Rivers and waterfalls are not the first images to come to mind when Croatia is discussed. Most people dream of exploring the ancient Venetian cities, dramatic islands and Roman ruins of the Dalmatian Coast. But located just a few hours drive from Split, near the amazing but underrated old city of Sibenikk, is a true natural wonder, Krka National Park. Take a break from century old monuments to explore the thousand year old monuments of nature.
The Kraka river flows through a limestone gorge and at points spreads throughout an expansive forest. The area is made up of karst environments, which form when carbon dioxide dissolves with water on carbonate rock (limestone). Over a period of thousands of years this ongoing process has created unique geomorphological features on the surface of the rocks through which the Krka river flows. What? Basically, its a biochemical process that is constantly evolving and segmenting the river into an amazing array of pools, waterfalls and caves. Even more basic, it’s Awesome, Beautiful and one of the reasons I traveled to Croatia in the first place. I saw pictures of the waterfalls last year and became captivated with their beauty and number. My wife would say obsessed…but she’s not writing this article. Since you’re looking at the pretty pictures you’re probably not reading this anyway
The main falls, Skradinski buk, are located just near the entrance of the park after you arrive by a beautiful boat ride. The walking path takes about 2 hours to complete and covers around 2 miles. You can stop doing the math in your head, trust me it really does take this long. You’ll find yourself stopping constantly to take pictures, marvel at the beauty, and if you arrive late, fighting your way through the crowds. There are other areas to visit in the park but all require you to shell out more Dinars and hop on another boat. These include a quite Franciscan Monastery with various small animals in the upper part of the river that is actually a lake, and further up another series of waterfalls called Roski slap. We found the first set of waterfalls to be enough, but it’s up to you.
Your gate way to Krka National Park is the wonderful little town of Skradin. This small town is where the ferry boat departs for the national park and is a great place to spend a night or two. With small hotels, a marina for sailors making their way down the Croatian coastline, and a small beach on the river it’s a perfect place to relax and soak in the rural atmosphere while being able to meet a fresh load of travelers each night.
If You Go
Kraka is best in the summer when you can swim in the cool waters and breath in the fresh forest air. Just arrive early in the morning as the main viewing and swimming areas become crowded fast.