When spending time in Croatia, set aside at least one day at Krka National Park to explore in your Croatia itinerary. The National Park Plitvice Lakes sometimes shadows Krka. Krka is a stunning and unique park with gorgeous hued water, waterfalls, hiking trails, and much more!
Krka National Park is an easy day trip from Split or Zadar so even if you don’t have a full day, visiting Krka National Park is still possible as you are en route. Although a bit longer of a journey, you can even visit from Dubrovnik. When spending 8 days in Croatia, we explored Krka as we were driving from Zadar to Split. Let’s get into the details of spending one day at the beautiful National Park in Croatia.
About Krka National Park
Krka National Park was founded in 1985. It covers an area of 109 square km (almost 68 miles.) It’s a popular destination for hiking, swimming, and kayaking for visitors year-round. There are over 200 bird species in the park as well as 1,500 plant species! Truly, because of its size a day isn’t nearly enough but you can see many of the main attractions over the course of a day.
Krka National Park is a national park in Croatia that is known for its waterfalls, forests, and wildlife. The park is located on the Krka River and is home to seven waterfalls, including Skradinski Buk, which is the largest waterfall in the park.
The park is also home to a variety of plant and animal life, including deer, bears, and wolves. Krka National Park is a popular tourist destination, and it is a great place to enjoy nature and learn about the history and culture of Croatia.
Where is Krka National Park
Krka National Park is located near the coastal city of Split. Krka National Park’s main entrance is about a 15-minute drive from Sibenik (just under 15 km/8 ½ miles). If you’re looking to base yourself in a city near the National Park, Sibenik or Skradin are your best options. You can also take a bus from the main bus station located in Sibenik.
Many day trips are doable from both Zadar and Split if you aren’t planning on staying in the smaller towns near the park.
How far is Krka from Split? It’s a little under 86 km (~54 miles) from Split to Krka National Park and vice versa.
Krka National Park Entrances
There are five different entrances to Krka National Park in Croatia. The entrances are: Skradin, Lozovak, Roski Slap/Lascovicka, Burnum/Puljane, and Kistanje/Krka Monastery. You will pay your entrance fee at whatever entrance you choose for your Krka National Park day.
It’s important to note that the entrance fee to the park varies depending on the season. In January and February, it costs under 7 euros per individual adult to enter, and March, as well as November and December, costs 7 euros for an individual adult entrance. April, May, and October it costs 20 euros per individual. But, during peak season, June-September it costs 40 euros per individual!
There is a big difference in price during peak season, shoulder season, and winter just for entrance costs to the park. Those prices are a daily price, so if you’re planning on multiple days that can add up as well.
Keep in mind, that some months not everything is open or accessible. For example, between April and October, you can take boats within the park.
How to get to Krka National Park
Depending on where you’re coming from, you will either drive or take a bus. You can take a public bus from Split to Skradin or Sibenik. However, getting around the park may take you a bit longer as things are somewhat spread out.
The best ways to get to Krka are either renting a car and driving or doing a day tour. More on the day tour options a bit later! Vice versa, the best way to get from Krka to Split is to drive. It’s a little over an hour drive depending on where in Split you’re going.
When to visit Krka National Park
The Park is open year-round for visitors. The busiest time will be in June-August. Planning to visit during shoulder season (in spring or fall) will still have great weather but the crowds will be a bit thinner. The entrance fee to Krka will also cost less so that’s something to consider as well!
We visited in early May and it was busy on the boardwalks around Skradinski Buk. But, it was nothing near as busy as Plitvice Lakes! Read more in this krka guide to help decide when to visit the stunning national park.
Be sure to pack for the activities you plan to do in Krka National Park. Especially if you’re hiking or biking you want to be sure to bring enough water, a backpack, and some snacks with you.
We both wore athletic-style clothing (spf shirt, baseball hat, hiking boots, etc.) It’s always really important to account for the possibility of the weather changing. So pack or dress in layers and one essential layer is a waterproof rain jacket!
You can pay for the entrance fee with a card, but some vendors within the park prefer cash. So, plan ahead and have multiple payment forms so you’re prepared.
Please, while you’re in the park be respectful and practice leave no trace principles!
