Krka National Park
Krka was another national park that was high on my list to visit while I was in Croatia. Located about 60 miles north of the coastal town of Split, Krka is easily accessible as a day trip from there. Similar to tour companies in Zadar offering package deals to visit Plitvice, there were many in Split offering trips to Krka.
How to get to Krka National Park from Split via Bus
Split’s bus station is located near the pier and is hard to miss. At the ticket counter, ask to buy a ticket to Skradin, which is the town nearest the park. I recommend buying the ticket in advance, especially if you are there during the peak tourist season. I bought my bus ticket the night before for the following morning, and purchased the last one! Buses are also not that frequent, and only leave every few hours. I know I’d hate to have to wait around the bus station for a few hours and miss some valuable time at the park!
Note that unfortunately the Split bus station does not allow you to purchase a return ticket back. Thus there is not a way to guarantee a spot back-more on that later! Once again, I recommend stopping at a supermarket to pick up some food and make sure to bring your swimsuit and a towel, as there is an area where visitors are allowed to swim!
After about an hour and a half ride, you’ll arrive at the drop off point for visitors heading to Krka. From there it’s about a 10 minute walk to the dock where you’ll need to catch a boat. The first boat doesn’t leave until 10am so don’t get there too early!
The boat ride is about 20 minutes long and it is a very scenic ride. I found myself in awe again of the natural beauty of Croatia’s abundant plant life as we made our way down the river to the official entrance to the park. The entrance fee in June 2016 for a foreign adult was 110 kuna (about $15 USD). The boat ride is included as part of the entrance fee.
Throughout Krka there are a series of wooden walkways, similar to Plitvice. Whereas Plitvice’s main draw are the beautiful turquoise lakes, Krka boasts a ton of eye-catching waterfalls! The areas accessible via the walkways is a lot smaller than Plitvice, but I still recommend bringing a pair of comfortable footwear.
Krka is by far the least frequented park of the two, but it is not due to its lack of beauty. Krka just fails to receive the same amount of hype and press as Plitvice does. The benefit of that means that there are less large tour groups crowding the boardwalks!
After enjoying a walk around the outer loop of the park and stopping to enjoy the stunning waterfalls, I made my way over to the swimming area. If you have some type of swimming footwear, make sure to bring that, as the lake floor is covered with rocks of different shapes and sizes. As the water is crystal clear however, it is easy to see where you are going, and you can prevent stubbing your toes on a massive boulder (ouch!). Unfortunately, it is not possible to swim directly up to the waterfalls, as there is a rope barrier about 30 meters away. The water is extremely refreshing, perfect for one of those hot Croatian summer days! I spent a couple of hours hanging out in the water and enjoying the beautiful park.
When I was ready to return to Split, I boarded the same boat at the entrance to the park, and it took me back to Skradin. As it was late afternoon, there were many other people waiting at the Skradin bus stop to get back to Split. As the bus was continuing its journey from Sibenik and I was unsure how much room (if any), there would be, I elected to hop in a shared taxi with a few others. While it was a little more expensive than the bus (I paid 100 kuna), it guaranteed me a means of getting back to Split, as I did not fancy being stranded there. There were a few taxi vans that were hanging out in Skradin around this time, so there was ample space for anyone who didn’t want to risk waiting around for the bus.
If you have the time and interest, I obviously recommend to visit both Plitvice and Krka! If you are short on time, can only visit one of the parks and the distance, crowds, and more expensive park doesn’t deter you, then I recommend visiting Plitvice, as it is famous and popular for a reason. However, if you prefer a more calming and peaceful day (and want to enjoy a refreshing swim), then you won’t be disappointed with Krka!