Photo: Zdenek Matyas Photography/Shutterstock

How to See the Stunning Krka Waterfalls Near Split, Croatia

Croatia National Parks
by Suzie Dundas Jan 11, 2023

The Krka Waterfalls are an impressive natural wonder protected as part of Krka National Park in Croatia. The Krka River runs through a series of seven naturally formed waterfalls, cascading over limestone and dolomite rocks.

The most famous of the Krka waterfalls is Skradinski Buk, with a height of 145 feet and width of almost 2,600 feet, making it one of the largest cascades in Europe. It has within 17 small waterfalls.

About Krka National Park

Krka waterfalls in croatia

Photo: Zdenek Matyas Photography/Shutterstock

Krka National Park is a protected area covering 42 miles of the Krka River in the country’s Dalmatia area; it eventually feeds into the Adriatic Sea. Established in 1985, Krka National Park has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia, with more than a million annual visitors.

Aside from exploring the Krka waterfalls, visitors can also enjoy activities such as kayaking or swimming (in some areas). Nature-lovers can explore numerous walking trails and observe wildlife, including rare species like black storks, owls, and kingfishers. The park has about 30 miles of trails and boats on the river for tourists to allow visitors to easily move between various hiking trails and viewpoints.

How to reach Krka National Park

Krka National Park is about 50 miles south of Zadar and 52 miles north of Split. You can rent a car as the park is well-connected to the rest of Croatia by a network of roads, including a highway that runs through the park. However, if you don’t want to rent a car, you’ll find plenty of day tours from companies like Split Day Trips and Splitlicious. Tours are usually pretty affordable by US standards (starting around $25 US) and often include park admission.

It’s best to go early since peak hours (late morning and early afternoon) can be very congested with traffic, especially in summer.

The entry fee to visit Krka National Park varies based on the time of year, from 30 Croatian Kuna (about $4.50 US) for adults from November to March (when it’s too cold to swim) to 200 Kuna (about $28) in the peak of summer. You can buy your park entry ticket at the gate when you arrive, though it’s better to buy it online on the Parks Croatia website to avoid waiting in line when you arrive. The fee includes a boat ride to Skradinski Buk, but the boat doesn’t operate in the winter (hence the lower price)

Island near krka waterfalls in croatia

Photo: EireShots/Shutterstock

The Krka waterfalls aren’t the only notable site in the park, however. Leave time to see Visovac Island, a small island in the Krka River. This island is home to the Franciscan monastery of Our Lady of Mercy and its accompanying museum, which were both founded by the Dominican friars in 1445.

You’ll also likely want to check out Roški Slap, a large waterfall complex at the end of Krka River. It’s an impressive sight with a total of 12 drops, the tallest of which is about 75 feet tall. Boat trips along the Krka River from Skradinski Buk to Roški Slap take about 40 minutes and are included in the admission fee.

Can you swim in the Krka waterfalls?

boat on the river in krka national park

Photo: CarGe/Shutterstock

To keep the river clean and healthy, swimming is no longer allowed in the pools of Skradinski Buk. Fortunately, there are other areas in the park where you can swim when the weather (and water) are warm enough.

If you want to take a dip near the Lozovac entrance, head to Stinice, very near Visovac Island, or Remetić; they’re both accessible via park trails. If you’re unsure about visiting on your own, you can book a tour from Split, which can take you to the specific spots where you’re allowed to swim. But it’s easy enough to do on your own, too. Just grab a map when you enter the park and pack a backpack bag with food, water, some eco-friendly sunscreen, and a towel, since you’ll have to walk a bit to get to the swimming areas.

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