How to get around Krka National Park
There are many different ways you can get around Krka National Park. You can explore by water (boat), by road (car), or on foot using hiking paths, and there are even opportunities to rent bikes. (Both e-bikes and regular pedal bikes!)
We explored the park using all of those methods except by boat. The boats are an extra fee and bring you to several areas of the park that are only accessible via the water. (Such as the monastery that’s located on an island!) Let’s review some of the things to see in Krka National Park.
Things to do in Krka National Park
You might be wondering what the best things to do in Krka National Park are or how to visit Krka National Park. National Parks in the United States are vastly different so they require planning in advance your main priorities in the park.
Since this park is a bit spread out, you’ll have to plan ahead to know what things you want to do or see. Especially if you’re planning on spending only one day in Krka National Park! Here’s a Map that will help to plan out your day and become familiar with how the park is laid out. It will assist in planning what to do in Krka National Park while you visit.
Let’s start with one of the most popular attractions! A waterfall. (Oooooh! Ahhhh!) I mean waterfalls always just give me such a calming feeling and you can never see enough waterfalls, am I right?
Located near Skradin, Croatia Skradinski Buk is one of the main attractions at Krka National Park. It’s a smaller scale waterfall to those in Plitvice Lakes National Park where multiple waterfalls cascade down into a beautiful colored water pool. But it is the longest travertine barrier located on the Krka River.
This waterfall is so accessible due to the loop hike that is located around the attraction. The hike isn’t long at 2 km (1.25 miles) and it is very accessible for all levels and ages.
Roški Slap Waterfall
The Roski Slap waterfall is located near the Roski Slap entrance to Krka National Park. This waterfall isn’t quite as scenic as Skradinski Buk. So, if you’re trying to decide between the two, the easy winner in my opinion would be Skradinski.
The loop walk back was a nice little stroll. However, not very scenic. It just didn’t have as much of the wow factor as I had expected.
Located on the eastern side of Krka National Park the Ključica Fortress sits on a steep cliff. A historic medieval fortress located on the Krka River basin within Krka National Park is truly a sight to see since it is the largest medieval fortress on the Krka River basin and it is so well preserved.
Once this fortress was a part of the fortification system constructed by the medieval Nelipić family.
Oziđana pećina cave
A prehistoric cave located on the left bank of the Krka River. At the top of the canyon from Roški slap waterfall. Over 220 meters (over 721 feet) above the waterfall. The cave is shaped like a tunnel.
There have been human remains, stone tools, and historic ceramic vessels excavated from the cave. These items have been verified to be from the Bronze Ages!
Within Krka National Park there are other caves and pits including a nameless cave.
Archaeological Collection of Burnum
Located near the village of Puljane, is an old Roman ruin amphitheater. You can access it once you’re in the park and have paid an entrance fee. It’s in the northern part of Krka.
You can view the stone arches that are still present there today. There are a whopping 20 archaeological sites within Krka National Park. So, if you’re more of a history buff than someone that likes to check out natural beauty, Krka National Park would be your jam!
Krka Monastery & Visovak Island
The Krka Monastery is located on an island! You can only get to it via boat. But, there’s also a lookout point if you want to check it out from above and don’t have enough time in your itinerary to visit the island.
The Monastery is a Serbian Orthodox Church that is protected due to the fact that it’s inside Krka National Park. It’s located about 6 km (3.74 miles) upstream from the town of Skradin within the National Park.
Krka National Park One day itinerary
Since the park is a bit more spread out and requires different modes of transportation, it’s best to prioritize what’s the most important. Here’s a suggested itinerary for a day in the park. Feel free to adjust it to fit your interests and time constraints.
- 8:00 AM – Arrive at Skradin and take a boat ride to Skradinski Buk, the most popular waterfall in the park.
- 9:00 AM – Spend some time exploring Skradinski Buk, including taking a swim in the pools below the falls.
- 10:00 AM – Hike to the top of the falls for stunning views of the park.
- 11:00 AM – Have lunch at one of the restaurants in Skradin.
- 12:00 PM – Take a boat ride to Visovac Monastery, a 14th-century monastery located on an island in the middle of the river.
