Located 12 km northwest of Šibenik lies a magnificent stretch of land which has carved the river Krka into one of the most spellbinding landscapes in the whole of Croatia and further. A sequence of canyons, lakes, waterfalls, and forests painted across the rugged Dalmatian terrain fall under the protection of the Krka National park since 1985. This stretch of Krka valley between the towns of Skradin and Knin is visited by almost a million visitors every day, all falling under the spell of beauty, only comparable by the likes of Plitvice lakes.
On its path to the Adriatic river Krka has made a monument to nature itself and this, relatively small patch of land, is filled with natural beauty. While on your cruise across the Adriatic, this is a place you simply must visit.
Encompassing two thirds of the total course of Krka river, Krka National Park is most famous for its stunning waterfalls, carved in the porous rock, most famous of which is Roški Slap as well as breathtaking canyons, such as Skradinski Buk as well as small, picturesque island of Visovac which has found its way on the cover of numerous magazines.
The area is incredibly rich with flora and fauna with more than 800 species of plant life and over 200 different species of bird, as well as many endemic reptiles and amphibians, so it is no wonder that the park is considered a national treasure.
How to get there
Sailing from Šibenik along the coast of Dalmatia head into the mouth of river Krka and be amazed by the beauty of natural scenery, after you have passed Prokljansko lake the park takes you to the town of Skradin where you can moor your ship.
ACI Marina Skradin is one of the most beautiful ACI-owned marinas in Croatia, that can accommodate 180 berths with the maximum draft of 7m so finding a safe dock shouldn’t be an issue, but if you are unable to find a dock, the area between marina and Skradin bridge offer good anchorage. The Marina is equipped with fresh water, electricity and all other necessities so take some time to rejuvenate.
Although the river is navigable, sailing is prohibited due to the fact that the low Skradin bridge block the entry and it is maybe for the best, since keeping the river clean should be a priority as well.
Your other option is to choose as your docking station Marina Mandalina, located on the southeastern end of the five-mile-long inlet of Šibenik Bay, which will offer you shelter from all winds and is regarded as one of the safest marinas in Croatia. It is also one of two marinas that have been awarded 5 Gold Anchors and bears the Blue Flag. The Marina is larger than the one in Skradin, it has 429 wet berths, 79 of which are designed for superyachts and 50 dry bergs. It is luxuriously equipped with facilities including a restaurant, bar and a grocery store.
Your third choice could be Marina Zaton, situated at the opposite end of Prokljansko lake, in a deep and sheltered on the bay, however, this marina is privately owned so you might have fewer docking spaces to choose from.
Since you’ll have to dock your ship if you wish to go upstream and witness the natural beauties of Krka close, choose a boat tour Skradin or Šibenik, depending on your choice of the dock, and marvel as you travel along the riverbank at the sight in front of you.
Memorable sights to visit
The first stop on your tour must be Skradinski buk, a collection of 17 waterfalls, the beauty of which is only comparable to the ones at Plitvice. There is a network of paths and bridges which will have you strolling along the bank and soaking in the scenery.
Be sure to visit Roški Slap, over the 22-meter high waterfall with numerous cascade, called necklaces, decorated with water mills, restored and renovated with great ethnographic value.
The waterfalls are all accessible by road, but be sure to book a boat tour and see them up close. Besides these two majestic waterfalls, there are five more worth mentioning, Miljacka Slap, Rošnja, Manojlovac Slap, Brljan and Bilušća Buk. While traveling on a boat excursion visit the small island of Visovac in the middle of Krka river, one of the most valuable natural and cultural sights in the whole of Croatia. On the island stands Monastery of Our Lady of mercy founded by the Franciscan order in 1445 and the Church of our Lady of Visovac, which is the reason why the island also has the name Our Lady’s Island.
Inside the monastery, you will find many well-preserved artifacts and manuscripts which serve as a testament to Croatia's rich history. The island is an accessible by taking a boat tour from Skradinski buk to Roški slap.
One of the best things about visiting Krka is that you can take a swim in its clear waters and cool of a bit, but be sure to swim only in designed areas or you might hear a thing or two from a nearby ranger!
If you wish to take a more relaxing tour after visiting the three landmarks of Krka, take a tour of the ethno village near the entrance Lozovac which will give you about two or three hours worth of memorable content.
Besides the ethnic village, lovers of monuments of historical significance must visit Krka monastery and fortresses of Trošenj and Nečven dating from the period of Early Croatia.
For those of more adventurous spirit around the park, there are many hiking trails. You can even reach Skradinski buk on foot from the entrance at Skradin, it is a 4-kilometer long hike. You can even rent a bicycle if you wish to get your blood pumping a bit and explore the numerous caverns and archeological sites Krka National Park on your own.
Krka was inhabited since the Neolithic ages and Oziđana cave stands as a testament, be sure to visit while admiring Roški slap. Don’t miss the educational tour of the cave and visit museum that showcases the impressive collection of tools found there.
The Romans as well couldn’t stay unimpressed by the natural scenery so they set up a military camp Burnum in the 1st century AD. The camp is not reachable by water but is only a short distance away from Ivoševci village. While there, marvel at the military amphitheater, the second largest in Croatia and the only military amphitheater in the region.
The price of admission varies greatly, depending on the season, but the best time to visit is surely the hot summer months of July and August and in that time entrance will cost you 200 kunas, although there are cheaper tickets available which allow entrance only to certain areas of the park, by going that route you would miss many of the sights.
The price of tickets includes a return ride from Skradin to Skradinski buk as well as bus transfer from Lozovac to Skradinski buk as well as expert presentations at sites like Burnum, Roški slap and Oziđana cave and free aces to all walking trails in the park.
There are additional boat rides available, so be sure to take at least one, the three most popular are:
Skradinski buk – Visovac – Skradinski buk which will cost you 100 kunas
Skradinski buk – Visovac -Roški slap- Skradinski buk for 130 kunas
Roški slap – Krka Monastery – Trošenj and Nečven fortresses which costs 100 kunas
Krka National Park is truly a gem one of its kind and is worth taking the time to properly explore all the wonders it may offer, from the natural beauties to historical monuments, you will be amazed by the scenery no matter where you look. Be sure to carve a full day off your itinerary to give yourself the chance to enjoy it and witness all that it can offer!