the cafes are as it is less rocky and slippery. If you walk further down towards the little cave, you will get into deeper water quicker for swimming. If you access the water closer to the bridge, you’ll find yourself skimming over lots of sharp rocks before you get to water deep enough to swim.

Top Tip – take swimming or waterproof footwear

Foolishly, we didn’t and went barefoot but the rocks are so sharp, you are almost guaranteed to cut or scrape yourself without suitable footwear.

Top Tip – beware of the current

Children or weak swimmers may find the current a little strong. As I swam closer to the waterfalls, it reminded me of those exercise hot tubs with counter current technology – I felt like I was swimming but not really getting anywhere.

For young children or weak swimmers, there are still plenty of shallow areas to take a dip, as well as mini waterfalls to stand under and streams to paddle down.

Skradinski buk

Visit the restored water mill

After you’ve dried off, continue over the bridge and up some steps back towards the entrance. Here you’ll find a beautiful little-restored water mill with a kitchen, millers flat and stables. There are 6 restored mills and one was in action when we visited, demonstrating the spinning wheel crushing grains into flour. Not only did we find this fascinating but so did our 5-year-old daughter.

Krka water mill

Recommended Itinerary

  • Park at Lozovac and take the shuttle bus down to Skradinski buk
  • Walk the 875m boardwalk trail, spot the flora and fauna and take in the magnificent views
  • Take a picnic and enjoy the spectacular cascades of water thundering down into the pool below
  • Reward yourself with a refreshing swim in the pool at the bottom of Skradinski Buk
  • Visit the restored water mill to see flour milling in action

This is where we ran out of time, but if you get there early and can spend a full day, consider driving onto Roški slap (about 30 minute drive). You can also reach Roški slap by boat from Skradinski buk which takes 3.5 hours and is an additional cost.

We had a truly fantastic and memorable day at Krka National Park and the kids had so much fun!

It’s hard to pick out the highlights, the boardwalk is a perfect distance for the kids to walk around and spot fish in the surrounding water and the views are just stunning.

Of course swimming and splashing about at Skradinski buk is a must but the educational side was also really interesting.

The natural formation of travertine layers which creates the waterfalls and how the water has been used over the years to power mills and hydroelectric plants is fascinating.

If we had more time, I would have continued on to visit Roški slap. If you were considering spending longer to explore Krka National Park, it might be worth considering accommodation.

Hotel Vrata Krke is perfectly located at the main entrance in Lozovac or you can check out other accommodation close to the park here.

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