When visiting Croatia, most people find it hard to drag themselves away from the beaches to visit to more inland sites. Although I also spent most of my time on the coast during my visit to Croatia in August 2011, we did find time to stop at several of their national parks. In my experience, it’s well worth your time to take a day and visit at least one National Park. Although my favorite has to be Plitvice Lakes National Park, I also really enjoyed our visit to Krka National Park.
[Note: When planning our trip, we were trying to decide which park to visit - to figure out which was "better." If you really only have time for one, go to Plitvice, but it's really impossible to compare the two parks - they are two totally different experiences. Krka is more about hanging out and swimming in the one beautiful waterfall. There is also a short nature hike but its not much. It is not possible to swim at Plitvice Lakes, so the entire day will pretty much be made up of hiking and observing nature.]
To get to the Krka National Park, we had to take a shuttle from Split. We arranged the shuttle through our hostel but it wasn’t cheap. I am sure there are less expensive ways we could have figured out if we had had the time. The shuttle dropped us off near a boat dock where we boarded a ferry (included in cost of admission). The ferry drops you off near this beautiful waterfall above.
At this point, you can see the large number of swimmers and sunbathers so its tempting to just jump right in. But, its worth it to spend an hour doing the nature trail around the top of the waterfalls.
[Note: There are also options to take another ferry further down the river to visit a Monastery on the lake, but we were unable to make these trips due to time constraints]
Towards the end of the walk, there are several stalls set up selling wine, dried fruit and nuts.
Once you reach the end of the walk, its easy to find a spot and hop in. Unlike the waterfalls in Bosnia, you can’t swim up to or jump around the falls themselves. A lifeguard is stationed by a rope which prevents anyone from swimming any closer.
Just the Facts
Location: Southern Croatia, about an hour away form Split
Cost: 80 Kuna (About $15) including the cost of ferry
When: I recommend summer months so its warm enough to swim
Attire: Swimsuits and waterproof walking shoes (The bottom of the water is slippery and rocky). There is no need to worry about being overly modest. A western style swim suit is fine. However, you should wear clothing you feel comfortable hiking in so that you can go on the nature walk in something other than a bathing suit.
Time Needed: About 1 hour for the walk, 2 hours to swim/hang out
Difficulty: The hike is easy.
Food: Food is available for sale in the park, but it’s expensive. Its possible to bring in a picnic lunch as long as you don’t mind carrying it.
Personal Storage: We weren’t able to find any options to store personal items. We had to keep an eye on our things while we swam.