- 1:00 PM – Visit the monastery and learn about its history.
- 2:00 PM – Take a boat ride back to Skradin.
- 3:00 PM – Relax on the beach or go for a swim in the river.
- 4:00 PM – Have dinner at one of the restaurants in Skradin.
- 5:00 PM – Take a bus or train back to your hotel.
For example, if you are interested in hiking, you could spend more time exploring the park’s trails. Or, if you are interested in learning about the history of the region, you could spend more time visiting the monastery.
No matter how you choose to spend your day in Krka National Park, you will have a memorable experience. The park is a beautiful and peaceful place, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Day trip to Krka from Split
If you don’t have a rental car during your travels in Croatia, another option is to take a day trip or day tour. There are several different day tours offered from Split, Zadar, and other cities. Another great day trip from Split is the island of Hvar.
Split is the closest larger city so you will have the most options from there. Some of the best Krka tours from Split will be booked through Get Your Guide or Viator.
Many of the day trips also include another stop or activity (such as wine tasting!). Some include a boat ride in the park as well! Be sure to read the fine print on how long the tour lasts and what all it entails.
Krka National Park FAQs:
Is Krka National Park worth visiting?
Yes! It is a stunning National in Croatia just outside the coastal town of Split. If you have time in your itinerary it’s best to spend at least one day in Krka National Park. You can experience beautiful hiking trails, historic archaeological sites, and waterfalls! Definitely add a day trip to Krka National Park to your Croatia itinerary.
How many waterfalls are in Krka National Park?
There are 7 waterfalls in Krka National Park. The most popular waterfall to visit while in the park is Skradinski Buk. Its magnificent size and boardwalk around the waterfall make it the most alluring of all the waterfalls in Krka National Park. The second most popular waterfall is the Roski Slap.
Is Krka National Park the same as Plitvice Lakes?
No! Both Plitvice Lakes National Park and Krka National Park are vastly different. The main thing that’s the same is you can see waterfalls. Plitvice Lakes is so many waterfalls and is way more compact whereas Krka is more spread out and there’s much more to do and see aside from the waterfalls.
How much time do you need in Krka National Park?
A day is enough time to spend in Krka National Park. However, if you only have a partial day once you arrive, stay nearby in either Skradin or Sibenik. Explore for a partial day, stay close then take in more of the park the following day. Putting together two partial days to spend one full day in Krka National Park.
Which entrance is best for Krka National Park?
Lozovak entrance is considered the main entrance. However, there isn’t much parking located here. But, the best entrance of the five depends on what sights you’re planning on seeing during your time in Krka National Park. Lozovak was a great location that was central to many of the main things to see.
Can you stay in Krka National Park?
No. But while there aren’t any official hotels within Krka National Park, you can stay in the nearby towns. The closest city is Skradin which is convenient as that’s where the ferry in Krka National Park starts and stops. The nearby Lozovak entrance is 7.3 km (4.5 miles) away from Skradin.
Are there bears in Krka National Park?
Yes. Krka National Park is home to deer, bears, and wolves. You will need to take necessary precautions to not have an unfortunate encounter with any of the wildlife in Krka. Although grizzlies (the more aggressive bear) are not present. Maintain distance from the bear if you can and do not surprise it. Bears only attack when feeling threatened.
Can you still swim at Krka National Park?
No, you can no longer swim in the falls at Krka National Park. This is a more recent development. Years ago, many would swim in the refreshing waters at Krka. The decision was made in order to preserve the natural resources and biodiversity that are present in the park. Another deciding factor was lowering pollution.
Final Thoughts: One day at Krka National Park
Whether you’re heading on your way to Split, or on a road trip from Split north to Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb, spending a day in Krka National Park is well worth it!
Entering at the main entrance to the park at Lozovak puts you in close proximity to Skradinski Buk, one of the most famous sites at Krka! When visiting Krka you can travel throughout the park via many different means: boat, by foot, bike, or car. Whatever you choose to do will leave a lasting impression of Croatia’s sheer beauty.
Taking a road trip through Croatia is a great way to spend a holiday. We traveled all over Croatia and rented a car for the majority of our time there. I hope this help inspired your travels to Croatia soon!