For those who've visited Croatia... you'll have probably visited the famous Plitvice Lakes? But if you're visiting again soon, don't discount the idea of spending a few days in Krka National Park.... maybe even swim under it's famous waterfalls if you dare?
Some say it might just be the best European National Park you've never heard of.....and if you're heading for Split then it really is a very easy daytrip or perhaps even combine it with one of our other favourite places on the Adriatic coastline, the historic island of Trogir.
This would be our second visit to Krka, the first just under a year ago.... this time by bike to the magnificent waterfalls of Krka River in Skradinski Buk! But sadly we only had time for a day visit.... So this time we'd made sure we were booked into Camp Marina (just under 6km from the first set of impressive waterfalls) For those visiting with tent, caravan or motorhome... you'll find this the best all round option (swimming pool, restaurant, wifi & plenty of shade!!)
Talking of shade, this was probably the first and hopefully only time we'll have had to drive through a forest fire to get to the first sight of the day in Krka National Park. It just brought home how important it is to be careful of our national parks...we were literally right beside the 50sq metre 'scrub fire' as it erupted out of seemingly nowhere... Causing us to take a few minutes to assess our options, before deciding the only choice was to drive the road through and hope nothing caught alight on the van...... a scary experience! And we thought camping in an Italian volcano was going to be the scariest part of our trip (read more here)!!!
(Before we forget, we ought to thank those amazing firemen who were on the scene in minutes and pumping within 15mins)
If you do visit Krka, it's worth getting expert advice or making contact with one of the local guides or travel agencies. We'd managed a few minutes with one of the best (Dalmatia Travel) and we were delighted to see his expert advice come into fruition at the first view-point. If we'd taken the low (signposted) route to the Visovac (monastery on an island) we'd never have caught this spectacular view... that reminds us so much of Lake Bled in Slovenia.
What's more, it has plenty of parking space and would be the ideal place to grab a picnic and perhaps your hiking boots and head off down the trail towards the monastery.... In about 1445, the Franciscans inhabited the island, expanded its area and took up science and education, erecting the church and monastery in 1576. The buildings were later restored in the 18th century. Yet the winding rivers are just as impressive and it's a must for any keen photographer (hence why we headed that way for Lottie to continue her interest in all things photographical)
This part of the National Park Krka is situated about 80 km from Zadar, which makes it an obvious destination for a day trip too... but there's so much more to explore in this 109 square kilometre park. So we headed back into the park following the deep and impressive canyon that contains roaring waterfalls of Bilušić buk, Miljacka, Brljan, Rošnjak, Manojlovački slap, Roški slap and the jaw droppingly beautiful Skradinski buk
It's probably worth mentioning the cost at this point as you'll need to pay the entrance fee into the park. We managed a family ticket in April for just over 15 euros... but bear in mind it does rise steeply in the summer... but we reckon it would still be worth it for all those smiles on the faces!!!
It's hard to say what's our favourite part about Krka, but if pushed we'd say the walks along the wooden boardwalk/bridges seem to get you so close to the rich diversity of flora and fauna it almost feels as if you're part of this magical ecosystem... But you'd also perhaps love the rickety wooden stairs that 'hug' the cliff face... climbing ever higher to give that special panoramic view of the waterfalls (just be prepared to bring your head for heights on this one!).
Don't forget to take the fascinating walk through the sympathetically restored stone grain mill complete with workshops, exhibits and the actual watermills which show how water used to make village life possible and sustainable centuries ago.
If you've got a car, then head for the impressive canyon again... through the impossibly steep winding roads that cling to the hillside yet offer imperious views over the surrounding 75km long river bed below....
The last stop for us in probably a 5-6hr day with time for a picnic lunch, was the Manojlovac waterfalls... past the Roman amphitheater and Burnham archaeological sites... and towards the very north of the park. (check it out on this interactive National Park map here) These are the highest of the waterfalls in the National Park and it's well worth the trek down the trail to see them.
Plus you never know what you might find on the way....we'd certainly never expected to see this 1.5m 'Telescopus Fallax' Cat Snake nor the enormous grasshopper that landed on Lottie's arm... it really was a day full of fun and excitement in Krka National Park.
So would we return? Absolutely, tomorrow if we could! It really is that stunning and brilliant for kids too
Where would we visit first? For us, we'd start at Skradinski Buk and work northwards towards the Manojlovac waterfalls
Where should we stay? We'll leave to our friends at 'Aussies on Tour' who made this awesome drone footage of what it's really like at Camp Marina (just under 5km from the main waterfalls)
Search by Categories
Search our blog articles
Search our Archives
Check out our contributions to
Follow us here