Krka National Park (not to be confused with Krk Island) is a nature reserve known for its pristine waterfalls. Located in Central Dalmatia close to Sibenik, the backbone of the park is the Krka River. The river spring emerges in Knin and eventually flows into the Adriatic Sea via Sibenik, creating a beautiful National Park along its way. You could spend days here biking, walking and enjoying the sites however, most visitors have only one day in Krka National Park.
Spending one day in Krka National Park is a perfect way to see a different side of Croatia, away from the beaches. The park offers nature trails, amazing waterfalls, boat excursions, a visit to a monastery island, and much more. This post is about visiting on your own, not as a part of the tour.
As mentioned above, the park can be visited as part of the tour. In that case, all the logistics will be taken care of by the tour company for you.
How to get into Krka National Park
There are many different entrance points to Krka National Park – to be exact 10 different ones. The two most popular ones are Skradin and Lozovac. From either of these entrance points, you will be able to see Skradinski Buk, the most popular attraction (waterfall) in the park. Both entrances offer free parking and facilities.
If you use the Skradin entrance, you can take a boat ride and/or walk the trail to the Skradinski Buk.
If you use the Lozovac entrance, you can take a bus or walk the trail to the Skradinski Buk.
Even if you take a boat or bus, you will still have to walk a 1900 m (1.2 miles) boardwalk nature trail to reach the waterfalls.
The Krka National Park considers months of November to April winter months and during the winter months, the services in the park are limited. For example, during the winter months boats and buses do not operate.
Main Attraction Points in the Krka National Park
Since Krka National Park covers close to 50 square miles, it is divided into three regions: Krka lower course, middle course and upper course.
Things to see in Krka Lower Course:
Skradinski Buk – the best-known waterfall and the main attraction of the park. There is a boardwalk trail around the waterfall which is also one of the main attractions.
Things to see in Krka Middle Course:
Visovac – the island in the middle of the river which can be accessed by one of the boat excursions.
Roski Slap – the second most popular waterfall in the park. It can be accessed by one of the boat excursions or on foot by taking a walking trail.
Ozidana Pecina Cave – one of the attractions that can be accessed from Roski Slap by taking wooden stairs, or 517 of them, to it.
Things to see in Krka Upper Course:
Krka Monastery – the spiritual center of the Orthodox monks that’s been there for centuries.
Manojlovac Slap, Miljacka, Rosnjak, Brljan, and Bilusica Buk waterfalls Waterfall – upper course waterfalls on the Krka River.
Krka Eco Campus – the scientific research and education center.
Lower and Middle Courses are much more popular and frequently visited than Upper Course.
Cost to Get in Krka National Park
The price list changes depending on the season and services the park offers. Winter months are significantly less than summer months. In September (still considered high season), we paid €40 per person. That does not include the cost of boat excursions which was an additional fee of €15 per person to Visovac and €20 per person to Roski Slap.
There is a difference between boat rides and boat excursions in the Krka National Park. The boat ride from Skradin to Skradinski Buk is included in the entrance fee. The boat excursions to the Visovac and Roski Slap are not included in the entrance price.
One Day in Krka National Park
I recommend using the Lozovac entrance point for today’s excursion. There is plenty of parking available at the entrance point as well as bathroom facilities before setting off on your excursion. You can either purchase tickets at the entrance or online.
Once inside the park, you can either take a bus or walk to the nature trail. The bus operates only between April and November. The trail is only 875 meters (0.54 miles) walk downhill. At about halfway point down, there is a viewpoint from which you can see boat rides from Skradin.
Where you see buses dropping off passengers is where you will start the nature trail to the Skradinski Buk. You will also see a sign for a boat excursion and another ticket booth here. It is a good idea to stop at the ticket booth and ask when the next boat excursion is so that you can plan accordingly.
During low season boat excursions only run if there are enough passengers. We visited end of September and only had a handful of people on board with us. I would recommend doing the nature walk first then a boat excursion if your schedule allows.
The nature trail is an easy 1.9 km (1.2 miles) walk mostly through the forested area with occasional views of the river and smaller waterfalls all around. One of the viewpoints on the boardwalk allows for the view of the Skrainski Buk from above. You will also see restored water mills and remnants of hydroelectric plant.
When you reach an area with the snack shops and restrooms, you are at Skradinski Buk. The waterfalls are stunning which means the boardwalk will be packed with people trying to take pictures.
After the Skradinski Buk, board the boat to either Visovac or Roski Slap depending on the time you have available. Visovac is a 2-hour round trip, and Roski Slap is a 4-hour round trip. I recommend going to Roski Slap if you have time.
The first stop on the boat excursion is Visovac. Visovac is an island on the river where Eremites constructed a small monastery and a church in the 14th century. Today, Franciscans inhabit the monastery. The visitors are allowed to walk into the museum and the church for a visit.
The gardens around the monastery are beautiful and offer a lot of shade during steamy summer days. You will be given 30 minutes to spend here.
The next stop is Roski Slap. At Roski Slap you have 1.5 hours to spend here. As the river passes through multiple backwaters and cascades called Necklaces, it creates a main waterfall that crashes into Visovac Lake.
The best thing to do here is to take the Roski Slap loop trail to see the Necklaces and from the trail you can take another 517 steps to Ozidjana Pecina Cave – an archeological wonderland. The Roski Slap loop is a 1.3 km (0.85 miles) easy walk plus 517 steps to Ozidjana Pecina if you decide to go that way. You will also see restored old water mills during this walk.
Roski Slap has a designated swimming area if you are interested in cooling off or just taking a break at one of the restaurants. From here you can take another 2.5 hr boat excursion to Krka Monastery a spiritual center of the Eastern Orthodox congregation also built by Eremites toward the end of the 14th century.
Upon return from the boat excursion, you can either take a bus or walk back up to the entrance of the park. If your appetite has kicked in after a day full of adventure you can stop by Vinko’s Konoba for a traditional Croatian meal. Reservations are strongly recommended as the place is very popular.
Where to Stay After Krka National Park
Sibenik is the closest city to Krka National Park. It has a stunning old town and fortresses with amazing views. It is also close to Primosten, the wine country of the Babic grape.
Another option is Split. It is one of the most popular destinations in Croatia and is only a 2-hour drive from the park. It has a great Old Town with the palace where Game of Thrones was filmed and it is also a great place to catch a ferry to one of the islands – Hvar, Brac, Vis, Korcula and more.
Tips for the best day in Krka National Park Experience
For the best experience make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes and clothing. Even at the end of September, it was brutally hot. Furthermore, sunscreen, sunglasses, and sun hat are strongly recommended.
Bring a reusable water bottle with you, to keep your water cooler longer. At each one of the attractions, there are places where you can refill your water bottles.
Bring a swimsuit and a towel if interested in swimming at Roski Slap.
This is a popular destination during peak summer months so I would recommend visiting during the shoulder months of May, June, September or October.
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