Krka National Park in Croatia is located around the Krka river. The national park is situated in Šibenik-Knin county. While there are fewer waterfalls in this park than in Plitvice Lakes National Park, it shouldn’t be skipped. It’s equally amazing as you have the opportunity to swim near a waterfall in Krka.
The national park hosts 7 waterfalls, 47 kilometers of hiking trails, and 470 km of biking routes. The park offers boat tours and has old water mills to visit. Read more about our visit and our tips for your trip to Krka National Park in our guide below.
One side note: It confused us at first, but you have Krka and Krk in Croatia. Krka is the national park with waterfalls, and Krk is an island in the upper part of Croatia. If you’re looking for Krk, check out our article about the best beaches on Krk island.
Our Visit to the Krka Waterfalls
After our visit to the historic town of Split and fortress Klis on the prior day, we already drove to the small village Gradina, Šibenik. We stayed in this village because it’s just a few minutes away from Krka National Park, so this way we’d be able to go to the national park at opening time and enjoy the park while it wasn’t too crowded.
Arrival at Krka National Park
In the morning we woke up, ate breakfast, and drove to the parking lot here. We arrived around 9 AM, at park opening time. We went to the park ticket office and bought our tickets, from a not so friendly lady. I guess not everyone was having a good day.
After buying our tickets, we entered the park and were directed to the bus to drive to the famous Krka waterfall, Skradinski Buk. We were the first ones on the bus, and the only ones for a long time. We waited on the bus for more than half an hour before enough people had arrived to make the descent to the Krka waterfalls worthwhile for the bus driver. So the bus left.
While the bus was driving down we saw that people were also walking down to Skradinski Buk. The bus drive only took a few minutes, so the hike from the Krka park entrance lot to the waterfalls hike would only have taken us 10 minutes. And we waited for more than 30…
Skradinski Buk Waterfalls and Hiking Tour
It was around 10 o’clock when we started our hike and it was already getting quite crowded. The Krka waterfalls tour we did, starts at the red dot indicated on the map below. From there you follow the yellow trail up.
After we arrived at the first intersection we took a detour to the left to some old water mills. The water mills are from the 19th century and are from the time before electricity existed. The water mills were restored to how they used to be, and inside you can see how people used to live in the old days.
After our visit to the water mills, we continued our tour around the waterfalls of Krka park. We followed the trail on wooden boardwalks over some lakes, with beautiful waterfalls along the way. We arrived at the viewpoint, in the middle of the map. From there you have a fantastic view of the azure blue water and the waterfalls and mills on the back.
Swimming at Waterfall Skradinski Buk
After the viewpoint, we continued our hike and a bit later we arrived at Skradinski Buk waterfall. At this waterfall, we could go for a swim. When we arrived there was only 1 woman swimming in the water, so we quickly changed into our swimming clothes and went in the water as well.
As expected, the water wasn’t really warm. The fact that you’re swimming at a waterfall means the water constantly flows down, so it doesn’t really heat up. But that doesn’t take away the beauty of it. The experience of swimming at a waterfall was fantastic 😎.
⛔ One of our readers informed us that swimming in Krka is no longer allowed (since the Covid-19 pandemic).
You can’t swim all the way to the waterfall though. There is a rope in the water that you can’t cross. For security reasons I imagine, as close to the waterfall the current will be much stronger. Even reaching the rope required quite a bit of effort because it isn’t exactly calm water.
After swimming, we dried off and changed clothes again. Skradinski Buk is close to the end of the trail. We followed the remaining part of the fantastic trail and arrived back at our starting point. From there we took the bus back to the parking lot.
After our visit to Skradinski Buk, it was time for our next stop at Krka National Park Croatia, Roški Slap. You can’t easily reach Roški Slap from the Skradinski Buk area of the park. You have to take the car and drive for about 40 minutes, through the Cikola Canyon, where we did a hike later on the day.
40 minutes later, we arrived at the parking area of Roški Slap (you can find the location on Google Maps). From the parking lot, we crossed the bridge over the water and we followed the green tour of the map above, around the park. Ok, honestly we got a bit lost and went a bit too far before taking a turn right after the bridge, but we ended up following the correct trail.
The trail is also wonderful, and it’s far less busy on this part of the park than it is at the waterfalls area Skradinski Buk. We followed the trail a bit further and then had to cross the water again. After the bridge, there are some stairs up to Oziđana Pećina Cave.
After the visit to the cave, we went back to the parking lot and from there we went to some old watermill by the river. From the river, you can see the waterfall from which this area got its name: Roški Slap. You can find Roški Slap on our map above, marked with the number 1.
The waterfall Roški Slap is the second most visited waterfall of Krka National Park. The waterfall is quite far away, but you can see it. We didn’t have our camera with us, so we only took pictures with our phones. But sadly not a good one.
Oziđana Pećina Cave
From the hiking trail of Roški Slap, we followed some stairs up to Oziđana Pećina Cave. The sign at the beginning of the stairs said there were 517 stairs up to the cave. It was quite a heavy climb. But we managed and arrived at the cave. A visit to the cave is included in your Krka National Park ticket price.
At the entrance of the cave, there was a very friendly park ranger. She gave us a short explanation of the cave and the animals that used to live in the cave. We then visited the cave and looked at the exhibitions inside. The cave is only about 50 meters deep, so it doesn’t really take a long time to visit Oziđana Pećina Cave.
Maybe the cave on its own wouldn’t be worth the quite heavy climb on the stairs, but from the top, you have a fantastic view of the Roški Slap area and you can see the Krka river with the beautiful turquoise color. All those small waterfalls you see in the river are called the Necklaces. So if you don’t want to make the hike for a visit to the cave alone, then do so for the view on the Necklaces of the Krka river!
Krka National Park Tips
After reading all the information about Krka National Park, we want to give you some tips for your visit.
How long do you need for a visit to Krka National Park?
In our opinion, 1 day is enough. We did both areas (Skradinski Buk and Roški Slap) on the same day, went for a swim at the waterfall, and even did a hike at Cikola Canyon after that, and we made a short stop at Sibenik bridge. But we arrived early and visited in September, so it wasn’t that crowded.
Where should we go in Krka park?
We liked both areas of the park. Skradinski Buk is the most beautiful area and was the biggest “wow” for us, but Roški Slap is much calmer. If your time is limited, and you have to choose, we’d say go for the hiking trail at Skradinski Buk. And have a swim at the waterfall. It’s a fantastic experience!
When is the best time to visit Krka National Park?
Krka Croatia can be visited year-round, but depending on the time of the year some entrances to the park are closed. You can find the full details of the park opening hours on the official website.
The best period to visit is June to September, but our advice would be to visit the park in September if possible. It will be less crowded than in the summer months, but still warm enough to swim at the waterfall.
Are there more Waterfalls in National Park Krka?
Well, we didn’t visit any other waterfalls of Krka national park, but there are quite a few other waterfalls along the Krka river. You have the Bilušića Buk waterfall, the Manojlovac slap waterfall, Rošnjak waterfall, Brljan waterfall, and Miljacka waterfall.
Krka National Park Tickets
When we visited in 2017 the Krka waterfalls entrance fee was around €15 per person for both Skradinski Buk and Roski Slap. I checked the price list again for 2021, and now the ticket price from June to September increased a lot. The Krka entrance fee for an adult is now 200 kn (around €27 / $32).
Boat Excursions in Krka National Park
If you’re interested, there are also several boat excursions in Krka park. You can take a boat from Skradinski Buk waterfall to Visovac Island. On this island, there is an old monastery that you can visit. From there you can continue to Roški Slap. You can also take the tour in the other direction, starting from Roški Slap. The last option is to visit the medieval fortresses, Trošenj i Nečven. This option is only possible from Roški Slap.
You can find the details on the boat excursions on the national park website.
Where and When can you Swim in Krka Croatia?
In Krka, you can swim at the waterfall Skradinski Buk. You can swim close to the waterfall, but there is a rope in the water preventing you from going to the waterfall itself because it’s dangerous with the currents. The water isn’t warm, but it’s refreshing on a hot summer day. Swimming to the waterfall is only allowed in the summer months (June to end of September).
If you loved our guide to Krka National Park, we recommend you to check out our guide to Plitvice Lakes National Park, another National Park in Croatia. We also recommend checking out our post on all the national parks of Croatia.